Use an amortization schedule calculator

Where does all of the money go when you pay your mortgage each month? A portion of your payment goes toward principal and some is applied to interest. You can use an amortization schedule calculator to learn exactly how your lender divvies up these amounts.

To use Bankrate's amortization schedule calculator, you will need the following information:

  • Mortgage amount
  • Mortgage term
  • Interest rate
  • Start date

After you plug this information into the calculator, it will provide a schedule that shows how your payments are applied. The schedule will contain the following information:

  • Month/Year
  • Payment
  • Principal Paid
  • Interest Paid
  • Total Interest
  • Balance

You will notice that although your mortgage payment will remain the same each month, your principal paid will increase and the interest paid will decrease each month.

Homeowners are entitled to make extra payments on their mortgages. These payments can be made one time, annually or even monthly if they choose. An amortization schedule calculator can also enable you to see how making extra mortgage payments can affect your loan.

Why might you make extra payments?

Making additional mortgage payments won't reduce your monthly payment. However, all of the extra money that you'll be paying will go directly toward your principal. This means that you'll be paying less total interest and reducing the life of your loan.

Shelling out less money in interest and being mortgage-free sooner than you intended can be quite appealing. However, prepayment is not always the best course of action for everyone. Even though making extra payments can cut your interest costs and shorten your loan, some experts recommend avoiding prepayment unless you have additional savings. The extra money you pay on your mortgage won't earn you any interest, nor will it be readily available in the event of an emergency.

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