Mortgage Comparison: 15 Years vs. 30 Years

Determining which mortgage term is right for you can be a challenge. With a 15 year mortgage you will pay significantly less interest, but only if you can afford the higher monthly payment. Use this calculator to compare these two mortgage terms, and let us help you decide which term is better for you.

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Definitions

Mortgage amount
Original or expected balance for your mortgage.

Interest rate
Annual interest rate for your mortgage. Interest rates are generally lower for shorter term mortgages.

Marginal tax rate
This is your combined state and federal tax rate. This is used to calculate your potential income tax savings by deducting your mortgage interest. You can use the table below to assist you in estimating your Federal tax rate for 2011.

Filing Status and Income Tax Rates 2011
Tax rateMarried filing jointly
or qualified widow(er)
SingleHead of householdMarried filing separately
10% $0 - 17,000 $0 - 8,500 $0 - $12,150 $0 - 8,500
15% $17,000 - 69,000 $8,500 - 34,500 $12,150 - 46,250 $8,500 - 34,500
25% $69,000 - 139,350 $34,500 - 83,600 $46,250 - 119,400 $34,500 - 69,675
28% $139,350 - 212,300 $83,600 - 174,400 $119,400 - 193,350 $69,675 - 106,150
33% $212,300 - 379,150 $174,400 - 379,150 $193,350 - 379,150 $106,150 - 189,575
35% over $379,150 over $379,150 over $379,150 over $189,575
Source: http://www.irs.gov

Monthly payment
Monthly principal and interest payment (PI). Both 30 year and 15 year mortgages are shown.

Total payments
Total of all monthly payments over the full term of the mortgage. Both 30 year and 15 year mortgages are shown.

Total interest
Total of all interest paid over the full term of the mortgage. Both 30 year and 15 year mortgages are shown.