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Taking out a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage — or refinancing to one — can be a smart move. First off, you'll probably get a lower interest rate. That, combined with a shorter loan term, means you'll pay significantly less interest over the life of your loan than you would with longer-term mortgages.
And a 15-year mortgage aligns much better with the length of time homeowners typically stay in one house — just eight years, according to a 2019 report from Attom Data Solutions.
There are a lot of advantages to a 15-year home loan, but it has a higher payment than mortgages with a longer term, so you want to be sure the monthly bill is going to fit within your budget. That's where a 15-year fixed mortgage payment calculator can help.
Run the numbers and see if a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage might be right for you.
A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is a home loan structured to pay off the amount owed over 15 years. A fixed rate means your interest rate will never change over the life of the loan.
There are just four required steps to calculate your 15-year mortgage payment, but the more information you provide, the more accurate the result. Here are the steps to take with the NerdWallet 15-year mortgage calculator:
The results will instantly appear below the calculator inputs, in the "summary results," showing a monthly payment breakdown as well as even more payment and interest details.
One important note: If you are making a down payment of less than 20%, it's likely you'll be paying mortgage insurance. That's one variable that the 15-year calculator doesn't account for. Check out our to see how private mortgage insurance might affect your payment.
To get an even better view of what you'll qualify for, click on the "Get personalized mortgage rates" green box just above the summary results. Once you nail down a custom rate, you can use it to refine the interest rate used to determine your monthly payment in the 15-year mortgage calculator.
The results can be enhanced with just a little more information. Your 15-year mortgage calculation will be most accurate when you supply:
A 15-year mortgage can make sense in almost all homebuying instances, especially if you’re confident that your income won’t decrease. There really is little downside — other than the higher payment. You'll get a lower interest rate right off the bat, save a ton on interest because your loan term is half that of a 30-year loan, and gain equity in your home faster.
And that lower interest rate is locked in for the life of the loan with a fixed-rate mortgage. Your rate and monthly principal payment won't change.
NerdWallet constantly monitors mortgage rates, and you can search the rates for lenders serving your area, too. To get the most accurate quote, and check .