Mortgage Calculator

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Using A Mortgage Calculator

What’s the purpose of a mortgage calculator?

Our mortgage calculator can help you estimate your monthly mortgage payment. This calculator estimates how much you’ll pay for principal and interest.

How do I use the mortgage calculator?

Start by choosing either a purchase or refinance calculation, then providing the requested information to calculate your payment. Then, click “Calculate” to see what your monthly payment will look like based on the numbers you provided.

Adding different information to the mortgage calculator will show you how your monthly payment changes. Feel free to try out different down payment amounts, loan terms, interest rates and so on to see your options.

Understanding Mortgages

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan from a bank or financial institution that helps you purchase a home.

When you get a mortgage, the lender pays for the cost of the home upfront. In exchange, you agree to pay the lender back with interest, over a set period of time.

What is a down payment?

A down payment is money you pay at closing to decrease the total size of the loan. The down payment represents your stake in the home.

How much do I need to put down?

A down payment of 20% or more will get you the best interest rates and the most loan options. But you don’t have to put 20% down to buy a house. There are a variety of low-down-payment options available for home buyers. You may be able to buy a home with as little as 3% down, although there are some loan programs (such as VA loans and USDA loans) that require no money down.

What is a loan term?

The term is the length of time you spend paying off the loan. The most popular loan term is the 30-year term. The terms available to you will depend on your financial situation and the type of loan you choose.

Should I choose a long or short loan term?

It depends on your budget and goals. A shorter term will allow you to pay off the loan quicker, pay less interest and build equity faster, but you’ll have a higher monthly payment. A longer term will have a lower monthly payment because you’ll pay off the loan over a longer period of time. However, you’ll pay more in interest.

What’s an interest rate?

Interest is the fee you pay to your mortgage company to borrow the money. The interest you pay is based on a percentage of the remaining loan amount. This percentage is the interest rate.

What determines my interest rate?

There are several factors that determine your interest rate, including your loan type, loan amount, down payment amount and credit history. Interest rates are also determined by market trends. What’s included in my mortgage payment?

A typical monthly mortgage payment has four parts: principal, interest, taxes and insurance. These are commonly referred to as PITI. The mortgage payment estimate you’ll get from this calculator includes principal and interest. This calculator doesn’t include mortgage insurance or guarantee fees. Those could be part of your monthly mortgage payment depending on your financial situation and the type of loan you choose.

What is principal?

This is the amount you borrow from your lender to buy your home. It’s factored into your monthly payment and paid off throughout the life of your loan.

What taxes are part of my monthly mortgage payment?

The “taxes” portion of your mortgage payment refers to your property taxes. The amount you pay in property taxes is based on a percentage of your property value, which can change from year to year. The actual amount you pay depends on several factors including the assessed value of your home and local tax rates.

What’s a homeowners insurance premium?

A homeowners insurance premium is the cost you pay to carry homeowners’ insurance – a policy that protects your home, personal belongings, and finances. The homeowner’s insurance premium is the yearly amount you pay for the insurance. Many home buyers pay for this as part of their monthly mortgage payment. Lenders typically require you to purchase homeowners’ insurance when you have a mortgage.

Mortgage terms you should know:

  • Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV): The ratio of the amount of a mortgage loan to the value of the property it's used to purchase.
  • Interest Rate: The percentage charged for borrowing money.
  • Points: A one-time fee equal to 1% of the loan amount paid to the lender or broker at closing.
  • Mortgage Insurance: An insurance policy that protects the lender if the borrower defaults on the loan.
  • Principal and Interest Payment: The portion of a borrower’s monthly payment that goes toward the loan’s principal balance and interest charges.
  • Amortization: The process of gradually reducing a debt through regular payments of principal and interest.
  • Closing Costs: Expenses associated with the purchase of a home that are paid at the closing of the loan, such as appraisal fees, title fees, and recording fees.
  • Refinancing: Taking out a new loan to pay off an existing loan.
  • Prepayment Penalty: A fee charged to borrowers for paying off a loan before its term is complete.
  • Equity: The difference between the current market value of a home and the remaining balance on the mortgage.
  • An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM): is a type of mortgage in which the interest rate applied on the outstanding balance varies throughout the life of the loan. With an ARM, a borrower will typically start off with a lower interest rate, and then that rate will adjust periodically. The rate can be adjusted up or down, depending on a variety of economic factors, including the Federal Reserve’s policies. ARMs usually have an initial fixed-rate period, which can last from 1 to 10 years. After this period, the rate will change periodically, usually on an annual basis.

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