Record the date that you entered your creditor information. This is for your own information, and the first payment in the Payment Schedule will be the 1st of the following month. The Payment Schedule assumes that all payments are made on the first day of the month. This is probably not really the case, because many creditors bill at different times of the month.
This is the amount you currently need to pay off.
Annual Interest Rate:
Unless you know otherwise, enter the APR (Annual Percentage Rate). Most credit card rates will fluxuate over time, and can be affected by late payments and other factors, but this calculator just assumes a fixed rate.
This is either your current minimum payment, or the amount you want to pay each month. You should verify your balance and minimum payment with your lending institution. It is possible that your rate and your minimum payment will change over time. This calculator assumes that the rate does not change.
Red Error Indication: If the cell shows a RED background, then that means that the Payment is less than the interest-only payment, and you need to increase the Payment. If the payment is less than the minimum required payment, you could end up paying extra fees and your interest rate might increase as a penalty. If the payment is not enough to cover the interest, then the interest is added to the balance (negative amortization) in the payment schedule. This may or may not be how your actual loan works.
You can enter formulas or values in this column to control the order in which the debts are paid (e.g. the Term, or the numeric order you wish to pay the debts, etc.) In the STRATEGY dropdown box, you would then choose "Custom - Highest First", or "Custom - Lowest First".
Current Interest-Only Payment:
For your info, this column calculates the interest-only payment, based on the current balance and interest rate. Anything less than this amount will result in negative amortization in the payment schedule (interest added to the balance).
Enter the amount that you can set aside each month to pay off your debt. The amount should be greater than the sum of the individual payments. This calculator assumes fixed payments (except for the snowball), fixed rates, no late fees, no additional charges, and no other fees. Part of the monthly payment will go towards paying the interest due, and the other part will go towards reducing the balance(s).
Check Your Budget - To pay off your debts as soon as possible, choose the largest monthly payment that fits within your budget.
Initial Snowball, Extra Payment, or Accelerator Margin:
This is the amount of money you have left over after making all the other necessary payments. It is calculated as the Monthly Payment minus the total monthly payments from the creditor table.
This column represents the extra payment above and beyond your normal monthly payments. When a loan is fully paid, that loan's monthly payment is added the snowball and used to pay off the next loan, and so on.
Additional Snowball Amount:
To pay more than just the Snowball amount for a specific month, include the amount in this column. It will be added to the normal Snowball amount for just that month.