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The Financial Calculator


This article will give you basic information on financial calculators using the standard key strokes for most models. It is assumed that you have read the manual that comes with your calculator and understand how to put the important values into the financial registers.

If you are having trouble getting the correct answers it is probably for one of the following reasons:

Your particular calculator may require that you put in outgoing payments as a negative number and incoming payments as positive number. AND/OR

Your particular calculator may automatically divide the annual per cent interest by 12. You will have to change the number used to divide the interest to coincide with the problem. Consult your manual to see how to do this.


Your calculator may have constant memory and you may not have cleared the registers before doing a new problem. You should always clear any numbers that remain from any previous calculations. Consult your manual to see how to do this.

Now remember, the calculator won’t bite, self-destruct, or yell at you if you touch it or even make a mistake. In fact, it is very forgiving (some may even prefer it to most other relationships because of this)!

  • A financial calculator allows the investor to calculate:
  • The payment on a fully amortized loan
  • The time to amortize a loan
  • The present value of a series of payments
  • The balloon payment due on a loan
  • The remaining balance on a loan
  • The interest rate on a loan.

By understanding how the calculator can help you work with these problems and discounted notes you will begin to comprehend the power of the time value of money.

Calculating the Loan Payment on a Fully Amortized Loan

All financial calculators have 5 unique keys (or registers): N, %i, Pmt, PV, and FV.(N) is the total Number of equal payments in a loan

(%i ) is the Interest Rate per payment.

(Pmt) is the Payment received or paid out each period.

(PV) is the Present Value or the amount borrowed.

(FV) is the Future Value after the payment period.

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