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Amortized Loan: What It Is, How It Works, Loan Types, and Examples

Photo: Amortized bond Photo: Amortized bond

An amortized loan is what?

A loan with planned monthly payments applied to both the principal and interest accumulated is known as an amortized loan. An amortized loan payment reduces the principal amount of the loan after paying off the applicable interest charge for the period. Auto, housing, and personal bank loans for modest projects or debt consolidation are examples of common amortized loans.

How a Loan Is Amortized

An amortized loan’s interest is computed using the most recent ending balance; when payments are made, the interest due decreases. This is so that each payment over the interest due reduces the principle, which lowers the balance used to compute the interest. The principal part of a payment on an amortized loan rises while the interest portion falls. As a result, interest and principal are paid throughout the amortized loan in an opposite proportion to each other.

Calculations are used to provide an amortized loan. The interest due for the period is first calculated by multiplying the loan’s current balance by the interest rate applicable to the current period. (To get a monthly rate, divide an annual interest rate by 12). The amount of principal paid for the period is calculated by deducting the interest payable from the total monthly payments.

The principal paid throughout the time is deducted from the loan’s outstanding balance. Therefore, the new outstanding balance of the loan is calculated as the loan’s current balance less the amount of principal paid throughout the term. The interest for the upcoming period is determined using this newly created outstanding balance.

Revolving debt (credit cards) versus balloon loans versus amortized loans
While revolving debt, such as credit cards, amortized loans, and balloon loans, have similarities, there are also significant differences that consumers should be aware of before committing to one.

Loan amortization

Amortized loans are typically repaid over a long period, with equal payments made during each payment cycle. It is possible to pay extra, which would further reduce the principal outstanding.

Loan balloons
Balloon loans normally have a brief period; only part of the main balance is amortized during that time. The remaining balance is required as a final repayment after the period, which is often substantial (at least double the amount of prior installments).

Credit Card Debt: Revolving Debt
The most popular kind of revolving debt is credit card debt. Revolving debt involves borrowing up to a predetermined credit limit. You may continue borrowing as long as your credit limit hasn’t been surpassed. Due to the absence of fixed loan amounts or established payment schedules, credit cards vary from amortized loans.

An illustration of a loan amortization table

An amortization table may show the computations for an amortized loan. For each era, the table includes important balances and monetary amounts. Each period in the example below represents a row in a table. The columns list the payment date, principal and interest amounts, total interest paid thus far, and the final sum still owing. An extract from the table below shows the first year of a $165,000, 30-year mortgage with a 4.5% annual interest rate.

Amortized loans may be repaid early.

Yes. You can increase your payment frequency or make principal-only payments to pay off an amortized debt sooner. Making additional payments to the principal reduces the amount that can accumulate interest because interest is calculated based on the principal. Before trying this, check your loan agreement to determine if there are any early payback penalties.

How can I determine what percentage of my payment is interest?

Most lenders will offer amortization tables illustrating how much each payment comprises principal vs. interest. You may ask your lender for this information as well.

Do I pay more interest at the start or the end of my loan?

Payments on amortized loans often begin with a higher percentage of interest payments. An amortized loan addresses your principal and the anticipated amount of interest you will pay. If your loan permits it, you can make additional principal payments to reduce the total amount of your loan. Try utilizing an amortization calculator to determine how much you will pay in interest against the principal for prospective loans.


  • An amortized loan requires the borrower to make regular payments divided equally between the principal and interest.
  • An amortized loan payment initially covers the interest cost for the period; any balance is applied to the principal balance.
  • An amortization loan’s principal payment grows as the interest component of the payment lowers.

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