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Updated: 1st Quarter 2018
It’s one of the most popular questions I get.
Should I pay points or pay a higher interest rate?
I don’t know. Truth be told, whenever I’ve read about the issue, my eyes end up glazing over, I lose interest, I end up taking a nap.
Here, in a nutshell, is the difference, and when one would be better than the other.
For example, a borrower who takes out a 30-year $200,000 mortgage at 6 percent interest (with no points) will pay about $11,933 in interest during the first year.
A borrower who takes out a similar loan at 5.75 percent (by paying one point, or $2,000) will pay $11,432, a saving of about $500. The savings continue to accrue so that shortly after the end of the fourth year, the borrower will have recouped the $2,000 and will then begin saving money every year thereafter.
So, if you’re going to sell your home before year four, you’ll be better off paying the higher interest rate. If you’re going to stay put longer, you’ll enjoy the lower payments for the rest of the loan.
Paying Points – By Jay Romano, The New York Times