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15 vs 30 Year Mortgage Calculator

Your mortgage term — or how long you have to repay your loan — can directly influence your monthly costs and total costs over the life of the loan. Comparing 15 vs. 30-year mortgage terms can help you determine the right option. But remember, your term isn't the only factor that can affect the total cost of your loan or the affordability of your monthly payments. 

Use our calculator below to learn more about whether a 15 vs. 30-year mortgage is right for you. 

Is a 15 Year Mortgage or 30 Year Mortgage Better?

Neither a 15-year mortgage nor a 30-year mortgage is better than the other, but one might be better for you. Generally, a 15-year mortgage comes with higher monthly payments, but since you're repaying your mortgage loan faster, you'll pay less in overall costs since you only have to worry about interest for 15 years instead of 30. 

On the other hand, many people choose 30-year mortgages because they make monthly payments more affordable. However, in the long run, you're paying more over the life of the loan because you'll pay interest for twice as long compared to a 15-year mortgage. 

Of course, there are other factors to consider, such as the interest rate and how long you plan to live in the home, along with your current financial situation and long-term goals. 

Wondering how much you can afford to borrow for a home? Try our Home Borrowing Calculator to determine your potential loan amount. 

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15 vs. 30-Year Mortgage Calculator

Calculate a 15-year mortgage vs. a 30-year mortgage to find the right option for you based on the purchase price, down payment and other costs like taxes and insurance.

How We Can Help You Buy Your Next Home

Understanding home loans can be complicated, especially for first-time buyers. We offer mortgage programs designed to help you save on your next home purchase with benefits like 0% closing costs on select mortgages1, no application fees, no prepayment penalty fees and financing up to 97% of the home value. 

We also specialize in other home loan products like cash-out options to help you tap into the equity in your home and mortgage consolidation programs for first and second mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). 

Ready to buy or refinance a home? Contact us today, or visit one of our local branches.

1 California Credit Union will pay your non-recurring closing costs including but not limited to: lender’s title insurance, title services, appraisal, tax service, credit report, flood certification, and recording fees up to an amount of $10,000 or the amount charged by the service providers, whichever is less. If you pay this loan off earlier than the 36-month anniversary date of the loan closing, you will be obligated to pay California Credit Union a prorated amount of the closing costs. This amount will be added to any loan payoff amount requested prior to the 36-month anniversary date. This does not include prepaid interest, homeowner’s insurance, initial escrow deposit, owner’s title insurance, or city and/or county transfer tax. Other restrictions may apply. Offer good for a limited time only and is valid on 5/5, 7/6 and 10/6 ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) on owner-occupied purchases or refinances. All loans subject to approval. Rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t guess whether a 15 or 30-year mortgage is the better option based on your financial situation and the property you want to purchase. You can use our calculator by providing us with a few essential pieces of information about the loans and property. 

Home Info

  • Purchase price: The purchase price is the final selling price of the home. 
  • Down payment: The down payment amount is the amount required by your lender, which can be anywhere from 3.5 to 20 percent or more depending on the loan type.

Shorter Term

  • Term (years): Shorter term loans include 10 and 15- year mortgages, with 15-year mortgages being the second most popular option after 30-year mortgages. 
  • Interest rate: Interest rates depend on your credit score and current market conditions.

Longer Term

  • Term (years): 30-year mortgages are the most common option because they make monthly payments more affordable. 
  • Interest rate: Interest rates tend to be higher for 30-year mortgages. They’re considered riskier for the lender because the borrower has more time to repay them.

Taxes and Insurance

  • Property tax (yearly): Property taxes are calculated by your state government by multiplying the value of the home by the county’s property tax rate. If you don’t have an exact number, you can use your county’s average property tax costs.
  • Homeowners insurance (yearly): Homeowners insurance may or may not be included in your mortgage payment.
  • Monthly HOA fee: If applicable, you can find the HOA for a property in the real estate listing or use the average HOA fee for the location where you want to purchase a property.

A mortgage’s term directly influences the total cost of the mortgage and the monthly mortgage payments you’ll make to repay the loan. A shorter loan term results in higher monthly payments because you have less time to repay the loan. However, 15-year mortgages typically come with lower interest rates than 30-year mortgages because they’re considered less risky for the lender. 

With a 15-year mortgage, you’ll pay less in interest for the same loan amount, which can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. However, since you’ll have higher monthly payments, you’ll have less spending money throughout the month. 

Building a better budget can help you determine whether you can afford the higher monthly mortgage payments that come with a 15-year mortgage. If those payments are too high, you may feel more comfortable with a 30-year mortgage, which can significantly lower your monthly payments. However, because you’re paying interest for 30 years instead of 15, you’ll end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan. 

Of course, terms aren’t the only factors that affect how much your mortgage will cost you. For instance, closing costs are the same for 15- and 30-year mortgages but can vary significantly depending on the loan type. 

If you want to understand the true cost of a mortgage, you can use our Closing Costs Calculator or talk to one of our financial specialists. One of the many benefits of a credit union is that you have access to free and low-cost resources like our financial counseling services, where you can connect with a financial advisor for advice on home loans, investments and other money matters. 

A 15-year mortgage is ideal for borrowers who want to own their homes and repay their debt faster. The pros of a 15-year remortgage include the following: 

  • Faster route to homeownership: With a 15-year mortgage and regular monthly payments, you can own your home quickly. In just 15 short years, you won’t have to worry about repaying a lender. 
  • Money savings: Short-term loans save you thousands of dollars because you’ll pay less in interest with a lower interest rate and shorter repayment terms. 
  • Build equity faster: When you pay off your mortgage faster, you also build equity faster, which can be beneficial if you need to take out a loan against the property. 

15-year mortgage pros and cons

Unfortunately, no mortgage loan is perfect. The potential cons of a 15-year mortgage include the following:

  • Higher monthly payments: Higher monthly payments can make a mortgage unaffordable for some people because they’re typically hundreds of dollars more every month.
  • May be harder to qualify for: 15-year mortgages require higher monthly payments, so they can be harder to qualify for since lenders must do their due diligence to ensure borrowers can repay their loans.

A 30-year mortgage is the most popular term because it’s affordable. Its pros include the following:

  • Lower monthly payments: Lower monthly payments make homeownership more affordable, giving you more spending money throughout the month. 
  • Potential for a larger home: You can typically buy a larger house with a 30-year mortgage because you can borrow higher loan amounts. 
  • Easier to qualify for: Since 30-year mortgages come with lower monthly payments, they may be easier to qualify for. 

30-year mortgage pros and cons

Again, no loan terms are perfect or ideal for every type of borrower. The potential cons of a 30-year mortgage are:

  • Higher interest payments: 30-year mortgages come with higher interest rates because they’re a higher risk for the lender. This means spending more on interest over the life of the loan. 
  • More costly: In general, 30-year mortgages are more expensive because you’re paying interest for 30 years instead of 15, and your interest rate is higher.
  • Slow equity growth: Since you’re taking longer to pay off your home loan, it takes longer to build equity.

Have more questions?

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