— the FINANCIAL CALCULATOR — Financial Calculators Are NOT Created Equal!


BLAME IT ON THE RUSH TO BE FIRST ON THE MARKET — and call the resulting products “vaporware.” The problem is compounded by the fact that everybody shown below has a product they want to sell — and it isn’t calculators! The top fifteen financial calculators on the Web are placed at your disposal courtesy of the lending and securities industries! Another big difference you will notice if you link to them — you will be besieged by all their annoying “pop-ups,” too. You will find NO pop-ups or loudly colored (and maddeningly distracting) “banner ads” at my web sites, of course!

The question uppermost in your mind when comparing these top fifteen Internet calculators is: do these serve me? In other words, do they actually address the questions that I want answered? You will notice at each of the sites below that they are obsessed with telling you how much you can afford to borrow (or, the flip side of the same coin: how much you can afford to invest). They want you to borrow (or else, buy their securities). They want to sell you the idea of borrowing (or buying). That is understandable. These guys are lenders and securities dealers, after all.

But what if you already know in your heart how much you can afford to borrow? Or, to put it another way, what if you already know how much you can afford to pay on a loan? Or, putting it yet another way, maybe you would like to know at what interest rate you would be willing to take out a loan. You will not find an answer to these kinds of problems at any of the web sites listed below.

In fact, these sites excel at assuming you know what your question is before you even get started. But, what if you do not yet have a good idea what your question even is? You can play out “what if” scenarios to your heart’s content using the financial calculator — but NOWHERE else on the Web! After that, armed with real facts, go to or or and bid the kind of loan you know about.


EXAMPLE 1 - A buddy of yours has approached you about lending him some money. His idea is to borrow $25,000 for 22 months — and he promises to not only pay you back $600 each month: at the end of 22 months he will even give you $2,500 extra, just because you were a nice guy! Is this deal a good idea for you? (HINTS: Solve for the interest rate, after entering an initial principal of $25,000, a balloon of $2,500, a monthly payment of $600, and 22 as the number of payments.)

EXAMPLE 2 - A nationally known lender is offering to lend you $84,300 at 5.375% interest for 15 years. The points to be paid by you for this deal amount to only $700! You don’t even need to come with the cash for closing — the points can be added to the loan, raising the interest rate just a little bit, to 5.725% on the $84,300. The loan salesman (also called a loan broker) says to take advantage of the deal, you absolutely MUST sign the paperwork this afternoon. You would like to know if this sounds like such a good deal. (HINTS: Compare the difference between TOTAL PAYMENTS on this loan for $84,300 at 5.375% and at 5.725%. If the difference is more than $700 over the life of the loan, bet on this: you will have to scramble to get real cash to pay the difference at closing! Use the loan report for standard amortization to get the numbers you need to compare.)

IN BOTH EXAMPLES the point is not that you might just as easily guess the answers, or figure them out using the calculator you got with your computer. These are easy examples — the kind every financial calculator should make simple! The point is that the top financial calculators on the web cannot give you answers at all! They all lack a report generator. They cannot figure interest rates, or if they do, they do not allow an interest rate that is zero or even lower!

What else? The calculator can be set to accrue interest either at the beginning or the end of the payment period. It allows you to calculate and report interest and principal for loans that do not use standard amortization (which includes almost all consumer and business debt that is not home purchase related). Payment plans running the full gamut from daily to yearly are permitted. Likewise, totals for the month, quarter, and year (not to mention, final grand totals) can be produced. The ReesNet financial calculator was designed and implemented with EVERYBODY’S interests in full view — from the folks who want to get in, do the calculation, and get out — to the serious business finance student (or professor) who needs to see how to derive the functions, or perhaps extrapolate them to other financial problems and applications.