What Are Points On A Mortgage? – A Comprehensive Guide

No more confusion folks, here is a comprehensive guide that will let you know what are points on a mortgage, and are they good enough?

Are you ready to make the biggest investment of your life? Yes, buying a home is not a small deal. You have to give in everything from your blood to sweat. Buying a home is undoubtedly one of the costliest purchases ever in anyone’s life. So, anything that can help save each penny is worth it.

It would not be wrong to say that buying a home is a once in a lifetime chance, especially when after years of hard work, you do not have enough savings and the only option you are left with is mortgage. When you are going for a mortgage consider getting points on the mortgage and decrease the interest rate.

For this, we need to understand what are points on a mortgage, right? The points on a mortgage are also known as discount points.These points assist in lowering your interest rate in exchange for an upfront fee. In simple terms, mortgage points are a kind of fee that any home buyer pays to the mortgage lender to decrease the interest rate on the specific loan package.

Mortgage points are a way to catch a lower interest rate and pay less on your loan over time. Whether you’re looking to buy or refinance, understanding the mortgage issues can give you a better idea of the relationship between closing costs and your interest rate.

For your assistance, we have collected every piece of information you ever wanted to know about mortgage points. Stick to it and keep reading as we are going to explain what is really important for you to know.

Use this comprehensive guide to understand how points are calculated and to evaluate whether buying mortgage points is right for you or not.

How Do These Points work?

After you apply for a mortgage, your lender will propose discount points or simply points to lower your overall interest rate. The point choices will come into view on official home transaction documents, like the loan estimates page or closing disclosure.

Many mortgage lenders let you buy from 1 to 3 saving points. To purchase these mortgage points, you will have to pay the lender a one-time fee as part of your closing cost.

One more thing, if 1% of the loan amount is too sharp, you can purchase the points in smaller amounts down to up to 0.125% and still see a decrease in your interest rate.

The Types of Mortgage Points

To be very specific, there are two different types of mortgage points. One is an origination point- a fee of the mortgage lender which is charged for the closing on a mortgage loan. These points do not let buyers save money on any interest.

The second type is discount points or just points. As this article is all about these points. So sit tight and keep on reading.

How Much A Point Affects Your Interest Rate?

Every point the borrower purchases costs around one percent of the total mortgage amount. It means a point on a five hundred thousand mortgage will cost you five thousand dollars.

Here is an example to understand this, assume you are going to buy a home for $400,000, for this you have to pay a twenty percent down payment and you are going to take a predictable thirty year fixed rate loan of $340,000 at an interest rate of 4.5 percent.

To decrease the interest rate, you will have to pay the lender one mortgage point at closing and suppose that the point is equal to one percent of your loan amount figure.

Your mortgage lender will lower the interest rate of your specific Escrow on a Mortgage after you buy the mortgage point, let’s say the lender decreases the interest rate a quarter of a percent, and your interest will become 4.25%. This decreases the monthly payment a little more however not significantly.

To make things easier, you can use the mortgage payment calculator to calculate the difference between the amount of interest with a genuine rate and the interest amount with a reduced rate.

Yes, we know it is a bit confusing but keep on reading it will make sense.

Here is another example, suppose without any mortgage point, you’ll have to pay an amount of $205,000 in interest. With the help of 1 mortgage point, the amount gets as low as $195,000. So, you saved about $10,000 which seems to be a lot.

But you already paid two thousand four hundred dollars for the mortgage point. This means that you actually saved $7,600. Remember this just an example, saving can vary on different figures.

That’s too much mathematics, we know. This is just to let you know that this is how it works. This whole procedure is called “buying down the rate” aka BDR.

Now here comes a real question “Is it worth buying points on a mortgage”? We will tell you the answer later in this paragraph but here comes another conflicting question which is “how much mortgage can I afford on my salary calculator” and this is a very frequently asked question.

Let us answer this question first:

To understand “how much mortgage can I afford on my salary calculator”, you need to comprehend a few more things like, what is your income, which monthly debts you are paying such as, vehicle loans, study loans, etc, plus the in-hand savings available for the down payment. When you are preparing to buy a home you need to make certain that how much exactly you can pay monthly for the mortgage.

Is it worth buying points on a mortgage

To find the answer to this question, you need to understand the break-even period/point:

What Is Break-Even Point/Period?

Break-even can be achieved when the interest you saved becomes equals to the money you have paid for the mortgage points. This is more like a balancing factor.

We need to open the math book again. We will break the break-even point with an example.

Let us suppose that the amount mortgage point is $2,500 and you have saved let’s $20 each month, we will divide 2,500 by 20 which is equal to 125 months, which is almost equal to ten years and some days. This is the break-even point, the simple is this, it’s not rocket science anymore. Now the answer to the question “Is it worth buying points on a mortgage” depends solely on how long you’ll keep the mortgage period.

Before going further, we need to understand one more thing that many folks ask is “how much mortgage can I get approved for”.

This is one of the most common questions when anyone is buying a new house. It’s a reality because buying a home is not a piece of cake. You need to put all the money you have and need a loan to be approved. Still, the lenders will try their best to loan you more amount. Because the bigger the loan, the more profitable it is for lenders. When someone finds out the estimates of interest he/she is going to pay over the lifespan of a loan, it is a shocking figure.

To figure out how much you can afford, you will need to consider a few factors.

The factors include:

  • What is your annual income?
  • What’s the interest rate you will earn?
  • What kind of mortgage team do you need?
  • How much is your monthly recurring debt?

How Much Rent Can I Afford?

There is another question that comes in everyone’s mind is “how much rent can I afford”

This question is related to mortgage points when you are planning for it.

