When buying a house or car that you could only afford years from today, creating a budget for college expenses, or simply taking on credit cards due to unexpected events; debt can be a very powerful tool when used correctly.
As wonderful as it sounds, debt can weigh you down, and also has an effect on your credit score. Timely and consistent payments can help improve your credit score, while failing to do so can hurt your chances of finding better rates in the future. Furthermore, opening and even paying off a debt can also affect your score in a negative way.
Staying on top of your payments is crucial in making the most out of a leveraged position. Regardless of how you use debt, calculating how much you have to pay to get rid of loans is key to keeping your credit score high, and having a good standing with lenders.
For paying off your debt, you should begin with a solid plan, and stick to it. If you only have a single source of debt, then your plan is clear: Pay it off as quickly as possible. However, when you are dealing with several at a time, then you might want to consider creating a more structured plan, and decide on how you want to tackle them. To create your plan, either use an online tool, or even create your own debt payoff calculator in Excel! The conventional approach would be to simply focus on the highest interest rate, as that loan will keep increasing more over time.
Everyone has their own style of managing their finances, but when it comes to debt, there are two widely recommended strategies to payoff multiple loans: Snowball and Avalanche. Regardless of the method you are using, paying at least the minimum amount on all loans is crucial.
Using the snowball method, you are essentially focusing on paying off the debts with the smallest amount, and then moving onto bigger ones. Your payoff schedule grows bigger over time, like rolling a snowball down a hill. Any excess money left after paying the minimums on all loans goes to the next smallest in your list.
This approach may not make sense from a purely numbers perspective, but the psychological effects of “crossing out” a debt can mean more to some people. This motivation boost can help you stay on track, and focus on your goals.
The avalanche method focuses more on paying off debts with the highest interest rates first. With this idea, you want to pay the minimums of all your loans first, and then focus on the ones with the highest interest rate. If you have leftover money you can put into your loans, you would continue with the next highest rate. The loans ordered from highest to lowest interest rate resembles going down an avalanche, hence the name.
The advantage of this method is that you are essentially paying less in interest in the long term. Even though the avalanche method might make more sense from a logical standpoint, it might take you longer to fully pay off a loan with this method. The feeling of triumph when you pay off a loan can be worth more to some people. If this is more important to you, you might want to use the snowball method instead, since it is more important that you keep yourself motivated. The avalanche method might take longer to see and feel its effects, but your loans will go down faster.
Create Your Own Debt Pay Off Calculator in Excel
Now, would you like to build a debt payoff calculator yourself? Customize it, share it, and utilize it however you want – Enter Excel!
To build a debt payoff calculator, you need to create the input fields and organize the layout so that users can enter their details, all the while making it clear which fields are editable. In addition to this, you would want to display the results on a separate section, add a payment schedule, throw in a few charts if you can, and help users visualize how their plan is looking.
Feel free to download the Excel calculator we have created here by clicking the image below!
Build a Web Application from Your Excel File
Creating a tool like this in Excel is far easier than doing so on any other platform. However, things can get a bit more complicated when you want to share it with others.
It is fairly easy to find debt payoff calculators online. However, building one yourself from scratch means jumping through many hoops to create the calculation logic and the user interface.
Excel can help substantially bring down your time and costs for creating a calculator like this one. Although, this kind of defeats the purpose, as your users would need to have Excel on their devices, and it would be fairly harder to make sure that everyone has the same user experience.
SpreadsheetWEB is a no-code platform that allows creating a full-blown web application only using an Excel workbook. You do not need to have any knowledge on how to build a web interface, or code the calculation logic. In most cases, an application of this scale can be converted into a mobile-enabled web tool in the matter of a few hours, not weeks. The resulting application has a distinguished look-and-feel that can be further enhanced using CSS.
Creating this calculator on SpreadsheetWEB really only means assigning named ranges to the input fields like the debt details, and output fields like the payment schedule table. Next, all you need to do is upload the workbook into the system and create the web controls using a drag-and-drop style builder.
That is all! The web application can go live right that second once you hit the “publish” button.
If you would like to play around with the application, you can access it here.
Disclaimer: The information provided by this calculator is intended for informational and educations purposes only. The default figures shown are hypothetical and may not be applicable to your individual situation. We are not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken in reliance upon or as a result of the information provided by this tool. We are not responsible for any human errors or omissions.