If you have ever gone looking for quotes on a mortgage in order to find out just what a mortgage might cost you, you have probably had the term points thrown at you. So what are points?

Each point is a fee and it is based on one percent of the total amount of the loan. There are a couple of different points, there are discount points and then there are origination points and lenders do not all charge the same amount of these points. Some lenders will charge you one point while others may charge you three.

Discount points are the points that are like prepaid interest on your loan that you are getting for your new home. Every point that you purchase will lower your interest rate to some extent. Most borrowers will be able to choose just how many points they want to purchase. There is a limit of course, usually around four points. The number of points that you choose to buy will depend on how much you want to lower you interest rate. One especially good point of these points is the fact that they are tax deductible.

Origination fees are different. These fees are used in order to pay for the costs of giving you the loan in the first place. You don’t get anything out of these points so most borrowers don’t like them as they are not even tax deductible. If you can try to get a loan that does not require you to get these types of points. Discount points on the other hand can be useful to you.

The choices that you make concerning the points to get will be affected by a couple of different things. For example, how long are you going to be living in this house? And how much of a down payment are you going to be putting down? If you are thinking of settling into this house for the long haul then perhaps discount points are a good way for you to go. Lowering your interest rate for years to come is always a good thing. Before making your decision take stock of your situation and see what suits your needs best.