# How to Calculate the Points on a Loan

Check out this quick and easy guide on how to calculate the points on a loan. We’ll go over the different types of points and how to calculate them so that you can make the best decision for your needs.

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## The Basics of Points

There are a few different things that go into the calculation of points on a loan. The first is the interest rate. The second is the length of the loan, and the third is the amount of the loan.

### What are points?

Points are a one-time fee charged by the lender at closing. Each point is equal to 1% of the loan amount. For example, if you’re borrowing \$200,000 and you’re being charged two points, that would be a \$4,000 fee due at closing.

The purpose of points is to buy down the interest rate. The more points you pay, the lower the interest rate on your loan will be. In general, each point will lower your interest rate by 0.25%. So if you’re paying two points on a \$200,000 loan with a 4% interest rate, your new interest rate will be 3.75%.

While paying points to buy down your interest rate can save you money in the long run, it does require you to have cash on hand at closing. If you don’t have the cash to pay for points, you can choose not to buy them and just accept a higher interest rate.

### How do points work?

Points are a type of prepaid interest that you pay when you take out a loan in order to get a lower interest rate. Each point costs 1 percent of your total loan amount. For example, on a \$100,000 loan, one point would cost you \$1,000.

If you’re taking out a mortgage, you can choose to pay points in order to get a lower interest rate on your loan. The trade-off is that you have to pay more upfront in the form of points. One point is equal to 1 percent of your loan amount, so if you’re taking out a \$100,000 mortgage, one point would cost \$1,000.

The benefit of paying points is that it can lower your interest rate and monthly payments. The more points you pay, the lower your interest rate will be. You should compare the cost of points with the savings you’ll get from a lower interest rate and monthly payments when deciding whether or not it’s worth it for you to pay points.

## What information do you need?

There are a few different factors that go into calculating the points on a loan, and you’ll need to know all of them in order to get an accurate estimate. The four main pieces of information that you’ll need are:

1. The loan amount
2. The interest rate
3. The term of the loan
4. The current market value

## How to calculate the points

Paying points on a loan is a way to reduce the interest rate, which in turn lowers the monthly payment. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount and is paid at closing. For example, on a \$300,000 loan, one point would cost \$3,000.

The general rule of thumb is that if you plan on staying in the home for longer than five years, it makes sense to pay points to get a lower interest rate. The longer you stay in the home and make payments, the more you’ll save in interest by paying points.

If you’re planning on selling the home or refinancing before you’ve reached the break-even point, then paying points doesn’t make sense because you won’t have time to recoup the costs.

## What is the Point of Paying Points?

Paying points when you take out a loan is paying extra interest upfront in order to get a lower interest rate over the life of the loan. This is also called buying down the rate. A point is 1% of the loan amount. So, if you’re taking out a \$100,000 loan, one point would be \$1,000.

### To lower the interest rate

The lender will lower the interest rate on your loan in exchange for you paying “points.” A point is equal to 1% of the loan amount. So, if you’re taking out a \$250,000 mortgage, one point equals \$2,500.

Paying points makes sense if you plan to stay in your home long enough to recoup the upfront costs. In general, it will take about three to five years to break even on the points you paid.

You can also use points to buy down your interest rate for the life of the loan. Each point will lower your rate by 0.25%. So, if you’re paying two points on a \$250,000 mortgage with a 30-year term, your interest rate will be 4% instead of 4.5%.

### To get a lower monthly payment

The purpose of paying points on a loan is to get a lower monthly payment. Each point you pay lowers your interest rate by 0.25%. For example, if you have a \$100,000 loan with an interest rate of 5%, and you pay one point, your interest rate will be 4.75%.

Paying points can be helpful if you plan on staying in your home for a long time. The longer you stay in your home, the more money you will save on interest over the life of the loan.

If you are planning on selling your home within a few years, paying points may not be worth it. This is because it will take several years to recoup the money you paid for the points.

### To pay off the loan faster

Paying points on a loan is one way to reduce the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan. One point equals 1% of your loan amount. For example, if you’re taking out a \$200,000 mortgage and pay two points, you’re paying \$4,000 just to get the loan. This might not seem like a smart move at first glance, but paying points could save you money in the long run if you plan to stay in your home for several years.

Over time, the interest you pay on a loan with points will be lower than the interest on a loan without points. That’s because when you pay points, you’re effectively pre-paying some of the interest on your loan. The more points you pay, the lower your interest rate will be and the less interest you’ll pay over time.

If you’re not sure whether paying points makes sense for your situation, ask your lender to calculate the breakeven point — that’s the number of months it will take for the monthly savings in interest to equal the cost of paying points up front.