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When is my first mortgage payment due?

The due date for the first payment on your new home will depend on when you closed

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Buying your first (or next) home is an exciting time. Whether you’re buying a starter home or your dream home, it’s an amazing feeling to get the keys and walk into a place that you finally own.

But before you get too excited, it’s a good idea to make sure your upcoming mortgage payments are organized and scheduled. Your mortgage payment covers several housing and borrowing expenses, and paying it on time is vital to protecting your credit and avoiding any fees or penalties. The first step toward going through your full mortgage term with on-time payments is to figure out your first payment’s due date.

Key insights

  • Your first mortgage payment is typically due on the first of the month, at least 30 days after closing.
  • You will need to pay prorated mortgage interest as part of your closing costs.
  • A lender will usually let you make your first mortgage payment via its website or mobile app.

The mortgage payment schedule

Mortgage payments are monthly payments toward your home loan that include a principal (the amount you’re buying your home for) and interest payment. Most mortgage payments also include funds to cover your property taxes and homeowners insurance.

Mortgages typically offer a monthly payment schedule with payments due on the first of the month (or whichever day of the month you work out with your lender). Some lenders permit more frequent payments, including biweekly payments, so you can pay off your loan faster and save on interest.

Though paying off your mortgage early can help you save money, some lenders charge a prepayment penalty or additional fees for more frequent payments. Make sure to talk to your lender before making additional payments on your mortgage.

» MORE: Should you pay off your mortgage early?

When do you make your first mortgage payment?

When you close on a new home, your first mortgage payment is usually due at least 30 days after the closing date. But it can’t be made more than 60 days after closing.

“Typically, borrowers can expect their first mortgage payment to be due the first day of the second month following their closing. For instance, if you close in January, your first mortgage payment will be due on the first of March,” said David A. Krebs, the principal broker at DAK Mortgage in Miami.

Most mortgages also come with a grace period for payments. Many lenders offer up to 15 days after your mortgage payment’s due date to make a payment without incurring late fees.

Calculating your first mortgage payment

Your mortgage payment consists of much more than you might think. It usually includes funds allocated toward the following services and fees:

  • Principal: This is the amount that goes toward your loan balance each month.
  • Interest: This is the amount that goes toward the interest charges from your lender.
  • Homeowners insurance: This amount goes toward your insurance costs. It’s typically placed in an escrow account and is periodically paid out in a lump sum. 
  • Property taxes: This amount is paid to local governments and also often goes into an escrow account.
  • Mortgage insurance: Depending on the type of mortgage you have and the down payment amount you made at closing, you may also have mortgage insurance included in your monthly payment.

Mortgage payments use an amortization schedule that shows you exactly how much of your payment goes toward principal and interest each month. A large portion of your initial payments will be applied toward interest. As your term progresses, you will pay less interest and more toward the principal.

With a fixed-rate mortgage, your payments will be identical each month, with the exception of rising insurance or property tax costs.

How to make your first mortgage payment

Making your first mortgage payment is a streamlined process these days. Many lenders offer online payments, and some even let you pay through their apps. You can still choose to mail in your payment, and some larger banks and credit unions also allow you to make payments in person if you prefer.

Most lenders encourage opting into automatic payments, which make for a hands-off payment process. You simply connect your bank account and sign up for automatic payments, and all future payments will be automatically withdrawn on the first of the month (or on your selected date).

Note that you may be required to make your first payment manually. Always check with your loan servicer for your exact payment options.

Budgeting for your first mortgage payment

Buying a home comes with a lot of responsibilities, the most important of which is having a budget in place for your monthly mortgage payment. For most mortgages, your first monthly payment should be identical to the rest of your mortgage payments unless you have an adjustable-rate mortgage.

If your first mortgage payment is due more than 30 days after closing, there may be interest charges that are typically included as part of your closing costs rather than your first mortgage payment.

“As for prorated interest charges, these are usually collected at closing for the period between your closing date and the end of that month,” said Krebs.

It’s important to budget for your mortgage payment and leave room in your monthly expenses to cover its entire cost (including insurance and taxes). Keeping your mortgage payment under 28% of your take-home pay will ensure that you can still afford your other monthly expenses without stretching your finances too thin.

» MORE: How to buy a house

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    Can I pay extra on my mortgage?

    You are usually allowed to pay extra toward your mortgage, but you must check with your lender first. Some lenders charge prepayment penalties for paying off your mortgage early, or they may charge a fee for setting up more frequent payments. If you do pay extra on your mortgage, make sure to mark the payment for principal only. That way, you’ll build up equity in your home faster, and your future interest payments will be lower.

    Can I pay my mortgage before the due date?

    Most mortgages let you pay before your due date, and there is usually no penalty for that. The only issue could be paying off the entire mortgage early, which might come with a prepayment penalty, depending on your loan terms.

    What happens if I miss my first mortgage payment?

    If you miss your first mortgage payment (or any mortgage payment), there’s usually a predetermined grace period with your lender. This allows you to pay late without incurring penalties. But if you still haven’t paid by the end of the grace period, which usually lasts up to 15 days, there can be penalties assessed. After your payment is 30 days late, your credit score could drop. Multiple missed payments put you at risk of foreclosure by your lender.

    Is it better to close at the beginning or end of the month?

    If you want to push your first mortgage payment out as far as possible, it’s best to close near the beginning of the month. Your first mortgage payment is due at least 30 but no more than 60 days after closing. So, closing on the second or third day of the month can push your first mortgage payment out to nearly two months after closing.

    Bottom line

    Your first mortgage payment is due at least 30 days after closing, typically on the first of the month. The payment usually covers your mortgage’s principal, interest, taxes and the insurance costs of your home.

    Missing a payment can result in fees and damage to your credit, so it’s important to make all mortgage payments on time. Automating your payments can be a great way to never miss a due date.

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, "What is private mortgage insurance?" Accessed June 15, 2023.
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