A mortgage payment calculator is an online app or device that is specifically programmed to generate the amount of your monthly mortgage payment, given certain home loan parameters. Their use is fairly intuitive. If you fill in the required values, the amount shown at the end should be a reasonable approximation of how much you will pay every month.
For most purposes, a simple mortgage payment calculator is sufficient enough to guide you in terms of figuring out how large of a loan you can reasonably afford to take out.
These calculators typically assume you are getting a fixed term mortgage without PMI (monthly mortgage insurance), and it does not subtract your down payment. You can try ours out as many times as you like.
When you are ready for a more accurate assessment of your loan and funding options, you should speak to a qualified mortgage professional.
Some calculators are more detailed than others, and require more input in order to show you a broader picture of how your mortgage payment is assessed (what percentage of your payment goes toward interest, for example). You can use a more advanced calculator like the one below to estimate what the highest tax and PMI rate you would be able to pay is.
Using an Advanced Mortgage Payment Calculator
Using the variables that have already been inputted below, I can click the submit button and a page is generated that shows what my monthly mortgage payment is, as well as a break down of my interests and taxes over the course of 30 years. You can see that with a $300,000 loan, my monthly mortgage payment would be $1,654 and I would be making 31 PMI payments of $104. By comparison, an increase of just .5% (to 1%) in PMI equates into $208 a month for 31 months as a PMI payment. Remember that this is an additional fee from the monthly mortgage payment. This means that for 31 months, I will be paying $1,862 instead of $1,654. This seems a bit high to me so, using this information, I can probably assume that I do not want to take out a loan for $300,000 if the PMI is 1%.
A mortgage calculator is a great way to grapple with the financial side of buying a home on your own. However, remember that they are no substitute for a qualified, professional assessment of your finances. Depending on your status (veteran, first-time homebuyer, etc.), credit history, and other factors, there may be loan options you qualify for that are not taken into consideration, even with the most intuitive mortgage payment calculator out there! This means discounts or fees that may be overlooked when you are trying to balance your budget. Always speak to a professional when you think you are ready to buy a new home.
See here for more about your home loan and funding options.
Curious about PMI and related costs of owning a home? See our page on Costs of Owning a Home.