With so many different mortgage options out there, you might feel overwhelmed when you try to find the one that’s right for you. One way to make your search easier is to use an online mortgage calculator—especially if you have kids or other dependents since the Mortgage home loan calculator can factor in extra living expenses that come with raising children or taking care of aging parents. Here are five mortgage calculator features you’re not using, but should be!
What is a mortgage calculator?
If you’re considering buying a house or refinancing your mortgage, you might be wondering if it’s best to take out a 15-year or 30-year mortgage. It all depends on whether you want to pay off your loan faster or lower your monthly payments. A mortgage calculator is an online tool that helps people estimate their loan amount and monthly payments by entering different variables such as interest rate and down payment. The best mortgage calculators are convenient, but also customizable.
Feature 1: Factor In “Forgotten” Homeownership Costs
Do you know what’s included in a mortgage payment? Aside from your principal and interest payments, other fees go into buying a home—insurance, taxes, homeowners association dues (HOA), and private mortgage insurance (PMI). Even though PMI is technically optional when you take out a loan for more than 80% of an asset’s value – that only means it won’t be automatically included.
Feature 2: Break Out Your Monthly Payment
No matter how good you are at budgeting, it’s easy to overspend when you only look at your totals. If you’re struggling to keep up with payments on your home loan, consider breaking out your monthly mortgage payment into different categories: principal, interest, and property taxes. This can help you better track and understand where exactly all of your money is going.
Feature 3: See Effect Of Lower Debt Payments
While we’ve focused mostly on how to use a mortgage calculator to pay off your home loan faster, there are other financial reasons why you might want to use a mortgage calculator. One is if you have student loans or credit card debt. If your debt payments aren’t covering 100% of your minimum payment due, it may be wise to see how making those payments reduces your principal balance over time. This could help you see how paying down that debt can save you money in the long run.
Feature 4: Work Backward From Your Comfortable Payment
Most mortgage calculators will start with a target monthly payment for you to reach and then work backward from there to arrive at your loan amount. If you’re looking for a more specific figure, you can set up your mortgage calculator to work in reverse by choosing a payment amount and seeing how much of a house you could afford given that salary.
Feature 5: Check Your Loan Payoff Progress
If you have your mortgage payment calculator or are working with a lender to figure out how much house you can afford, it’s important to pay attention to how much of your mortgage is paid off over time. If you’re an aggressive saver and have been diligently making double payments or cutting back on expenses to accelerate your loan payoff, take note of which month(s) these changes will translate into a lower monthly payment.
You’re going to get a much better deal on your loan against property if you use a better mortgage calculator. So before you begin shopping for your home loan or refinancing your current one, consider these features and test out a few different calculators to see which ones give you the most complete picture of your financial options. A good mortgage calculator can help take some of the guesswork out of buying or refinancing a home. And don’t let yourself be taken advantage of by lenders—no one wants that!