A mortgage is simply a type of loan. More specifically, it’s a loan used for the purchase of a home, in which the home itself serves as security, or collateral, for the loan.
There are two types of mortgage loans: fixed mortgage loans, and adjustable rate mortgage loans. Out of the two, a fixed mortgage loan is simpler and is generally preferred by borrowers.
A fixed mortgage loan is a scheme where the monthly principal amount and interest payments remain steady throughout the life of the loan. This type of Mortgage is called a Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM). Depending upon the term of the loan, which is the time span of the mortgage loan (the number of years given to repay the loan) – the interest is calculated. For example if the fixed rate mortgage is calculated for 30 years, it is called a 30 year fixed mortgage rate (FRM). If it is for 20 years, it is called a 20 year fixed mortgage rate (FRM) and if it is for 10 years, it is called a 10 year fixed mortgage rate (FRM) calculation.
The great advantage of a fixed rate mortgage is that it enables a person to buy a home or office and keep paying a steady amount irrespective of inflation or rising interest rates. Changes in interest rates do not impact your monthly mortgage payments if you opt for a fixed rate mortgage scheme.
Advantage of a Fixed Rate Mortgage: Predictability
The fixed rate mortgage has been a favorite among Americans for the last two generations. The major advantage of a fixed rate mortgage is you can predict what you are going to pay and prepare yourself for it. There are no shocks with changes occurring at the most unexpected time.
You know what you earn and what you need to pay. So it’s wise to cut your shirt according to your size, so to speak. In other words, don’t assume a loan with a monthly payment greater than you can bear. A good rule of thumb is not to assume a mortgage that would have you paying more than 25% of your monthly income.
This type of mortgage loan is useful for those who can plan their repayment well in advance. For example, salaried employees. The salaries of many people steadily increase with time. This means a planned mortgage loan scheme is best suited for them.
On the other hand entrepreneurs and small business people are not really sure about their income streams. For these people, a fixed mortgage loan may not be the best choice. However the choice of any mortgage loan scheme changes from person to person. Since repayment of a mortgage varies according to the amount of loan and the term (number of years), it is always a good idea to calculate various permutations and combinations. To make these calculations, you would use a mortgage loan calculator.
How Are Fixed Mortgage Loan Calculators Useful?
A fixed mortgage calculator is one of the easier financial tools to use. Just enter your loan amount and the prevailing rate of interest. The loan calculator will do the math and tell you exactly how much your monthly installment will be over a given period of time, whether it is a 15 year loan or a 30 year loan. You can see all the options available and choose what is best suited for you. Many good simple loan calculators are available free online and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of approaching a lender or finance consultant and then fielding telephone solicitations for the next ten years.
often reviews websites with online loan calculators and even rates them according to criteria such as whether the website requires registration, whether special software or plugins are required, and the quality of the loan calculator itself.
Some of the online calculators you may find useful include:
* BankRate.com – I almost always find myself recommending Bankrate.com. They have many excellent tools, and I’ll be writing a complete review of their site in the future. Among other things, they have a very nice suite of loan calculators of all kinds, including of course a simple mortgage calculator, and also a fixed rate versus adjustable rate mortgage calculator. Bankrate.com’s fixed rate mortgage calculator, which they simply call a “Mortgage payment calculator,” lets you plug in your mortgage amount, the term (the number of years of the loan), and the start date of the mortgage. You click the calculate button, and it tells you the amount of the payment. Very simple. As I mentioned, the fixed rate mortgage is a very simple type of loan to calculate. The calculator also has an “extra payments” section that lets you calculate how much sooner you could pay off the loan if you added a fixed extra amount every month, or if you added an extra yearly payment, or even if you added a one-time extra payment on a particular date. It’s a nice tool.
* CNNMoney.com has a good mortgage calculator. From the home page, mouse over the Real Estate tab at the top of the page, and select Home Finance Calculator from the pulldown menu. The calculator has certain “assumptions” built in. CNNMoney says about this: “We’ve assumed a 30-year mortgage term, annual property tax of $3,500 and homeowners insurance of $481 — the national average. And we do not factor in private mortgage insurance, which you’ll owe if your down payment is less than 20 percent of the purchase price. It averages from $50 to $80 per month. Plug in your own numbers for more tailor-made results.”
* EasyCalculation.com is not a loan calculation site in particular, but it’s got a ton of calculators of all kinds, with the links to the calculators conveniently placed right on the front page. In the Mortgage Calculator section, they’ve got all the following types of calculators: Simple Mortgage (that would be the fixed rate mortgage calculator that this page discusses), Amortization, Loan Comparison, Adjustable Mortgage Payment, Down Payment, Interest Only Mortgage, Mortgage Prepayment, Pre-Payment Penalty, Mortgage Refinancing. You can’t fault them for thoroughness! Be aware, though, that the calculators are pretty basic and don’t offer all the bells and whistles like the sites listed above.
This is not an exhaustive list of websites with good mortgage calculators, as there are many others available on the net and I haven’t attempted to review them all. But the ones mentioned are among the best and should more than meet your needs.