The Best Online Mortgage Payment Calculators, According to Experts
You probably want a ballpark number before you call your mortgage lender and hire a real estate agent, so you plug the numbers into an online mortgage payment calculator. But, just like everything on the internet, there are so many calculators available from comparison sites and lending institutions. Some may be bare bones, others may include some of the other costs associated with homeownership (condo fees, insurance rates, property taxes, closing costs, etc.) So how do you know which ones are the most accurate?
Here’s the thing: Every mortgage calculator available to you is only going to provide an estimate. You won’t know your exact monthly payment for a home until you actually buy one.
“In reality, you need to go through the application and qualification process first before you can receive any reassurance on those numbers,” explains Brian Faux, co-founder of the online brokerage Morty. “Mortgage calculators are a great resource for showing you different rates and mortgage options, but rates aren’t bona fide offers.”
Knowing this, it’s still a good idea to do a little preliminary math. While all experts I asked agree that no calculator is perfect, here are the three they recommend most:
Mark Maimon, vice president at Freedom Mortgage, also likes that it provides a clear payment timeline (a.k.a. an “amortization schedule”) that you can play around with if you’re planning on paying down your balance faster.
“[Bankrate] allows you to quantify how much making extra payments over time, or a lump sum payment, will affect your mortgage interest [while] calculating how much faster you’d pay off the loan,” Maimon explains.
Faux adds that NerdWallet’s wide array of resources make the site an informative place for first-time homebuyers to start researching.
“It allows me to break down the loan, break down the amortization schedule, and visualize the major components [such as taxes and fees] over time in chart format,” Tanney says.
Now that you have a good idea of what your mortgage payment ~might~ look like, take a look at what one actually does entail. Here, one editor shares how much her actual mortgage costs each month.
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