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Mortgage Calculators: Find Out How Much You Can Afford and How Much You Can Save

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Discover’s easy-to-use online mortgage calculators can help simplify the home loan process.  Variable inputs enable you to calculate how much house you can afford,your estimated monthly mortgage payments,and how much you can reduce your payment by refinancing, among other important financial considerations.

Next to each calculator you’ll find current rates for 30 year fixed, 15 year fixed and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages for guidance.   Dropdown menus and helpful explanations and guidance features are there to walk you through the inputs.

Check out our five unique calculators to determine how much and what type of financing may be right for you.

English: An icon from the Crystal icon theme. ...

English: An icon from the Crystal icon theme. Nederlands: Een icoontje van het Crystal icon thema (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three Home Buying Calculators

Affordability Calculator– Since your home is one of the largest investments you will ever make, begin by finding out how much house you can afford.First tell us about your income and debt obligations: enter your annual total household income, monthly expenditures (credit card payments, automobile payments, other loan payments, and other expenses such as electricity and phone).  Then enter your new loan assumptions: selected Discover home loan product, annual interest rate, available cash for a down payment, and other annual home ownership expenses such as real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, homeowner’s association or condo fees, and maintenance.  Our automated tool will calculate the estimated home value that you can afford, the maximum loan size for which you would be eligible, and your estimated monthly mortgage payment.

Mortgage Payment Calculator – If you’ve already found the home you want to buy, this tool will tell you what you’ll need to pay each month to finance your home. Input the purchase price of your home, available cash for a down payment (20% will be calculated for you), your selected Discover Home Loan product, annual interest rate, and other annual homeownership expenses.  The results will show you the components of your monthly payment: monthly principal (the repayment of a portion of the amount borrowed), interest (the cost of borrowing the outstanding amount of these funds for one month), and other monthly expenses (including property taxes, homeowner’s insurance premiums, and maintenance costs, but not including mortgage insurance expenses which you may have to pay if your downpayment is less than 20%).  The total is your estimated monthly payment.

Rent vs Buy Calculator – If you’re not sure whether renting or buying is your best option, this calculator will help determine the best financial option for you.  Enter your monthly rent, monthly rental insurance, and estimated annual rent increase based on inflation or the increased value of the rental space (typically 2 to 3% per year on average).  Then compare it to the home you wish to buy.  Enter the purchase price, estimated annual appreciation rate of the home’s value, available cash for a down payment (20% will be calculated for you), selected Discover loan product, interest rate, closing fees and discount points, homeowner expenses and selling costs.  Then, input your marginal tax bracket and the yearly interest rate you might expect to earn on your savings, which is used to calculate the opportunity cost of paying closing costs and ongoing principal payments with cash versus investing this money.  For the number of years you expect to stay in your residence, the results will show you the total cost of renting versus the total cost of home ownership, and how much you would save based on the comparison.

Two Refinance Calculators

Mortgage Refinance Calculator – If you already have a mortgage, discover how much you can reduce your monthly payment by refinancing the terms.  First, tell us about your current loan including the loan balance, interest rate, and remaining term of the loan.  Second, tell us about your refinancing loan including the selected Discover loan product, interest rate, closing fees and discount points, and the number of years you expect to stay in your home.  The results will show a comparison of monthly payments for your current loan versus your refinance package.  You will see the amount of the monthly payment reduction from refinancing your loan along with the number of months it will take to recoup your closing costs.

Cash Out Refinance Calculator – With three easy inputs, learn how much cash you can take out based on the equity you’ve built in your home.This amount is based on your existing loan amount(s) and the estimated current value of your home, and assumes you can borrow up to 75% of the value of your home. There are numerous pluses and minus of doing a cash-out refinancing. You can often borrow at an attractive rate to finance home improvements, education, or other expenses for less than you’d pay with a different type of loan. Remember that whatever you borrow at some point has to be paid back. It’s important to consider upfront closing costs on your new loan, and the time it will take you to recoup those costs.

When refinancing, remember that if the new loan is at a lower rate than the previous loan, you may save money if you continue making the same or higher payments. If you also lower your payments, you may pay higher total interest even though your rate is lower, because the debt is extended over a longer period.

Now that you have determined how much you can afford or how much you can save, our dedicated mortgage bankers are ready to help with the next steps.  Call 1-888-866-1212 or go to Discover Home Loans today to buy or refinance your home with a name you can trust.

Factors that Determine Credit Scores

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To effectively manage your credit scores you need to know and understand that factors that are considered in calculating these scores. Without this knowledge you will be operating blindly and you could easily find your credit score suffering simply due to lack of knowledge on these factors. There are five factors on how to improve your credit score and we shall look at them in order of weighting since some of them have a greater influence than other.

Repayment History
This is the most critical factor in the calculation of your credit scores and constitutes 35% of your score. You need to ensure that you make timely payments and should you fall behind it is critical that you quickly get you payments back on track. Make a commitment to meet your financial obligations or it could negatively impact your scores.

Outstanding Balance
This next factor contributes 30% of the total credit score. To earn this 30% you must make sure that your credit cards are not almost or already maxed out. Leave some amount of reasonable balance on your cards. Having a higher amount of credit available to you gives you more marks while having the bare minimum balance shows you may be having financial problems and you may lose good track of your financial planning goals.

Length of Credit History
This is where you get the next 15% from. Here there is not much you can do except give it time. It is however a fair approach since those with greater financial experience stand a better chance of handling credit well.

Types of Credit
Having a variety of credit lines accounts for 10% of your total score. You should however be careful about rushing to sign up for many cards or accounts since you may loose points for having too many applications in a short span of time.

New Credit
The final consideration in calculating your credit score is new credit which accounts for the final 10% of your scores. All applications that you submit and get approval for new lines of credit earn you points. However when you apply and get rejected you loose points and it is better to try and work with the existing lines of credit and only apply for new ones when you can afford and when you know your chances of approval are high.

Having the above information will help you in financial planning and budgeting as you will know where to lay emphasis and which are the more important considerations when making your financial decisions.