Often times, when you want to make a decision about your mortgage, you want to try different mortgage interest rates and different mortgage terms to see where you land. I do that quite often. When I get a raise, I go and test what an extra bi-weekly payment of $25.00, $50.00 or $75.00 would do to my amortization. Mortgage math is not simple math you do in your head unfortunately. It’s really important to get it right and that’s why it’s recommended to use a *mortgage calculator*.

I wanted to see what the landscape had in terms of calculators and decided to compared them. I have outlined all the calculators I have reviewed below with screen shots. Please let me know what you think.

## Mortgage Calculator Testing Criteria

In order to test the mortgage calculators, I am focusing on the following points:

- Is the bi-weekly payment accurately portrayed versus the monthly payment? What a bi-weekly payment should show is an accelerated mortgage schedule also referred to as the accelerated bi-weekly option.
- Is the overall information displayed adequate for the borrower to understand mortgage payments.
- Can the borrowed see the impact of choosing different options?

## Best Mortgage Calculator

There are many reviews below and I wanted to let you know up front which one I consider the best as I often referred to its features to grade other mortgage calculators.

BMO deserves to get the **Best Mortgage Calculator** mention. Check out their other tools, they have done better than others in teaching and helping borrowers. Below is the review of all the calculators I have done.

## Your Financial Institution Mortgage Calculators

If you already have a mortgage with a financial institution, it’s best you use their calculator. The public calculator may be different from the internal calculator as part of their tools I have found. The reason for the difference is that the public calculator is a gross approximation to what you will be choosing based on the standard mathematical formula. The private tools and calculator is based on your actual mortgage rules and is therefore accurate. All your payments and interest can be outlined.

*Assumption:* I have my mortgage at Scotia Bank and I know both public and private calculators are different in terms of accuracy. The public calculator is a good approximation though.

### Grade B – Royal Bank Mortgage Calculator

Royal Bank Mortgage Calculator – Don’t confuse the bi-weekly option. You really want to pick the accelerated bi-weekly option, you save almost 3 years of payments. Moving on past my mortgage advice, the calculator lays out all your option to easily compare the payment, interest and principal in one place. The last column is great as it shows the savings compared with the standard monthly payments. Making 2 extra payments saves you nearly $12,000.00 in the long run.

The calculator gets a B rather than an A for a lack of comparative ability within the calculator.

### Grade A – TD Bank Mortgage Calculator

TD Bank Mortgage Calculator – The TD Mortgage Calculator set the standard in terms of feature. The accelerated bi-weekly option was available and you could see that for a 25 year amortization, the length of payment is just a little over 22 years. Not only that, you can compare up to 3 scenarios. You can compare the same scenario with different payment schedule like the Royal Bank Mortgage Calculator but most borrowers will tend to compare different rates and term length.

The calculator gets an A for providing what any borrower needs for making better decisions. You can get access to an amortization schedule if you want details as well. I really like it when a graph is provided as you can visualize the size of your mortgage over time.

### Grade A – Bank of Montreal Mortgage Calculator

Bank of Montreal Mortgage Calculator – The Bank of Montreal Mortgage Calculator is similar to the TD Mortgage Calculator but it has some nice tools and it allows you to export the data for you. BMO has definitely enhanced many of their tools to empower borrowers in understanding their financial situation. They even have a calculator helping borrowers find out how much of a house they can afford.

Based on all the features and easy ability to compare rates and scenarios, the BMO Mortgage Calculator gets a A.

### Grade C – Scotia Bank Mortgage Calculator

Scotia Bank Mortgage Calculator – The calculator provides you with the minimum features required to understand one mortgage option. However, it fails to compare the different payment schedule and it doesn’t have any ability to compare rates in one place.

For the lack of features mentioned, I gave it a C.

### Grade D – HSBC Mortgage Calculator

HSBC Mortgage Calculator – The HSBC Mortgage Calculator is really the most basic of the mortgage calculators. Minimum effort was put in the calculator and everything is geared towards making you call an HSBC agent.

It provides even less features than the Scotia Bank Mortgage Calculator and for that it gets a D.

## Alternate Mortgage Calculators

It’s not just the banks that participate in the mortgage business 🙂 As such, I have tried to review some of the popular mortgage calculators by non banks.

