One of the biggest financial hurdles when buying a home is often the down payment. Traditionally, it’s been recommended to put down at least 20% of the purchase price to secure a mortgage.

However, many people may not have the funds to meet that requirement, and fortunately, other options are available that allow for a smaller down payment or even no down payment.

One option for those who have served in the military is a VA loan, which allows for 100% financing. No down payment is required, making it an attractive option for veterans and active-duty service members. The Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees these loans, so lenders are often more willing to offer competitive rates and terms.

Another option for those looking to buy a home with no down payment is a USDA loan. These loans are designed for rural and suburban homebuyers who meet specific income requirements. Like VA loans, they offer 100% financing, making it possible to buy a home with no money down.

For those who don’t qualify for a VA or USDA loan, options are still available that require a low down payment. Conventional loans, for example, can be obtained with as little as 3% down. These loans are not backed by the government and typically require a higher credit score, but they offer more flexibility regarding the down payment.

Finally, there’s the FHA loan, which requires a down payment of just 3.5%. These loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration and are designed to help first-time homebuyers who may not have a large down payment saved up. FHA loans have more lenient credit requirements, making it easier for people to qualify for a mortgage.

So why do some people believe that a 20% down payment is necessary? One reason is that it can help you avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is required for those who put down less than 20%. PMI is an extra cost added to your monthly mortgage payment, which can add up over time. However, some lenders may offer a lower interest rate if you agree to pay for PMI.

In conclusion, it’s essential to understand that a 20% down payment is not the only option for buying a home. VA and USDA loans offer 100% financing, while conventional loans and FHA loans can be obtained with as little as 3% down. Each option has its pros and cons, so it’s essential to research and speak to a mortgage professional to determine which option is best for your situation. With the right approach, buying a home is possible even if you don’t have a large down payment saved up.