There are plenty of debt repayment calculators on the internet. This one is different. It helps you to make a plan for repayment of multiple debts. Credit cards, financing, Canada student loans, mortgages, and lines of credit. It will optimize using either a Snowball or Avalanche method while also accounting for special loan characteristics like student loan interest relief and forgiveness. There are even embedded links to those government loan programmes by province in Canada. It will work best on a desktop, laptop, or high-end tablet.
Disclaimer: This calculator is a free resource to help you make plans. It is meant for illustrative and entertainment purposes only and you are responsible for your own decisions. I have tried to make it accurate, but there is no explicit or implied warranty. If you find an error, contact me (preferrably with screenshots) so that I can investigate.
Loan Type Details
You must enter the amount owing, interest rate, and minimal payment for each loan. There may be a couple of other features to consider for special loans as outlined below. Even though some loans have more frequent payments, use the total monthly payment for each loan type. You can account for lump sum payments later in the debt repayment calculator.
You can input loans for two people with different Federal & Provincial loans from different provinces.
Enter loan forgiveness for Federal and Provincial loans. This is for the special programmes and is usually spread out over several years. Many student loans will have a grant component that is forgiven upfront. Subtract that from the initial balance owing rather than the forgiveness section.
There are also Federal & Provincial tax credits for student loan repayment. Those are factored in to give an effective interest rate to compare if you are considering consolidating your student loan to a line of credit. This option only applies to provincial loans that are not interest-free.
Credit Lines & Cards
If you have high interest credit cards, consider using a lower rate line of credit to pay them off. If you consolidate that debt, don’t use your credit cards to ring up more. Eliminate unnecessary cards and only put on them what you can pay off immediately.
Enter up to two mortgages. These are meant for personal use mortgages. Mortgages on business properties would separate. Investment properties should have a separate business plan. Further, they are treated differently since interest would be a business expense.
Some mortgages have special options to allow for lump sum payments and increases in monthly payments. To use this feature, you must enter the initial amount of the loan in addition to the current balance. The initial amount is usually used for calculation of lump sum options. Enter the % of that allowed as a lump sum per year.
If applicable, enter the amount you can increase your monthly payments by. The debt repayment calculator will increase the payments if that mortgage is a priority based on the strategy chosen.
Financing arrangements may have some special features. In addition to the balance and minimum payments, it is important to know whether the extra payment decrease the total interest paid over the life of the loan. For example, some financing has the interest paid first followed by the principle. Others may have penalties for early payment. If that applies, the calculator will focus extra cashflow on other debts where it matters instead of wasting it.
Debt Repayment Strategy
Monthly Amount Available for Debt Repayment
Enter the amount of cashflow that you have to repay debts after your basic living expenses and retirement saving. It is the total. Minimum payments for your loans are included in this amount. As you eliminate debts, the improved cashflow will be re-applied to existing debts.
Snowball vs Avalanche Strategy
The priority in which extra cash is used to eliminate debt depends on the strategy. The snowball strategy will target the smallest debts first. That has the behavioral advantage of seeing progress and staying motivated. In contrast, use the avalanche strategy minimize the interest paid over the lifetime of your loans. It prioritizes paying the highest interest debts first.
For both strategies, the debt repayment calculator accounts for maximum allowed payments (like for mortgages) and tries to minimize the loss of loan forgiveness (for student loans). Further, interest-free loan payments are kept at the minimum allowed. If they are all you have left, then increased cash flow might be better used to start investing vs paying off interest-free debt.
Dates & Lump Sum Payments
The start date will be used for generating the printable detailed loan repayment schedules.
Apply up to 15 lump sum payments for when you get big chunks of cashflow. The date and amount is important because lump sums are applied based on the priority of the loan while not exceeding the maximum annual lump sum allowed (like for mortgages). That may mean that a cash windfall is applied across multiple loans as they are eliminated or the annual maximum is reached.
Debt Repayment Plan Outputs
Summary Overview Table
The bottom of the strategy page will list the loans in priority sequence. For each loan, initial balance, interest rate, time to elimination, and total interest paid is shown.
Debt Balance Chart
The projected shrinkage of your different debts is also shown in graphical form. You can hover over different time points to see the balance of each loan in the future.
Printable Detailed Repayment Schedules
The debt repayment calculator lumps loans into groups of 3-4 per page to give detailed repayment schedules and balance owing. You can print these using the print buttons.