### Grade C – RateSupermarket.ca Mortgage Calculator

Rate Supermarket Mortgage Calculator – The mortgage calculator surprised me. I was not expecting a nice graph as outlined below. It does support the accelerated bi-weekly payment schedule and it highlights the benefit in a nice graph. However, it lacks many features that the banks have been providing.

For the lack of features, it gets a C grade just like Scotia Bank. From an at-a-glance usability and information available, the graph is much better than Scotia Bank and others though. It’s a very good way to communicate the payment structure over time.

It’s worth checking out their site though as they have many other resources for mortgages.

### Grade C – CanadaMortgage.com Mortgage Calculator

CanadaMortgage.com Mortgage Calculator – Just like Rate Supermarket and Scotia Bank, the calculator offers a nice graph but it falls short in comparative features.

### Grade D – CMHC Mortgage Calculator

CMHC Mortgage Calculator – The CHMC Mortgage Calculator is pretty poor. It’s the same basic feature as the HSBC mortgage calculator.

It gets a D based on the lack of features necessary to evaluate an important decision. There isn’t enough information in one place and falls short compared with the other calculators.

### Grade C – CanEquity Mortgage Calculator

CanEquity Mortgage Calculator – The CanEquity Mortgage Calculator puts a different spin on their presentation. Instead of graphs, they have data.

I am going with a C grade for having a lot of data all displayed in one place. There is a lot of information and it’s well presented to understand a mortgage. However, based on the features other mortgage calculator offers, that’s as high as I can go.

**Readers:** Do you have a favorite Mortgage Calculator? Any good one missing?

Nice comparison, PIE!

I really like http://www.vertex42.com/ and I use their personal budget calculator and their home mortgage and amortization calculators. The free excel downloads are pretty customizable for any situation.

@Echo

Thanks for sharing. I’ll check it out.

@Echo

It’s a nice website you shared. Lots of good spreadsheet available.

For the mortgage calculator, it’s missing the ability to easily compare but obviously, being a spreadsheet you could have multiple sheets. A newbie at spreadsheet would have some difficulty building a summary page similar to what TD and BMO has.

Personally, I am always in spreadsheets so it’s a really nice tool 🙂

@PIE – I find the bank calculators are good for a quick and dirty calculation but I prefer to use a spreadsheet for keeping my own situation up-to-date. So I’ve got one for my budget, one for the mortgage, one for my investments and one for net worth. 🙂

@Echo

I agree. I live in the spreadsheet world as well.

Thanks for doing all that research Mr. PIE, this was really helpful. I’ve only been using the RBC one and it has been pretty close to what my bank has actually charged me on monthly payments in the past, but I’ll have to try out BMO’s now as well 😀

@Liquid

Thanks for stopping by. I believe we all need to do as much work minimizing mortgage costs as we do researching investments 🙂 They both contribute to the bottom line. Without a good calculator and a way to compare, it’s hard to make the best decision.

The best one is at taxtips.ca

http://www.taxtips.ca/calculators/loancalc.htm

beats those other ones hands down, IMO.

@Geoff

Thanks for adding one to the list. I’ll check it out.

The new mortgage calculator found at CanEquity gives a detailed breakdown of up to two mortgages and calculates payment schedules over your full amortization. You may also enter extra lump sum and pre-payment amounts, which is nice.

They also generate graphs, summaries of balances, payments, and interest over the life of your mortgage. I like that you can compare two mortgages side-by-side.

http://www.canequity.com/tools/mortgage-calculator/

I have to agree with Rose. The CanEquity calculator tool really does give you many options and a wealth of information on ways to save on interest and the time of your mortgage!

BMO gets the second place nod for me. 🙂

Cheers Rose!

I second this. Their new calculator is great. I really like being able to put two different mortgages beside each other and see how little changes (rates, amortizations, lump sums, etc.) affect the final amount I’m paying.

InvestExcel has a spreadsheet for calculating mortgage payments. It’s VBA based, so everything can be modified and controlled programatically. I like the payment schedule (matches the dates payments are taken from my bank account perfectly).

Here it is: http://investexcel.net/mortgage-payment-calculator/

@Laura

Thanks for the spreadsheet.