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How Using a Mortgage Payment Calculator Can Help First Time Home Buyers

Thanks to the internet, it's now possible for millions of people to access a wide range of different tools to calculate mortgage payments that could help them improve their chances of qualifying for a home loan and for finding the right one for them. In particular, first time home buyers who may not be clear on all of the specifics of their situation will be able to use tools and resources to help themselves. And one of the best tools out there is a mortgage loan calculator.

It may sound like a small matter, but the reality is that using a mortgage calculator offers a number of benefits to those who are trying to secure their first loan. Here are some of the reasons you should be considering it yourself.

MortgageCalculator

Home Value: $
Loan amount: $
Interest rate: %
Loan term: years
Start date:
Property tax: %
PMI: %
Output parameters »
  • For starters, a free mortgage calculator can help you determine what your payments will be if you know the overall price of the home and the interest rate applied to it. By punching in a few simple numbers, you'll be able to see what you can expect to pay each month, and as a result you'll be able to determine what homes are within your price range. This home affordability calculator is a perfect way to plan ahead when you're thinking of buying a home.
  • You can also use some first time home buyer mortgage calculators to take a look at your debt to income ratio. This is the difference between your monthly income and your monthly expenses, and is a prime factor that lenders use when determining whether or not you qualify for a loan.
  • A mortgage interest calculator can also help you plan out your next couple of years. Using one now lets you get a clear picture of where you need to be in the future when you're ready to buy a home. If you're already shopping for a home, they're effective as well, but many people actually use them as a financial planning tool.
  • Using a mortgage calculator for first time home buyers lets you figure out which loans or grants may be the right option for you, too. Whether you're looking into private loans, FHA or even VA loans, the right calculator can help you determine which ones are worth pursuing and which ones may be out of your price range. When considering a government loan insured by the U.S. government, make sure you utilize the FHA mortgage payment calculator before making an offer.
  • Mortgage rates calculators can also offer you a bit more information when you go into the loan search phase of buying your first home. When you have a clear idea of roughly what you should expect to pay on your mortgage, you'll be able to shop for a loan with more confidence.
  • Finally, your mortgage calculator might also help you understand the total, final price you'll pay for your home after interest rates are applied to it. It's another way that you're able to prepare yourself and your finances for this major investment.

As a first time home buyer, you'll have lots of questions and concerns about your first purchase money mortgage. Luckily, tools like a mortgage calculator are easy to find and easy to use. They could help ensure that you get the kind of loan you deserve.

Top 6 Mortgage Calculator Apps to Estimate Monthly Payments

Estimate Payment with Mortgage Calculators

Buying a new home can be rather stressful as you are dealing with so many decisions about numbers and all that paperwork. Before you even think about talking to a realtor or mortgage lender, you should explore some good mortgage calculators to help you estimate your monthly mortgage payments.

Loan officers say that good mortgage calculators are invaluable tools to help you see the long term big picture of having a 15 or 30 year mortgage. Below is a good list of the best mortgage calculator apps to help you make the biggest financial decision of your life:

#1 Trulia Mortgage Calculator

This mortgage calculator has it all. One of the really good things about it is that it includes taxes, homeowner's insurance and mortgage insurance into estimated monthly payments. This provides you with a realistic view of what your real payment will be. Some borrowers will get excited if they see a 'low' payment of only $1200 per month and do not realize that does not include taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance.

This great calculator also tells you when you can get rid of private mortgage insurance. You can use the loan amortization results list to find out what year your loan balance drops to 80% or less. That is when you are qualified to drop PMI. At 78%, the lender by law must drop your PMI coverage. This calculator app also can give you guidance on how much home you can afford. You can enter your basic personal financial data to come up with an estimate of how much home you should buy, when your lifestyle costs are accounted for. Remember, you may be approved for a higher loan than you really should take on, when you add in all of your other living expenses.

#2 Mortgage Payoff Track

If you are a homeowner or are thinking about buying a home, you may want to see how additional payments on your mortgage will affect your loan balance over time. This cool app allows you to track your extra principal payments at any point during the 15 or 30 year period. By monitoring your progress or theoretical progress in paying on the loan early, you can easily monitor and plan your pay off schedule so that it fits the lifestyle of your family.

Cool features:

  • Enter and track different principal payment amounts for any of your payments throughout the entire mortgage.
  • Visualize pay down progress and your interest savings with colorful graphs.
  • Import and export loan data and payments easily.

#3 Mortgage Monitor

This is a really useful real time mortgage payment tracking tool as well as a great planning tool if you are just thinking about getting a mortgage. It has a very engaging interface that allows you to change variables that will determine the cost of your home loan down the road. It is a really nice app for calculating your mortgage's out year payments on variable rate ARM mortgages. The app also will account for PMI calculations and has features to handle common ARMs, such as 3/1, 5/1 and 7/1.

