This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the PV function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.
Description
Returns the present value of an investment. The present value is the total amount that a series of future payments is worth now. For example, when you borrow money, the loan amount is the present value to the lender.
Syntax
PV(rate, nper, pmt, [fv], [type])
The PV function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):
 Rate Required. The interest rate per period. For example, if you obtain an automobile loan at a 10 percent annual interest rate and make monthly payments, your interest rate per month is 10%/12, or 0.83%. You would enter 10%/12, or 0.83%, or 0.0083, into the formula as the rate.
 Nper Required. The total number of payment periods in an annuity. For example, if you get a fouryear car loan and make monthly payments, your loan has 4*12 (or 48) periods. You would enter 48 into the formula for nper.
 Pmt Required. The payment made each period and cannot change over the life of the annuity. Typically, pmt includes principal and interest but no other fees or taxes. For example, the monthly payments on a $10,000, fouryear car loan at 12 percent are $263.33. You would enter 263.33 into the formula as the pmt. If pmt is omitted, you must include the fv argument.
 Fv Optional. The future value, or a cash balance you want to attain after the last payment is made. If fv is omitted, it is assumed to be 0 (the future value of a loan, for example, is 0). For example, if you want to save $50,000 to pay for a special project in 18 years, then $50,000 is the future value. You could then make a conservative guess at an interest rate and determine how much you must save each month. If fv is omitted, you must include the pmt argument.
 Type Optional. The number 0 or 1 and indicates when payments are due.
Set type equal to 
If payments are due 
0 or omitted 
At the end of the period 
1 
At the beginning of the period 
Remarks
 Make sure that you are consistent about the units you use for specifying rate and nper. If you make monthly payments on a fouryear loan at 12 percent annual interest, use 12%/12 for rate and 4*12 for nper. If you make annual payments on the same loan, use 12% for rate and 4 for nper.
 The following functions apply to annuities:
CUMIPMT 
PPMT 
CUMPRINC 
PV 
FV 
RATE 
FVSCHEDULE 
XIRR 
IPMT 
XNPV 
PMT 

An annuity is a series of constant cash payments made over a continuous period. For example, a car loan or a mortgage is an annuity. For more information, see the description for each annuity function.
 In annuity functions, cash you pay out, such as a deposit to savings, is represented by a negative number; cash you receive, such as a dividend check, is represented by a positive number. For example, a $1,000 deposit to the bank would be represented by the argument 1000 if you are the depositor and by the argument 1000 if you are the bank.
 Microsoft Excel solves for one financial argument in terms of the others. If rate is not 0, then:
If rate is 0, then:
(pmt * nper) + pv + fv = 0
Example
The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.
How do I copy an example?
 Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Online, copy and paste one cell at a time.
Important: Do not select the row or column headers.
Selecting an example from Help
 Press CTRL+C.
 Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
 In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Online, repeat copying and pasting for each cell in the example.
Important: For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.
 To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.

A 
B 
Data 
Description 
500 
Money paid out of an insurance annuity at the end of every month 
8% 
Interest rate earned on the money paid out 
20 
Years the money will be paid out 
Formula 
Description (Result) 
=PV(A3/12, 12*A4, A2, , 0) 
Present value of an annuity with the terms above (59,777.15). 

The result is negative because it represents money that you would pay, an outgoing cash flow. If you are asked to pay (60,000) for the annuity, you would determine this would not be a good investment because the present value of the annuity (59,777.15) is less than what you are asked to pay.
Note The interest rate is divided by 12 to get a monthly rate. The years the money is paid out is multiplied by 12 to get the number of payments.