RSP loan for downpayment Канада

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Mortgages with 5% down payment

Mortgages with 5% down payment are still available for First Time Home Buyers!

Since July 2010 Bank of Canada had changed the rules for borrowing money for first time home buyers and income properties. Some of these rules are saying that First Time Home Buyers have to have at least 10% from property purchase price, down payment. And for home owners who want to purchase second property and rent it out – mandatory 20% down payment.

During last couple of weeks I have been working with newcomers what’ve been living in Canada for less than 2 years. They could afford a mortgage with only 5% down payment and have been turned down by their bank.

They received an answer like:

-“You better open tax free saving account with us and save more money. Then you can apply again for mortgage.”

I have been lucky to know some of the best professionals working in mortgage business that have been helping me and my clients.

I found a house that my clients liked a lot and we have got the mortgage for it in less than 3 business days with 5% down.

Now I can say for sure that out there are two Lenders (for sure) who can finance a real estate purchase with 5% down payment.

I hope this information will help many people who are discouraged and hopeless in their dream to buy a property with less than 10% down in Ontario.

When you dealing with your bank do not let it full you. Always ask for second opinion.

When they see that you know what you want and you are confident about it, there are much more chances to get it.

Ипотечный кредит с 5% первоначальным платежом по-прежнему доступен для покупателей первого жилья в Канаде!

Начиная с июля 2010 года банк Канады изменил правила выдачи кредитов для покупателей первого жилья и доходной недвижимости. Некоторые из этих правил говорят, что покупатель первого жилья должен иметь не меньше 10% от стоимости недвижимости для первоначального взноса. И для владельцев недвижимости, кто хочет приобрести второй дом, чтобы сдавать его в рент — обязателен первоначальный взнос в размере 20%.

В течение нескольких недель я работал с ньюкамерами, которые живут в Канаде менее 2-х лет. Они имели только 5% первоначального взноса и банк отказал им в получении ипотечного кредита.

Они получили ответ вроде этого:

— Будет лучше, если вы откроете безналоговый сберегательный счет у нас и накопите побольше денег. Потом вы сможете подавать заявление на ипотечный кредит.

По счастью я знаком с лучшими профессионалами в области ипотечного кредитования, которые помогли мне и моим клиентам.

Я нашел дом, который понравился клиентам и они получили ипотечный кредит с 5% первоначальным взносом в течение 3 бизнес дней.

Теперь я могу сказать с уверенностью, что есть два Кредитора, которые могут финансировать покупку с 5% первоначальным взносом.

Я надеюсь, что эта информация поможет многим людям, которые обескуражены и отчаялись в своей мечте купить недвижимость с менее чем на 10% первоначальным платежом в Онтарио.

Когда вы имеете дело со своим банком, не ограничивайтесь только им. Всегда спрашивайте другое мнение.

Когда они видят, что вы знаете, что хотите, и вы уверены в этом, есть гораздо больше шансов получить желаемое :).

First time home hunters. Pay debt or save for down payment


  • We want to buy a house.
  • We’ve done all the pro’s and con’s of home ownership.
  • We have 1/2 a down payment and some highish loan payments

Would it be wiser to pay down the loans and go with a cash back mortgage at 5.29% interest, or wiser to keep saving for the full down payment while still carrying the highish loans? FYI: the biggest loan is a $30k truck loan at 9.9%

Full Version:

I’m in Canada, and our government has changed the laws a bit and we’re not allowed to do zero down mortgages. I know this is a good thing, but unfortunately it puts us in a tight spot. We must have 5% down and cannot borrow it from anywhere.

Family is allowed to «give» money but that’s never gunna happen for us.

Banks are allowed to «give» money, but that comes by way of additional fees that suck the lifeblood out of us. basically they give you your 5% down but make up for it in an additional 2% interest for a fixed 5 year term. Currently mortgage rates are roughly 3.25% and a «cash back mortgage» is 5.29%.

Now on to our situation.
We currently have $7k liquid cash in the bank, and the size of home we need (in our area) will cost $340k. That sets us up for a down payment of roughly $17,000.

I also carry a $565/month truck payement ($30k @ 9.9% interest) and a couple of visa’s with a total balance of about $600 (no big deal there). There is a new bank willing to take my truck loan at 5.9% interest, lowering my payment to $425/month if I tack on an additional $3500 as a new down payment.

