The bulk of your monthly mortgage payment goes toward paying off the principal and interest of your loan. (You may hear lenders refer to this as “PI”, for Principal & Interest). In addition, most lenders require that you pay a sufficient amount to cover your local real estate tax, plus your homeowner’s or hazard insurance. (You may hear this “total” payment referred to as “PITI”, or Principal, Interest, Taxes & Insurance.) This amount is placed in an escrow account, from which your lender then pays your tax and insurance bills as they come due. When shopping for a loan, it is important to ask the lender if the monthly payment you are being quoted is PI or PITI.