When purchasing a home, borrowers are required to make a monetary contribution that is referred to as the minimum down payment. Although the actual amount of the minimum down payment required can vary depending on the type of mortgage loan being taken out, the standard minimum down payment required for a conventional loan is 20%, while the minimum down payment required for an FHA loan is 3.5%. Some VA loans may not even require a minimum down payment.

What Is a Minimum Down Payment?

• The amount of cash that a buyer is required to provide in order to qualify for a mortgage loan is referred to as the minimum down payment.

The down payment required for a conventional loan is typically 20%, whereas the down payment required for an FHA loan is typically 3.5%.

• The purpose of the down payment is to reduce the amount of risk that the lender is exposed to.

• FHA loans are the loans that are backed by the US government. Because of the relatively small amount that is required as a down payment, these loans necessitate the payment of a monthly mortgage premium that is not tax deductible and is known as mortgage insurance.

Understanding About Minimum Down Payment

The minimum amount of a down payment that must be paid is determined by the potential risk to the lender. It is hypothesized that if a borrower makes a sizeable cash contribution to the mortgage on their own, then there is a decreased likelihood that the borrower will default on the loan.

This sum, which is typically due at the time of the signing of the closing documents for conventional loans that are backed by a variety of lending institutions, is typically twenty percent of the total loan amount. Mortgage insurance, also known simply as mortgage insurance, is a monthly premium that borrowers of government-backed loans, also known as FHA mortgages, must pay in order to offset the risk associated with taking out such loans.

Mortgage insurance premiums will no longer qualify as a tax-deductible expense beginning in June 2021.

Example of a Minimum Down Payment

Take, for instance, the scenario in which Olivia Gray is attempting to buy a house. She has been preapproved for a mortgage in the amount of $360,000, and she has located a home that she is interested in purchasing. The asking price for the property is $365,000. Olivia will be able to borrow up to 80% of that purchase price, which is equivalent to $280,000, if she obtains a conventional mortgage. In order for her to be able to close on the loan, she will need to come up with a 20% down payment, which comes to $70,000 of her own money (or use a down payment assistance program).

If we look at Olivia's mortgage once more (this time using the guidelines provided by the FHA), we see that the maximum amount that Olivia is permitted to borrow is 96.5% of the original amount of $350,000, which is $337,750. This means that Olivia needs to find only 3.5 percent of the total amount, which is $12,250.

However, in addition to paying the principal, interest, taxes, and Home insurance, Olivia will now also be responsible for making a monthly payment toward the mortgage insurance. The monthly premium rate for mortgage insurance can range anywhere from 0.3% to 1.5% of the initial loan amount. This is because the premium rate is determined by a number of factors, including the borrower's credit score and the loan-to-value ratio. This premium is tucked away in the escrow account along with the monthly payment.


The typical amount of the down payment that must be made in order to obtain a conventional mortgage loan is 20%.

When deciding which kind of loan to apply for, there are a lot of different aspects to think about, and one of those aspects is the qualifications needed. On the other hand, one thing has not changed, and that is the fact that the minimum required down payment is just that—the minimum. A borrower has the option of putting as much or as little of a down payment as they would like, provided that they meet the minimum loan amount requirements set by their lender. The borrower's ability to pay back the loan, as well as what they see as their most advantageous financial course of action, should both factor into the decision.