What are Mortgage Points and How Do They Work

The mortgage remains the easiest way to afford a house while spreading out a convenient payment plan for it.

With so many inquiries around Mortgage and how best to go about it, we have decided to make a detailed analysis on Mortgage especially for those asking What are Mortgage points and how do they work? 

We shall also spread our analysis to accommodate the different points and how to obtain and use them.

A sound understanding of the mortgage market can help one make a decisive and informed decision on home loans and draft out a payment method that will not hurt his bank account. 

If you would love to change your payment plans, read: What is A Line of Credit? Overview and How It Works

What is a Mortgage? 

Mortgage basically refers to the loan taken out to purchase a landed property usually a home and other forms of real estate. The loan is provided by the bank or an individual which enables you to purchase a home. 

What are Mortgage points and How do they Work?

Mortgage points are basically fees paid by the borrower to the lender for a reduced interest rate. It is commonly referred to as ‘buying down the rate’.

Basically, what it means is that you deposit some interest upfront in exchange for a reduced interest rate over the course of your loan. Each point is equal to I per cent of the total amount. 

E.g If you took out a $200,000 mortgage loan, 1 per cent of it would be 0.01X200,00 = 2000. 2000 there is your mortgage point and that is the money deposited upfront for a reduced interest rate if you want to work with these points. 

How does Mortgage Point work? 

Assuming you take out a $200,000 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.125 and your lender offers you an interest rate of 3.75%. If you purchase 1.75 points. At $200,000 loan, each point is equal (1.75 X $200,000) = $3500.  

If you decide not to buy the discount points, your interest rate will remain at 4.125%. 30 years stay without paying down the loan early will cost an approximate interest of $348,947.70 

Nonetheless, if you opt for 1.75 points, you will pay only $333,443.38 over the course of the loan. This means that the points saved you $15,504.32 over the course of the 30 years loan. 

Are Mortgage Points Worth It? 

Financial analysts and mortgage experts might differ on adopting a mortgage point method. However, getting points for a reduced mortgage payment will be advisable if you opted for a fixed-rate mortgage or plan on owning the house even after the break-even period. 

The break-even period refers to the length of time it takes to recover the cost of buying the points. 

Before arriving at the decision of whether to go for these points or not, a good number of things should be considered. 

You have to check if you have the cash to buy points, closing costs, down payments, including reserves. The length of time you intend to keep the home is equally essential. 

Also, keep in mind the motivation behind the purchase of the home. 

Some people purchase homes for investment purposes, where they seek to see a near-future change increase in valuation. If that is the case, if your home triples in value, it is most likely that other homes in your area also rose in value. 

Therefore, if you decide to sell you are likely to get an amount that is nearly enough to buy a new home unless you intend to move entirely out of the city. 

On the other hand, if you decide to stay up and take up the full 20 years you might have paid more than triple the base cost and in the end, you will not profit well enough to call it a good deal. 

Consult with your loan officer while also taking a closer look at your credit score. Relate with your loan officer who will do the necessary analysis to know if you are in good shape to buy these points. 

Additionally, don’t jump on any loan offer you see. There are so many mortgage options and lenders, peruse through them and find the ones with terms that fit into your long-term plan. Mortgage points would be worth it if done with the necessary analysis in place. 

Mortgage points can help a lot but only if you can afford it without reducing your down payment below 20% or having to apply for Mortgage Insurance. 

Additional Things to Consider Before Buying a Mortgage Point 

In addition to what we have detailed above, below are the additional things to consider before buying a mortgage point. 

Lender and Market Place 

The lenders and marketplace play a major role in determining your rate reduction. That is why it remains imperative to ensure your break-even point occurs well before the expiration of the fixed rate. 


It is detrimental to downplay the importance of tax while buying these points. Consult with a tax professional to access the effect the mortgage discounts could have on your tax history. You don’t want to compile additional financial stress while trying to relieve yourself of one. 

The Numbers Count 

Before deciding on making a 20 percent down payment or buying these points. Ensure you have done the numerical analysis; a reduced down payment could lead to one paying for private mortgage insurance. 

Private mortgage insurance will eliminate the benefit of purchasing points at a lower interest rate.  

The Benefits of Mortgage Points

Nobody will opt for a Mortgage Point if they have no clue on how beneficial it would be to them. 