Would I be smarter lowering my overall debt ratio by kicking in the $4100 to pay down the two visa’s and get the truck loan smaller, then go after a «cash back mortgage», or am I smarter keeping the cash in the back, stashing away as much as I can, and carrying the higher payments and interest?

This is such a hard decision for me, and I’m having a hard time finding a sound solution one way or the other.

One thing I’m thinking about is that there is no savings account that’s going to give me 4% guaranteed, which is what I’ll get if I move the truck loan. However, my savings will take a big hit and set us that much further back from our goal (If we don’t go the cash back route).

I’m not here to defend my decision to buy a house vs continuing to rent, I have my reasons. I’m more just interested in the dollars and cents of it all.

Final Results: if anyone cares

We ended up needing to move out of our rental (landlord wanted to bump us to $2000/mo) into a town home with rent at $1600/mo. This was the tipping point, and we needed to buy something asap. We ended up paying off one of our vehicles using my tax return ($7000), coming up with 10% down and buying a $320,000 home at 2.89%. Leaving us with a monthly mortgage of $1440. With property tax in, we’re paying $1620 / month (utilities are the same everywhere we’ve lived), so for an additional $20/month we’re paying on a mortgage instead of rent.

Down Payment Assistant Loan (DPAL)


One of the biggest obstacles to owning a home is the amount of funds a borrower must have for downpayment and closing costs. To help applicants overcome this obstacle, SONYMA offers homebuyers down payment assistance in conjunction with SONYMA financing. Please read below for details about the Down Payment Assistance Loan (DPAL) offered by SONYMA.

DPAL) allows SONYMA borrowers to secure down payment assistance through a second mortgage that can be used in combination with any currently available SONYMA program. DPALs have no interest rate and no monthly payments and will be forgiven after ten (10) years as long as the borrower keeps the SONYMA financing in place, and continues to owner occupy his or her home.

Program Features

The SONYMA DPAL can now be used to pay all or a portion of a one-time mortgage insurance premium, if applicable, thus significantly reducing your monthly mortgage payment. Here are some features of the program.

  • 0% interest rate
  • Requires no monthly payments and is forgiven after 10 years
  • Minimum loan is $1,000
  • Maximum loan is the higher of: $3,000; or 3% of the home purchase price (up to a maximum of $15,000).

The Down Payment Assistance Loan cannot exceed the actual down payment and/or closing costs associated with the mortgage loan transaction.

The interest rate for first mortgages associated with a DPAL will be .375% higher than the interest rate for loans without DPAL. The higher rate does not apply to the Graduate to Homeownership, Homes for Veterans or Energy Star® Programs.

Additional Considerations

Here are a few more considerations for this program.

All or a portion of the Down Payment Assistance Loan may be required to be repaid or «recaptured» if the SONYMA mortgage loan is paid in full within ten (10) years of purchasing the home. The repayment of the Down Payment Assistance Loan will be reduced for each month the applicant lives in the property and the SONYMA mortgage remains outstanding. Further, the amount owed would be eliminated or reduced if the SONYMA financed property is sold and the proceeds are insufficient to cover the amount of the Down Payment Assistance Loan and the applicant’s investment in the property (i.e.: the initial down payment (not covered by DPAL) when the home was purchased plus mortgage loan principal repayments, any closing costs and any capital improvements).

Regardless of the SONYMA program for which you apply, borrowers must make a minimum cash contribution of one percent (1%) of the value of the property (three percent (3%) for cooperatives, 3- and 4-family properties).

The above down payment assistance products may only be used in conjunction with a SONYMA mortgage and may be used for any property type eligible under the program that SONYMA finances, including cooperatives.

The DPAL may not exceed the total amount needed for the down payment, closing costs and prepaid expenses (after applying borrower’s minimum contribution). Borrowers CANNOT receive cash back. If at the loan closing, it appears that the borrower would receive cash back, the lender must (a) lower the DPAL amount so there is no cash back, or (b) apply the overage amount to the principal balance of the first mortgage.

SONYMA will not allow the DPAL to be subordinated to another mortgage.

Note: Some SONYMA participating lenders may not offer down payment assistance programs. Please check with your lender before applying for financing.

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Can You Use a Personal Loan for a Home Down Payment?

Get Personal Loan Rates

Many homebuyers struggle to afford a down payment on a house and need to find alternative funding. However, using a personal loan to cover your down payment is generally not a good idea. Instead, people purchasing homes should consider other financing options including FHA loans, alternative lenders, down payment assistance programs and various other options that are less costly or less risky than personal loans.

