15 vs 30-year Mortgage Calculator

Use this calculator to compare 15 vs 30 year mortgage terms, and let us help you decide which term is better for you.

When it comes to purchasing a home, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the length of your mortgage loan.

Two of the most common options are 15-year and 30-year mortgage loans. A 15-year mortgage loan offers a shorter repayment term, which means that you’ll pay less in interest over time but will have higher monthly payments. On the other hand, a 30-year mortgage loan has a longer repayment term, which results in lower monthly payments but higher interest paid over time.

To help you make an informed decision, our 15 vs 30 year mortgage calculator can estimate the cost of each option.

Whether you’re planning to purchase your first home or move into a new one, having a sizable down payment can significantly impact your mortgage terms and overall financial stability. To help navigate this process, it’s essential to set a clear savings goal. You can use a savings goal calculator to take the first step toward turning your homeownership dreams into a tangible financial plan.

Mortgage Calculator

Pros and Cons of a 15 year vs 30 Year Mortgage

When it comes to choosing between a 15-year and a 30-year mortgage loan, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each option. Here are some factors to keep in mind wen deciding which one is right for you:

Loan Duration Shorter duration (15 years) Longer duration (30 years)
Interest Rate Typically lower interest rates Generally higher interest rates
Monthly Payment Higher monthly payment Lower monthly payments
Total Interest Paid Lower total interest paid over the loan term Higher total interest paid over the loan term
Interest Savings Significant interest savings over the life of loan Higher overall interest cost
Affordability Stricter budget due to higher monthly payments More flexibility with lower monthly payments
Equity Build-up Builds home equity faster Slower home equity build-up
Financial Goals Suitable for those seeking to pay off mortgage quickly and save on interest Ideal for those prioritizing affordability and cash flow

15-Year Mortgage


  • Faster Equity Buildup: With a 15-year mortgage, equity builds up rapidly, significantly shortening the time to full homeownership. By using a 15 year vs 30 year mortgage calculator, you can see the equity build up faster.
  • Lower Interest Rates: Generally, 15-year mortgages come with lower interest rates, leading to less interest paid over the life of the loan.
  • Total Interest Paid: Due to the shorter duration, the total interest paid over the life of the loan is significantly lower compared to a 30-year mortgage. You can calculate the difference in total interest paid by using a 15-year vs 30-year mortgage calculator.
  • Forced Savings: The higher monthly payments can act as a form of forced savings, helping you pay off your mortgage faster and potentially save on interest.


  • Higher Monthly Payments: The main drawback is the higher monthly payments, as the loan is paid off in half the time of a 30-year mortgage.
  • Less Flexibility: Committing to higher monthly payments may limit your financial flexibility, making it harder to adapt to unexpected expenses or changes in income.

30-Year Mortgage


  • Lower Monthly Payments: The extended loan term results in lower monthly payments, making homeownership more affordable.
  • Increased Flexibility: Lower monthly payments provide more financial flexibility, allowing you to allocate funds to other investments or expenses.
  • Tax Deductibility: The interest paid on a 30-year mortgage may be tax-deductible, providing potential tax benefits. A tax professional may help you understand specific implications based on your financial situation.
  • Easier to Qualify: The lower monthly payments make it easier for borrowers to qualify for a higher loan amount.


  • Higher Total Interest Paid: Over the life of the loan, a 30-year mortgage will accumulate more interest, resulting in a higher overall cost of homeownership. You can calculate the difference in total interest paid by using a 30-year vs 15-year mortgage calculator.
  • Slower Equity Buildup: It takes longer to build equity in your home with a 30-year mortgage, as a significant portion of the early payments goes towards interest. Use a 30 year vs 15 year mortgage calculator to see the difference in how quickly equity builds up.
  • Higher Interest Rates: While 30-year mortgages may have higher interest rates than 15-year mortgages, the difference may vary based on market conditions.

Ultimately, the choice between a 15-year and a 30-year mortgage depends on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and current financial situation. Using a 15-year vs 30-year mortgage calculator can help you compare the costs and benefits of each option and make an informed decision of how much house you can afford.


What is the main difference between a 15-year and a 30-year mortgage?

A 15-year mortgage has a shorter repayment term (15 years), while a 30-year mortgage extends over 30 years. The primary difference is the duration of the loan.

How does the interest rate compare between a 15-year and a 30-year mortgage?

Generally, 15-year mortgages tend to have lower interest rates compared to 30-year mortgages. However, monthly payments on a 15-year mortgage are higher due to the shorter repayment period.

Who might benefit more from a 15-year mortgage?

  • Borrowers with a higher income who can afford the higher monthly payments.
  • Those looking to pay off their mortgage faster and build equity rapidly.
  • Individuals who want to save on interest over the life of the loan.

Who might benefit more from a 30-year mortgage?

  • Borrowers with lower income or less predictable cash flow.
  • Those who prefer lower monthly payments for better budget flexibility.
  • Individuals who want to invest the difference in monthly payments elsewhere.

Can I pay off a 30-year mortgage early to save on interest?

Yes, many 30-year mortgages allow for prepayment without penalties. Paying extra towards the principal can help reduce the total interest paid over time.

How do tax implications differ between a 15-year and a 30-year mortgage?

Interest paid on mortgage loans is often tax-deductible. Consult with a tax professional to understand specific implications based on your financial situation.

Which mortgage term is right for me?

The right term depends on your financial goals, income, and risk tolerance. Consider factors like monthly budget, long-term financial plans, and your ability to handle higher payments for a shorter period. Consulting with a financial advisor is recommended to make an informed decision.


15 vs. 30-Year Mortgage Definitions

Mortgage amount

The mortgage amount is the original balance of your mortgage. Explore WECU’s competitive home loan rates.

Interest rate

The interest rate is an annual rate for your mortgage. Learn more about the rates WECU offers.

Monthly payment

The monthly payment is the monthly principal and interest payment (PI). Use the loan terms drop-down in the calculator above to see 10-year fixed, 15-year fixed, 20-year fixed, and 30-year fixed mortgage options.

Marginal tax rate

In the U.S., the marginal tax rate refers to the percentage of tax applied to your income for each tax bracket you enter as your income rises. You can see the individual marginal tax rate on the IRS website. Please consult with a tax professional regarding mortgage interest deductions and your specific situation.

Total Payments

Total payments for a mortgage refer to the combined sum of all monthly payments made by the borrower over the entire term of the loan. This includes both the principal amount borrowed and the accrued interest.

Total Interest

Total interest on a mortgage refers to the cumulative amount of money paid by a borrower to the lender over the entire term of the loan. It includes the interest charges accrued on the principal amount borrowed. When you make mortgage payments, a portion goes towards paying off the principal amount borrowed, while the rest covers the interest charges. The total interest paid is the sum of all interest payments made throughout the life of the loan. It’s an important figure for borrowers to consider as it represents the cost of borrowing and can significantly impact the total cost of homeownership.

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