If you’re someone who wants to buy a house but doesn’t have a lot of money for a down payment, don’t give up yet. Your dreams of owning a home are still attainable.
There are mortgage options available for a low-down payment or even no down payment at all, as show below.
Mortgages with no down payment or a small one:
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Navy Federal Credit Union
- Buy Private Mortgage Insurance
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
No Money Down: Department of Affairs
The VA guarantees the purchase of mortgages with no down payment required for active-duty members, qualified veterans, and even certain members of the National Guard and Reserves.
Private lenders originate VA loans, which the VA guarantees. There is no mortgage insurance, just a funding fee which can be rolled into the loan amount. The funding fee can be as low as 1.25 or as high as 3.3 percent.
No Money Down: Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal is the nation’s largest credit union in assets and memberships and offers 100 percent financing to qualified members who buy primary homes. Eligibility is typically restricted to members of the military, some civilian employees of the military, the U.S. Department of Defense, and family members as well.
The credit union’s zero-down payment is relatively similar to the Veteran Affairs, though the funding fee is 1.75 percent.
No Money Down: USDA
The USDA’s Rural Development mortgage guarantee program is very popular and sometimes runs out of money before the fiscal year ends.
The USDA mortgage comes from a bank and there is no mortgage insurance involved. Instead, the USDA charges a 1 percent upfront guarantee fee, which can also be rolled into the loan amount, as well as an annual guarantee fee of 0.35 percent of the loan balance.
Little Down: Buy Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
Qualified borrowers can make down payments that are as little as 3 percent with Private Mortgage Insurance. For most borrowers, it costs less than Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance. But the caveat is that PMI has stricter credit requirements.
Another advantage PMI has over FHA is that once your mortgage balance is under 80 percent of the home’s value, you can cancel PMI. As for FHA insurance, you aren’t able to get rid of it unless you refinance into a non-FHA loan.
Little Down: Federal Housing Administration
An FHA loan is an option for people with tainted credit histories that usually requires a down payment as little as 3.5 percent. Also, the FHA charges an upfront mortgage insurance premium of 1.75 percent of the mortgage amount.
Many first-time and repeating homebuyers can qualify for FHA loans that typically have lower down payments, reasonable credit expectations and more flexible income requirements.
There are many options regarding mortgages that require little to no down payment. Therefore, it’s important to remember that all of these options are long-term financial obligations, and care should be taken to understand the differences of them before making any decisions.