Is Using a Personal Loan for a Home Down Payment a Good Idea?

Most times, using a personal loan for a home down payment isn’t an option. Mortgage lenders generally don’t allow personal loans to be used and prefer you not to obtain a down payment from another lending institution. Using a personal loan defeats the purpose of the down payment contribution, since the payment is supposed to show that you’re investing some of your money. It raises the question for lenders of whether you’re able to afford the house if you can’t afford the down payment. That said, it’s possible to get a personal loan for down payment if your mortgage lender agrees and you have no other options.

A personal loan is a last resort option if you have exhausted all other alternatives. In addition to your monthly mortgage payments, you’ll have to pay the lender principal and interest each month for a personal loan until you pay off the entire balance. Typically, personal loans have shorter terms than mortgages. Monthly payments tend to be higher since it has a shorter period. So, the money that you’ll be saving from not paying a down payment will be short-lived, and you’ll have missed the other options to pay a low down payment or even a zero down payment.

Homebuyers are required to disclose the source of their down payment with records and bank statements. Lenders review your credit report and usually require that the money you have in the bank for the down payment is «seasoned,» meaning that it has been sitting in the same bank account for a certain amount of time before you purchase the house. It’s required because you can’t take out a bank loan and put it in the account without the lender’s knowledge. A personal bank loan—which appears on your credit score after 60 days—will usually lower your score because of the hard inquiries on your credit report and the addition of new credit, which mortgage lenders don’t want to see.

The Disadvantages of Personal Loans

Personal loans are unsecured debt, meaning there’s no collateral for the bank to collect if you default on the loan. Lenders will charge much higher interest rates to make up for the fact that the loan is not backed by anything. Not only are interest rates high, there are plenty of other disadvantages to consider when taking out a personal loan:

  • Defaulting with the addition of a personal loan if you’re unprepared for the monthly costs.
  • Increasing your debt-to-income ratio.
  • Mortgage lenders may reject your loan request due to taking out a personal loan.
  • High monthly payments with both a personal loan and mortgage.
  • Lenders are less likely to grant you the mortgage amount you need.
  • For each loan application, a hard credit pull is done. This lowers your credit score, making it more difficult to be approved for a loan.

How to Get a Personal Loan for Your Home Down Payment

While we don’t recommend taking out a personal loan, if your mortgage lender agrees to accept a personal loan as the source of your down payment, shop around for the best rate. Find the general interest rates that you qualify for, as well as the best options for your situation. Credit unions and online lenders generally offer better interest rates than traditional banks. Try to look for the lowest interest rate possible, because you’ll need to pay your monthly mortgage bill as well.

If you use a personal loan to pay for your down payment, make sure that you have enough money for closing costs. Technically a personal loan can cover both your down payment and closing costs, but this defeats the purpose of these payments and your debt-to-income ratio will likely increase. If you can’t afford both the down payment and the closing costs, you should probably reconsider whether you should buy a house because you’ll need to pay high monthly costs for the personal loan and mortgage.

Other Mortgage Options

A common misconception homebuyers have is that they need to put down 20% of the loan value for the down payment. Often times, it’s recommended but not necessary. Instead of taking out a personal loan to fund your down payment, consider these mortgage alternatives with zero or low down payment options:

  • FHA Loans
  • VA Loans
  • USDA Loans
  • Alternative Lenders
  • Conventional Loans

You can click here to learn more about mortgages.

FHA Loans

FHA loans only require 3.5% down, if you have a credit score above 580. Although, if you put down less than 10%, you have to pay mortgage insurance premiums—a fee that protects the lender if you default—for the life of your loan. FHA loans are government-insured mortgages that make buying a home accessible to people with low income or poor credit. In order to qualify, you need at least two established lines of credit, a debt-to-income ratio that doesn’t exceed 31%, and no «delinquent» federal debts including loan defaults or unpaid taxes.

VA Loans

VA loans are backed by the Department of Veteran Affairs and require no down payment. To qualify for this loan, you must be a veteran, on active duty, or an eligible surviving spouse. Unlike conventional mortgages and FHA loans, borrowers are not required to pay mortgage insurance and monthly payments tend to be low. This is probably the best option if you qualify.

