Guide To Excel For Finance: Goal Seek
The Goal Seek function is a great place to kick off the Excel guide for finance. Goal Seek is a valuable feature that lets the user back into the value for an unknown variable in an equation. For example, the typical financing arrangement for leasing a car will usually provide an interest rate and lease term, such as 6% over 60 months for a car valued at $25,000. Using the PMT formula in Excel, the estimated payment for these lease terms is $483.32.
Here is the layout of the key variables, as well as the output provided by Goal Seek:
Car Loan Repayment Schedule 

Interest Rate 
0.06 
Loan Duration 
60 
Total Loan Amount 
25000 
Payment 
$483.32 
But let's say you have a few extra dollars and are interested in knowing how long the loan will last when you spend $500 a month for the same 6% interest rate. Using Goal Seek, here is what the inputs would look like:
According to Goal Seek, upping the monthly payment slightly would shave more than two months off the loan duration. Here are the outputs:
Car Loan Repayment Schedule 

Interest Rate 
0.06 
Loan Duration 
57.6801385 
Total Loan Amount 
25000 
Payment 
$500.00 
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