Use These Mortgage Charts to Easily Compare Rates

Use These Mortgage Charts to Easily Compare Rates

Now that mortgage rates have gone absolutely haywire, per the latest data from Freddie Mac, I decided it would be prudent (and helpful) to create a “mortgage rate chart” that displays the difference in monthly mortgage payment across a variety of interest rates and loan amounts.

This can make it quick and easy to compare rate quotes from mortgage lenders, or to see the impact of a daily rate change in no time at all. After all, rate updates can happen frequently.

So if you were quoted a rate of 3.5% on your 30-year fixed mortgage two weeks ago, but have now been told your home loan rate is closer to 4%, you can see what the difference in monthly payment might be, depending on your loan amount.

This is pretty important when purchasing real estate or seeking out a mortgage refinance, as a significant jump in monthly mortgage payment could mean the difference between a loan approval and a flat out denial. Or you might be stuck buying less house. Or perhaps driving until you qualify!

30-Year Mortgage Rates Chart

Mortgage Payment Chart

Today's Rates

Click to enlarge

  • Use the 30-year mortgage rates chart
  • To quickly ballpark P&I payments
  • At different rates and loan amounts
  • Handy for estimates, but don’t forget the taxes and insurance!

My first mortgage rate chart highlights monthly payments at different rates for 30-year mortgages, with loan amounts ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.

I went with a bottom of 3.5%, seeing that mortgage interest rates were around that level about a year ago, and probably won’t return there (EVER). Well, maybe they will…one can hope.

Sure, there is the possibility that fixed rates could drift back in that direction. And regardless, one might be able to buy their rate down to around that price, assuming they want an even lower rate on their home mortgage.

For the high-end, I set interest rates at 6%, which is where 30-year fixed mortgage rates were for many years leading up to the mortgage crisis. With any luck, they won’t return there anytime soon…though in time they could potentially surpass those levels. Eek!

Yep, they could rise even higher over time depending on what transpires in the mortgage market, but hopefully home loan rates won’t climb back to the double-digits last seen in February 1990.

That fear aside, this mortgage payment chart should give you a quick idea of the difference in monthly payments across a range of mortgage rates and loan amounts, which should save some time fooling around with a mortgage calculator.

It should also make your job easier when you compare rates from different lenders. Or when you compare your current mortgage rate to what’s being offered today.

For the record, you can use the 30-year chart above for adjustable-rate mortgages too because they’re based on the same 30-year loan term. They just don’t offer fixed rates beyond the initial teaser rate offered.

So if you’re looking at a 5/1 ARM, you can still use this chart, just know that your interest rate will adjust after those first five years are up, and the chart will no longer do you any good. That is, unless you’re looking to refinance your mortgage to a new low rate to avoid the interest rate adjustment.

Tip: Use the charts to quickly determine the impact of a higher or lower credit score on rates. If you’re told you can get a rate of 4% with a 760 credit score or a rate of 4.5% with a 660 score, you’ll know how much marginal or bad credit can really cost.

 

15-Year Mortgage Rates Chart

15 Year Fixed Mortgage Payment Chart

Click to enlarge

  • The 15-year mortgage rates chart
  • Can illustrate the massive cost difference
  • But also the capability to make larger payments at certain loan amounts
  • To save a ton of money on interest while paying off your home loan in half the time

Now let’s take a look at my mortgage rates chart for 15-year fixed mortgages, which are also quite popular.  I used a floor of 3% and a max rate of 5.50%.  Again, rates can and probably will climb higher, just hopefully not anytime soon.

For the record, you can obtain mortgage rates at every eighth of a percent, so it’s also possible to get a rate of 3.625%, 3.875%, 4.125%, 4.375%, and so on. But for the sake of simplicity, I spaced it every quarter of a percent except for the jump from 5% to 5.5%.

These charts are really just a quick reference guide to get ballpark monthly mortgage payment amounts if you’re just beginning to dip your toes in the real estate pool.

If you’re getting serious about home buying or looking to refinance an existing mortgage, whip out a loan calculator to get the exact PITI payment.

Some Interesting Takeaways from the Mortgage Rate Charts

  • Monthly payment differences are larger at higher rates
  • Higher mortgage rates may be worse than larger loan amounts
  • Small loan amounts less affected by rate movement

The lower the interest rate, the smaller the difference in monthly payment. As rates move higher, the difference in payment becomes more substantial. Something to consider if you’re looking to pay mortgage discount points.

