Mortgage Calculator

Estimate your payment with our easy-to-use loan calculator.
Then get pre-qualified to buy by a local lender.
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ZIP Code

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Home Price

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Down Payment

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Interest Rate

Currently:
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Loan Type

30-year fixed

Which Loan Type Should I Choose?

The type of loan you choose will affect your interest rate and your monthly payment, so it’s important to choose wisely. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of some common loan types.
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Fixed Rate Loans

    Best for
    Borrowers who prefer stable payments that won't change
    Length of term
    Typically last for 10 - 40 years
    Interest rate
    Fixed rate for the life of a loan
    Monthly payment
    Amount never changes
    Mortgage insurance
    Typically required if down payment is less than 20%
    Additional details
    30-year fixed is the most common mortgage type
Adjustable mortgages (ARMs)

    Best for
    Borrowers who might sell after 5 years, or are comfortable knowing their payments can change
    Length of term
    Typically last for 30 years
    Interest rate
    Fixed rate for 3, 5, 7, or 10 years, then can change every year thereafter
    Monthly payment
    Can change after the fixed period ends
    Mortgage insurance
    Typically required if down payment is less than 20%
    Additional details
    After fixed period ends, interest rate changes annually based on the index value at that time
FHA loans

    Best for
    Borrowers with smaller down payments or lower credit scores
    Length of term
    Typically last for 10 - 40 years
    Interest rate
    Borrowers can choose a fixed or adjustable rate
    Monthly payment
    Can change only for an adjustable rate mortgage
    Mortgage insurance
    Mortgage insurance is required (upfront free and monthly insurance payment)
    Additional details
    Insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
VA loans

    Best for
    Only available for qualifying Veterans, active military, and military families
    Length of term
    Typically last for 10 - 40 years
    Interest rate
    Borrowers can choose a fixed or adjustable rate
    Monthly payment
    Can change only for an adjustable rate mortgage
    Mortgage insurance
    Not required
    Additional details
    Insured by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Fixed Rate LoansAdjustable mortgages (ARMs)FHA loansVA loans
Best forBorrowers who prefer stable payments that won't changeBorrowers who might sell after 5 years, or are comfortable knowing their payments can changeBorrowers with smaller down payments or lower credit scoresOnly available for qualifying Veterans, active military, and military families
Length of termTypically last for 10 - 40 yearsTypically last for 30 yearsTypically last for 10 - 40 yearsTypically last for 10 - 40 years
Interest rateFixed rate for the life of a loanFixed rate for 3, 5, 7, or 10 years, then can change every year thereafterBorrowers can choose a fixed or adjustable rateBorrowers can choose a fixed or adjustable rate
Monthly paymentAmount never changesCan change after the fixed period endsCan change only for an adjustable rate mortgageCan change only for an adjustable rate mortgage
Mortgage insuranceTypically required if down payment is less than 20%Typically required if down payment is less than 20%Mortgage insurance is required (upfront free and monthly insurance payment)Not required
Additional details30-year fixed is the most common mortgage typeAfter fixed period ends, interest rate changes annually based on the index value at that timeInsured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)Insured by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

How to Lower Your Monthly Payment

If the monthly mortgage payment you’re seeing in the home loan calculator is higher than you can afford, here are a few things you can do to lower it.
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  • Improve your credit score

    If a low credit score is contributing to your high payments, you can take steps to increase it. First, review your credit report and address any red flags or errors. Then, stop applying for new credit, work to reduce your debt, and be sure to make all of your payments on time.

  • Put more money down

    A higher down payment will reduce the amount of money you borrow, leading to lower monthly payments. It can help you qualify for a lower interest rate, which can also lower your monthly payments. In some cases, it can help you avoid paying costly PMI.

  • Make Extra Payments

    If you can’t make a bigger down payment, you can opt to pay extra towards your principal every month. While this won’t immediately lower your monthly mortgage payment, it can help your mortgage payments decrease later and help you pay off the loan faster

  • Opt for a longer loan term

    A longer loan term will spread the cost over a longer period of time, which will lower your monthly mortgage payments. This will lead to more interest paid over the life of your loan, but it’s a good strategy to help make homeownership more affordable.

  • Avoid PMI

    For most conventional loans, you’re required to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI) along with your monthly mortgage payment until your loan-to-value (LTV) reaches 78-80%. You can avoid this additional monthly cost by putting 20% down on your home.

  • Pay PMI Upfront

    If you have to pay PMI on a conventional loan, instead of paying it every month along with your mortgage payment, you can opt to pay for it upfront as a one-time fee. This won’t lessen the overall cost of PMI, but it will cut down the amount you pay every month.

  • Rent Out Part of Your Home

    If you’re open to living with roommates and you have the space, renting out a bedroom in your home or even a basement apartment if you have it is a great way to reduce your overall monthly payment by having the rental income offset your monthly costs.

  • Make Bi-Weekly Payments

    If you want to immediately lower your payments, bi-weekly payments likely won’t help. But if you want to pay your loan off faster, stop paying PMI faster, or simply pay less interest over the life of your loan, this approach could make a lot of sense for you.

  • Buy Down Your Rate

    Everyone knows that the lower the interest rate you get for your loan, the lower your monthly payment will be. But if you don’t have the credit score or other criteria to qualify for the lowest rate, consider buying discount points to get a lower rate, and a lower payment.

Mortgage Resources

Simplify the mortgage process with our easy-to-use mortgage resources: