2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING MORTGAGE APPROVAL CALCULATORS


Finding the Best Mortgage Approval Calculators

If you are finally at the point in your life where you can start considering a home purchase, congrats! Not everyone can make the dream of owning a home a reality, but the journey is certainly worth it. There aren’t many things better in life than filling your home with family, friends, and loved ones.

Unfortunately, buying a house is a complicated process. You have to find a realtor, find a house, then get the house inspected and appraised. Next, you must work with an attorney and your bank or lender to secure a mortgage.

You can already see why people become so overwhelmed with the process. The hardest part might be the first step, where you determine how much of a house you can afford. How do you make that decision, though?

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Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Mortgage Prequalification Calculators

The rule of thumb is that no more than 28% of your income should go to your mortgage. Seems simple, right? After taking into account mortgage insurance, down payments, and various forms of taxes, the process gets much more complicated.

A mortgage preapproval calculator is a tool that can make this step much easier. A mortgage approval calculator will take into consideration your income, percent of down payment, taxes, and other variables to help you determine what you can afford.

The trick is finding a mortgage preapproval calculator that works best for you. There are so many options for mortgage approval calculators out there, so you need to make sure you find one that meets your needs.

You might consider many things while looking for a mortgage loan qualification calculator, such as:

  • Do you need a mortgage calculator with down payment input?
  • What is the best affordability mortgage calculator?
  • Do you need to use a house affordability calculator before contacting a realtor?
  • Where can you find a good mortgage preapproval calculator?

If these questions are floating around in your mind, you are not alone! In our 2017 guide to finding the best mortgage prequalification calculator, we aim to answer the questions above. We will walk you through the benefits of a mortgage loan approval calculator, what to look for in a mortgage approval calculator, and what are some good mortgage preapproval calculators.

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Advisory HQ’s List of Top 6 Mortgage Preapproval Calculators 

The list below is sorted alphabetically (click any of the calculator names below to go directly to the detailed review sections of that calculator):


Best Mortgage Loan Qualification Calculators | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Mortgage Preapproval Calculators

Ease of Use (1–5)

Inputs

Outputs

Bankrate

5

13

Available Mortgage Payment & Affordable Home Amount

Discover

4

6

Mortgage Payment, Home Cost, Loan Amount

FHA

3

9

Maximum Mortgage, Estimated Taxes & Insurance, Affordable Home Amount

Lending Tree

4

5

Affordable Mortgage Payment & Affordable Home Amount

Realtor

4

7

Affordable Mortgage Payment & Affordable Home Amount

Zillow

4

3

Affordable Mortgage Payment & Affordable Home Amount

Comparison Table: The Best Affordability Mortgage Calculator | Above list is sorted alphabetically



Detailed Overview: Why You Need a Preapproval Mortgage Calculator

Figuring out how much of a mortgage you can afford is the first step in the home buying process. Unfortunately, this is not always an easy step.

It might seem easy, just trying to add a mortgage amount into your monthly budget and seeing how things stack up. However, there are so many factors that you need to take into consideration:

  • Down payment amount
  • School taxes
  • Property taxes
  • Mortgage length
  • Mortgage rate

This list confirms that calculating what you can afford when buying a home takes much more into consideration. With so many varying factors, using a mortgage prequalification calculator is a good idea.

A house affordability calculator does more than calculate what you can afford based on your monthly allowance. It also makes it easier to change variables and analyze different outputs. With a mortgage preapproval calculator, you can quickly see how changing a mortgage rate from 3.25% to 4.5% makes a difference.


Detailed Overview: What to Look for in a Mortgage Loan Approval Calculator

You will come across many different options when looking for a mortgage loan approval calculator. Many banks and lending agencies offer them, as well as realtor sites, and financial calculators.

It is important to find a mortgage loan qualification calculator that meets your specific needs. Some are more complicated that others, and some offer better results. When you are looking for a preapproval mortgage calculator, there are many variables to take into consideration:

  • User interface
  • Complexity of calculator
  • Number of inputs
  • Type of information generated

It is important to select an affordability mortgage calculator that is easy to use. You don’t want to waste time struggling to input unclear variables or generate an output that isn’t accurate because the mortgage preapproval calculator was difficult to figure out. Make sure that the inputs are clearly defined and that the user interface is easy to work with.

You also want to be sure that the mortgage approval calculator you choose has most, if not all, of the factors mentioned in the section above. A mortgage calculator with down payment is essential, because changing your down payment will change your monthly mortgage cost.

Finally, be sure that the mortgage preapproval calculators you are looking at generate the right type of information.

mortgage approval calculators

Image source: Cottar Realtors

Do you want to know the total home price? Do you want to know what monthly mortgage you can afford? Do you want a full report, charts and graphs, or simply a single number?

There are important questions to ask when analyzing mortgage approval calculators. Determine what type of results you want generated and choose your mortgage prequalification calculator accordingly.



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Detailed Review—Top-Ranking Mortgage Approval Calculators

Below, please find the detailed review of each house affordability calculator on our list of best preapproval mortgage calculators. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these mortgage calculators with down payment to score so high in our selection ranking.

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Bankrate Review


Of the numerous mortgage approval calculators out there, Bankrate makes our list of six. The Bankrate mortgage prequalification calculator is very simple to use but also has a level of complexity that yields strong results.

Like most mortgage preapproval calculators, you will enter a few different categories of information.

The gross monthly income section requires your wages, investments/dividends, alimony, and any other income. Next, the mortgage prequalification calculator has you enter in some new home information, such as down payment available, loan term, interest rate, insurance, and taxes. Finally, like some other mortgage preapproval calculators, there is a spot to enter any monthly expenses like car payments and other debts.

Finally, you hit calculate, and the mortgage prequalification calculator from Bankrate generates two numbers. It will show what monthly mortgage you can afford, and what that relates to in terms of a home price.

Bottom Line

Though the Bankrate mortgage approval calculator does not have any fancy outputs, it is still a solid tool. It takes into account a variety of important variables and generates two helpful numbers to aid you in your home search.



Discover Review


Discover offers a nice mortgage prequalification calculator. If you want to know how much of a home you can afford, then Discover is a good tool to use.

There are fewer inputs than those that you find with the Bankrate mortgage prequalification calculator, which can be both good and bad. Instead of breaking out individual components, Discover allows you to group together household income and annual homeownership expenses. Some people might like that it is grouped together, while others find Bankrate’s calculator easier since it breaks out individual components.

After inputting the numbers above, as well as available cash for down payment, loan terms, and interest rate, the mortgage prequalification calculator is ready to do its work. By hitting calculate, like most mortgage approval calculators, Discover will calculate the total home value you can afford, as well as what your monthly payment would be. It will also show how much of a loan you will take out against the down payment you entered.

Bottom Line

Like most mortgage approval calculators, the Discover calculator is a great asset. Though it appears a bit more simplistic up front, you might appreciate the way that other mortgage preapproval calculators break their inputs down further. Again, this is up to your individual preferences.

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FHA Review


If you are looking for a sound mortgage prequalification calculator, then FHA is a good option.

Different from the other mortgage preapproval calculators out there, this one has slider bars instead of number inputs. You will slide bars for salary/income, other income, taxes, insurance, car payment, credit card payments, loan terms, and interest rate.

One thing that this mortgage prequalification calculator does not account for is the down payment that you have available. Though this is not necessary information to include, it can change the mortgage amount that you qualify for.

However, some people will enjoy sliding the bars on this mortgage prequalification calculator because it already sets a range. Also, these sliding bars make it easy to see how slight changes in inputs can affect the amounts.

Bottom Line

Overall, this mortgage prequalification calculator is unique. With its sliding bar feature, this could be a good calculator to use if you like to see how changes in inputs affect the outcome.




Lending Tree Review


The well-known lender Lending Tree offers a mortgage prequalification calculator that might be a good choice for you.

The Lending Tree tool is better than other mortgage approval calculators if you are just getting started in your search. If you are unsure of many variables, the Lending Tree mortgage prequalification calculator makes assumptions on loan type, mortgage rate, property taxes, and insurance based on historical data from the zip code you enter.

That means that you only need to enter your annual income, down payment amount, other debt, and credit score to have your numbers generated.

Another great feature is that the Lending Tree mortgage prequalification calculator allows you to choose how conservative or aggressive you would like to be in your debt-to-income ratio. If you don’t mind cutting down on other expenses, you can be more aggressive and purchase a more expensive home.

Bottom Line

If you are looking to do a quick-and-dirty home affordability calculation, the Lending Tree mortgage prequalification calculator can help you do just that. It also saves you time by pulling in historical data instead of making you populate every field.

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Realtor Review


Realtor.com also has a nice mortgage loan approval calculator. It is easy to use with easy-to-understand results.

It takes only 7 inputs to generate results with this mortgage prequalification calculator, and you can input most numerically or by sliding a bar. The bar slide is nice because it allows you to make slight adjustments to see how the end result changes. If you have a promotion coming up or are planning on taking a new job, you can see how varying salaries will affect how much of a home you can afford.

The inputs are similar to other mortgage preapproval calculators, ranging from income and monthly debts to type of mortgage and down payment amount.

The end result is the amount of house that you can afford, as well as what that equates to in terms of a mortgage.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Realtor mortgage calculator is a good tool. It is simple to use, and you can also choose whether to be conservative, moderate, or aggressive with this mortgage prequalification calculator, which is a nice feature.

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Zillow Review


Zillow, the popular website for those looking up homes for sale, has a mortgage prequalification calculator.

This mortgage prequalification calculator is extremely easy to use, with only three inputs off the bat. You will input annual income, monthly debts, and down payment. Then the mortgage prequalification calculator will calculate the amount of home you can afford and the monthly mortgage payment.

This nice thing about Zillow’s mortgage prequalification calculator is that you can get as easy or as complex as you would like. Zillow pulls in assumptions, and unless you choose to alter them, all you will need to input is the three main variables. However, if you would like more accurate, personalized results, you can edit advanced variables.

Bottom Line

Zillow is a great mortgage prequalification calculator for those who want to be able to get as detailed or vague as they wish. It is a great calculator for quick-and-dirty calculations, but you can also use it when you want more personalized results.


Conclusion—Top 6 Best Mortgage Preapproval Calculators

The home buying process is an exciting yet frustrating experience. There are ups and downs, and you need to be prepared for many different curve balls. One thing you can control is knowing that you can afford the price range of houses that you look at.

There is nothing more disheartening than falling in love with a house that you cannot afford, which is why mortgage preapproval calculators are a good tool to use. A mortgage prequalification calculator will give you a budget based on your financial inputs. This can save you time and money and spare you from the pain of falling in love with a house that is outside your price range.

mortgage pre approval calculators

Image source: Patch

With so many mortgage approval calculators, it is often difficult to choose just one. Each mortgage preapproval calculator has its own unique set of features and user interface. However, choosing an appropriate mortgage approval calculator is an important step in determining your budget for a new home.

That is why you need to consider the following inputs when choosing a mortgage preapproval calculator:

  • Down payment amount
  • School taxes
  • Property taxes
  • Mortgage length
  • Mortgage rate

It is important to choose a mortgage loan approval calculator that has the following inputs. Each of these plays a role in determining what exactly you can afford in a home.

Our list of mortgage approval calculators aims to provide you with six different mortgage preapproval calculators that can meet your needs. Be sure that the mortgage prequalification calculator you choose has the features you need.



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Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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