Our free mortgage calculator helps you determine what your monthly payment will look like. A house is the largest purchase most of us will ever make so getting an idea of your monthly payment is an important first step to answering the "how much house can I afford?" question.
How to use our mortgage calculator
Calculating your mortgage payment is a snap with Bankrate’s mortgage calculator. This tool helps you quickly and accurately estimate your monthly mortgage payment after you provide just a few details. It will also show you the total amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of your mortgage. Here is some information you’ll need to know to get started:Home price
The dollar amount you expect to pay for a home.Down payment
The down payment is the cash you’re putting up as equity in the home. At least 20% down typically lets you avoid private mortgage insurance.Mortgage Term (Years)
This is the number of years you’ll take to pay off the mortgage.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 actual rate may be different depending on your overall credit picture) you can plug it into the calculator.
Monthly mortgage payment basics
What goes into calculating a mortgage payment? Let’s break it down:Principal
This is the home’s purchase price, minus the down payment amount. If you buy a $400,000 home and make a down payment of $50,000, your principal loan amount is $350,000.Interest
This is a fee, calculated as an annual percentage, the lender charges you to borrow money.Property taxes
An annual tax charged by a local government entity based on the value of the property and the land. Property taxes can vary each year, impacting your mortgage payments.Private mortgage insurance
If you put less than 20 percent down, a lender typically requires PMI to insure the loan in case you default. Once you’ve reached 20 percent equity, you can request PMI cancellation on most loan types (except FHA loans).Homeowners insurance
Lenders require this coverage to protect a property against financial loss from natural disasters, theft or accidents.Homeowners association (HOA) dues
This fee is paid by homeowners to a neighborhood organization for shared maintenance and amenities. (Note: Not all homes belong to an HOA and this fee is usually paid directly to your HOA.)
Beyond the monthly mortgage payment
Owning a home comes with more expenses than a monthly mortgage payment. When you’re deciding how much house you can afford, don’t forget to take into account other expenses, such as:
- Emergency repairs
Other ways to use a mortgage calculator
Most people use a mortgage calculator to estimate the payment on a new mortgage, but it has other purposes, too. Here are a few:1. Pay off your mortgage early.
Use the "Extra payments" functionality of Bankrate's mortgage calculator to find out how you can shorten your term and reduce your net interest by paying extra money toward your loan's principal.
To calculate the savings, click the "Amortization/Payment Schedule" link and enter a hypothetical amount into one of the payment categories (monthly, yearly or one-time) and then click "Apply Extra Payments" to see how much interest is due and your new payoff date.2. Decide if an ARM is worth the risk.
The lower initial interest rate of an adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, can be tempting. But while an ARM can work for some borrowers, others may find that the lower initial interest rate won't cut their monthly payments as much as they think, and their rate may rise in coming years beyond what they can afford.
To get an idea of how much you'll save initially, enter the ARM interest rate into the mortgage calculator, leaving the term as 30 years. Then, compare those payments to the payments you get when you enter the rate for a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage. Doing so may confirm your initial hopes about the benefits of an ARM — or give you a reality check about whether the potential benefits an ARM really outweigh the risks.3. Get rid of private mortgage insurance sooner.
You can use the mortgage calculator to determine when you’ll have 20 percent equity in your home through paying down your mortgage balance. This percentage is the magic number for requesting that a lender cancel private mortgage insurance. Also, some lenders will consider cancelling PMI early if a new appraisal determines that your home’s value has risen to meet the 20 percent threshold.
Simply enter in the original amount of your mortgage and the date you closed, and click "Show amortization / payment schedule." Then, multiply your original mortgage amount by 0.8 and match the result to the closest number on the far-right column of the amortization table to find out when you'll reach 20 percent equity.