How much you can afford to rent for your next home or how much you should spend? Many home searches start with a desire to relocate to a particular area or with the search for an apartment or house with a specific feature, such as a great view or outdoor space. But how many apartments can you afford?

Recent research shows that one in ten renters nationwide spend more than half of their income on rent and utilities. Finding an apartment is all about finding a good deal, which is why everyone is wondering, “How much should I spend on rent?”

The rule of thumb is that the monthly rent for your apartment excluding utilities, should not exceed 30% of your gross monthly income. So to help you budget efficiently for “how much rent can I afford”: Use the formulas in the rental calculator which is available online to make an effective plan and see how much to spend on rent for your next house or apartment.

Wondering if you should rent or buy? An online calculator can serve as a guide inspiration as a rent or purchase calculator. Reaches the rental ranges above using a basic formula that produces a lower rental range, a midrange, and a higher range. The choices in the calculator do not take into account other tenant debt. So, you can find the answer for how much rent can I afford. We will post a detailed article on this as well.

Moving on, we need to discuss an annual percentage rate, because it’s a topic related to the mortgage points.

Mortgage Points And Annual Percentage Rate

Buying points on your mortgage are giving interest upfront. Now the APR which is the annual percentage rate is a method to equate loans between the unrelated fusion of rates and points.

It involves the interest rate and the mortgage points you pay and also the fee of the lender for any extension in the credit.

Mortgage Points and An Adjustable-Rate Mortgage

An adjustable-rate mortgage and the mortgage points work like a point on a fixed-rate mortgage. But many adjustable-rate mortgages are at least for 5 or 7 years. It is wise to acknowledge the break-even period before going for the mortgage points.

If you are considering the adjustable-rate mortgage, we will recommend you a big ‘no’.

Because the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) gives the ability to lenders to adjust the mortgage rate at any time of their choice. This is awful because you unwantedly permit them to increase interest rates. This is not in the buyer’s favor from any point of view.

Are The Mortgage Point Tax-Deductible?

Mortgage points which are interest paid in advance, are tax deductible for up to 750,000 of mortgage debt. To qualify the load, you must meet several necessities, which are determined by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

You can meet a number of IRS requirements, but still, you cannot take deduction on all the points you paid for the same tax every year. You can only deduct the amount of interest that is applied as mortgage interest for that specific year.

Points are deducted over the life of the whole loan rather than all in one year. You should consult a tax advisor to make sure you qualify for the tax benefits if you have already purchased the mortgage discount points.

Some Pros And Cons Of Points On A Mortgage


Individuals buy points to lower their interest rate and save on the total cost of the loan they take for home financing.

Points can increase your closing costs by thousands of dollars, but the high upfront cost might be worth it if you stay home long enough to save money with a decreased interest rate. Paying an added $ 2,000 down payment could mean thousands of dollars in savings over the lifespan of your mortgage. However, if you plan to sell your home or refinance it before the break-even period, it may not be worth the effort.

Points can also be a way to get a lesser monthly fee. If your monthly mortgage payment puts too much pressure on your finances, mortgage points could be a way to save a bit of money. A lower interest rate equates to lower monthly payments.

You can also save on taxes if you decide to buy mortgage points. Since the mortgage interest is tax-deductible and the points are measured as prepaid mortgage interest, you may be able to deduct the cost of the points on your taxes. To comprehend the deductions you may be eligible for, review the IRS rules on mortgage point benefits and speak with a qualified tax professional who will guide you properly.


While lower monthly payments and potential savings over the life of your loan are clear profits of paying off mortgage points, there are a few reasons why it would be better not to pay for mortgage points.

First, paying one or more points fixes your money. If you make a down/advance payment of less than 20% of your home’s equity when you refinance, you will likely have to pay for mortgage insurance.

Ask a lender to compare the impact of a higher down payment to reduce or avoid mortgage coverage.

Also, the sample calculation does not take into account that you might have better uses for that money, such as paying off high-interest credit card debt, making funds, or saving for future home improvements.

You may also want to use this money to invest in assets other than real estate for diversification purposes, to build a college tuition fund, or to supplement your retirement account.

The money you pay to lower your interest rate may not provide the same benefits as other investment, but if you plan to stay home for the long term, a lower interest rate could be a benefit.

Wrap Up

While mortgage points may be appropriate for some buyers, they don’t make financial sense to everyone. To decide if you can save with mortgage discount points, you need to analyze the numbers. Sit down and assess your budget, down payment, and future plans before closing.

Determine your break-even periods and your probabilities of staying in the home to understand if the discount points will save you money in the long run when buying or refinancing a home.

Buying mortgage points can save you some money if you can afford it and you have a long term plan for living in the home you are going to purchase. Because the more you will stay, the more interest you will save.

For many, paying the points on a mortgage in addition to the other home purchases is like an undue financial burden. We will suggest that one should pay a bigger down payment rather than going for these options.

Sandra Johnson

Sandra Johnson

Sandra Johnson was a few years out of school and took a job as a life insurance agent in California, selling coverage door-to-door for Prudential. The experience taught her about the technical components of insurance and its benefits for individuals and society, as well as the misunderstandings people often have about insurance. She has over ten years’ experience in the insurance industry, having worked as both a Broker and Underwriter, assisting clients across a broad range of industries. At Insurance Noon, Sarah diligently gathers all the required information and curates up pieces to provide meaningful insurance solutions. Her personal value proposition is to demonstrate a genuine interest in always adding value for clients.Her determined approach to guiding clients has turned her into a platinum adviser to multiple insurers.

Insurance Noon is the world's leading source of insurance related content on the web, focusing on industry news, buying guides, reviews, and much more.