CD Ladder Calculator
This CD Ladder Calculator will allow you to compute how much you can earn by staggering your investments in a mix of short- and longer-term certificates of deposit in order to maximize returns while still maintaining a degree of liquidity allowing you to access funds if needed. To use this tool you will need to enter your initial deposit amount, the number of months the CD holds the deposit for, and the CD's interest rate. After entering these amounts you will see the results graphed. You will also get a print out of the total annual yield, the annual percentage yield, and the ending balance.
Financial Calculators from
CD Ladder inputs:
Press spacebar to hide inputs
CD Interest Rates:
Press spacebar to show inputs
You will have earned $6,369.25 more using CD Laddering.*
press spacebar to hide graph
Total to invest
This is the total amount to invest in your CD Ladder.
Amount in each CD
How much you wish to invest in each CD in your ladder. We use this amount to calculate the number of CDs in the ladder. If the amount that you enter isn't evenly divisible by the total you wish to put into your CD Ladder, we will automatically adjust it up to an evenly divisible amount.
Frequency of Maturing CDs
How often you would like to have a CD mature. For example, if you choose six months, one of your CDs in your CD ladder will mature every six months.
CDs in your Ladder
The number of CDs that will be in your CD ladder. Each CD will have a different maturity date, so that one of your CDs will mature at the frequency you specify. This calculator assumes that you redeposit all matured CDs into new CDs that have a term of the longest maturity in your original CD ladder.
Interest is compounded
The interest earned on your CDs is added to your CD balance at regular intervals. This is called "compounding." This calculator allows you to choose the frequency that your CDs' interest income is compounded. The more frequently this occurs, the sooner your accumulated interest income will generate additional interest. You may wish to check with your local branch or account opening documents to find out how often interest is being compounded on your CDs.
CD Ladder Calculator Overview
A CD ladder is an investment strategy designed let you enjoy the best of both worlds: the liquidity of short-term CDs and the higher returns of long-term CDs.
CDs are regarded as a very safe type of investment, as your returns are guaranteed. On the downside, the returns on CDs are relatively low, compared to other investments with higher risk – often less than 1 percent a year.
CDs typically range in length from three months to five years, though some may run as long as 10 or even 20 years. Longer-term CDs pay higher interest rates than short-term ones do – a five-year CD may pay an interest rate double that of a one-year note. However, a long-term CD keeps your money locked up for a long time – you can't get at it for five or 10 years, or however long it takes the note to mature.
To get around that, a CD ladder strategy involves dividing your money up among several CDs with different maturity lengths. For example, if you have $50,000 to invest, you might put $10,000 each into a 1-year, 2-year, 3-year, 4-year and 5-year CDs, each with gradually increasing interest rates.
This will give you a significantly better return than simply investing it all in a 1-year CD. At the same time, you still have access to one-fifth of your money every year. That way you're not locked in if you need the money, if rates rise or if some other better investment comes along.
Not only that, but at the end of the first year you can reinvest the returns from your one-year CD into a new 5-year CD. Keep doing this every year and after four years you'll have all your money in 5-year CDs earning 5-year rates, but with one of them maturing every year! So you can earn five-year rates while still being able to access part of your money every year.
Using the CD Ladder Calculator
To use this calculator, you will need the amount you wish to invest and interest rates and other information about the CDs you wish to invest in.
The calculator will allow you to spread your investment over up to 10 CDs with different interest rates and durations. Maturity dates will be spread evenly among them according to the Frequency of Maturity option you choose in the calculator.
Note that in addition to interest rates, you will need to know how often interest is compounded on the group of CDs you choose. This information is available from the financial institutions offering CDs; note that the compounding schedule can have a significant impact on what a CD will earn.
Enter your information in the fields indicated. If you have questions about any particular entry, clicking on the name of the field will provide more information.
When you are done, the calculator will show how much you would earn by laddering your CDs and how much more you would earn than if you had simply put all your money in the shortest-term CD of the options you chose.
Clicking on "View report" will give you your total earnings at the end of the period specified, as well as tables breaking down your earnings and comparing your CD ladder earnings vs. short-term CDs.
Other Mortgage and Financial Calculators
In addition to the standard mortgage calculator, this page lets you access more than 100 other financial calculators covering a broad variety of situations. Choose from calculators covering various aspects of mortgages, auto loans, investments, student loans, taxes, retirement planning and more.
- Adjustable Rate Mortgage Calculator
- Interest Only ARM Calculator Overview
- How much can I borrow?
- Mortgage comparison: 15 years vs 30 years
- Balloon Loan Calculator
- ARM vs. Fixed-Rate Mortgage Calculator
- APR Calculator for Adjustable Rate Mortgages
- Bi-weekly Payment Calculator
- Blended Rate Mortgage Calculator
- Fixed Rate Mortgage vs. Interest Only ARM calculator
- Mortgage Tax Savings Calculator
- Rent vs. Buy Calculator
- Mortgage Payoff Calculator
- Mortgage Required Income Calculator
- Interest-Only Mortgage Calculator
- Mortgage Qualifying Calculator
- Mortgage Calculator Simple (PITI) - Mortgage Calculation
- Mortgage APR Calculator
- Bi-Weekly Payment Calculator For an Existing Mortgage
- Enhanced Loan Calculator
- Existing Loan Calculator
- Mortgage Debt Consolidation Calculator
- Mortgage Points Break-Even Calculator
- Refinance Break-Even Calculator
- Refinance Calculator
- Auto Rebate vs. Low Interest Financing
- Bi-weekly Payments for an Auto Loan Calculator
- Dealer Financing vs. Credit Union Financing Calculator
- Auto Lease vs. Auto Buy Calculator
- Home Equity vs. Auto Loan Calculator
- Auto Loan Calculator
- Bi-weekly Payments for an Auto Loan Calculator
- Auto Loan Payoff Calculator
- Retirement Income Calculator
- 401(k) Net Unrealized Appreciation Calculator
- 401(k) Savings Calculator
- 403(b) Savings Calculator
- 457 Savings Calculator
- 72(t) Distribution Impact Calculator
- Beneficiary Required Minimum Distributions
- Pension Plan Retirement Options
- Retirement Contribution Effects Calculator
- Retirement Planner
- Roth vs. Traditional IRA Calculator
- 72(t) Distribution Options Calculator
- Social Security Benefits Calculator