#4 Loan Calculator Pro

This nice app has many of the same features as the above two apps, but it also has what it calls a 'time' feature. This allows you to have monthly payment reminders, which as you know, is pretty important! You also can choose future dates when you think you want to own the home outright. This app will use this single data point to determine how much that you must pay in order to own your home free and clear by that date.

#5 Karl's Mortgage Calculator

This basic but powerful mortgage calculator for Android allows you to calculate your mortgage payments by inputting principal, interest and length of term. It can reverse calculate any single variable if you give it the other three. You can see how your monthly payment will change when you add in monthly and annual added costs such as PMI, HOA fees, insurance and taxes. This mortgage app has you covered on fixed and adjustable rate mortgages with as many as five changes in interest rates. Interest only mortgages also are handled. If you want to pay off your mortgage early, you can add in random single payments, as well as regular additional monthly and annual payments.

#6 Zillow Mortgage Calculator

This very easy to use app lets you determine how much home you can afford and estimate your monthly payment in seconds. The monthly payment calculator estimates the monthly payment and breaks it down by principal, interest, taxes and PMI. If you are still shopping for a mortgage, it will show you mortgage products from hundreds of lenders, with APRs, fees and monthly payments.

Determining how much home you can afford and what your monthly mortgage payment will be has never been easier than with these six apps.

Top 7 First Time Home Buyer Loan Calculators Online

People who are thinking about buying their first home or new home have more resources available online today than ever before. Before you start looking at homes or even talking to a realtor or loan officer, we recommend that you check out some of the top home loan calculators online.

With the information that you glean from the best home loan calculators online, you will have a good idea about how much home you can afford, interest rates and more.

After a careful review, we have found that the home loan calculators below are some of the best:

#1 Maximum Mortgage Calculator

This maximum mortgage calculator is helpful to assist you to see how much home you can qualify for on your current income, depending upon the interest rate.

There was a time when many financial advisors recommended qualifying for the largest home loan you could; the theory was that you would earn more money in the years to come. After the financial crash, this is no longer recommended.

It still is helpful to have an idea of what your maximum mortgage can be based upon different interest rate parameters. Rates are on the upswing, so this calculator can help you decide when it is time to pull the trigger for that dream home.

#2 Loan Comparison Calculator

Are you comparing two different loans from two different companies? Or do you want to look at a 30 year loan and a 15 year loan at the same time? This loan comparison calculator is for you.

However, know that deciding which loan is best is more than just seeing which has the lower payment today. You also want to compare fees, costs and interest charges over the long term.

A loan comparison calculator can help you make very important decisions. For example, would you rather pay more now with a 15 year loan, and save tens of thousands in interest over the years? Or do you prefer a lower payment now with a 30 year loan, and refinance into a 15 year loan later after the kids are out of college? This calculator can help you make these critical judgments.

#3 Mortgage Payoff Calculator

Do you wonder how much money you can save in interest if you increase your monthly payment? Check out this cool mortgage payoff calculator. It can help you see that if you increase your monthly payment by just a few dollars, you can really reduce the amount of interest you pay over the long haul.

Financial experts often advise paying down your mortgage faster than necessary to save on interest charges.

#4 Basic Mortgage Calculator

If you just want to run the basic numbers on a possible mortgage with various interest rates, this is the calculator you need.

Just a .5% difference in mortgage interest rates can be the difference between approval for your dream home, and having to shop for something less expensive. This is also a great FHA mortgage payment calculator to bookmark in this era of rising rates.

It is expected that interest rates will continue to rise this year, but will probably top out under 5%.

#5 Fixed Rate or ARM Calculator

If you are weighing a fixed rate loan vs. an adjustable loan, you will want to use this calculator to determine which is best for your circumstances.

There is no way to say definitively which type of loan is better. It depends upon your financial and economic circumstances, and when you plan to retire, or if you plan to retire.

A fixed rate loan offers a guarantee that your rate will never go higher for 15 or 30 years, but the rate is higher. An ARM typically has a 3, 5 or 7 year fixed term at a lower rate, followed by a readjustment to market rates. If you want to sell your home within a few years, you may want an ARM.

But if you plan to stay put and having a variable rate makes you worry, a fixed rate could be better.

#6 Buy or Rent Calculator

Depending upon where you live and your financial circumstances, renting or owning your home could be best. In a high cost area such as San Francisco, renting often beats buying. But the opposite is true in many lower cost areas of the country.

Use this calculator to determine if renting or buying is better for you. Market interest rates also play a big factor in the rent vs. buy decision.

#7 Biweekly Payment Mortgage Calculator

Did you know that you can reduce the amount that you pay in interest on your mortgage in some cases if you pay biweekly? You will usually end up making an extra mortgage payment each year, which will reduce your interest paid over time.

Paying your mortgage biweekly might also be a better fit for your employment or financial situation.

The Bottom Line

Buying a home is usually the biggest financial decision we all make. Making a smart decision requires plenty of planning and financial calculations. These seven mortgage calculators can be very useful for making the best home buying decision for you and your loved ones.

 

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