Lower Mortgage Payment: Points can get you a reduced monthly payment. With points, you can pay a lower amount and reduce the strain of mortgage payments on your budget. 

Save Money on Taxes: Following the fact that mortgage interest is tax-deductible and points are considered prepaid mortgage interest, you can remove the cost of the point on taxes without breaking any law. Speak with a tax expert on how to go about this. 

Savings: On a general scale, people buy these points to lower their interest rate and save on the overall cost.  

When is the ideal time to buy Mortgage Points?

It might be ideal to buy a mortgage point if you are in any of the following situations. 

You intend to stay in your home for a long time: It makes total sense to buy these points if you intend to stay in your house for a very long time. If it’s verified the mortgage will remain the same during the long run, a mortgage point will go a long way in helping you save more money by reducing the overall cost. 

You have discovered when the break-even point is: If you do your math and discover you won’t move or refinance before the breakeven point, then buying a mortgage point is a good idea. Your analysis will help you figure out when the upfront payment will be eclipsed by the lower mortgage payment.

Reasons not to Buy Mortgage Points 

Similar to the ideal time to buy Mortgage points, there are equally times when it is not advisable to buy mortgage points. 

You have no intention of staying for a long time: If you are among the group of people that move around a lot, buying a mortgage point is almost useless. Discount points work in a way that benefits only static families and homeowners. It takes quite a long time for the money saved on interest to override the amount
you spent to buy the points. 

You intend to make an extra payment on your mortgage plan: Mortage points benefit mostly those who intend to pay a home loan for a long time. But if you have the money to pay it off quickly, mortgage points will not do much to help you save money. 

Your down payment bears a good part of the burden: Based on basic mortgage analysis, a higher down payment will mean a reduced interest rate. Mortgage discount points don’t come with this type of benefit. It is normally better to deposit an extra chunk as a down payment than to do points. 

You have no money to buy mortgage points: No matter how enticing mortgage point offers appear, it is not advisable to buy it if you don’t have money for it. You won’t save anything if you go ahead with it. However, you can save on interest by paying extra on your principal when you run into extra cash. 

The analysis above is expert analysis. They and many more make up to answer the question of, what are mortgage points and how do they work?

If you want to get a mortgage, you need all the advice you can get. In here, you discover: Effective Tips To help you when applying for a mortgage 

How to Calculate Break-even Point 

Among many things to analyze on and calculate based on Mortgage are the break-even points. This helps to determine when you are most likely to start recouping the among spent on buying mortgage points.  

Upfront Mortgage Point Costs / Your monthly payment savings = Number of
months to reach your breakeven point. 

Below is a pictorial representation of how to calculate your break-even point. 

What are Mortgage Origination Points

In addition to mortgage points, mortgage origination points are the fees paid to lenders in the process of origination, review, and processing of the loan. Origination points generally cost 1 percent of the total loan amount. 

For instance, if the lender charges 1.5 origination points on a $250,000 mortgage, the borrower would pay $4,125. 

Origination points work differently from discount points as they do not directly reduce the interest rate. Some lenders allow borrowers to pay a reduced closing fee. But compensate for that with higher interest rates or other fees. 


Purchasing a house is most likely the highest purchase many of us will do. Therefore, it is
normal to seek a reduced loan payment while purchasing a home. 

Some savvy homebuyers buy mortgage points, also called “discount points,” to lower the amount of interest they pay.

In addition to negotiating a favourable price and shopping for the best mortgage rates, they also shop for the best mortgage rates. 

There are mortgage points and prepaid interest options that make financial sense for some borrowers, but not everyone. 

To find out whether you can save with discount points, we recommend assessing your budget, down payment, loan terms, and upcoming payments. 

Understanding whether discount points will save you money when refinancing or buying a home ultimately depends on the breakeven point and the likelihood that you will remain
in that home.  

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

As points are paid at closing, they increase your closing costs. Paying points lowers the interest rate you get compared to the interest rate you would have gotten with a zero-point loan from the same lender.

You can choose to purchase discount points after you apply for a mortgage to reduce your interest rate overall. The details of those points will appear on official mortgage documents such as the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure.

The more points a buyer pays upfront, the lower their interest rate will be. Typically, the more points they pay, the lower their interest rate.

You just need to divide the total loan by 100 because one mortgage point has the same value as one percent of the loan. For example, a $300,000 loan has 100 $3,000 points. Each point must be purchased at closing in addition to the standard closing costs.



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