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You can buy a home without putting 20% down

  • Posted on January 12, 2024

You don’t need 20% down to buy a home. You read that right—the down payment requirement is one of the most common misconceptions when it comes to getting a mortgage, and you don’t actually need to wait until you’ve saved up a 20% down payment to buy a home.

How Much Do You Need for a Down Payment?

In some cases, nothing. 

While making a 20% down payment can help you avoid paying mortgage insurance, it’s not your only down payment option.

Lenders know 20% is a pretty big chunk of money and most people would never be able to save that much to buy a home. That’s why many offer loans that let you put a lot less down (we’re talking closer to 3% and, in some cases, 0%). You’ve probably heard about a few low-down-payment loans¾FHA is one of the most commonly used. VA and USDA loans are two 0% down payment loan options 

The exact amount you’ll need to put down will depend on the type of loan you choose and other factors that play into whether you qualify for a mortgage, like your credit history. Different types of loans require different minimum credit scores. Low- and zero-down-payment options typically require a minimum credit score between 600 and 640. 

At United, we’ve taken extra steps to help make homeownership possible for more people. We’ve rolled out several exclusive no-down-payment home loans aimed at letting more people move forward with a home purchase, regardless of how much they do or don’t have saved for a down payment.

  • PATH (Possibilities Achieved through Homeownership) can be used to purchase a home up to $500,000 without a down payment. It’s a fixed-rate option (meaning your mortgage payment won’t change over the life of the loan), and it doesn’t require private mortgage insurance. There are also no maximum income restrictions if the home you’re purchasing is in an eligible area of the United footprint. 
  • Portfolio 100 is an adjustable-rate mortgage2 that doesn’t require you to buy or live in a specific location, have a certain occupation, or fall into a set income bracket. This home loan lets you borrow up to $766,550 with no money down.
  • Our Medical Professionals loan is available to medical doctors, residents/interns, dentists, oral surgeons, veterinarians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. There’s no down payment required for loans up to $750,000 and no mortgage insurance requirement.


What if I don’t qualify for one of those no-down-payment loans?1

You may still be able to buy a home with no money down, even if the loans above aren’t the right fit for you. There are a lot of programs out there that offer down payment and closing cost assistance through grants or second loans.

One of those programs lets you use an FHA loan to buy a home with no money down. This option allows you to use a 10-year second mortgage to cover up to 3.5% of the sales price or appraised value of the home (whichever is less). 3.5% is the minimum required down payment for an FHA loan, so this second mortgage would be enough to cover your full down payment.

We also offer a number of other down payment assistance programs, including some that are available if you’re buying a home in a certain location within our footprint.

How do I get started?

Now that you know you have options, it’s time to figure out which loan product makes the most sense for you. Our team of mortgage experts is here to guide you through the home loan process. Connect with one of our mortgage loan originators, call 1-800-914-8224, or start your secure digital application now.


1Restrictions apply. Not all borrowers will qualify.

2Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are variable rate loans; interest rates and payments may increase after consummation. After the initial fixed-rate period, your interest rate can increase or decrease every six months according to the market index. Any change may significantly impact your monthly payment.

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