How Do Mortgage Points Cut Your Interest Costs?

Those who are involved in the real estate industry likely know that mortgage rates are at an all-time low. At the same time, nobody wants to pay more for a house than they have to. Some of the most important factors that dictate how much someone is going to pay for a house include points and interest rates.

While interest rates are incredibly low, there is a way to make them lower. This comes in the form of points. This is additional money that is paid upfront to get a better deal over the life of the loan. Even though this sounds great in theory this might not be the best option for everyone. There are a few important points to keep in mind.

What Are Points?

Often, the lender is going to offer someone the option of paying points when the mortgage is created. This should be viewed as paying interest on the loan in advance. In exchange for paying interest upfront, the lender should offer to lock in a lower interest rate over the life of the loan. The more points someone purchases, the better the rate.

For example, paying one point of interest may reduce the interest rate on the loan by 0.25 percent. This is standard. Take, for example, a $200,000 home. One point on this loan would cost someone about $2,000. In exchange, the interest rate on the loan is going to drop by 0.25 percent. This might be worth it in the long run.

Discount Points

Other people might have heard about something called discount points. This is another term for mortgage points. The two terms can be used interchangeably. Typically, people can purchase as many discount points as they want, up to the limit of the lender. 

An Overview Of Origination Points

Another type of point that people might have heard about is origination points or origination fees usually expressed by a percentage of the loan amount. These are points that are charged to the borrower to cover the processing, or originating fees for the mortgage loan. These fees are included in the total closing costs disclosed when you apply for your home loan.

Origination points are almost always negotiable. The number of origination points that a lender is going to charge can vary from place to place. Therefore, always be sure to ask about origination points. There might be a way to get these points waived, saving the borrower a significant amount of money.

As always, your trusted mortgage financing professional is the best source of information for your personal mortgage situation.

An Overview Of Mortgage Points

An Overview Of Mortgage PointsMortgage points, also known as discount points or origination points, are fees paid by borrowers at closing to reduce the interest rate on their mortgage loan. Each point typically costs 1% of the total loan amount and can lower the interest rate by anywhere from 0.125% to 0.25%.

There are two types of mortgage points: discount points and origination points. Discount points are used to buy down the interest rate on the loan, while origination points are used to cover the lender’s administrative costs.

Borrowers may choose to pay mortgage points in order to lower their monthly mortgage payments or to reduce the overall amount of interest paid over the life of the loan. However, paying points may not always be the best financial decision, as it depends on factors such as the borrower’s financial situation, the length of time they plan to stay in the home, and the current interest rate environment.

It is important for borrowers to carefully consider the costs and benefits of paying mortgage points, and to compare offers from multiple lenders to ensure they are getting the best deal possible.

When to Use Mortgage Points

Mortgage points can be used by borrowers to lower the interest rate on their mortgage loan and potentially save money on interest over the life of the loan. However, whether or not it makes sense to pay mortgage points depends on a variety of factors, including the borrower’s financial situation, the length of time they plan to stay in the home, and the current interest rate environment.

Here are a few situations where it may make sense to use mortgage points:

  • Long-term homeownership: If a borrower plans to stay in their home for a long period of time, paying mortgage points upfront to lower the interest rate could result in significant long-term savings.
  • High-interest rates: When interest rates are high, paying mortgage points may be a good strategy for reducing the interest rate and lowering monthly mortgage payments.
  • Large loan amounts: Borrowers with large loan amounts may benefit from paying mortgage points to reduce the interest rate and save money over the life of the loan.
  • Strong financial position: Borrowers with strong financial positions, including a high credit score and stable income, may be more likely to qualify for lower interest rates and may benefit from paying mortgage points to lower the rate even further.

The decision to pay mortgage points should be based on a careful analysis of your unique financial situation and goals and should take into account the costs and benefits of paying points compared to other options.

Should You Buy Mortgage Points?

Should You Buy Mortgage Points?When you take out a home loan, you might have the option to purchase mortgage points. Essentially, this is money that you pay to the lender upfront in exchange for getting a lower interest rate over the life of the loan. If you got a great deal on the house, you might have some extra cash on hand. Should you use that money to buy down the interest rate? This is a math problem that you need to calculate for yourself.

How To Do The Math

If you want to figure out if the mortgage points are worth it, you need to do some math. For example, you may need to pay an extra $3,000 at closing to qualify for a lower interest rate. You need to figure out how long it will take you to get that $3,000 back in terms of interest savings. So, if you save $30 per month on interest in exchange for that $3,000 upfront, it will take you 100 months to get that $3,000 back. After that, you will come out ahead. That is about eight years. So, if you plan on staying in the home for eight years (or more), then it might be worth it. If you sell the house before that point, or if you decide to refinance your home loan, then you will lose that money.

Other Factors To Consider

There are other factors to consider as well. For example, if you decide to buy discount points, it might be tax deductible, but this is something that you need to talk about with an accountant. Furthermore, if you are not getting the lowest interest rate because of a low credit score, you might want to buy discount points as well. Finally, if you want to reduce your monthly payment, mortgage points might be a smart way to get a lower payment.

Do not forget that you need to think about other options for that cash. There is a chance that you might need that cash for another bill, such as tuition or a car repair, so think carefully before buying discount points.