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    What to Ask about Home Loan Calculators

    Home loan calculators can help people estimate their monthly mortgage payments when in the process of shopping for homes. Oftentimes, it's the amount of monthly payments that people will look to when deciding which homes are most affordable. Online home loan calculators offered by various banks, credit unions and financial websites let people get rough estimates for monthly mortgage payments without needing to offer up any personal information. These calculators are easy to use and can help people understand how loan duration, down payments and other factors influence their mortgages. Want to learn more? Ask the following questions when search for today's top home loan calculators.

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    Is this truly a calculator or is it a hidden ad?
    A home loan calculator should genuinely behave like a calculator; as in you plug in data and get a result. Be wary of calculators that seem to be mining you for information that could be used to solicit you with loan offers.
    Are there fields to calculate advanced information?
    Some calculators allow you to provide optional information such as property tax rates and loan types in order to get more accurate estimates about home mortgage loans. If you have that information handy, then you should look for a calculator that offers these fields.
    Does this home loan calculator account for home insurance premiums?
    Most home loan calculators don't factor in home insurance premiums, but some do. Be sure to clarify this though when getting estimates on mortgages. You can always contact insurance companies for home insurance estimates and add in estimated monthly premiums yourself.
    Is this mortgage calculator for fixed loans?
    Many mortgage calculators for fixed loans can help you estimate your payments and payoff information for other types of loans, too. This can be helpful if you're also thinking about getting a new car.
    Is this home loan calculator offered by a reputable company?
    The best home loan calculators are offered by established banks, credit unions and other financial organizations. Don't trust home mortgage calculators offered by unknown websites.
    How easy is it to chance values in this online mortgage calculator?
    Some online home loan calculators feature sliders that allow users to quickly and easily change information in their calculations. This is a great way to adjust down payments and other factors to see how that affects mortgage loan options.
    Is military service a factor in this home loan calculation?
    If you're a member of the US armed services -- or if your spouse served -- then look for an online mortgage calculator that lets you factor this in. The free online calculator at Realtor.com lets you select whether you have military service.
    Does this calculator provide today's mortgage interest rates?
    Some online home loan calculators automatically provide current mortgage rates, which are essential to calculating monthly mortgage payments and total loan amounts. Bankrate's calculator is a great example of one that provides this information.