Under “Home price,” enter the price (if you’re buying) or the current value (if you’re refinancing). NerdWallet also has arefinancing calculator.
Under “Down payment,” enter the amount of the down payment (if you’re buying) or the amount of equity you have (if refinancing).
On desktop, under “Interest rate” (to the right), enter the rate. Under “Loan term,” click the plus and minus signs to adjust the length of the mortgage in years.
On mobile devices, tap “Refine Results” to find the field to enter the rate and use the plus and minus signs to select the “Loan term.”
You may also enter your own figures for property taxes, homeowners insurance and homeowners association fees, if you don’t wish to use NerdWallet’s estimates. Edit these figures by clicking on the amount currently displayed.
The mortgage calculator lets you click “Compare common loan types” to view a comparison of different loan terms. Click “Amortization” to see how the principal balance, principal paid (equity) and total interest paid change year by year. On mobile devices, scroll down to see “Amortization.”
The mortgage payment calculation looks like this:
M = P [ i(1 + i)^n ] / [ (1 + i)^n – 1]
The variables are as follows:
- M = monthly mortgage payment
- P = the principal amount
- i = your monthly interest rate. Your lender likely lists interest rates as an annual figure, so you’ll need to divide by 12, for each month of the year. So, if your rate is 5%, then the monthly rate will look like this: 0.05/12 = 0.004167.
- n = the number of payments over the life of the loan. If you take out a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, this means: n = 30 years x 12 months per year, or 360 payments.
Determining what your monthly house payment will be is an important part of answering the question “how much house can I afford?” That monthly payment is likely to be the biggest part of your cost of living.
Using this tool to calculate your mortgage payment can help you run scenarios as you buy a home or consider a refinance. It can help you decide:
- How long of a home loan term is right for you? A30-year fixed-rate mortgagewill lower your monthly payment, but you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan. A15-year fixed-rate mortgagecan reduce the total interest you’ll pay, but your monthly payment will be higher.
- Is an ARM a good option? Adjustable-rate mortgages start with a “teaser” interest rate, and then the loan rate changes — higher or lower — over time. A5/1 ARMcan be a good choice, particularly if you plan on being in a home for just a few years. You’ll want to be aware of how much your monthly mortgage payment can change when the introductory rate expires, especially if interest rates are trending higher.
- Are you buying too much home? The mortgage payment calculator can give you a reality check on how much you can expect to pay each month, especially when considering all the costs, including taxes, insurance and private mortgage insurance.
- Are you putting enough money down? With minimum down payments commonly as low as 3%, it’s easier than ever to put just a little money down. The mortgage payment calculator can help you decide what the best down payment may be for you.