When shopping for a mortgage, it is important to evaluate the total cost of the loan. The annual percentage rate (APR) reflects the total cost of a loan by taking into consideration the interest rate plus any points and fees paid.
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
- A standard calculation used by lenders. It is designed to help borrowers compare different loan options. For example, a loan with a lower stated interest rate may be a bad value if its fees are too high. Likewise, a loan with a higher stated rate with very low fees could be an exceptional value. APR calculations incorporate these fees into a single rate. You can then compare loans with different fees, rates or different terms.
- Mortgage amount
- Original or expected balance for your mortgage.
- Term in years
- The number of years over which you will repay this loan. The most common mortgage terms are 15 years and 30 years.
- Interest rate
- Annual interest rate for this mortgage.
- Monthly payment
- Monthly principal and interest payment (PI).
- Total payments
- Total of all monthly payments over the full term of the mortgage. This total payment amount assumes that there are no prepayments of principal.
- Total interest
- Total of all interest paid over the full term of the mortgage. This total interest amount assumes that there are no prepayments of principal.
- Loan origination percent
- The percent of your loan charged as a loan origination fee. For example, a 1% fee on a $120,000 loan would cost $1,200.
- Points paid
- Total number of "points" purchased to reduce your mortgage's interest rate. Each "point" costs 1% of your loan amount.
- Other fees to include
- Any other fees that should be included in the APR calculation. These fees can vary by lender, but at a minimum usually includes prepaid interest.