How to Calculate the Costs of Your Personal Loan
June 21, 2023

Everyone has dreams, and many of them are difficult to achieve. Among the many reasons, you are not able to fulfill your wishes is the lack of sufficient financial means.

Now being short on cash shouldn’t hold you back from pursuing your desires any longer. You can easily go for a Personal Loan and make your dream come true as numerous Banks and NBFCs offer quick and convenient funding.

But before taking on a Personal Loan it is imperative to consider reading fine print such as repayment tenure, interest rate, and miscellaneous charges, as it has a considerable impact on your borrowing cost and EMI.

What Does Avail of a Personal Loan Mean For Your Finances?

Before making a big purchase or engaging in a financial transaction, it’s wise to do your research properly. The more you understand the borrowing cost, the more beneficial it will be for you in the long term.

For instance, along with the principal amount, you’ll also be paying the cost of borrowing (interest) which depends on the repayment term you’re offered.

However, understanding the terms and conditions along with the fine print associated with them can be quite challenging thus after gathering all the relevant information, you can conveniently calculate your monthly payment using a Loan Calculator or a simple equation.

How Do Personal Loan Payments Work?

To calculate your payments, it’s imperative to understand the ins and outs of how the payment systems work. Besides the principal amount of your loan, you are responsible for paying interest and any additional fees linked to a Personal Loan.

When figuring out the affordability, focus on the loan’s principal amount, the annual percentage rate (APR), and the applicable fees.

  • Principal: The sum you borrow that gets transferred into your account.
  • APR: The amount the lender charges you for lending you money. Your annual percentage rate (APR) differs slightly from your interest rate. It includes your interest rate besides other paid upfront costs such as processing fees.
  • Fees: Extra expenses associated with availing of a loan like foreclosure fees, insufficient funds fees, late fees, and so on.

In the majority of Personal Loans, your monthly payments remain consistent throughout the duration of the loan. Interest rates, including APRs, are determined based on your credit score and history. A higher credit score typically results in a lower interest rate.

To understand how the actual total interest is calculated, it’s important to know concepts such as APR and the various types of interest rates.

Let’s understand APR and how it affects your interest rate.

What is APR?

Lenders apply interest charges when providing you with a loan amount. The interest calculated annually on such a loan is referred to as the Annual Percentage Rate (APR).

The APR applied to your loan enables you to calculate the actual cost of borrowing over a specific period. It signifies the annual cost of a loan and is expressed in percentage.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) refers to the interest rate and financing fee associated with a loan and its repayments. The APR is influenced by numerous factors such as your loan amount, repayment duration, and credit history.

The Annual Percentage Rate takes into consideration the nominal interest rate along with other fees associated with availing and servicing a loan. The fees comprise administrative costs, insurance expenses, processing fees, and similar expenditures.

However, an APR does not consider the compounding aspect when calculating the actual borrowing cost of a loan.

Why APR is Imperative To You

When determining the true cost of borrowing, relying solely on the Annual Interest Rate (AIR) would not reveal the loan’s actual cost. Lenders promote this interest rate as a means to attract customers to their services.

Numerous lenders intentionally maintain a low Annual Interest Rate while simultaneously keeping the other charges. Consequently, customers often remain unaware of the actual cost of the loan.

Now, the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is essential for you as it has the potential to determine whether your loan is affordable or expensive. Therefore, you must evaluate your loan’s APR before proceeding with the decision to move forward.

When availing of a loan, it is imperative to thoroughly examine the repayment terms and conditions. Hefty repayments have the potential to disrupt your monthly budget.

Therefore, it is essential to carefully consider every aspect of your loan and repayment. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is one such aspect that requires your thoughtful deliberation.

How is APR calculated?

Here is The Formula to Calculate APR:

APR = [(Total interest + other Fees)/Principal amount/Tenure of Loan)

For instance, Amit is seeking a personal loan of ₹ 500000/- that he would pay off in a tenure of 3 years. The processing fee is 1% and the interest rate is 12% at a reducing balance (6.5% flat per year) Let’s assume the insurance cost is Rs 6000. Subsequently, the APR of the loan will be calculated as follows:

  • Processing fee = ₹ 5,000
  • Insurance = ₹ 6,000
  • Total fee = ₹11,000
  • Total interest paid over 36 months = ₹ 97693.00
  • So, APR = (11,000+97693.00/ 36 months) = 6.52% annually

Hence, the actual cost of the loan amounts to 108,693.00 for a 3-year tenure, the loan amount of ₹ 500000 borrowed.

