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This article first appeared on the Credible blog.
Mortgage loans come with a variety of costs — not just a monthly payment. On a mortgage as large as $400,000, these costs may be significant, so it’s important to weigh them carefully before applying for the loan.
This will ensure you can comfortably afford the mortgage — both now and in the long haul. With Credible, you can easily compare mortgage rates from multiple lenders and get pre-approved in minutes.
Monthly payments for a $400,000 mortgage
On a $400,000 mortgage with an annual percentage rate (APR) of 3%, your monthly payment would be $1,686 for a 30-year loan and $2,762 for a 15-year one.
Keep in mind, though: Monthly mortgage payments don’t just go toward lowering your loan balance, but also toward a number of other expenses, too — things like taxes and insurance, for example.
Here’s a look at what generally goes into a mortgage payment:
Principal: This is a portion of your payment that goes straight toward whittling down your balance. It’s typically a very small share of your payment at the start of your loan.
Interest: This covers the cost of borrowing your loan. It’s usually the largest share of your payment for the first few years of your loan.
Escrow costs: Most lenders require you use an escrow account to stow away cash for property taxes and homeowners insurance. You’ll pay money into this account each month as part of your mortgage payment.
Here’s a quick look at what the monthly principal and interest payment would be for a $400,000 mortgage with varying rates:
Where to get a $400,000 mortgage
Shopping around for your mortgage is critical if you want to get the lowest interest rate. To do this, you’ll either need to apply to several mortgage lenders directly.
Once you have a few loan estimates in hand, you can compare the costs of each lender one by one. Make sure to look at the APR, origination fee, mortgage points, and the total cash you’ll need to bring to closing.
From there, you can choose the best offer, proceed with the lender’s full application, and provide any financial documentation they might require.
Credible can ease the process and allow you to receive and compare multiple prequalified rates faster, entirely online and in just a few minutes.
What to consider before applying for a $400,000 mortgage
Before you take out a loan as large as $400,000 — or any mortgage loan, really — you’ll need to understand the total costs of the loan.
You should know what your closing costs and monthly payment will be, how much you’ll need for a down payment, and the total interest you’ll pay over time.
Total interest paid on a $400,000 mortgage
The total interest you’ll pay will depend on both your APR and the length of your loan. Longer loan terms and higher APRs will result in more interest costs in the long run.
On a 15-year, $400,000 mortgage loan with a 3% APR, for example, you’d pay $97,218 in total interest by the end of your loan term.
On a 30-year loan with the same details, your interest costs would jump to $207,109 — a shocking $110,000 more.
You can use a mortgage calculator to see how much interest you’ll pay, as well as what your home will cost you every month.
How to get a $400,000 mortgage
When filling your mortgage application out, you’ll want to have some financial details on hand, including your income, estimated credit score, homebuying budget, and info regarding your assets and savings.
Applying for your $400,000 mortgage doesn’t have to be complicated — just follow these simple steps:
Estimate your budget. Figure out how much home you can afford first. Use Credible’s mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payment at different loan amounts, and make sure you factor in insurance, taxes, HOA dues, maintenance, and other costs too. This can help guide you toward the right price range to shop in.
Pull your credit report. Your credit score and your overall credit history will heavily impact your loan offers. Pull these early on to gauge where you stand. If you see any late payments or accounts in collections, work on settling these before applying for your loan.
Get pre-approved for your loan. You’ll always want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before beginning your home search. Not only can a pre-approval give you a good idea of what you may be able to borrow from a lender, but it can also give sellers more confidence in your offers.
Compare rates and loan offers. Once you’ve gotten pre-approved, you can compare those letters — and the loan estimates they come with — and choose the best lender for your home purchase. Be sure to look carefully at the numbers, including the interest rate, APR, closing costs, and any fees.
Find a home and make an offer. When you’ve found that dream home, put in an offer, and negotiate the details. If the seller accepts, you can proceed with your chosen mortgage lender’s full application.
Fill out your mortgage application. Complete your mortgage application, and submit any documentation the lender requires. This usually includes things like tax returns, W-2s, pay stubs, and more.
Wait for approval. Your loan application will be processed and underwritten. During underwriting, your lender is looking to verify your financial information and make sure you can repay the loan.
Get ready for closing. Once your loan nears approval, you’ll be scheduled a closing date. To prepare, you’ll want to find a homeowners insurance policy, review your final closing disclosures, and arrange your payment, which is usually done via wire transfer or cashier’s check.
Close on your loan. You’ll eventually attend your closing appointment, sign your paperwork, and pay your down payment and closing costs. Once you’re finished, you’ll get your keys and can move into the home.
Be sure to comparison shop to find the best mortgage rate available to you. Credible makes it easy to compare mortgage rates and get pre-approved in minutes.
About the author: Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate authority. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Fox Business, The Motley Fool, Bankrate, The Balance, and more.