What is included in a mortgage payment?

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When it comes to purchasing a home, most people rely on a mortgage to finance their investment. A mortgage payment is a crucial aspect of homeownership, and it’s important to understand what exactly is included in this payment. In this article, we will dive deeper into the components of a mortgage payment, providing a comprehensive overview of what homeowners can expect.

Principal and Interest

The two primary components of a mortgage payment are the principal and interest. The principal refers to the original amount borrowed to purchase the home. Each monthly payment includes a portion of the principal, which helps reduce the overall loan balance over time. The interest, on the other hand, is the cost of borrowing the money from the lender. It is calculated based on the interest rate and the remaining loan balance. Initially, a larger portion of the mortgage payment goes towards paying off the interest, while the principal portion gradually increases over the life of the loan.

Escrow Account

Many mortgage lenders require homeowners to establish an escrow account as part of their mortgage payment. An escrow account is used to collect and manage funds for property taxes and homeowners insurance. Each month, a portion of the mortgage payment is deposited into the escrow account, which is then used to pay these expenses when they become due. This ensures that the homeowner stays current on their property taxes and insurance, providing financial security for both the homeowner and the lender.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

If a homeowner makes a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price, they may be required to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI protects the lender in case the homeowner defaults on the loan. The cost of PMI is typically included in the monthly mortgage payment until the homeowner reaches a certain level of equity in the home, usually when the loan balance reaches 80% of the home’s value. At that point, the homeowner can request to have the PMI removed from their mortgage payment.

Additional Costs

In addition to the principal, interest, escrow account, and PMI, there may be other costs included in a mortgage payment. These can vary depending on the specific terms of the loan and the homeowner’s preferences. Some homeowners choose to include additional expenses such as mortgage insurance, homeowners association fees, or even optional features like a home warranty. It’s important to carefully review the terms of the mortgage agreement to understand all the costs included in the monthly payment.


A mortgage payment consists of several components that work together to finance homeownership. The principal and interest repay the borrowed amount and cover the cost of borrowing, while the escrow account ensures the timely payment of property taxes and insurance. Private mortgage insurance is required for homeowners with a down payment of less than 20%, and additional costs may be included depending on the loan terms and homeowner preferences. Understanding these components is essential for homeowners to manage their finances effectively and make informed decisions.


– Bankrate.com
– Investopedia.com
– Consumerfinance.gov