What Is Mortgage Amortization?

Mortgage amortization is the process by which monthly payments gradually pay off the loan’s principal and interest.

Updated
Profile photo of Holden Lewis
Written by Holden Lewis
Senior Writer/Spokesperson
Profile photo of Michelle Blackford
Reviewed by Michelle Blackford
Profile photo of Tim Manni
Edited by Tim Manni
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
what-is-mortgage-amortization

Some or all of the mortgage lenders featured on our site are advertising partners of NerdWallet, but this does not influence our evaluations, lender star ratings or the order in which lenders are listed on the page. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners.

What is mortgage amortization?

"Amortization" is a word for the way a mortgage is repaid: Your monthly mortgage payment stays the same from month to month (not counting taxes and insurance), but the percentage of that payment going to the principal versus the interest changes over time.

In the first years, most of each payment goes toward interest and only a little pays off the debt. That ratio gradually changes, and eventually it flips. In the later years of the mortgage, most of the payment pays off principal, and a smaller proportion goes toward interest. That's amortization in a nutshell.

Amortization is more than a concept. It's a tool for understanding how much you still owe in any given month, how much interest you've paid so far and how much interest you'll pay over the life of the loan.

NerdWallet's mortgage amortization calculator gives you this information and more.

What is a mortgage amortization calculator for?

Using a mortgage amortization calculator, you can:

  • Find out how much total interest you would pay over the life of a loan.

  • Determine the remaining loan balance in any given month.

  • Figure out how much of each month's payment goes toward principal (debt reduction) and how much goes toward interest.

  • Compare the total cost of a 30-year loan versus a mortgage with a shorter term, such as 15 years.

Mortgage loans from our partners

NBKC - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on NBKC

NBKC

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
NBKC - PURCHASE logo

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
0%

Check Rate

on NBKC

Rocket Mortgage - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Rocket Mortgage - PURCHASE logo

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
580

Min. down payment 
3.5%

Check Rate

on Rocket Mortgage

Better - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Better

Better

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Better - PURCHASE logo

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
3%

Check Rate

on Better

Tomo - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Tomo

Tomo

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Tomo - PURCHASE logo

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
580

Min. down payment 

3%

Check Rate

on Tomo

Guaranteed Rate - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Guaranteed Rate - PURCHASE logo

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
3%

Check Rate

on Guaranteed Rate