Leveraging Mortgage Points for Long-Term Savings



Mortgages are an integral part of the home buying process for most individuals. It allows individuals to purchase a home without having to pay the full amount upfront. However, with a mortgage comes the added burden of interest payments, which can add up to a substantial amount over the life of the loan. This is where leveraging mortgage points comes in, as a way to save money in the long run.

What are Mortgage Points?

Mortgage points, also known as discount points, are prepaid interest on a home loan. Each point is equivalent to 1% of the total loan amount and can be purchased at closing. The more points you purchase, the lower your interest rate will be. For example, if you purchase two points on a $200,000 mortgage, you will have to pay $4,000 upfront, and in return, your interest rate will be reduced by 0.50%.

How Do Mortgage Points Work?

The concept of mortgage points may seem confusing, but they are essentially a way to buy down your interest rate. Lenders offer the option to purchase points as a way to lower the interest rate on your mortgage. One point typically reduces the interest rate by 0.25%, although this can vary depending on the lender and the current market conditions.

To understand how mortgage points work, let’s look at an example. Say you have a $300,000 mortgage with an interest rate of 4.5% for a 30-year term. By purchasing two points, you would have to pay $6,000 upfront, but your new interest rate would be reduced to 4%. This may not seem like a significant difference, but over the life of the loan, you will end up saving over $22,000 in interest payments.

Pros of Leveraging Mortgage Points

  1. Lowering Your Interest Rate

One of the most significant advantages of leveraging mortgage points is the potential to lower your interest rate. As mentioned earlier, even a small reduction in the interest rate can result in significant savings over the life of the loan. And because points are prepaid, you will feel the benefit of the lower rate every month when you make your mortgage payment.

  1. Tax Deduction

In most cases, mortgage points can be tax-deductible, which can further reduce the cost of purchasing points. However, it’s essential to consult with a tax advisor to determine the tax implications based on your individual situation.

  1. Increases Your Home Equity

By buying down your interest rate, you can save money on interest payments and apply those savings towards paying down the principal of your loan. This will result in an increase in your home equity, making you a more significant asset in the long run.

Cons of Leveraging Mortgage Points

  1. Upfront Cost

The most significant drawback of leveraging mortgage points is the upfront cost. Depending on the number of points you choose to purchase, you could end up spending thousands of dollars at closing. This may not be feasible for some individuals, especially if they are already putting a significant amount towards their down payment and closing costs.

  1. May Not Be Beneficial in the Short Term

Leveraging mortgage points can take several years to break even. This means that you will need to stay in your home for a certain period to reap the benefits of the lower interest rate. If you plan on selling your home in the near future, purchasing points may not make sense as you may not have enough time to break even and start seeing savings.

  1. Interest Rates Fluctuate

Another crucial factor to keep in mind is that interest rates can fluctuate, and while you may have locked in a low rate by purchasing points, it’s not a guarantee that rates will stay low. If rates drop significantly, you may end up paying more in the long run.

When Leveraging Mortgage Points Makes Sense

Leveraging mortgage points can be a beneficial strategy for individuals who plan on living in their home for an extended period. It’s also a great option for those who have the means to pay for points upfront and are looking to save money in the long term. Additionally, it can make sense for individuals purchasing a high-priced home, as even a small interest rate reduction can result in significant savings.

Alternatives to Mortgage Points

Leveraging mortgage points may not be the right option for everyone, but there are alternatives to consider if you still want to save money on your mortgage in the long term. One option is to make extra payments towards your principal each month. This will result in paying off your loan sooner and reduce the amount of interest you pay. Another alternative is to refinance your mortgage to a lower interest rate when rates drop.


Purchasing a home is a significant investment, and leveraging mortgage points can be a smart move to save money in the long term. However, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons and consider your personal financial situation before deciding to purchase points. It’s also crucial to shop around and compare offers from different lenders to ensure you are getting the best deal. With careful consideration and planning, leveraging mortgage points can lead to significant long-term savings and help you achieve homeownership goals.

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