USDA Loans

USDA loans are for people looking to purchase homes in eligible rural areas. They require no down payment, unless the borrower has significant assets. Almost 97% of the geographic United States is eligible, you can check if your area qualifies by using a tool on the USDA’s website. There are two types of loans available, the Guaranteed Housing Loan for the average income borrower and the Direct Housing Loan for low-income families.

Alternative Lenders

There are multiple lenders offering zero or low down payment mortgages including a few traditional banks and many online lenders. These lenders include Quicken Loans, SoFi, Flagstar Bank, Bank of America, Suntrust, and PNC Mortgage. However, due to the low down payment, your monthly payment will probably be quite high, so make sure that you have enough money to cover those payments for the life of your loan.

Conventional Loans

Conventional loans offer down payments as low as 3%, but you must pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) until your payments reach 20% of the loan amount. If you’re able to put 20% down, then you won’t have to pay monthly private mortgage insurance. These loans follow the standards set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You can use them to buy your primary residence, second home, or rental property.

Alternative Options to Finance Your Home Down Payment

In addition to mortgage options, there are additional ways to finance your down payment without taking out a personal loan, these include:

  • Down payment assistance programs (DPA)
  • Piggyback loans
  • Gifts from family or friends
  • Saving up funds
  • Retirement fund loans

DPA Programs

Some DPA programs provide grants or gifts that don’t have to be repaid and are often available to first-time homebuyers and existing homeowners. Many programs are state-based and you can look through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website for offerings in your state or call your local government. There are other programs run by nonprofits, such as the National Homebuyers Fund, to help fund your down payment.

Piggyback Loans

A piggyback loan—also known as a purchase money second mortgage—is when a borrower takes out two mortgage loans at the same time, one that’s for 80% of the home’s value and the other to make up the 20% down payment. It’s used by homebuyers that don’t have 20% down, but want to avoid paying private mortgage insurance. The most common piggyback loan is the 80-10-10—the first mortgage is for 80% of the home’s value, a down payment of 10% is paid by the buyer, and the other 10% is financed in a second trust loan at a higher interest rate. Essentially, the buyer just puts 10% down and avoids paying PMI, but may have higher interest rates.

Gifts from Family or Friends

If you’re unable to get assistance from a DPA program or a piggyback loan, you can ask a family member or friend if they’d be willing gift your down payment. Although this form of payment is usually accepted by mortgage lenders, there are strict rules for the process. First, you must check with your loan officer that they accept these gifts. Then, you must document the gift process, which must be given through check or wire transfer. The gift cannot be in cash or loaned and you must provide the receipts showing the transfer of funds. If you fail to follow these rules, you may not be able to use the funds or the gift could be counted against you as debt.

Save Up Funds

There are multiple ways to save for your down payment instead of taking out a personal loan. You can sell items you don’t need, get a second job, ladder CDs, or just set aside part of your income each month. By selling items you don’t need, you get rid of clutter while gaining money. You can also work part-time, freelance, etc., and save up the money you generate from those jobs. Laddering CDs is low risk but tends to have low returns. The simplest way would probably be to set aside part of your income each month into a savings account. You’ll need to make sure that you can save enough for the down payment.

Retirement Fund Loan

Borrowing from a retirement account is not recommended, but if you really need the funds and don’t want to increase your debt-to-income ratio, then it’s an option. Some retirement funds have rules against borrowing, so check with your account. Each retirement account has different limits for the amount of money you can take out, and whether you’ll be taxed on the withdrawal. Since you’ll be borrowing from yourself and not a bank, you have many repayment options. You should only do this if you’re certain that you can pay back the loan.

Car Loan with No Down Payment

A lot of the time there is an option to finance the full value of the vehicle with $0 down. That being said a lot of Canadians are interested in putting down a little bit of money.

The main reasons someone would want to put a down payment even though they have an option of no down payment are:

  • Less overall amount financed
  • Lower monthly payments
  • Can pay off a smaller auto loan quicker

Yes it’s true you can still low payments and have short terms without a down payment, but obviously the less you need to borrow the lower you can make your payments.

So how do I save for a down payment for a car loan.

There are a couple tricks that customers have told us over the years that have helped them save for that down payment:

Starting small is better than not starting

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You can save $3 dollars a day (the cost of a specialty coffee) every day and in 6 months you will have $500 saved!

Keep the saving for a car loan down payment separate from other savings

A trap you can fall into is putting all of your savings in the same place and then spending money where you never intended. Imagine you’re putting away $30 a week for a vacation and $30 for a car loan… Well if that “perfect” trip ends up showing up before you decide to get a vehicle, you may end up emptying out your savings and kicking yourself later for doing it.

