Amortized Loan Definition

What does it mean to amortize a loan?

The easiest way to amortize a loan is to use an online loan calculatoror template spreadsheet like those available through Microsoft Excel. However, if you prefer to amortize a loan by hand, you can follow the equation below. You’ll need the total loan amount, the length of the loan amortization period , the payment frequency (e.g., monthly or quarterly) and the interest rate. An amortization schedule is a complete schedule of periodic blended loan payments showing the amount of principal and the amount of interest. However, it is also important to note that loan amortization is common in personal finance.

What is an example of an amortized loan?

An amortized loan payment first pays off the relevant interest expense for the period, after which the remainder of the payment is put toward reducing the principal amount. Common amortized loans include auto loans, home loans, and personal loans from a bank for small projects or debt consolidation.

In this sense, the term reflects the asset’s consumption and subsequent decline in value over time. Some intangible assets, with goodwill being the most common example, that have indefinite useful lives or are «self-created» may not be legally amortized for tax purposes.


When a payment exceeds the amount of interest, this payment reduces the principal. The interest rate is then applied to this new principal balance, and because the balance is lower, the amount of interest will also be lower. This is why the interest and principal in an amortization schedule have an inverse relationship. As the portion of interest in a payment decreases, the portion of principal in the payment increases. You make payments in regular installments of a set amount, though the ratio of interest to principal changes over the repayment period.

You can speed up any loan’s amortization schedule by making extra payments, or making larger-than-required payments, each month. Though many consumers base the affordability of a mortgage or a car loan on the monthly payment, the interest expense is a better way to assess the true cost of what you’re buying. In fact, lower monthly payments can actually mean you’re paying more in interest. With amortized loans, the principal of the loan is paid down gradually, typically through equal monthly installments.

Calculate Your Principal Charge

Sticking to your loan repayment schedule will avoid negative amortization by paying off each month’s principal and interest charges. The same is true for most student loans, auto loans, and personal loans, too. Unlike with credit cards, if you stay on schedule with a fully amortized loan, you’ll pay off the loan in a set number of payments.

What does it mean to amortize a loan?

On a fixed-rate mortgage, your mortgage payment stays the same throughout the life of the loan with only the mix between the amounts of principal and interest changing each month. The only way your payment changes on a fixed-rate loan is if you have a change in your taxes or homeowner’s insurance.

Amortized Loans Vs. Unamortized Loans

The borrower will then pay a series of fixed monthly payments throughout the term of the mortgage. There are differences between the way amortization works on fixed and adjustable rate mortgages .

What are two types of amortization?

Amortization methods include the straight line, declining balance, annuity, bullet, balloon, and negative amortization.

Negative amortization means that even when you pay, the amount you owe will still go up because you are not paying enough to What does it mean to amortize a loan? cover the interest. Divide the annual interest payment amount by twelve to calculate your first monthly interest payment.


A loan amortization schedule can also be useful when trying to decide if a refinance is right for you. This table lays out how a shorter- or longer-term refinance can affect your overall payment amounts. It can also help you understand the tradeoffs involved with refinancing.

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Then, to figure out your principal charge, subtract your interest charge from your monthly payment. For the above example, subtract your interest charge of $375 from your monthly payment of $506.69. If you apply for any of these types of loans, don’t expect an amortization schedule. In order to understand what an amortized loan is, there are some key financial terms to understand first.

Paying off a fully amortized loan early can help save you money on interest. Be sure to see if your lender charges a prepayment penalty in the event that you pay off your loan early. A big disadvantage of fully amortized loans is that they require you to pay much of the interest upfront particularly within the first five years of the loan. This means that if you sell your home within a few years, you won’t have much to show in terms of equity. A fully amortizing payment is a periodic loan payment made according to a schedule that ensures it will be paid off by the end of the loan’s set term.

  • This can put you at risk of foreclosure if you run into trouble making your mortgage payments.
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  • You make payments in regular installments of a set amount, though the ratio of interest to principal changes over the repayment period.
  • Interest is computed on the current amount owed and thus will become progressively smaller as the principal decreases.
  • That’s why a shorter-term loan, like a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage, has a lower total interest cost than a 30-year loan with a fixed rate.
  • You can also find the total of the principal payments and interest for your entire loan balance in the last line of your amortization schedule.

The biggest drawback to shortening your loan term is that monthly payments will be much higher. You can use an amortization calculator with extra payments to determine how quickly you might be able to pay off your remaining balance, and how much interest you’d save. The amount you borrow is the principal amount, and the interest is what the lender charges for their services. Your schedule should show both values, so you will see how much the interest costs.

Find out how much total interest you would pay over the life of a loan. Chase’s website and/or mobile terms, privacy and security policies don’t apply to the site or app you’re about to visit. Please review its terms, privacy and security policies to see how they apply to you. Chase isn’t responsible for (and doesn’t provide) any products, services or content at this third-party site or app, except for products and services that explicitly carry the Chase name. Our affordable lending options, including FHA loans and VA loans, help make homeownership possible. Check out our affordability calculator, and look for homebuyer grants in your area. Visit our mortgage education center for helpful tips and information.

  • They must be expenses that are deducted as business expenses if incurred by an existing active business and must be incurred before the active business begins.
  • Then, as your loan ages, more of your payment goes toward the principal.
  • The calculations for an amortizing loan are those of an annuity using the time value of money formulas and can be done using an amortization calculator.
  • Loan amortization determines the minimummonthly payment, but an amortized loan does not preclude the borrower from making additional payments.
  • An amortization schedule typically involves regular payments over a particular time period.

A mortgage calculator can show the amortization schedule for a fixed-rate loan. Just enter your interest rate, loan amount, loan term, down payment, and other variables.

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