  Excel Formula Coach Plug your numbers in the boxes below, press the Build it! button, and we'll build your formula. We'll even give you the answer. When you're done, you can paste the formula into your own Excel worksheet. Interest rate: (such as 4.5) Length of loan: (in years, such as 30) Payment: (such as -1250) Ready? This is your formula: And here's your answer: Try another?

PV function, scenario #1: Use it to find the present value of a loan

Returns the principal amount of a loan, based on a steady interest rate, regular payments, and a set number of payment periods.

For example, you want to purchase a home — you can get a 4.5% interest rate, you'll have 30 years to repay the loan, and you've budgeted a \$1,250 per month payment. Use PV to find the loan amount (the present value) you can afford. The answer is \$246,701.45.

Syntax PV(rate, nper, pmt, [fv], [type])

Tip Wondering why [fv] and [type] are in square brackets? The brackets mean they're optional. If you don't include values for fv and type in your formula, Excel assumes your balance will be \$0 at the end of the loan, and that your payments are due at the end of the period.

Example =PV(4.5%/12,30*12,-1250)

The PV function has the following arguments — the first three are always required:

 Rate (Required) The interest rate. For monthly payments, divide this by 12. Nper (Required) The total number of payments. For monthly payments, multiply this by 12. Pmt (Required) The payment amount — enter this as a negative number. Fv (Optional) The future value, or the balance you want after the last payment is made. If you don't include a value for fv, it's assumed to be 0 (zero), that is, the future value of the loan is 0. Type (Optional) The number 0 (zero) means the payments are due at the end of each period, and 1 means they're due at the beginning. If you don't include a value for type, it's assumed to be 0 (zero).        ### Here's your chance to leave feedback!

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