Pay your(self) savings first

This is one you’ve probably heard before, but that’s because it really works. If every week or month you are at the mercy of what’s left over at the end of the month for savings – then chances are, that if you’re like us, you’ll find a way to spend pretty well all of it.

If, on the other hand, you put away money as soon as you get paid – chances are you still might find away to spend all of your money, but you can feel great knowing that you put some money away into savings too!

Mortgage Down Payment

A mortgage down payment is the amount of money you pay upfront when purchasing a home. A down payment, typically expressed as a percentage, is calculated as the dollar value of the down payment divided by the home price.


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Get a great mortgage with just 5% down

Have a 5% down payment? You’re ready to go. Lock in a great mortgage before rates go up!

What is the minimum down payment required in Canada?

The minimum down payment in Canada depends on the purchase price of the home:

  • If the purchase price is less than $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5%.
  • If the purchase price is between $500,000 and $999,999, the minimum down payment is 5% of the first $500,000, and 10% of any amount over $500,000.
  • If the purchase price is $1,000,000 or more, the minimum down payment is 20%.

Mortgage default insurance, commonly referred to as CMHC insurance, protects the lender in the event the borrower defaults on the mortgage. It is required on all mortgages with down payments of less than 20%, which are known as high-ratio mortgages. A conventional mortgage, on the other hand, is one where the down payment is 20% or higher.

According to a recent TD Canada Trust Home Buyers Report 1 , 30% of homebuyers plan to or have at least a 20% down payment, the point at which mortgage default insurance is no longer required.

The size of your down payment influences three things

The amount you put down at the beginning of your mortgage shapes three important outputs over the life of the mortgage:

  • The home price you can afford
  • The size of your mortgage and monthly payment
  • The amount of CMHC insurance you pay

1. Your down payment influences the home price you can afford

Because the minimum down payment in Canada is 5%, this benchmark is used to determine your maximum affordability. Ignoring your income and debt levels, you can infer your maximum purchase price based on the size of your down payment. Because the minimum down payment is a sliding scale, the calculation depends on whether your down payment is more or less than $25,000.

If your down payment is $25,000 or less, your maximum home price would be: down payment amount / 5%. For example, if you have saved $25,000 for your down payment, the maximum home price you could afford would be $25,000 / 5% = $500,000.

If your down payment is $25,001 or more, the calculation is a bit more complex. You can find your maximum purchase price using: down payment amount — $25,000 / 10% + $500,000. For example, if you have saved $40,000 for your down payment, the maximum home price you could afford would be $40,000 — $25,000 = $15,000 / 10% = $150,000 + $500,000 = $650,000.

Naturally, as your affordability is also a function of your income and debt levels, you should visit our mortgage affordability calculator for a more detailed analysis.

2. Your down payment shapes the size of your mortgage and monthly payment

A larger down payment reduces the size of your mortgage, and, therefore, the monthly payment and interest you will pay over the life of your mortgage.

3. Your down payment determines the amount of CMHC insurance you pay

Your CMHC insurance premium, calculated as a percent of your mortgage amount, gets smaller as you increase your down payment. To learn more about CMHC insurance and how it is calculated, please visit our CMHC insurance page.

Down Payment (% of Home Price)
5% — 9.99% 10% — 14.99% 15%-19.99% 20% or higher
4.00% 3.10% 2.80% 0.00%

Example to illustrate the effect of two different down payments

Let’s ‘say you are considering a home priced at $300,000 and are deciding whether to put down $25,000 or $40,000. The mortgage rate is 3.00% and the amortization period is 25 years.

Scenario A Scenario B
Home Price $300,000 $300,000
Down Payment $25,000 $40,000
CMHC Insurance $8,663 $6,240
Total Mortgage $283,663 $266,240
Monthly Mortgage Payment $1,342 $1,260
Total Payments over 25 Years $402,726 $377,991

Under Scenario B, the additional $15,000 put towards the mortgage down payment lowers CMHC insurance by $2,423 and saves the homebuyer around $25,000 in interest over the life of the mortgage. However, it is also important to consider the opportunity cost, or alternative uses for the additional outlay under Scenario B. You must look at your expected returns associated with RRSP contributions, stock investments, and/or debt repayments, for example, to make an informed decision.

