Mortgage Points Explained

By :
Sonia Smith

Mortgage points are charges paid in order to obtain a mortgage for a home. Every point is a fee that is based on one percent of the entire loan amount. The discount points and the origination points are the two types of mortgage points. Keep in mind that lenders vary in charging for these two types of points.
Discount points are paid towards the lender during closing to lower the interest of the mortgage rate. The points are the same as a prepaid interest of a loan that a borrower will take out for a new home. Each point is equal to one percent of the total amount of loan. The total points that a borrower can choose depends on how much he or she wants to lower the rate of interest. Either the buyer or the seller pays for the discount points or they could split the fee in half.
Origination points are used to pay for the expenses of obtaining a loan. These points are less popular compared to discount points because they do not offer the borrower valuable benefits and they are not tax deductible. It would be better for a borrower to look for a loan that does not require getting these points. Remember that not all loans require points paid. Some mortgages do not require points while others do. The borrower has to decide whether he or she wants to pay the discount points and a lender will determine if origination points are needed so the borrower can obtain a loan.
Several factors will help the lender decide whether to charge points. A borrower’s credit score, which reflects his or her credit worthiness, is a major factor in determining if points are needed. The credit score and other factors reveal the riskiness of a loan for the bank to establish not only if points are required but how many points are assessed. If the lender determines that points are required, these should be properly disclosed to the borrower. In general, costs and points explanation is included in the good faith estimate that the lender provides to the borrower. The borrower will then determine how much is the loan amount and the cost of the points and choose a lender that provides the best deal.
Regardless if paying points make sense depends greatly on how long you intend to keep the loan. A mortgage calculator can help you decide. When using a mortgage calculator, you have to calculate how much the monthly payment at the rate of interest is charged if you are not going to pay mortgage points. Next is to calculate the amount of monthly payment at the lower rate if you will pay for mortgage points. Deduct the lower payment from the higher payment to determine the amount saved each month. Divide the amount charged for the points during closing with the amount saved each month. The result is the number of months you have to keep the loan in order to break even on paying points.

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