How Is the Interest Calculated on a Car Loan?


When you take out a loan for an automobile, you need to pay back the amount that you borrowed along with interest. However, you may be wondering what interest is and how it’s calculated on a car loan.

Luckily, we created this informative guide for drivers like you in Lowell, Dracut, and Tewksbury. Keep reading to learn about interest and contact Ira Toyota of Tewksbury if you have any questions.

Calculating Interest on an Auto Loan

Interest is a fee that you pay for using a lender’s money. Each time you make a payment for your loan, it goes to two parts: reducing the balance and covering the interest.

In order to see what the interest would be every month for a particular loan, you divide the interest rate by the number of payments you’re making in a year. For example, if you make payments once a month, then you’d divide the interest rate by 12.

You’ll then want to take that number and multiply it by the balance of the loan. If it’s the first payment, then the number would be the whole principal amount.

After you’ve done the calculations, the final number you get would be the amount of interest to pay in the first month. For the consecutive months, subtract the interest from the repayment amount. Then, take that total and subtract it from the principal to get a new balance. The new balance will replace the principal amount in the original calculation to determine interest for the rest of the year.

How Much Interest Do You Pay on a Car Loan?

There are several factors that affect how much interest you pay on an auto loan. This comes down to the different parts that make up a loan, which include:

  • Principal amount
  • Loan term
  • Repayment amount

The principal amount is what you’re looking to borrow. To determine how much you can afford to borrow, you’ll need to come up with a budget. Think about what you pay each money (bills, groceries, etc.) and subtract that from your monthly income. The final number would give you an idea on how big of a car loan you could take out.


You’ll also want to figure out how long you want to be paying off a car loan. If you have a shorter loan term, you’re generally paying more each month, but will have less interest in the long run. On the flip side, longer loan terms allow you to pay less every month, but you’ll have to pay more interest overall.

You may decide to make repayments once a month, every two weeks, or once a week—depending on your budget. More payments do mean less interest, but you’ll need to make sure you can afford to do that before committing to a set schedule.

Learn More About Auto Loan Interest

If you have any questions about interest or any other part of a car loan, don’t hesitate to contact us at Ira Toyota of Tewksbury.

Our finance experts are well-versed in auto loans. As a result, they can take your budget and help create a payment plan that works for you. Before you know it, you’ll be driving home to Lowell, Dracut, or Tewksbury, MA, in your dream car.