mortgage

Mortgage calculator estimates payments

If you're a first-time homebuyer, budgeting for a monthly mortgage payment can be challenging. What can you afford? How do you estimate monthly payments? Where can you find the best rates? Using a mortgage calculator can help you figure it all out.

Budget before you look

Estimate what you can afford before you start looking at properties. This will give you and the real estate agent a good idea of how much home you can buy. It will also help you estimate an affordable down payment and a realistic monthly mortgage payment. To get the mortgage amount, just subtract your down payment from the price of the home.

Find a rate

The rate you receive will largely depend on your credit score and the type of loan you're getting. The longer the term, the lower the rate. Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, can offer lower initial rates. Interest on an ARM, however, can increase after a specified amount of time. Bankrate's mortgage calculator can help you find the lowest rates available for your needs.

Use a mortgage calculator

Using a calculator to estimate a mortgage payment can save you a lot of time. Simply plug in the mortgage amount, the interest rate, the location of your property and the loan term to get a monthly payment. The mortgage calculator will show the number of payments you'll make, the first year of interest payments and the payoff date. It also provides an amortization schedule.

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