I have a balance of $17,000 on a car loan. I’m currently paying $439 per month. I would like to knock some years off this loan. How much extra should I pay on this loan to make this happen?

The calculators at PowerPay will allow you to enter your balance, current payment, and interest rate to determine the time and cost for repaying a debt. (Use the additional payment calculator from the menu once you get to the PowerPay site). You can try various debt repayment scenarios and find one that works for you. Without knowing your loan interest rate and original loan balance, it’s not possible to figure this out for you.

But if we put in some ballpark figures, a 5-year, $17,000 loan at an interest rate of 8% will be paid off in 3 years, 9 months by making an additional payment of $100 a month. The PowerPay program also allows you to add a one-time payment—such as when you receive a tax refund—in addition to an additional amount for regular monthly payments. Make sure your loan allows prepayments, however; sometimes there are penalties for prepaying.

Another alternative to adding more to monthly payments would be to put the extra debt repayment amount in an interest-bearing account and, when that account is equal to your loan balance, pay off the loan.

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