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How to Use the FINPACK Loan Calculator

by | May 15, 2020

How to use FINPACK Loan CalculatorThe FINPACK Loan Calculator is a useful tool as you enter or edit loan payment information into a Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Projection, Long Range Plan, or Financial Analysis in FINPACK.  The loan payment details from the Loan Calculator can be pasted into data entry, or it can also be used as a freestanding tool to brainstorm possible loan payment options.  When using the calculator in freestanding mode, the information cannot be pasted into FINPACK.  Here the only option is to View Payment Schedule and print or export the schedule.

There are two types of repayment options in the FINPACK Loan Calculator – amortized payments or fixed-principal payments.  The type of loan being modeled will dictate the specific calculator chosen. 

Using the Calculator

Assuming the FINPACK Loan Calculator is being used within data entry, the user will first enter the Lender, Description, Interest Rate, Principal Balance, and Accrued Interest details for the loan.  The Loan Calculator is then used to calculate payment details.

FINPACK Loan Calculator Icon

FINPACK Loan Calculator Icon

To access the FINPACK Loan Calculator, click the Loan Calculator icon on the FINPACK toolbar.  In the Loan Calculator dialog, details can be entered in the tab for Amortized Payments or Fixed-Principal Payments.

Amortized Payments

For amortized loans, the first selection is either for a New or Existing Loan.  Details regarding the First Payment or Next Payment Date; Payment Frequency (from the drop-down list); and Loan Period in Years or Number of Payments Remaining are then entered.  (First Payment Date and Loan Period in Years are used when entering information for a new loan.  Next Payment Date and Number of Payments Remaining are used when entering information for an existing loan.)   For most of these entries, there is a button with an equals sign (=) to the right of the entry.  Click this button will calculate that entry item based on the data entered for all the other entries.  Typically the Scheduled Payment is the item being calculated, but any item with an equals sign button can be back-calculated.  For example, you can enter different Scheduled Payments then calculate the Amount Borrowed to see how much you can borrow given different payment amounts.

The full amortization schedule can be viewed and printed by clicking View Payment Schedule button.  If the Loan Calculator dialog was opened from a loan data entry section in FINPACK, the Paste button will be enabled for you to paste the payment information into the highlighted loan in data entry.

Fixed-Principal Payments

When using the Loan Calculator to model fixed-principal payments the same underlying loan information is entered into data entry prior to opening the Loan Calculator.  Once this information is entered and the Loan Calculator is opened, you can enter the fixed-principal payments in the particular month(s).  The month(s) when an interest payment is due is selected by clicking the Interest Payment check-box.  When this data entry is completed, the Annual P & I Payment is and displayed.  Again, the payment scheduled can be viewed and printed by clicking View Payment Schedule.  Also, If the Loan Calculator dialog was opened from a loan data entry section in FINPACK, the Paste button will be enabled for you to paste the payment information into the highlighted loan in data entry.

Using the FINPACK Loan Calculator is helpful for estimating payment details for a loan or for experimenting with different repayment scenarios.

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Pauline Van Nurden joined the FINPACK Team as an Economist in 2017.

Prior to joining the FINPACK Team, she worked as a lender. This provides her valuable industry experience and knowledge in her work with FINAPCK. Pauline holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education and Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Economics, both from the University of Minnesota.

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