Mortgage Under Water? Calculator Points the Way Back to Black

An online tool does the math on mortgages in the red.

By SHARE

Thanks to tanking housing prices across the nation, an estimated 11 million Americans owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

Even if you qualify for government assistance programs such as HARP 2.0, the long and slow slog toward a housing recovery most likely means many Americans will be stuck under water for some time.

The question then becomes: How long before you're above water on your mortgage again? And what can you do to make that period shorter?

A new calculator from mortgage information website HSH.com tells homeowners exactly that. Just punch in a few numbers and voila—homeowners can see exactly when they'll be back in the black.

[Read: HUD's Donovan: More to Be Done to Help Homeowners Refinance.]

The calculator takes into consideration homeowners' current monthly payment, expected home value appreciation, and any additional payments they plan to make on their mortgage.

Change the numbers around and you can see how much extra payments can go toward reducing the time it takes to get your mortgage above water again, or what an interest rate break from your bank could do to shorten your payoff timeline.

Want to see when your home loan will be above water? Check out the calculator here.

Have a specific date in mind when you want—or need—to be square on your home loan? HSH has a reverse calculator as well that tells you how much appreciation and how many extra payments you'll need to get to your goal, including when you'll fully recover the purchase price of your home.

mhandley@usnews.com

Twitter: @mmhandley

  • Miami Condo Market on the Mend.
  • Spring Housing Market Seeing Green Shoots.
  • More Homeowners Choosing to Spruce Up Rather Than Sell.