Leveraging Mortgage Points to Secure a Lower Interest Rate


Buying a home is a significant financial decision that can have a long-term impact on your finances. As a potential homeowner, you want to secure the best terms for your mortgage to ensure that you can easily afford your monthly payments and pay off your loan within a reasonable timeframe. One factor that can greatly influence your mortgage terms is your interest rate. A lower interest rate means lower monthly payments and less money paid towards interest over the life of the loan. However, interest rates are not static, and they can vary from lender to lender. This is where leveraging mortgage points comes into play.

Mortgage points, also known as discount points, are fees paid directly to the lender at closing to reduce your interest rate. Each point is equal to 1% of the loan amount, and it can lower your interest rate by varying percentages, typically ranging from 0.25% to 0.50%. For example, on a $200,000 mortgage, one point would cost $2,000 and reduce the interest rate by 0.25%. While this may not seem like much, it can result in significant savings over the life of your loan.

How do mortgage points work?

Mortgage points work by prepaying some of the interest on your loan. The more points you purchase upfront, the more interest you will save over the life of your loan. However, it’s essential to note that mortgage points are optional and not required by lenders. They are merely an option for borrowers willing to pay a little extra upfront to secure a lower interest rate.

When should you consider leveraging mortgage points?

Leveraging mortgage points can be a smart move for borrowers who plan to stay in their homes for a long time. This is because it takes time to recoup the upfront cost of purchasing points. For example, if you pay $2,000 for one point to lower your interest rate by 0.25%, you would save $500 in interest per year. If your savings exceed the upfront cost within a few years, it may be worth it to purchase points. However, if you are planning to move within the next five years, purchasing points may not be the best option since you won’t have enough time to recoup the upfront cost.

It’s also crucial to consider your current financial situation before deciding to leverage mortgage points. If you have enough funds to pay for points upfront and still have enough leftover for emergencies or other important expenses, then purchasing points may be a feasible option. However, if you are stretching your budget to afford the home purchase, it may not be a wise financial decision to pay for points upfront.

Pros and cons of leveraging mortgage points


1. Lower interest rate– The most significant advantage of purchasing mortgage points is securing a lower interest rate, resulting in significant savings over the life of your loan.

2. Tax deductible- In most cases, mortgage points are tax-deductible, meaning you can deduct the cost of points from your taxable income, lowering your tax bill.

3. Improves cash flow– A lower interest rate means lower monthly mortgage payments, which can improve your cash flow and make it easier to manage your finances.


1. Requires upfront payment– Purchasing mortgage points means paying a significant sum of money upfront, which may not be feasible for everyone.

2. May not be worth it in the long run– If you end up selling your home or refinancing your mortgage before you can recoup the upfront cost, you may end up losing money.

3. Not applicable to everyone– Not all borrowers will benefit from purchasing mortgage points. It ultimately depends on individual financial situations and long-term plans.

How can you determine if leveraging mortgage points is worth it?

To determine if purchasing mortgage points is worth it, you can use a points calculator, which compares the total cost of a loan with points to one without points. It will show you how long it will take to recoup the upfront cost and whether it will result in overall savings.

Another way is to calculate your break-even point, which is the point at which your savings exceed the upfront cost. To calculate this, divide the upfront cost by the monthly savings. This will give you the number of months it will take to break even. If you plan to stay in your home longer than the break-even point, purchasing points may be worth it.

Final thoughts

Leveraging mortgage points can be a smart move for some borrowers, but it’s not for everyone. It’s essential to carefully consider your financial situation and long-term plans before deciding to purchase points. If you are unsure, consult with a financial advisor who can guide you on whether leveraging mortgage points is the right option for you. Remember, purchasing mortgage points is just one factor to consider when securing a lower interest rate. It’s also crucial to have a good credit score, a stable income, and a low debt-to-income ratio to qualify for the best mortgage rates. With the right approach and careful consideration, leveraging mortgage points can help you secure a lower interest rate and save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

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