Calculating a potential mortgage payment is best accomplished using a free online mortgage calculator available from a financial institution, government agency or real estate specialist. Most methods, such as the Zillow calculator, include amounts for principle and interest, taxes and insurance.
Depending on how much in-depth information a home buyer wants, online mortgage calculators offer a variety of features. Most allow users to input the purchase price of the home, down payment, interest rate, length of the loan, home insurance and property taxes, according to Realtor.com
The Federal Housing Administration loan program offers one of the most comprehensive mortgage calculators, which allows potential homebuyers to not only calculate an estimated monthly mortgage payment, but also find out how much their monthly or annual pretax income must be in order to qualify for the loan. The calculator, available on the FHA website, also adds in the monthly private mortgage insurance amount that is assessed if the purchaser provides a low down payment and takes into account the buyer's debt-to-income ratio.
Real estate sites such as Zillow recommend lenders that give tentative quotes and loan pre-approval based on the information provided in the site's mortgage calculator. Some calculators go a step further by allowing homeowners to generate an estimated amortization schedule, as evidenced by tools available on the Bankrate website.