How to use the car affordability calculator
The majority of car payment calculators begin with the desired total loan amount and additional inputs to determine the monthly payment. The car affordability calculator on NerdWallet begins with the monthly payment you select and displays the maximum loan amount you can afford, as well as how the loan term and APR affect the overall loan amount.
Enter the desired loan term and the monthly car payment you can afford into NerdWallet’s car affordability calculator. Then select “new” or “used” and your credit tier. If you are unfamiliar with your credit score, you can check it for free. ).
Using information from Experian Information Solutions, NerdWallet calculates an APR based on the typical APR for new or used auto loans in that credit category. You can further customize your loan amount by experimenting with different loan terms and adjusting the inputs.
Compare prices, models, and more from over 1,000,000 cars nationwide. Before going to the dealer, shop around and compare prices. You can quickly receive a trade-in offer for your current vehicle.
How to determine how much car you can afford
Prior to visiting the dealership, figure out how much car you can afford to buy. You may end up saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Here are three key steps to follow:
Calculate the car payment you can afford
To obtain a more realistic view of your finances, you should base your decision on your take-home pay, or the amount you make each month after taxes, rather than your salary. You might be wondering, “How much car can I afford based on salary?”
Spending no more than 2010% of your take-home pay on your monthly auto loan payment is advised by NerdWallet. Thus, you could afford a $300 car payment if your monthly after-tax income is $3,000.
For a few months, transfer the amount to a savings account to see if you can truly afford the payment. Make a note of what you’re giving up in order to accomplish this and decide if it fits within your budget.
Regarding how long you can or want to continue making this monthly payment, be realistic. In a few months, the thrill of getting a new car will wear off, and you’ll start to view it the same way you currently view the one in your driveway. For used car purchases, NerdWallet suggests maximum loan terms of 36 months, and for new car purchases, 60 months.
Extending the term of your loan will lower your monthly payment, but the interest you pay will increase significantly over time. Additionally, a longer loan term raises the possibility that you will default on the loan and owe more than the car is worth.
Calculate the car loan amount you can afford
You can estimate how much you can borrow once you’ve determined your affordable monthly car payment amount. This will depend on several other factors, including:
- Your credit score, which influences your loan’s annual percentage rate, or APR,
- The length of time you have to pay back the loan, or the loan term
- Whether you buy new or used. New car loans tend to have lower APRs.
The car affordability calculator calculates the total loan amount you can afford by working backwards from a monthly payment, an estimated annual percentage rate, and the length of the loan.
Find preapproved auto loans
The price of the car you can afford doesn’t always correspond to the total loan amount you can afford. You can buy a more expensive car or take out a lower loan if you put down a larger payment or trade in your old vehicle. (To find out how your trade-in credit or down payment will impact your monthly payment and loan amount, use our auto loan calculator.) ).
Assuming no trade-in credit or down payment, you can calculate the amount of a car loan you can afford and start to get a reasonable idea of the purchase price you should take into consideration. Expect to pay a market adjustment, or additional profit added straight to the sticker price, on many popular models in the current shortage-driven market.
Remember that in addition to the car’s advertised price, you’ll also need to account for sales tax and other fees, which differ by state. A straightforward method to calculate these additional costs is to add 2010% to the car’s advertised price (even if you may be able to negotiate a lower price). For instance, if a car is advertised for $20,000, figure out how much it will cost you overall, or “out the door.”
Here’s a summary of the usual additional expenses to help you get a more accurate estimate:
- Sales taxes can range from 5% to 10% of total sales, and they may include county, state, and local taxes.
- Registration costs: Use the website of your state’s department of motor vehicles to estimate these costs.
- Documentation fee: Depending on your state, this usually varies from $75 to $895.
Finding a car you can afford
Once you know how much you want to spend, you can use an online car-shopping website to compare prices of various models. Numerous websites, including Edmunds, Autotrader, and CarGurus, also offer car-buying apps.
But remember to set the bar low. When looking for a car, lower your maximum price limit to what you believe you can afford overall. Fees and sales tax can quickly total several thousand dollars more.
How much car loan can I afford with my income?
As per our findings, you shouldn’t allocate more than 2010% to 2015% of your net monthly income towards vehicle payments. The total cost of your vehicle, including insurance and loan payments, shouldn’t exceed 2020%. A car loan calculator can help you figure out a monthly payment that fits into your budget.
How do I know how much of my car loan I qualify for?
Lenders will look at your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. This metric contrasts your gross monthly income with your monthly expenses. Before authorizing a loan, the majority of auto dealers prefer to see a DTI of no more than 45 or 50 percent, according to The Car Connection.
What car can I afford with 70k salary?
After taking into account the 20/4/20 rule and an average interest rate, you can afford a car between $19,000 and $20,000 on a salary of $70k.
What is the payment on a $25,000 car loan?
Rates and terms are subject to change without notice. For instance, a six-year fixed-rate loan for a new car worth $25,000 with a 20% down payment necessitates a $20,000 loan. Based on a simple interest rate of 3. With 4% interest and a $200 loan fee, this loan would require $310 in monthly payments. 54 each and an annual percentage rate (APR) of 3. 74%.
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