How to Calculate the Balance Owed on a Promissory Note

A promissory note creates an obligation to repay.

A promissory note creates an obligation to repay.

It's not always easy, and never fun, to keep track of how much you owe on a loan. Still, tracking your progress on paying down a loan keeps the loan picture -- and therefore your financial picture -- in sharp focus. You just need to do some basic arithmetic to calculate what remains on a promissory note.

Interest-Free Loan

Get out the promissory note. Find the original amount to be repaid. For this example, suppose the loan amount is $12,000, where the principal equals $10,000 and the interest equals $2,000.

Find your payment records either in a payment booklet, through an online account, or using cancelled checks or bank and credit card statements.

Tally up your payments to date. For example, if you have made 10 payments of $700 each, your total equals 10 times $700, or $7,000.

Deduct your total payments amount from the original note amount. For example, if your payments so far total $7,000, then your balance owed is $5,000.


  • If you cannot find your loan and payment documentation, you can always contact the lender to get the balance owed.


  • If you have not made timely payments and your promissory note includes late-payment penalties, add those penalties to the amount you owe.

About the Author

D. Laverne O'Neal, an Ivy League graduate, published her first article in 1997. A former theater, dance and music critic for such publications as the "Oakland Tribune" and Gannett Newspapers, she started her Web-writing career during the dot-com heyday. O'Neal also translates and edits French and Spanish. Her strongest interests are the performing arts, design, food, health, personal finance and personal growth.

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