Last month, with interest rates plumbing all-time lows, I decided to refinance my home mortgage. As you might expect, a good portion of my pre-refinance research required me to map out the various combinations of loan periods and interest rates and their associated monthly payments. The good news is, now that I’m out of school, nobody expects me to come up with the answers all by myself — and show my work to boot. Not that I can’t do the math on my own; I can, but that takes time — and my time is extremely valuable.
Yes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Anyway … in my desire to take the lazy way out by finding an Internet-based mortgage refinance calculator, I stumbled upon the one at a nifty new website called Pigly. I found the calculator to be much more helpful than the generic mortgage calculators found elsewhere on the net. That’s because, by quickly calculating monthly payment and net interest savings, as well as the number of months it takes to break even on the closing costs, the Pigly refinance calculator was better able to help me decide whether or not it was really worth refinancing my current mortgage at a lower interest rate.
Here is a screen shot of the Pigly refinance calculator inputs:
Once you input the information on your existing mortgage, you can evaluate different scenarios by inputting various interest rates, loan terms, points and other closing costs. Just be careful — when entering your mortgage balance, avoid using commas! Unlike a spreadsheet, doing so causes the Pigly calculator to immediately return to its default mortgage-balance entry of $200,000. It took yours truly several tries to figure that out; which is why I think it would be nice if Pigly either allowed comma entries — or at least notified users that commas are not allowed. But that is a minor nit that marred an otherwise excellent user experience.
Once you enter the data and click on the ‘calculate’ button, your results are immediately displayed below, as can be seen in the next shot:
Based upon your inputs, the refinance calculator outputs your new monthly payment, change in monthly payment, and total closing costs. It also shows the number of months required for your interest savings to offset the closing costs; just keep in mind that is not the same as the time required for your monthly payment savings to offset the closing costs.
As an added bonus, those who want more info can read a handy guide on refinancing that is included at the bottom of the page.
For those looking to withdraw some of their home equity in a cash-out refinance, Pigly has a loan-to-value refi calculator that allows you to see how much equity you can extract. Once that number is determined, you could then calculate your new loan payments using their cash-out refinance calculator.
By the way, Pigly isn’t limited to mortgage refinance calculators; they offer free interactive tools and calculators of all kinds that are designed to help people learn about personal finance — which is more important than ever. In fact, you’ll find a wide range of personal finance tools there for just about everyone — everything from savings, retirement planning, auto loans and mortgages, to personal loans and budget planning.
All of their calculators and personal finance tools are graphically similar to the refinance calculator I’ve shown here. As you can see, they’re pleasing to the eye and easy to use.
Oh … and best of all, Pigly is not only free to use — it’s ad free too. I urge you to check it out.
Photo Credits: Pigly