Mortgage down payment sources

There are a number of ways you can source funds for a mortgage down payment. Traditional sources include saving a fixed amount from every paycheque, selling stocks, bonds or personal property, or reaching out to immediate family, for example. Another great option is the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) which lets first-time homebuyers withdraw up to $25,000 from Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) for a home purchase, tax-free. Many first-time homebuyers take advantage of this opportunity and set up RRSP accounts well in advance, with the intention to reap the rewards when it is time to purchase real estate.

Non-traditional sources for a down payment include borrowed funds, and gifts from non-immediate family members. It is important to note, however, that when you employ non-traditional sources for your down payment, you will incur a CMHC insurance surcharge of 0.15% for down payments of 5% or less. 2

Loan-to-value ratio

An alternative way to look at the down payment is to employ the loan-to-value ratio (LTV), which describes the mortgage value in relation to the home price (mortgage value / home price). A function of the down payment percentage, it can also be calculated as (1 – down payment %). Let»s take a look at the example below.

Down Payment

What Is a Down Payment?

A down payment is a type of payment made in cash during the onset of the purchase of an expensive good or service. The payment represents a percentage of the full purchase price; in some cases, it is not refundable if the deal falls through because of the purchaser. In most cases, the purchaser makes financing arrangements to cover the remaining amount owed to the seller.

For example, many homebuyers make down payments of 5% to 25% of the total value of the home, and a bank or other financial institution will cover the remainder of the costs through a mortgage loan. Down payments on car purchases work in a similar fashion.

A down payment may also be known as a deposit, especially in England, where 0% to 5% deposit mortgages for some buyers are not uncommon.

Down Payment

How Down Payments Work

Down payments decrease the amount of interest paid over the lifetime of the loan, lower the monthly payments, and provide lenders with a degree of security.

Home Purchases

In the United States, a 20% down payment on a home is the standard for lenders. However, there are ways to buy a home with as little as 3.5% down, such as with a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan.

A situation in which a larger down payment may be necessary is when purchasing within a co-operative property, which is common in many cities. Since a buyer of a co-operative apartment is actually buying shares in a corporation that entitle them to a corresponding home, many lenders will insist on 25% down. Some high-end co-op properties may even require a 50% down payment, although that is not the norm.

A down payment of 20% or more may get you a lower interest rate on an auto loan.

Auto Purchases

In car purchases, a down payment of 20% or more may make it easier for a buyer to get better loan rates, terms, or approval for a loan. Some dealers may offer terms of 0% down for some buyers, which means no down payment is required, though that usually means a lender will charge a fairly high interest rate on the loan.

Special Considerations

Calculating a down payment is oftentimes a complicated endeavor. There are some areas where more careful consideration than others is needed. Down payments also offer lenders a certain degree of assurance. Essentially, if you have invested in a down payment, you may be less likely to default on the loan. Because of that assumption, mortgage lenders, in particular, may offer lower interest rates to borrowers with large down payments.


When you make a down payment on a purchase and use a loan to pay for the remainder, you instantly reduce the amount of interest you pay over the lifetime of the loan. For example, if you borrow $100,000 on a loan with a 5% interest rate, you owe $5,000 in interest in the first year of the loan alone.

However, if you have a $20,000 down payment, you only need to borrow $80,000. As a result, during the first year, your interest is only $4,000, saving you $1,000 in the first year alone. Thus, it pays to have a sizable down payment on your mortgage as it will save you thousands of dollars in interest over the lifetime of the loan.

If you are considering taking out a mortgage, use a mortgage calculator to calculate interest and the total cost of the loan with various down payments.

Monthly Payments

Down payments also reduce monthly payments on installment loans. For example, imagine you buy a car for $15,000. If you take out a loan for $15,000 with a 3% interest rate and a four-year term, your monthly payments are $332. However, if you have a down payment of $3,000, you only need to borrow $12,000, and your monthly payments fall to $266. That is a savings of $66 per month or $3,168 over the 48-month life of the loan.

Key Takeaways

  • Make your down payment as high as you can afford in order to save on interest payments on the remainder of the loan.
  • Lenders may require a varying range of down payments (as low as 3.5% and as high as 50% in the U.S.), depending on the borrower and property type.

