When you own a home, it is more important than ever to stay on top of your finances. Once you have a mortgage, you will be making payments for 10 to 30 years. By sticking to a budget and managing your debt, you will be able to pay off your home on schedule and avoid penalties such as late fees and damage to your credit report.
There are countless tools that can help you create a budget, forecast your debt repayment and even refinance your home. For example, you can install apps to help you track your spending. Other tools come in the form of online calculators, which can be used to get a better idea of your debt payoff options. When you own a home, you will also want to stay aware of your credit score, as it can affect your eligibility for refinancing your mortgage in the future. Learn more about the tools that can help you manage home-financing below.
Realtor.com Mortgage Calculator
There are many mortgage calculators online that you can use when creating a budget or looking ahead to the future. The Realtor.com calculator is a great example. To use this calculator, you simply have to enter the following information:
- The zip code where you live
- The price of your home
- Your down payment amount
- The type of loan you have
- 10 to 30-year fixed rate
- 30-year fixed Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan
- 7/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan
- 5/1 ARM loan
- Your interest rate
- Your property taxes
- Home insurance costs
- Condo and homeowner’s association fees, if any
This particular tool is geared towards prospective homebuyers who want to want to see what their monthly mortgage will be. However, it is also a helpful tool if you are currently a homeowner and want to see how much you will pay over the course of owning your house. It is especially helpful to use a mortgage calculator online if your property taxes, home insurance costs or other factors change. These details can affect how much you end up paying for your house over time.
Bankrate Debt Payoff Calculator
Having a lot of debt is oftentimes just part of being a homeowner. In order to pay off your debt more quickly, you may consider consolidating your loans. Accelerating your debt payoff does not reduce the total amount you owe, but it does mean you pay less interest. Over a number of years, this can make a significant impact on the total amount of money you pay your lender. To use a debt payoff calculator, such as the one from Bankrate, you will need to enter information on every source of debt you have. This includes credit card balances, car loans, your mortgage and more. Once you have entered all of the necessary information, you will see projections for what your new payments could be. Note that this is simply a tool you can use for planning ahead. Consolidating debt or choosing an accelerated debt repayment plan with your lender is a big decision that you should consider carefully.
Fannie Mae Refinancing Calculator
As a homeowner, you have probably heard about the option of refinancing your home. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it is simply the process of taking out a new mortgage. Homeowners take this step for a number of reasons. You may choose to refinance your home in order to:
- Reduce your monthly payments.
- Get a better interest rate.
- Change from one lender to another.
- Borrow money from your mortgage in order to cover a large purchase.
Choosing to refinance your home is a major decision. In order to help you make the right choice, there are several different online refinancing calculators you can use. The Fannie Mae calculator is one such option. To use this tool, you will need to enter information such as your initial mortgage balance, the estimated value of your home and information on your monthly payments and fees. Next, select the new financing term you are interested in. When all of your information is entered, you will get an estimate of your new monthly payments. Note that any numbers you receive from a calculator such as this should be used for general information only. Contact your lender if you are seriously interested in refinancing your home.
VA Loan Management
If you have a home loan through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are several resources that can help you. Loan management services are available in the event you need financial advice or you are experiencing a financial hardship. The VA can counsel you through financial issues by initiating a repayment plan, modifying your existing loan or repurchasing your loan so you can get a new one with lower payments. To learn more about utilizing one of these options, contact the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).
There are countless personal finance and budgeting apps out there. One of the most popular ones is Mint. This app allows you to integrate your bank accounts, create a budget and plan ahead for bills. You can also check your credit score on a regular basis within the app. While Mint is not specifically meant for home finance, it is a great tool to use in order to stay on top of your budget overall. Falling behind on a mortgage payment or your property taxes can have serious consequences once you are a homeowner. Personal finance apps such as this one can help you avoid missed payments.
The primary function of Credit Karma is to check your credit score. Once you create an account, which is required to use this service, you can also perform other tasks. Some of the home finance-related features on this site allow you to:
- Compare home loan options.
- Check your credit score and get credit alerts.
- Learn about refinancing your home.
- Calculate debt repayment amounts.
- Learn about interest rate trends.
One of the most popular apps for managing your home finances is HomeZada. This app keeps track of your property taxes, mortgage and other home finance-related expenses. Additionally, it allows you to stay on top of home maintenance such as servicing your appliances. HomeZada also has a feature that allows you to plan and budget for renovation projects. These functions can help you manage your finances while also keeping your home in great condition. This helps when you eventually want to put your house up for sale. While the basic features of the app are free, there are many premium options that you can only access when you pay for an account.