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Discount points

Discount points are often used to describe a type of fee that lenders charge. Discount points are additional funds you pay the lender at closing to get a lower interest rate on your mortgage.

A point equals 1 percent of the loan amount. So, if you and your lender agree to a mortgage of $100,000, one point would equal $1,000.

Typically, each point you pay for a 30-year loan lowers your interest rate by .125 of a percentage point. If the current interest rate on a 30-year mortgage is 7.75 percent, paying one point would lower the interest rate to 7.625.

Ask your lender if you have the option of paying 1, 2, or 3 discount points – or you can choose not to pay any discount points. It often makes more sense to pay discount points if you plan to stay in your home for a long time.