Our monthly payment estimates are broken down by principal, interest, property taxes and homeowners insurance. We take our calculator a step further by factoring in your credit score range, ZIP code and HOA fees to give you a more precise payment estimate. You’ll also go into the homebuying process with a more accurate picture of how to calculate mortgage payments and purchase with confidence. After you run some estimates, read on for more education and homebuying tips.
How to calculate mortgage payments
Want to figure out how much your monthly mortgage payment will be? For the mathematically inclined, here’s a formula to help you calculate mortgage payments manually:
This formula can help you crunch the numbers to see how much house you can afford. Using our mortgage calculator can take the work out of it for you and help you decide whether you’re putting enough money down or if you can or should adjust your loan term. It’s always a good idea to rate-shop with several lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal available.
How a mortgage calculator can help
Buying a home is the largest purchase most people will make in their lifetime, so you should think carefully about how you’re going to finance it. Setting a budget upfront — long before you look at homes — can help you avoid falling in love with a home you can’t afford. That’s where a simple mortgage calculator like ours can help.
A mortgage payment includes four components that together are known as PITI (pronounced “pity”): principal, interest, taxes and insurance. Many homebuyers know about these costs but are not prepared for are the hidden expenses of homeownership. These include homeowners association (HOA) fees, private mortgage insurance, routine maintenance, larger utility bills and major repairs.
The Bankrate Mortgage Loan Calculator can help you factor in PITI and HOA fees, but not other expenses, so make sure the monthly payment it computes for you isn’t the absolute maximum of what you’ll be able to afford. It’s important to have some cushion in your budget for unexpected or emergency costs. You also can adjust your loan and down payment amounts, interest rate and loan term to see how those variables affect your monthly payment. Your specific interest rate will depend on your overall credit profile and debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, which is the sum of all of your debts and new mortgage payment divided by your gross monthly income. A lower credit score and higher DTI can make you a riskier borrower in lenders’ eyes. Generally, the riskier you seem on paper, the higher your interest rate will be.
Deciding how much house you can afford
If you’re not sure how much of your income should go toward housing, follow the tried-and-true 28/36 percent rule. Most financial advisers agree that people should spend no more than 28 percent of their gross income on housing (i.e., your mortgage payment), and no more than 36 percent of their gross income on total debt, including mortgage payments, credit cards, student loans, medical bills and the like.
Here’s an example of what this looks like:
Joe makes $60,000 a year. That’s a gross monthly income of $5,000 a month.
$5,000 x 0.28 = $1,400 total monthly mortgage payment (PITI)
Joe’s total monthly mortgage payments — including principal, interest, taxes and insurance — shouldn’t exceed $1,400 per month. That’s a maximum loan amount of roughly $253,379.
You can qualify for a mortgage with a DTI ratio of up to 50 percent for some loans, but you might not have enough wiggle room in your budget for other living expenses, retirement, emergency savings and discretionary spending if you stretch yourself too thin. Lenders don’t take those budget items into account when they preapprove you for a loan, so it’s up to you to factor those expenses into your housing affordability picture for yourself.
Knowing what you can afford can help you take financially sound next steps. The last thing you want to do is jump into a 30-year home loan that’s too expensive for your budget, even if a lender is willing to loan you the money.
A mortgage calculator is a springboard to helping you estimate your monthly mortgage payment and understand what it includes. Your next step after playing with the numbers: get preapproved by a mortgage lender.
Applying for a mortgage will give you a more definitive idea of how much house you can afford after a lender has vetted your employment, income, credit and finances. You’ll also have a clearer idea of how much money you’ll need to bring to the closing table.
|Loan Type||Purchase Rates||Refinance Rates|
|The table above links out to loan-specific content to help you learn more about rates by loan type.|
|30-Year Loan||30-Year Mortgage Rates||30-Year Refinance Rates|
|20-Year Loan||20-Year Mortgage Rates||20-Year Refinance Rates|
|15-Year Loan||15-Year Mortgage Rates||15-Year Refinance Rates|
|10-Year Loan||10-Year Mortgage Rates||10-Year Refinance Rates|
|FHA Loan||FHA Mortgage Rates||FHA Refinance Rates|
|VA Loan||VA Mortgage Rates||VA Refinance Rates|
|ARM Loan||ARM Mortgage Rates||ARM Refinance Rates|
|Jumbo Loan||Jumbo Mortgage Rates||Jumbo Refinance Rates|
Mortgage calculator: Alternative usesMost people use a mortgage calculator to estimate the payment on a new mortgage, but it can be used for other purposes, too.
Here are some other uses:
Mortgage calculator helpUsing an online mortgage calculator can help you quickly and accurately predict your monthly mortgage payment with just a few pieces of information. It can also show you the total amount of interest you"ll pay over the life of your mortgage. To use this calculator, you"ll need the following information:
Home price - This is the dollar amount you expect to pay for a home.
Down payment - The down payment is money you give to the home's seller. At least 20 percent down typically lets you avoid mortgage insurance.
Mortgage Amount - If you're getting a mortgage to buy a new home, you can find this number by subtracting your down payment from the home's price. If you're refinancing, this number will be the outstanding balance on your mortgage.
Mortgage Term (Years) - This is the length of the mortgage you're considering. For example, if you're buying a home, you might choose a mortgage loan that lasts 30 years, which is the most common, as it allows for lower monthly payments by stretching the repayment period out over three decades. On the other hand, a homeowner who is refinancing may opt for a loan with a shorter repayment period, like 15 years. This is another common mortgage term that allows the borrower to save money by paying less total interest. However, monthly payments are higher on 15-year mortgages than 30-year ones, so it can be more of a stretch for the household budget, especially for first-time homebuyers.
Interest Rate - Estimate the interest rate on a new mortgage by checking Bankrate's mortgage rate tables for your area. Once you have a projected rate (your real-life rate may be different depending on your overall financial and credit picture), you can plug it into the calculator.
Mortgage Start Date - Select the month, day and year when your mortgage payments will start.