Mortgage Insurance

In most cases, if you put down less than 20% when you are buying a house, you have to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is paid to a private insurance company, and the monthly payments are called PMI premiums. If your mortgage is secured by the FHA, you pay for insurance through the FHA. However, if you put down a 20% down payment, you can avoid paying mortgage insurance premiums. (For related reading, see «Saving for a Down Payment: Where Should I Keep My Money?»)

Personal Loan for Down Payment on a Home

Can you borrow the down payment for a home? If you do it the right way, mortgage lenders will accept a personal loan for down payment. Here’s what you need to know before buying a home.

Buy a home with a personal loan?

It can be a challenge to save a down payment for a first home when you are paying rent and other expenses. And most mortgage programs don’t allow you to borrow your entire down payment unless you qualify for an approved down payment assistance (DPA) program through a government or charitable organization.

But you can borrow your down payment with a personal loan if you plan ahead.

  • Determine how much you need to borrow for your down payment and closing costs
  • Take out a personal loan and deposit the proceeds into your savings or investment account
  • Let the funds “season” for two or three months (you will make your monthly personal loan payments during this time)
  • Apply for mortgage preapproval with a lender
  • You’ll disclose the personal loan and its payment as a liability, and the entire balance of your savings as an asset, which you’ll use for your down payment and closing costs

Note that the personal loan payment will be part of your monthly expenses and counted in your debt-to-income ratios.

Personal loan for 3% down payment

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer mortgages with just 3% down. If you saved $250 a month toward a home purchase, it would still take three years to come up with a 3% down on a $300,000 home. And if the property appreciated at 5% per year, in three years it might be worth $347,000. And then 3% would be $10,410. You’d have to save for six more months!

But you could buy much sooner if you can borrow the $9,000 down payment with a 5-year personal loan. With rates under 6% for well-qualified borrowers, the payment is less than $200. And even at 20%, it’s still less than $250. In 5 years, you’ll have paid off your personal loan and added $9,000 in equity to your home.

What do mortgage lenders consider?

You’re probably wondering what mortgage lenders look at when you borrow your down payment with a personal loan. It’s actually very simple. When you borrow and add the loan proceeds to your savings, the funds become “co-mingled.” The loan proceeds are no longer separate from your other assets.

Leave the loan proceeds in your savings long enough for them to appear in your bank balance (most lenders ask for two or three months of bank statements when you apply for a mortgage). On your mortgage application, indicate that your down payment is coming from “savings.” Because at this point, the personal loan proceeds have been added to your savings.

You don’t state that your down payment is borrowed. But you do disclose that you have the loan and the payment. The monthly payment is part of your debt-to-income ratio. If you already carry a lot of debt, adding another loan payment may reduce the amount you can borrow with a mortgage.

Debt-to-income ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, is your debt payments divided by your gross (before-tax) income. Mortgage lenders don’t generally like to see a debt-to-income ratio over 43%.

So if your total debt service, including the new mortgage, property taxes and insurance, and all other accounts like credit card minimums, student loans, auto loans and, yes, your personal loan payment come to $2,000 a month, and you earn $6,000 a month, your DTI is $2,000 / $6,000. That’s .3333, or 33.33%. You’d be in a good position to obtain mortgage approval as long as you meet the other program guidelines.

A caution

Sometimes, an underwriter might ask about the inquiry from your personal loan provider on your credit history. Answer honestly that it is for the loan which you disclosed on your application. Always be honest on your mortgage application.

Similarly, an underwriter might notice that your savings balance is significantly higher than the average balance noted on your bank statement. You may have to explain the loan proceeds or any other large recent deposits when you apply for a mortgage. The longer the borrowed funds sit in the account, the less likely it is that this will come up.

Down Payments: How They Work, How Much to Pay

Image by Theresa Chiechi © The Balance 2020

When you buy expensive items with debt, you typically need to make a down payment to cover a portion of the purchase price. That initial payment is often critical for getting approved, and it can affect your borrowing costs throughout the life of your loan. As a result, it’s wise to understand how down payments work and choose the right payment amount.

What is a Down Payment?

A down payment is an up-front payment you make to purchase a home, vehicle, or other asset. The down payment is the portion of the purchase price that you pay for yourself out-of-pocket (as opposed to borrowing). That money typically comes from your personal savings, and in most cases, you pay with a check, credit card, or an electronic payment.

Down payments are often, but not always, part of a loan. When you see “zero down” offers, no down payment is required. However, it is sometimes wise to make a down payment even when you don’t have to. The down payment often covers a meaningful percentage of the total purchase price (such as 20 percent). You pay off the remainder of the loan over time with regular installment payments—unless you pay the loan off early with a large prepayment or by refinancing.

