What is the down payment required to get a mortgage these days?

Keith Gumbinger

Q: What is the down payment required to get a mortgage these days?

A: While some 100% financing may be available (no money down) for special circumstances, most borrowers can still put as little as 3.5% down and successfully purchase or refinance a home. To do so, you'll need an FHA-backed mortgage, available virtually everywhere. You can get a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan with as little as a three percent downpayment, but you will need a mortgage insurance policy; the costs for it will depend upon your credit strength and the kind and location of the property you are looking to finance or refinance. At times, these can be a challenge to come by with only a little money down.

Another avenue to explore: If you are a first-time homebuyer (haven't owned a home in at least three years), you may be eligible for down payment assistance programs in your state, county or city. Most of these programs are aimed at borrowers of more modest means.

If you're only got a minimal downpayment available for your purchase or refinance transaction, you can see the total costs of an FHA-backed mortgage over any given time horizon and compare those costs against those of Fannie Mae's HomeReady or Freddie Mac's Home Possible 3% down mortgage programs.

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Keith Gumbinger
Keith Gumbinger
Mortgage Expert
Vice President, HSH.com
About Keith: Mortgage market observer and analyst with 35 years experience... (more)
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