Home Mortgage Calculator from Vertex42 is a free Excel spreadsheet template for calculating fixed and variable rate home mortgages. That sounds useful but not very exciting, which is a fairly good description of Excel spreadsheets in general. However, Home Mortgage Calculator is more than just a page full of tables. It incorporates many automated features and options, but better still, its clear explanations, numerous examples, and graphical displays make it easy not only to calculate mortgage rates but also get a better overview of your mortgage. To use Home Mortgage Calculator, you will need Microsoft Excel 2002 or above.
We extracted Home Mortgage Calculator's zipped download and opened it in Excel. The first thing we noticed was the numerous examples with caption boxes explaining each step in plain language. Each item had a small red triangle that called up additional information and instructions in a tiny pop-up when we hovered the cursor, and in clear, easy-to-understand terms, too. The spreadsheet has five main sections: Mortgage Information, Extra Payments, Balance, Summary, and Fixed-Rate ARM. The Extra Payments tool offered a graph plotting extra payments against balance year by year, while the interest rate tool includes a graph depicting Interest Rate History. Finally, the Payment Schedule tablet offered some 180 lines of calculations, similar to a tax table. The tool is extremely easy to use, yet it returned accurate calculations quickly. We merely had to enter our own values in each field and click Enter. Home Mortgage Calculator displayed everything from our monthly payment to how many years it would take to pay off our loan. Beyond its built-in features, it behaves just like any Excel template.
Since Home Mortgage Calculator is a spreadsheet template instead of a program, it doesn't have a typical Help file. However, it offers an impressive amount of assistance and plenty of explanations built right in. If you have Excel and want a home mortgage, get Home Mortgage Calculator first.