Example: You buy a house for $200,000. You have saved $40,000 for this purpose, so you bring a cashier’s check for a $40,000 down payment (which is 20 percent of the purchase price). As a result, you’ll only borrow $160,000, which you can pay off with a 30-year mortgage.

How Much Should You Pay?

You can often choose how large of a down payment to make, and the decision is not always easy. Some people believe bigger is always better, while others prefer to keep down payments as small as possible. You need to evaluate the pros and cons and decide for yourself.

A bigger down payment helps you minimize borrowing. The more you pay up front, the smaller your loan. That means you pay less in total interest costs over the life of the loan, and you also benefit from lower monthly payments. To see how this works for yourself, gather the numbers from any loan you’re considering and plug them into a loan calculator. Experiment with adjusting the loan balance and watch how the other numbers respond.

Benefits of going big: A big down payment can help you in several ways.

  • Lower rates: You might qualify for a lower interest rate if you put more down. Lenders like to see larger down payments because they can more easily get their money back if you default on the loan. By reducing your lender’s risk, you can potentially reduce your interest charges.
  • Mortgage insurance: When buying a home, you might be able to dodge private mortgage insurance (PMI) and other fees with a bigger up-front payment. On FHA loans, mortgage insurance costs decrease with bigger down payments, and you’re generally stuck with FHA insurance for the life of your loan.
  • Smaller monthly burden: Low monthly payments can make your life easier. If your income changes (due to job loss, for example), lower required monthly payments give you more wiggle room.
  • Future borrowing power: Low payments also make it easier to qualify for additional loans in the future. Lenders like to see that you have more than enough income to meet your monthly obligations, and they evaluate your finances with a debt to income ratio.
  • Potential equity: Sometimes you can borrow against assets like your home or car, using the asset as collateral. In the example above, you probably can’t dip into the $20,000 you invested in your home because lenders are hesitant to go above 80 percent loan to value. However, if you initially put down more than 20 percent, or you’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy price appreciation, you might be able to pull funds out with a home equity loan.

A smaller down payment is appealing for one obvious reason: You don’t have to come up with as much money. Several arguments for keeping your down payment small include:

  • Buy sooner: Saving 20 percent for a home purchase can take years. For some, it can take decades, and that may not be acceptable in your situation.
  • Emergency reserves: if you do happen to save a significant amount, it’s scary to part with all of that money—what if something happens (if your car breaks down, health problems arise, and so on)? Putting all of your free cash into a house or car means your money is tied up in something that might be hard to sell. Some people aren’t comfortable with that scenario.
  • Resources for improvements: Especially when it comes to a home purchase, small down payments are tempting. You get to keep cash on hand for those inevitable improvements and repairs.
  • Opportunity cost: You might prefer to use the funds for other purposes, such as retirement savings or growing your business.

Of course, the decision is personal, and the right choice depends on numerous factors. Ideally, you’ve got a solid emergency fund to deal with any surprises, and you’re not robbing from that fund to make your down payment.

Lender Requirements

It’s not uncommon for lenders to set a minimum required down payment (but you can pay more if you like). Again, a larger down payment reduces lender risk: if they foreclose on your home or repossess your auto, they don’t have to sell it for top-dollar to recover their investment.

Down payments can also have a psychological impact. They show lenders that you have “skin in the game” because your own money is at stake. As a result, you’re more likely to keep making payments—walking away would be expensive. What’s more, a down payment shows lenders that you are willing and able to come up with a portion of the purchase price, and a track record of saving is always helpful for getting approved.

Common requirements:

  • For home purchases, 20 percent is a significant number. Paying at least 20 percent allows you to avo >

Cash and alternatives: In most cases, down payments come as “cash” (or more likely a check, money order or wire transfer), but cash isn’t always required. For example, a lien on your land can sometimes function as a down payment when applying for a construction loan.

After making your down payment, you typically pay off the remaining loan balance with:

  • Ongoing periodic payments (monthly payments, for example)
  • Additional lump sum payments, if you choose to make optional payments to reduce your debt or pay the loan off early
  • A balloon payment, in some cases

As with many important situations, the first steps you take can sometimes help you or haunt you for years to come, so it’s essential to choose your down payment wisely. Once you’ve decided on a number, start saving up so your plan is a success.

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