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



Next: Guide To Excel For Finance: PV And FV Functions »



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