The main factors determining your monthly mortgage payments are the size and term of the loan. Size is the amount of money you borrow and the term is the length of time you have to pay it back. Generally, the longer your term, the lower your monthly payment. That’s why 30-year mortgages are the most popular. Once you know the size of the loan you need for your new home, a mortgage calculator is an easy way to compare mortgage types and various lenders.3
Interest is the lender’s reward for taking a risk and loaning you money. The interest rate on a mortgage has a direct impact on the size of a mortgage payment: Higher interest rates mean higher mortgage payments.
Higher interest rates generally reduce the amount of money you can borrow, and lower interest rates increase it.5 If the interest rate on our $100,000 mortgage is 6%, the combined principal and interest monthly payment on a 30-year mortgage would be about $599.55—$500 interest + $99.55 principal. The same loan with a 9% interest rate results in a monthly payment of $804.62.
Real estate or property taxes are assessed by government agencies and used to fund public services such as schools, police forces, and fire departments. Taxes are calculated by the government on a per-year basis, but you can pay these taxes as part of your monthly payments. The amount due is divided by the total number of monthly mortgage payments in a given year. The lender collects the payments and holds them in escrow until the taxes have to be paid.The first mortgage payment is due one full month after the last day of the month in which the home purchase closed. Unlike rent, due on the first day of the month for that month, mortgage payments are paid in arrears, on the first day of the month but for the previous month.