If you look at the 30-year mortgage rate chart, the monthly payment difference on a $500,000 loan amount between a rate of 3.5% and 3.75% is $70.36, compared to a difference of $77.93 for a rate of 5.25% vs. 5.5%.

Additionally, higher mortgage rates can be more damaging than larger loan amounts. Again using the 30-year mortgage rates chart, the payment on a $400,000 loan amount at 3.50% is actually cheaper than the payment on a $300,000 loan at 6%.

So you can see where an individual who purchases a home while current mortgage rates are super low can actually enjoy a lower mortgage payment than someone who buys when home prices are lower.

However, for someone purchasing a really expensive home, upward interest rate movement will hurt them more than someone purchasing a cheaper home. Sure, it’s somewhat relative, but it can be a one-two punch for the individual already stretched buying the luxury home.

To illustrate, the difference between a rate of 5% and 5.25% for loan amounts of $300,000 and $900,000 is about $46 vs. $138, respectively.

Lastly, note that my mortgage payment graphs only list the principal and interest portion of the loan payment.  You may also be subject to paying mortgage insurance and/or impounds each month. Property taxes and homeowner’s insurance are also NOT included.

You’ll probably look at this chart and say, “Hey, I can get a much bigger mortgage than I thought.”  But beware, once all the other costs are factored in, your DTI ratio will probably come under attack, so tread cautiously.

And don’t forget all the maintenance and utilities that go into homeownership. Once you hire a gardener, pool guy, and run your A/C and/or heater nonstop, the costs might spiral out of control.

I referenced this problem in another post that focused on if mortgage calculators were accurate, in which I found that housing payments are often greatly underestimated.

So you might want to drop your loan amount by $100,000 if you think you can just get by, as those other costs will certainly play a role.

Oh, and if you want to nerd out a little bit (a lot), learn how mortgages are calculated using real math, not some fancy calculator that does it all for you.

Or just use my mortgage payment calculator and enjoy the simplicity of it all. The choice is yours.


13 Comments

  1. Cindy September 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm -

    Nifty charts Colin! Thanks!

  2. Zed March 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm -

    Super charts! You just saved me a lot of time with these, thanks!

  3. Colin Robertson March 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm -

    Good suggestion Samuel…I’ll see what I can do.

  4. Samuel March 9, 2014 at 4:03 pm -

    What about a payment chart for a 10-year amortization now that 10-year fixed mortgages are popular.

  5. Vivien March 4, 2014 at 6:35 am -

    This is a good chart for my clients in the $100k-$200k loan amount range…shows payments shouldn’t make or break their decision to buy, not much more expensive even at higher rates.

  6. Colin Robertson February 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm -

    Indeed, in terms of payment, small rate increases aren’t that devastating, but total interest paid over the life of the loan can be more meaningful, which is why you should shop around to secure the lowest rate possible.

  7. Pilar February 4, 2014 at 9:55 am -

    This shows the payment difference for every .25% change in rate, and it’s still not very substantial. Imagine how little an .125% matters to the monthly payment.

    On the other side of the coin, even an eighth point can change the total amount of interest paid considerably over 30 years.

  8. Richie January 31, 2014 at 9:42 am -

    I think these charts would make people think twice about paying to lower their rate, seeing that the difference in many cases is negligible. Neat!

  9. Vernon January 31, 2014 at 4:15 am -

    This is interesting…for many people with loan amounts of $200,000 or less, a 2-3% swing in interest rates isn’t even that impactful. It’s only a couple hundred bucks a month at worst, certainly not a compelling enough reason not to buy a home.

  10. Opal December 20, 2013 at 3:23 am -

    Very handy, I’ve shared these with all my clients to give them a good idea of affordability based on rate. Thanks!

  11. Seth July 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm -

    Cool charts. This might make people think twice about refinancing. Some of the differences in monthly payment are a lot less than people probably expect, especially if their loan amount isn’t very big.

  12. Maria June 27, 2013 at 9:40 am -

    These are great tables…quick and easy way to compare rates. Thanks!

  13. Karen Highland June 21, 2013 at 11:22 am -

    Great Post, the charts are really helpful. I’ve created a post on one of my blogs, linked here. Thanks for the great info.

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