Mortgage points, also known as discount points, are fees paid directly to the lender at closing in exchange for a reduced interest rate. This is also called “buying down the rate,” which can lower your monthly mortgage payments.
One point costs 1 percent of your mortgage amount (or $1,000 for every $100,000). Essentially, you pay some interest up front in exchange for a lower interest rate over the life of your loan.
In general, the longer you plan to own the home, the more points help you save on interest over the life of the loan. When you consider whether points are right for you, it helps to run the numbers. Here’s an example: