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What is a precomputed auto loan? Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make better financial decisions by offering interactive financial calculators and financial tools that provide objective and original content. We also allow you to conduct research and compare data for free – so that you can make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Profit The products that are featured on this site are from companies that compensate us. This compensation can affect the way and where products appear on the site, such as for instance, the order in which they may be listed within the categories of listing and other categories, unless prohibited by law. Our loans, mortgage, and other home lending products. However, this compensation will have no impact on the information we provide, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not cover the universe of companies or financial offerings that could be open to you.


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3 minutes read. Published on October 17, 2022.

Writer: Kellye Guinan Written by Personal and Business Finance Contributor

Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer with over five years ‘ experience within personal financial matters. She’s also a full-time worker at her local library in which she assists the community gain access to information on financial literacy, in addition to other subjects.

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances with clear, well-researched information that breaks down complicated subjects into bite-sized pieces.

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Precomputed interest is a unique way of calculating rates on an auto loan which benefits the lender. Instead of spread the interest out over the life of the loan the interest is a front-loaded one, which means that you pay more in rate at the start of your loan and less at the conclusion. If you make minimum payments and do not make any distinctions between the precomputed auto loans. There is a chance to get some money back if pay off your auto loan in advance however it’s lower than a standard auto loan. What is a precomputed auto loan functions “Precomputed” means that the lender calculates the interest you will pay over the loan period. Then, it adds that rate of interest on top of the principle and divides it into monthly payments, similar to traditional auto loans which use simple interest. The method of calculating interest is advantageous to lenders if you are able to pay early. They aren’t as common as regular interest loans. They are more likely to get them from buy-here-pay-here dealers and other lenders that work with bad credit borrowers. Because of this, they typically have higher interest rates. The rate you pay will be an interest rate and an annual percentage rate, which also includes any additional fees. Precomputed interest in comparison to. simple interest. Precomputed interest charges you upfront divide the interest evenly. Making higher than your minimum reduces the principal amount, which in turn means you pay less interest each month. If you just make the minimum amount of payment then there will be no difference between these two ways to determine interest. If you intend to pay off your auto loan in a short time, then simple interest loans are the better choice. This is the rule that applies to 78. Lenders aren’t legally permitted to charge interest that hasn’t been accrued. But they can change how interest is distributed across the course of a loan. The rule of 78 can alter how you but not the total amount you pay. This is one of the main strategies — and also the basis for precomputed auto loans. Loan lenders add up all months of the year, which total 78, and the interest is then applied in reverse. During an one-year loan it is possible to have to pay 12/78 percent of interest due in the initial month. The second month will be 11/78, the 3rd month is 10/78, and so on. This means you will pay more at the start of your loan. You may be eligible for a discount on interest when you pay off your loan in advance, but you will not save as much than you would with an interest loan. Certain states have prohibited this rule of 78and it’s illegal for loans lasting at least 61 months. Be sure to check your state’s laws to make sure your lender isn’t providing you with an illegal loan. What is the method by which interest refunds are calculated for precomputed interest auto loans? The refunds can be calculated as a result of subtracting interest you’ve previously paid off from remaining interest on your loan. Because the interest is frontloadedthat is, you pay a larger amount at the beginning of the loan the loan is paid off. You will have less refunded the longer you wait to pay off the loan. For instance, you’ll be paying around $4,800 in interest on an $30,000 loan with 60-month repayment terms with a 6 percent interest rate. If you pay your loan two years earlier then the lender will add up the first three years -multiplying 78 times three to come up with 234 then divide the result by 390, which is the rule of 78 spread across five years. The lender has received 60 percent of the interest by this date. So you will receive a refund for the remaining 40%, which is $1,920. Benefits and drawbacks of precomputed interest Precomputed interest is only a drawback in the event that you need be able to repay your loan early. In any other case, it will cost you the same as a simple interest loan. Benefits Since precomputed interest is beneficial to the lender and the lender, they are much more likely to get provided to those who have less than perfect credit. If you aren’t eligible for a simple interest auto loan however, you could still be eligible for an interest-only precomputed loan. There’s no distinction in how much interest you pay on an auto loan. If you adhere to the minimum repayment schedule for precomputed interest, the loan is precisely identical to a regular interest loan.

Cons The biggest drawback to precalculated interest is the possibility of early repayments. You will pay more in interest if you pay off your loan in advance that means lower savings and less responsible. Since lenders can only use the 78 rule for loans that have terms of 30 months or more, you may be paying more monthly. If you’re only qualified for a precomputed interest auto loan and you are not eligible for precomputed interest auto loans, your loan may be more expensive in the month.

What are the reasons you should stay clear of precomputed interest automobile loans In general basic interest will be the better option for most borrowers. Even even if you’re not planning to pay back your loan in the near future it is possible that your situation will change. In the event that it does, a straightforward interest loan will mean you pay less in total. Because you pay more interest when you first take out an auto loan and you’ll lose out on savings if you make a payment early. It could be only a tiny variation, but it’s your money. The lower the amount you must pay your lender, the better. The bottom line is that precomputed rates of auto loans are avoidable however they are not a bad thing when you plan to pay minimum monthly payments. However, you must find more lenders — and potentially a better deal.


Written by a Personal and Business finance contributor

Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer who has more than five years of experience in personal finances. She is also a full-time worker at her local library which she assists her local community to get information about financial literacy, in addition to other topics.

Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are dedicated to helping their readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances with clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complicated subjects into digestible pieces.

Auto loans editor

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