Loan portals Bankbazaar.com and Apnapaisa.com recorded three million and six million hits, respectively, on their online calculators in 2010. These are figures for just two of the numerous online calculators floating on the Web.
Online calculators have done away with the dependence on bankers or knowledge of complicated Excel sheet formulas for the average investor, who just wants to know how much equated monthly instalment (EMI) he needs to pay on his loan or what will his present investment amount to in the future.
If you have the basic numbers, the online calculator will work them for you and give a result in a matter of a few seconds.
Where to find them
Websites of few banks and mutual fund companies have calculators for loans and returns, respectively. Other sites, such as loan portals or financial planning websites, such as Investmentyogi.com and Rupeetalk.com, also have these calculators.
But be careful when choosing a calculator. It’s best to stick with popular sites. It’s also good to do the calculations on two different portals and see if the results match to verify the result.
What you can calculate
EMI: Key in the amount of loan you plan to take, the tenor and the rate of interest, and the calculator will throw up the EMI amount. Increase the amount or interest rate and the EMI amount will also change.
Eligibility: There are calculators that help you find out whether you are eligible for a particular loan. For this, you need to provide details such as income, occupation, city of residence, the loan amount, tenor and interest you are willing to pay.
Switch: If you are an existing home loan borrower and looking for a new lender, this calculator will work out whether switching to a particular lender makes sense for you. You need to give basic details of your existing loan, including the prepayment penalty, along with the processing fee and other details of the new lender.
Prepayment: If you have some spare cash and are wondering if prepaying an existing loan is a better option compared with investing it elsewhere, this calculator will come handy.
Returns: Your kid’s education is 10 years away, you have a surplus to invest and are aiming at building a corpus for the purpose. Use the returns calculators to find out at what rate the money needs to grow to reach the corpus. Choose the instrument accordingly; if the rate of return is not feasible you may want to top up your savings. Similarly, if a scheme is offering you a particular corpus after 10 years on investment of a particular sum every month, you can calculate the rate of return at which it will grow and decide whether you are happy with that growth rate.
Other calculations: There are several other things you can calculate online. Examples are rupee conversion, calculations for consumer loans other than home loans, retirement calculators and income-tax calculators, among others.