The amount of your monthly payment is determined by the debt amount and the chosen repayment term.

For instance, a loan amount of ₹ 500000 paid over 5 years of tenure will have a lower monthly payment compared to a ₹ 500000 loan paid over 3 years of tenure because the payments are distributed over an extended duration, allowing for a longer repayment period.

How APR Affects Your Interest?

Gaining a thorough understanding of the APR is crucial to ensure that you can comfortably afford the loan repayments. Considering the loan type is one of the best ways to save money on interest rates.

There are 2 types of loans secured loans and unsecured loans thus, the type of loan you choose affects your repayment. To understand the impact of APR on your interest, let us first learn about secured and unsecured Personal Loans.

Secured Loan

In Secured loans, collateral is required as a means to secure the loan amount. Although finding collateral may not be easy.  Opting for a secured loan can significantly lower your APR. Therefore, repayment becomes less burdensome when opting for secured loans.

Unsecured Loans

With unsecured loans, you don’t need any collateral to secure the loan, when you choose to go for unsecured loans, your APR and repayments are comparatively higher.

You should always consider all the factors before choosing any loan as it can affect your repayments. This is a good way to avoid defaulting on repayments thus, maintaining a good credit score.

The initial step to reduce your EMIs is to steer clear of overly hyped interest rates and be aware of the APR associated with the loan.

Now, let’s talk about the second step – understanding the type of interest rates.

Flat and Reducing Interest Rates

While opting for a personal loan you should be aware of the type of interest application. Here are two ways to calculate the interest rate.

  • Flat interest rate
  • Reducing the interest rate

Explore all the essential information about the two methods of calculating interest rates below. Also, get a clear understanding of the difference between the two types of loans.

Flat Interest Rate

Traditionally, this method of interest calculation has been applied to Personal Loans. It is also known as a fixed interest rate, and the technique is pretty simple to understand.

When considering a flat interest rate, the interest is calculated based on the entire loan amount, which is commonly referred to as the principal.

Initially, the total interest on your loan is calculated, followed by its addition to the principal amount. The total amount is then divided equally across your repayment tenure.

When a flat interest rate is implemented, your monthly deductions remain the same throughout the tenure. Regardless of whether you’re paying your first EMI or the second-last EMI when opting for a fixed interest rate.

Reducing Interest Rate

In the reducing interest method, your obligation reduces every month. The interest rate is determined based on the remaining principal amount, which decreases every month.

In this method, as you make your monthly EMIs, a fraction is allocated towards interest payment, while the remaining portion is utilized to gradually reduce your principal amount.

Thus, your principal amount steadily reduces month on month. Hence, the interest amount calculated on the principal also decreases accordingly. Therefore, your interest amount progressively decreases with each EMI.

What is The Method For The Calculation of Interest?

Once you are thorough with the various methods of calculation employed by lenders to calculate the interest on your loan, it’s natural for the question to arise in your mind “Which interest calculation method is most transparent?

Among the available interest calculation methods, the reducing interest rate method works best Most Banks and NBFCs apply the reducing interest rate, for a constant EMI and which indicates clearly month on month the amount paid as interest and the principal balance of the loan.

However, before going for any Personal Loan, you should have a clear understanding of your loan terms and the employed interest calculation method.

Why Use a Personal Loan Calculator?

A Personal Loan Calculator can provide you with an estimation of your monthly payment, total interest paid, and the overall amount paid based on a specific loan amount. After completing all the necessary calculations, you can take the next step and:

  • Before finalizing a loan try different scenarios. Ensure to explore varying loan-term lengths to observe the impact on your monthly payment and total interest.
  • Evaluate if the monthly payment aligns with your budget. In case the payment seems unaffordable, consider extending the loan term.
  • Determine whether you are willing to pay the total interest cost associated with the loan. If the cost seems too high, consider exploring a shorter loan term.

Conclusion

When securing a Personal Loan, the primary concern revolves around: “What will be the total cost and monthly repayment?

Your Repayment amount will be greater than the borrowed sum, given that your EMI covers both the principal and the interest.

It is imperative to understand that the borrowing cost of your loan is influenced by numerous factors such as loan type, loan amount, repayment tenure, creditworthiness, and other relevant considerations. What you must ensure is that you possess sufficient repayment capacity to effectively repay the loan and avoid a default.


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