304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Taking out a mortgage to finance a home purchase is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in life. Before applying for a home loan, it’s crucial to understand how much house you can afford and what your estimated monthly mortgage payments will be.
A mortgage calculator is a useful online tool that allows you to estimate your monthly repayments based on variables like the amount of money you can borrow, interest rate, loan term, and deposit. Using a mortgage calculator gives you a general idea of what you can afford and allows you to compare different mortgage rates.
However, you may be wondering – does using an online mortgage calculator negatively impact your credit score in any way? Will the act of putting your financial information into these calculators mean multiple hard inquiries on your credit report, therefore hurting your score?
Using a mortgage calculator does not affect your credit score. Mortgage calculators are online tools that estimate monthly repayments based on user inputs such as loan amount, interest rate, and loan term. They do not initiate any form of credit check or inquiry, hence they have no impact on your credit score.
In this article, we’ll explain exactly why and how you can utilize these tools to estimate payments and shop rates, all without impacting that important three-digit number.
First, it helps to understand what a mortgage calculator is and isn’t doing behind the scenes. These online tools simply take your inputs – things like desired loan amount, estimated interest rate, loan term, and down payment – and use those to estimate what your monthly principal and interest payments would be.
The calculator doesn’t actually check your credit report or submit any kind of application on your behalf. It is not a pre-approval or formal mortgage application. The calculator is just a mathematical formula using the numbers you input. There is no hard inquiry or soft inquiry done during this process.
Since the calculator does not pull your credit report or initiate any kind of credit check, using one has no impact whatsoever on your current credit score. You can use as many mortgage calculators across as many lender websites as you want without any negative effects on your score.
Simply using a mortgage calculator does not affect your credit score in any way. Running the numbers to get estimated payments does not show up anywhere in your credit history and does not count as any type of credit check.
This makes mortgage calculators a safe and useful tool for benchmarking mortgage affordability and payments as you shop different interest rates and loan terms.
So why even bother with a mortgage calculator if it doesn’t actually pre-approve you for a loan? While not a replacement for formally applying, mortgage calculators serve several important purposes:
Get an affordability baseline – See how much house you can realistically pay for based on income, debts, and down payment.
Estimate monthly payments – Calculate principal, interest, taxes and insurance to see if payments fit your budget.
Comparison shop mortgage rates – Use the same loan details across multiple bank calculators to see which has the lowest payments.
Model different loan terms – See how slightly lower rates but longer terms impact monthly costs.
Forecast long-term costs – Use amortization schedules to estimate total interest paid over full loan term.
While it doesn’t affect your credit, a mortgage calculator is a vital financial planning tool to understand the mortgage you can afford before formally applying.
If you want to check your actual credit score prior to mortgage shopping, you have a few options that will not negatively impact your score:
While mortgage calculators themselves won’t affect your credit, it’s smart to monitor your score with soft pulls prior to any mortgage application. Aim for at least a 740 FICO score or higher for the best rates.
When it actually comes time to apply for a mortgage, you’ll want to be cautious of things that can lower your credit score. Some habits to avoid:
Missed or late payments – Payment history is the biggest factor in your score. Never miss credit card or loan payments.
High credit utilization – Using more than 30% of your total available credit will lower your score.
Closing old accounts – Keeping long open accounts boosts your credit history length. Don’t close old credit cards.
Applying for new credit – Hard inquiries from new credit applications can lower your score temporarily.
Errors on credit report – Incorrect information on your credit report can drastically hurt your score if not fixed.
Avoiding these negative factors in the months before your mortgage application will help ensure you get the best rates.
If your credit score is on the lower end, take steps to boost it higher before mortgage shopping:
Taking positive steps can significantly improve your credit score over time. Start early before a mortgage application.
The US Mortgage Calculator is considered one of the most accurate online mortgage calculators. It factors in property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP), HOA fees, maintenance fees, and utility costs. It also includes both FHA and DTI calculators for a comprehensive assessment of potential mortgage plans.
Here are some other well-known options:
Always be sure to use the same loan details when comparing payment estimates across lender calculators. Rates displayed may not be real quotes.
In addition to mortgage calculators, other useful tools for mortgage affordability include:
Mortgage payment budget calculator – Add up all current debts to see how much room you have for a mortgage payment.
Mortgage insurance calculator – Estimate how much PMI will add to your monthly payment.
Closing costs calculator – Factor in upfront fees like origination, appraisal and points to your total costs.
Amortization calculator – See how much interest you’ll pay over the full loan term with amortization schedules.
Property tax estimator – Account for property taxes in your monthly housing budget. Check your county assessor site.
Using multiple tools to budget for a mortgage from all angles ensures you get the full financial picture.
You may be wondering – if a single use of a mortgage calculator doesn’t hurt your credit, could using many of them impact you negatively? The answer is still no.
There is no limit to the number of mortgage calculators you can use across multiple websites to estimate payments and loan costs. Even if you used a dozen different calculators to compare rates, it would have absolutely no effect on your credit reports or scores.
The key point to remember is that a mortgage calculator simply uses your anonymous inputs to provide mathematical estimates. There is no mechanism for these tools to actually submit credit checks or applications on your behalf. Use them as often as needed to find your optimal loan terms, without worry that it will show up in your credit history.
A mortgage calculator is a handy preliminary tool that allows you to estimate monthly payments and preview affordability based on anonymous inputs. Using these calculators will not affect your credit score or history in any way.
Feel free to shop and compare mortgage rates across multiple lender calculators to find your best option, without fear of hurting that all-important credit score number. While not a replacement for pre-approval, mortgage calculators help set expectations for your house hunting budget.
Just be sure to monitor your actual credit reports and scores using soft pull options prior to formally applying for mortgage pre-approvals. Maintaining excellent credit and limiting hard inquiries will ensure you get the optimal mortgage rate for your home purchase.