Can You Buy Points on a USDA Loan?

A man holding up a note book with discount points written on it.Unlocking the intricacies of mortgage financing often involves understanding the concept of discount points and their impact on a loan. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the mechanics behind discount points, exploring their definition, purpose, and potential advantages and disadvantages.

Whether you're navigating the process of buying points on a loan or seeking to comprehend the bona fide discount points, we delve into the nuances of how these points function and the role they play in a mortgage.

Utilizing tools like a discount points calculator, we provide insights into calculating and assessing the worth of discount points.

From unraveling the discount point definition to addressing the question of whether mortgage points are worth it, this resource offers a comprehensive understanding of this financial tool and its implications in the realm of home financing.

Key Considerations:

  • Discount points are upfront fees designed to reduce the interest rate on your mortgage.
  • Each point constitutes 1% of the loan amount. These points are settled during the closing process.
  • Opting for points may yield a lower interest rate. This is in comparison to a loan without points.
  • Explicitly outlined on documents: These points are summarized expressly on the loan estimate and closing disclosure documents.
  • Consider the anticipated duration of mortgage possession. It's crucial to factor in elements like the expected duration of mortgage possession before deciding to acquire discount points.

How Do Mortgage Points Work?

Mortgage points are a critical consideration in obtaining a mortgage loan. These points represent fees that borrowers can remit to lenders to curtail the interest rate on their loans. Typically valued at 1% of the loan, each point can be paid upfront during the closing phase.

Purchasing mortgage points empowers borrowers to reduce their monthly mortgage payments, translating to potential savings throughout the loan's lifespan. The extent of interest rate reduction per point can fluctuate among lenders, contingent upon variables such as the loan type and prevailing interest rates.

Notably, the cost of points is explicitly disclosed in the loan estimate and closing disclosure documents, offering borrowers transparency regarding the financial implications of acquiring points and how they affect their overall loan.

Prepaid Interest and Potential Savings:

One of the primary advantages of mortgage points lies in their potential for sustained savings on interest payments. By remitting points upfront, borrowers can diminish their overall interest rate, thereby lessening the total interest paid throughout the life of the loan. An essential facet is determining the break-even point, at which the cumulative monthly savings equal the upfront fee.

Before opting for mortgage points, borrowers should meticulously assess the anticipated duration of mortgage possession and ascertain if the savings surpass the initial cost.

Ultimately, acquiring mortgage points depends on individual circumstances and financial aspirations. Seeking counsel from a financial advisor or mortgage lender can give borrowers the requisite guidance for an informed decision concerning point acquisition and its implications for their mortgage.

Should You Buy Discount Points?

When considering whether to buy discount points, weighing the potential benefits against your specific circumstances is essential. Here are some factors to consider:

Break-even Point:

Ascertain the break-even point, denoting the timeframe required for accumulated monthly savings from point payments to equal the upfront fee. Buying points may be less advantageous if you plan to sell or refinance before reaching this break-even juncture.

Long-term Investment:

Purchasing discount points proves reasonable if you envision a prolonged mortgage tenure. The protracted savings resulting from a diminished interest rate could outweigh the initial cost of the points.

Mortgage Savings:

Compute potential savings over the loan's lifespan by paying discount points. This computation relies on the loan amount and the interest rate reduction extended by the lender. Emphasize assessing total savings, not solely the monthly payment reduction.

Ultimately, purchasing discount points hinges on variables such as financial objectives, the anticipated duration of homeownership, and the overall budget. Consultation with a financial advisor or mortgage lender, adept at analyzing specific situations, proves prudent for making an informed decision.

Calculating the Cost and Savings of Mortgage Points

Mortgage points wield considerable influence over mortgage costs and potential savings. To ascertain whether investing in points aligns with your financial objectives, follow these steps:

Determine the Loan Amount: 

Establish the total amount of your mortgage loan—the principal sum you are set to borrow from the lender. This figure lays the foundation for calculating point costs and potential savings.

Consider the Interest Rate: 

The interest rate is a pivotal factor in gauging the costs and savings associated with mortgage points. A lower interest rate can yield diminished monthly payments and extended savings over time. When conducting calculations, make a note of the current interest rate that the lender is offering.

Calculate Monthly Payments: 

Utilizing the loan amount and interest rate, compute the monthly payments for your mortgage. This will give you an idea of how much you'll pay each month without any applicable points. It's essential to have this baseline for comparison when determining the potential savings.

 Estimate the Lifetime Savings: 

To gauge potential savings, estimate the cumulative savings over the loan's duration by factoring in monthly payments with applied points.

Consider the reduction in interest rate each point affords, calculating new monthly payments based on the diminished rate. A comparative analysis between monthly payments with and without points enables an estimate of lifetime savings throughout the loan term.


In summary, purchasing points on a USDA loan offers potential savings on interest over the life of the loan, but it requires careful consideration of one's financial situation and long-term homeownership plans.

 Borrowers should weigh the upfront cost against the longevity of their stay in the home to ensure it's a financially prudent decision. Consulting with a mortgage professional can provide tailored advice based on individual circumstances and market conditions.

As with any significant financial decision, thorough research and professional guidance are key to making an informed choice. For those considering this option, reaching out to a qualified lender is a crucial next step to explore if buying points on a USDA loan aligns with their homeownership goals and financial strategy.

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