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Can you buy a house with less than 20% down payment?

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If you don’t have a lot of cash to pay up front, these low down payment loan options can help you become a homeowner. (iStock)

For many people, one of the biggest barriers to buying a home is making a down payment.

In the real estate, a deposit is the money you pay up front to buy your house or the part of the price of the house that is not included in the mortgage. The old rule of thumb was that you had to put at least 20% down to buy a house, but what if you don’t have enough for a 20% down payment?

Fortunately, there are other options available to you. If you are preparing to buy a home right now, the first thing you should do is consult with Credible to learn more about the mortgage process and determine your total costs.

For those who can’t afford a 20% down payment on their dream home, read on.

Can I get a mortgage with less than 20% down?

While a 20% down payment is generally considered the gold standard, it can be difficult for a first-time home buyer to put the amount of money aside. But the 20% rule does not always apply. There are other financial steps you can take if you don’t want to make a huge lump sum payment and take a toll on your personal finances.

The Credible multi-lender site is always a great place to start if you are looking to save money. You can compare mortgage rates and lenders from the comfort of your own home and get a picture of your monthly payments and total costs.

There are also loan options that allow for low down payments or no down payment at all.

Mortgage options without down payment

One of the best tips for first-time home buyers who are ready to become a homeowner but don’t have a lot of cash to pay up front is to choose a no-down mortgage program. There are two popular types of mortgage programs that help you save money by including your down payment cost with your loan amount. They understand:

  1. VA loans
  2. USDA loans

1. VA loans

A VA loan is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This loan option is available to current and former military personnel or their surviving spouses. Although you must meet some eligibility criteria To use this type of financial aid, if you qualify, there are many advantages to choosing a VA loan program.

For starters, VA loans allow you to finance up to 100% of the purchase price of the home. Additionally, while many low down payment loan options include: private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirements, which is a additional costs this adds to your monthly payment, VA loans do not.

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2. USDA loans

If you’re not a veteran, but still interested in exploring loan programs that offer zero percent down payment options, it’s a good idea to consider getting a USDA loan. Like VA loans, USDA loans are guaranteed by the federal government, but this time they fall under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In order to qualify for a USDA loan, you must decide to buy a house in a rural area. You can use USDA property eligibility tool to find out that a particular property qualifies. In addition, you will need an adjusted income that is within the income limits for the area where you intend to buy. Unfortunately, if you earn too much money, you will not qualify for a USDA loan.

If you think you are a candidate for either of these loan programs, visit Credible to get in touch with an experienced loan officer who can answer all of your questions about the process

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Low down payment mortgage options

If you are not a good candidate for either of these loan programs, but are still interested in to buy a house, there are also down payment mortgage options that can help you finance your ideal home. They are as follows:

  1. FHA loans
  2. Home Ready and Home Loans Possible
  3. Conventional loans

1. FHA loans

Similar to the other two types of loans that we have mentioned, FHA loans are also guaranteed by the federal government. In this case, they are backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

Although FHA loans come with fees similar to private mortgage insurance, they are often considered a good choice for first-time homebuyers as they allow for a down payment as low as 3.5% and they have more flexible credit score requirements. . If you plan to make a down payment of 3.5%, all you need is a credit score of 580, which is much lower than the conventional credit score requirement of 620.

Ready for the next step? Use a online mortgage calculator to see what your monthly payments might look like based on your budget. Credible can also help you calculate the numbers. Only enter simple information into their free online tools to compare rates and lenders and see how much home you can afford.

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2. Home Ready and Home Possible Loans

Home Ready and Home Possible Loans are two other low down payment loan options available to first-time home buyers. These programs are offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, respectively, the two largest buyers of mortgage loans in the United States. The goal of each of these programs is to make home buying easier for first-time buyers by offering downpayment options as low as 3%.

Notably, these two programs have an income limit that is specific to the region where the house is located. However, if you qualify, these loans are offered by private mortgage lenders rather than the federal government, which means you have the flexibility to shop around and compare rates to find the one that’s right for you.

Credible can help you start the process of compare mortgage rates and lenders in the comfort of your own home.

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3. Conventional loans

Even if you are not a first-time home buyer, there is still low down payment at your disposal. Nowadays, it is possible to find a conventional loan with a down payment requirement of only 3% to 5%.

If you plan to take this route for to buy a house, your best bet is to speak to an experienced lender who can give you a recommendation based on the specifics of your financial situation.

Are you wondering what the next step is? You can use a online mortgage broker like Credible to start the mortgage pre-approval process and get a pre-approval letter without damaging your credit score.

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