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Personal finance calculators

Calculate loans, interest rates and more with this free set of financial tools.

Pine Grove's Loan*Calculator Plus is a free collection of nine easy-to-use financial calculators for loans and debt, focused on personal finance: Loan Calculator; Compound and Simple Interest and Calendar Math; Accelerated Extra Payments; Cash-Down Automobile Loans; Balloon Payments; Mortgages; Remaining Balance; Refinance; and Basic Amortization. In other words, exactly the sort of finances most people deal with on a daily basis: cars, homes, and small businesses.

Loan*Calculator Plus opens with a simple dialog that serves as a central control for its various tools, with prominent buttons for the nine calculators plus two extras, a Cash Flow/Scheduling tool for Amortization and Refinance Advisers tool. The file menu bar offers some interesting options, such as the ability to choose skins, plus an unusually well-stocked Help menu. We started with the Automobile Loan calculator, a tabbed dialog with entry fields labeled with price of car, number of payments, and so on. We entered the data for our proposed loan, clicked Calc, and the calculator displayed Total Interest, Total Principle & Interest, and Down Payment Percent. Buttons along the bottom let you quickly Print, Copy, Reset, or Undo results. The Options tab configures local defaults such as annual rate and compounding period. The other calculators are all quite similar in appearance and function, just oriented toward a different task. The Amortization tool resembles the other calculators but provides a welcome extra capability for small-business owners. We found the Refinance Adviser more interesting; it helps you evaluate and compare the cost of leasing versus buying when financing or refinancing an asset. It's a bit more complex than the other tools, with a series of questions you answer to help the tool calculate your lowest costs.

Loan*Calculator Plus collects the financial tools most people need the most in one easy-to-access interface. Add to that the fact that it's free, and it's easy to recommend it to all users.

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