This free online Debt Pay Down Calculator will calculate the interest savings that will occur if you apply a one-time amount to paying down a given debt.
Plus, the debt paydown calculations will also tell you how much sooner you will pay off the debt after applying the one-time principal payment. So where might you find the extra cash to apply to the paydown of a high interest debt?
Do you have any idle, non-appreciating assets that are doing nothing but collecting dust? If so, why not convert them into cash (sell them) and apply that extra cash to paying down your highest interest debt? You'll be amazed at how even a small one-time principal payment can add up over time. In fact, once you pay off your debt you might be able to buy back your sold assets with your interest savings ... with money to spare!
Of course, in order to get the most for your idle assets, be sure to sell them during their peak selling season (high demand). Sell boats and motorcycles in the spring, snowmobiles and skiing equipment in fall, and so on.
A friend of mine, Bruce M., actually makes a nice living buying used goods from desperate sellers in off-peak seasons (low demand), and then selling those goods to desperate buyers in peak season (high demand). Another friend of mine, Dennis N., makes an excellent living buying used appliances from apartment complexes and reselling them to individuals for 10-times what he pays for them. I could go on, but I think you can see how the sky is the limit when it comes to turning idle assets (yours and others) into financial freedom -- especially if you use the proceeds for paying off your debts.
With that, let's use the debt pay down calculator to see how much time and interest you will save by applying a one-time, lump-sum of cash to your next monthly payment.
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Current balance owed: The amount you still owe on the debt. Due to compounding interest, the amount you owe cannot be arrived at by simply multiplying your payment amount by the number of payments remaining. That's because the total of your payments also includes the lender's cut (interest charges). Therefore it's always best to call your lender and ask for the exact amount you owe if you were to pay off the debt now.
Annual interest rate: The annual interest rate you are being charged for the debt. This is a percentage the lender charges you to use their money. Each compounding period (daily, monthly, annually, etc.), your lender divides the annual percentage rate by the number of compounding periods per year, and then multiplies that result by the current amount you owe. The result is how much you are contributing to the lender's gigantic annual bonuses they are paying to their key personnel.
Current monthly payment amount: The amount of your current monthly payment, which consists of a portion that will go to the lender as "rent" (interest) and a portion that that will actually reduce the amount you owe (principal). If you want to know how much of your current payment is interest and how much is principal, please visit the Debt Payment Breakdown Calculator.
Amount to add to next payment: The one-time amount you are considering adding to the next payment. This one-time paydown of your debt could be from a tax refund, an inheritance, the sale of a personal belonging, and so on. If you would like to see how much interest you would save if you increase the amount of all of your remaining payments, please visit the Invest in Your Debt Calculator.
Payments remaining row: Number of payments remaining Before and After your one-time payment increase.
Monthly payments saved row: The number of monthly payments that will be eliminated by making your one-time debt pay down.
Total interest cost row: Total interest cost Before and After your one-time payment increase.
Interest savings row: The interest savings that will be created when you make your one-time debt paydown.