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Can a Mortgage Calculator Determine if You will Get Approved for a Mortgage Loan?

The UpEquity Team Jan 27, 2022
Men working on the computer looking at a mortgage calculator

If you want to purchase a home, chances are you’ll need a mortgage. A mortgage calculator cannot help determine if you'll get approved for a mortgage loan. The mortgage application process is very nuanced and depends on a variety of factors, including your credit score, credit history, income and assets, and the amount of money you have saved for a down payment. Yet another critical factor is your debt-to-income ratio, which lenders use to determine if you're financially capable of taking on more debt. The specific requirements to qualify for a mortgage depend on the type of mortgage loan you want and also tend to vary from one lender to another.

A mortgage calculator is a handy tool you can use to prepare for the mortgage approval process. It can help you determine how much home you can afford and how other factors like interest rates and repayment terms can affect your monthly mortgage payments, as well as the overall costs of your loan. Getting preapproved ensures you can target your home search to your price level, increasing your negotiating power with sellers. It’s not advisable to start house hunting without a clear sense of what you can afford; that’s why you should always start your research by using a mortgage calculator.

Does Using a Mortgage Calculator Only Determine Monthly Payments?

The first step in buying a house is to determine your budget. A mortgage calculator essentially tells you how much mortgage debt you can afford to take on by providing you with an estimate of your monthly mortgage payments, including the amounts you'll pay in terms of:

  • Principal and interest
  • Property taxes
  • Homeowners insurance

However, a mortgage calculator doesn’t just help you answer the question, “How much house can I afford?” It also tells you how much you’ll end up paying over the loan’s life, which can help when comparing different mortgage rates to find the most favorable one. More importantly, it's not always wise to borrow 100% of what a lender offers. You might actually qualify for a larger loan than you expect. A higher loan amount will mean a higher monthly mortgage payment that you might not be able to afford. The last thing you want to do is to default on your loan. That's why it's crucial to use a mortgage calculator to help you factor in your monthly payments into your household budget.

Can a Mortgage Calculator Determine How Much You Can Get From a Cash-Out Refinance?

Yes, a mortgage calculator can help you determine how much you can borrow with a cash-out refinance. Cash-out refinancing replaces your existing mortgage with a new mortgage of higher value. The difference between the two mortgages is paid out to you in cash. You can use the equity in your home to consolidate other debt or fund home improvement projects. However, you're unlikely to cash out all your equity, as most lenders generally require you to retain at least 20% equity in your home.

By using a calculator, you can determine whether cash-out refinancing is a viable option for you. Refinancing can also be a great way to reduce your monthly mortgage payments, as you can get a lower interest rate. It’s important to note that you’ll end up paying more in interest after completing a cash-out refinance because you’ll be increasing the loan amount.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Calculator When You Want to Refinance Your Mortgage Loan?

When refinancing, a mortgage calculator can help you estimate your new monthly mortgage payments. As with a regular mortgage calculator, your monthly payments will be broken down by principal and interest, property taxes, and homeowners insurance. A refinance calculator will also help determine your break-even point. You can use this information to determine if it’s the right time to refinance. Consider refinancing your mortgage if you want to:

  • Convert from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage. Use a calculator to determine your new monthly payments to see if you would save money by locking in a fixed-rate mortgage.
  • Lengthen your mortgage term to reduce payments. A mortgage calculator will help you see if refinancing is worth it. There’s no point in refinancing if you’ll end up spending more money in the long run.

Don’t refinance if it will take too much time for you to start saving money. Refinancing will require you to take out a new loan, which comes with closing costs. It doesn’t make sense to refinance if you won’t be able to recoup the money spent on closing on the new loan.

Your situation, not the market, should always be the most significant factor when considering refinancing. It's best to start your research with a mortgage calculator,

Can You Calculate the Costs/Fees of Your Loan Using a Mortgage Calculator?

Mortgage interest rates are the cost of borrowing money. A mortgage calculator is useful for comparing interest rates, as the mortgage rate you’re offered will determine your monthly mortgage payments and the amount you’ll end up paying over the loan’s life.

On that note, getting a mortgage isn't free. Closing costs are the fees and charges associated with processing the loan and can also include insurance premiums and real estate commissions. Closing costs are usually a small percentage of the home's purchase value. While a mortgage calculator can estimate these costs, the actual costs will depend on various factors, including taxes and title filing. Plus, closing costs are divided among the buyer and seller, with the buyer covering the majority of the costs. That said, you can always negotiate to pay lower closing costs.

Decode Your Mortgage Costs

A mortgage calculator is an excellent research tool that makes it easy to estimate your monthly mortgage obligations using your home’s price, down payment, and interest rate. It can help you determine how much house you can afford so that you can start the house hunting and mortgage application processes better informed.

FAQ #1: Does a Mortgage Calculator Determine Fees/Cost of a Mortgage Loan?

A mortgage calculator provides an estimate of your monthly mortgage payments. It can provide deeper insight into your mortgage costs, including principal payments, interest, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and mortgage insurance. By incorporating this information into your budget, you'll be better placed to determine which mortgage type and rate work best for you.

FAQ #2: How Do You Use a Mortgage Calculator to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

Paying off your mortgage early can save you thousands of dollars in interest. You can pay off your mortgage early by increasing your monthly mortgage payments. You can use a mortgage calculator to determine how much you can overpay your monthly mortgage installments to pay it off sooner. Even overpaying by $100 per month can shave a substantial amount of time off your loan’s term, and you save money over time.

FAQ #3: Does A Mortgage Calculator Include Taxes and Insurance Calculations?

Yes, in addition to providing you with your principal and interest payments, a mortgage calculator also estimates how much you’ll pay in property taxes, homeowners insurance, and private mortgage insurance, if applicable. This way, you can determine how much mortgage debt you can comfortably afford to take on.