What is a mortgage?
A mortgage is a loan you take out to buy a home. Lenders base your eligibility on your credit score, current debts, money saved, and the home’s value. The difference between a mortgage and a standard loan, besides the loan amount, is the collateral. Lenders use your house as collateral. If you default on your payments (usually more than 90 days), they can foreclose on your property. The bank then takes the home and sells it to make back the money lost from you not making your payments.
What is mortgage insurance?
Mortgage insurance is insurance for the lender. Borrowers pay it, but it is for the lender if you default on the loan. Conventional loans require mortgage insurance if you put down less than 20% on the home. You can cancel it once you pay your balance down to 80% of the home’s value.
Government loans, including FHA and USDA loans, charge mortgage insurance for the life of the loan, but at a rate lower than conventional loans. Mortgage insurance helps borrowers secure a loan when they don’t have great credit or don’t have much money to put down on the home.
How to calculate a mortgage payment?
Your mortgage payment includes principal, interest, mortgage insurance, real estate taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. The principal is the amount you borrow. The interest is the fee the bank charges. You can figure out the monthly amount by taking the annual interest rate (rate quoted) and dividing it by 12. Multiply that number (your monthly interest rate) by the outstanding principal balance to get your interest charges.
The mortgage payment is the principal (the portion you’ll pay) plus the monthly interest, 1/12th of the real estate taxes, 1/12th of the home insurance, and the required mortgage insurance (if applicable).
How much mortgage can I afford?
Lenders determine how much mortgage you can afford based on your income, credit score, and current debts. Each situation is different but in general, lenders allow up to a 43 – 50% debt-to-income ratio. Your mortgage (principal, interest, real estate taxes, home insurance, and mortgage insurance) plus any existing debts, such as credit cards, car loans, or personal loans shouldn’t exceed 43% – 50% of your gross monthly income (income before taxes).