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Financial Calculators Can Help You Get Out Of Debt

Apr 24, 2008
Financial calculators are available in abundance on the Internet. They are available for use online and as free downloads. These handy little tools are offered primarily to calculate the monthly payments and interest rates for mortgages and credit cards, but many can also be used to calculate other types of loans for automobiles or personal use. There are also net worth calculators that allow you to see how your wealth is progressing. In addition to these software calculators, there are also a number of hand-held, programmable financial calculators on the market offered by companies such as Hewlett-Packard. These, however, are a bit complicated to use without carefully studying the instruction manuals and a good basic understanding of mathematics.

Use financial calculators to reduce what you now owe, what you will owe and which options will save you the most money

Financial calculators are excellent for comparing the costs and lengths of loans when you are considering refinancing existing loans, or for determining which offer is the best bet in a debt consolidation loan. They are also advantageous when comparing mortgage offers and these can be instrumental in saving you tens of thousands of dollars over a mortgage's term. While these are the most popular applications, financial calculators can be used for determining almost anything including:

General loan calculations- Payments on a fully-amortized loan; time to amortize; interest rates; current value on a payment series; balloon payment due; remaining loan balance; and whether or not to pay 'extra' points for a lower mortgage rate

Auto financing- Determining basic loan rates, terms and monthly payments; Low APR vs. cash back; Basic lease and leasing vs. buying.

Banking & personal finance- Analysis of CDs; Paying-down a debt or investing more; current cash flow information; debt consolidation vs. individual payments and time to pay off credit card debt.

Insurance- Amount of disability income insurance needed; tax benefits from an annuity; what are long-term care insurance needs; how much life insurance is needed and how long life insurance proceeds will last.

College education- cost/year and total cost; advantages of college savings plans; what loan payments will be; reducing or foregoing expenses and how much am I spending.

Family & home- Renting vs. buying a home; cash required for emergencies; analyzing retirement plans; rate of return on real estate investments; future value of a 401K and what a job bonus will net after taxes.

Taxes- Determining the affect of taxes and inflation on returns; whether or not to exercise stock options; income from a savings plan; tax advantages from annuities and tax savings from a mortgage.

Retirement- Estimating income from social security; how much money to set aside for retirement; whether or not to convert to a Roth IRA; how much to contribute to an IRA and analysis of self employment retirement plan contributions.

While detailed explanations of how to use each calculator is beyond the scope of this article, one thing is clear: These simple calculators can provide you with a wide range of financial information that will enable you to make the best short and long-term decisions. In addition, they have very-real value in helping you to reduce debt by making the financial benefits of alternative solutions clear and thus simplifying important decisions.

Very detailed information on individual calculators, free downloads and how-to-use-them information is readily available on the Internet by searching under 'financial calculators'.
About the Author
Shirley Bullington writes about credit card and unsecured debt issues. You will find articles as well as informative Reports and interviews with credit card debt specialists about credit card debt and unsecured debt and suggestions on resolutions at her site.
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