Low Down Payment Mortgage Programs

A down payment is an initial upfront payment equal to a percentage of a home’s purchase price. It reduces the final loan amount and is paid with your closing costs. Many mortgage programs require a down payment, and if coming up with those funds feels daunting, know that you're not alone.

How Can Low Down Payments Help First-Time Buyers?

First-time home buyers face a greater challenge coming up with a down payment. Repeat buyers have the advantage of selling a property before buying a new one so they can use proceeds from a sale as down payment on the next property. First-time home buyers don’t have equity from a prior home, so they must come up with a down payment on their own. If you're a first-time home buyer, a low down payment program means you can save less and become a home owner sooner.

No Down Payment Mortgage Programs

Did you know that it's possible to buy a home with no down payment? It's true! There are several no down payment mortgage options that can help repeat and first-time home buyers purchase a home with no money down.

VA Home Loan

Are you a veteran or military service member? A VA home loan offers 100% financing and is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To be eligible for a VA loan program, you must be active duty military, a veteran, an eligible surviving spouse, or a service member of the reserves or National Guard. This loan has flexible credit requirements, no mortgage insurance, and the VA limits how much a lender can charge in closing costs. It's a win-win all around!

USDA Home Loan

USDA loans are a type of government loan that is insured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It provides 100% financing when buying a house in an eligible rural or suburban neighborhood. USDA loans accommodate low-to-moderate income buyers and feature competitive interest rates making home ownership even more affordable.

Low Down Payment Mortgage Programs

We know not everyone will be eligible for 100% financing, but if you don't qualify for a VA loan or USDA loan, all is not lost! You might qualify for one of these great low down payment mortgages.

FHA Home Loans

FHA home loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and allow borrowers to purchase a home with a down payment of as little as 3.5%*. FHA loans come in several varieties, including fixed-rate loans, adjustable-rate loans, and jumbo loans. These loans are ideal for first-time home buyers, but anyone can apply, even repeat buyers. Just keep in mind that if you put less than 20% down, you'll have to pay mortgage insurance premiums with your monthly payment.

Conventional Home Loans

It's a myth that you can only get a conventional loan with a 20% down payment. The reality is that conventional loans have programs that allow low down payments. These include a standard conventional loan that requires a minimum of 5% down. Other options include the HomeReady and Conventional 97 home loans, which both require 3% down. These loans are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You can choose between a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate loan. Just keep in mind that if you put less than 20% down on a conventional loan, you'll be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Down Payment Assistance Programs

Sometimes you just need a little boost to get your foot in the door. If you don’t have enough cash for a down payment, you might qualify to receive help through a down payment assistance program. If eligible, you’ll receive money to help cover your down payment and/or closing costs. These programs vary, with some requiring that you live in the home for a certain number of years.

Types of Down Payment Assistance Programs


Down Payment Loans

These will help you meet your down payment goals.



Usually issued by your state, these funds often do not require repayment.


Tax Credits

These become useful when it's time to file your taxes.

How to Apply for a Low Down Payment Mortgage

Saving for a down payment doesn't have to make or break becoming a home owner. Let our team of trusted mortgage experts help you find an affordable mortgage program. A low down payment mortgage can make home ownership a reality.

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