# Conventional Loan Calculator

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This conventional loan calculator estimates your monthly payment if you use a fixed-rate conventional mortgage to buy a house. For example, if you put 20% down on a \$280,000 house, with a conventional loan term of 30 years at a 4% interest, your estimated monthly principal and interest will be \$1,069.41 per month.

## What is a conventional loan?

A conventional loan is a mortgage that conforms to certain loan limits and underwriting guidelines. There are several types of conventional loans, but the most common is a fixed-rate mortgage that does not exceed \$485,350, the current conforming loan limit set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

## How we calculate your monthly conventional loan payment

To estimate your monthly conventional mortgage payment, the calculator considers the price of the home you want to buy, as well as the down payment you plan to make. It then takes into account the conventional loan’s term — how many years it will take you to pay it off if you never miss a monthly payment — and a fixed interest rate.

Not sure what your loan term or interest rate will be? Use the calculator’s suggestion of a 30-year fixed term and a 4% fixed interest rate so you can still see a general estimate of your monthly principal-and-interest payment. Try entering 15 or 20 years, too, to see how a shorter term would affect your payments.

Nerd Tip: Principal and interest are two of the main components of any mortgage. A loan’s principal is the total amount you have to pay back. Your principal balance will likely decrease monthly as you make payments. Loan interest is the additional amount you pay a lender in exchange for being able to borrow the money. That’s why it’s so important to get the best mortgage rate available.

## How to use the conventional mortgage calculator

Calculating your conventional loan payment before getting serious with a lender is a smart move. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the NerdWallet conventional loan calculator:

1. Enter the price of the home you want to buy or an estimate of how much house you can afford.

2. Enter the dollar amount of the down payment you will make. A 20% down payment will ensure that you don’t have to pay for mortgage insurance, but the minimum down payment for a conventional conforming mortgage is 3%.

3. Enter the number of years your repayment term will be. Conventional loans often have 15-, 20- or 30-year terms.

4. Enter your annual interest rate. You can use the default rate of 4% or check today’s conventional mortgage rates for a more accurate estimate.

After entering these required basic inputs, the calculator automatically updates with a summary of your results. You’ll be able to see a monthly overview as well as a payment summary. Filling out the three advanced input fields will give you a more accurate estimate. (If these terms are unfamiliar, you can read more about how they affect your mortgage payment in the next section.)

5. Enter the annual property taxes of the house you want to buy.

6. Enter the annual cost of homeowners insurance on your future property.

7. Enter the monthly cost of any HOA dues you may have to pay.

## Factors that affect your conventional loan payment

Principal and interest are the backbone of every mortgage payment, but other costs and factors affect the total monthly amount. These factors include:

### Loan term

Conventional loans with a shorter term usually have larger monthly payments because you’re agreeing to pay off the total loan amount in fewer years. Try entering a 15-year loan term into the calculator and comparing the payment estimate with that of a 30-year term for the same loan amount to see this in action.

### Private mortgage insurance

Conventional mortgage lenders typically require borrowers to pay private mortgage insurance, or PMI, when the down payment is less than 20%. If required, PMI premiums will be added to your monthly mortgage payment. Note: This conventional loan calculator doesn’t include possible PMI. You can use our PMI calculator to see how much private mortgage insurance might increase your monthly payment.

### Property taxes

Although property taxes are typically due annually, your lender may bill you in smaller amounts that are added to your monthly mortgage payment. These incremental payments are typically held in an escrow account, which your lender uses to pay the taxes on your behalf. Property tax rates are set by the local government and may vary based on your home’s location and value.

### Homeowners insurance

Lenders require this policy, sometimes called hazard insurance, to protect their investment in case something catastrophic happens to the home. Again, though policy premiums are usually paid yearly, lenders will typically allow you to pay a portion of the bill in advance every month.

### HOA fees

Homeowners association fees vary depending on the community and amenities provided and may be due monthly, quarterly or yearly.

More from NerdWallet:

Browse the top conventional mortgage lenders