Everyone knows that buying a home is expensive. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to drain your bank account in order to do it. While many lenders are looking for a higher down payment before they approve a mortgage application, there are still some ways for prospective home buyers to purchase a home with little or no money down. Take a look at a few of them.
Have you ever wanted to settle down somewhere that's a little off the beaten path? If so, then a USDA home loan might be the right choice for you. This rural development housing program allows home buyers to buy properties in designated rural areas for no money down.
Even if you're not excited about the idea of living in a rural area, the program is worth checking out. Sometimes, eligible properties can be found in locations that seem decidedly non-rural, like the outskirts of a large city. These loans are available to buyers who have low-to-moderate income, but who still make enough money to afford the property. While many similar loan programs require the buyer to purchase mortgage insurance, the USDA program does not. The minimum credit score required to qualify for a USDA loan varies by lender, but you can expect to need a credit score of at least 600 or better.
If you're a veteran or an active member of the military, the reserves, or the National Guard, a VA loan may be your best bet. VA loans are loans that are guaranteed by the Department of Veteran's Affairs. Because of this guarantee, many lenders approved by the VA are willing to make loans with no down payment or with a very small down payment.
Like USDA loans, VA loans don't require the buyer to purchase mortgage insurance. There is no minimum credit score that's needed to qualify for a VA loan. Buyers under the VA loan program do need a certificate of eligibility showing that they've met the service requirements to be eligible for the loan program. Active duty military members become eligible after 90 days of service.
FHA loans – loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration – are a popular choice for prospective buyers who have blemished credit. The FHA guarantees mortgages that are offered by approved lenders, which allows the lender more freedom to take a chance on someone with less-than-perfect credit. It also allows buyers to pay a lower down payment than they might otherwise need to pay. Down payments for an FHA mortgage can be as low as 3.5%.
FHA loans also limits the closing costs that you'll have to pay, and allows you to roll those costs and other fees into the principle of the loan, further limiting how much you'll have to pay up front. Also, you're allowed to borrow the 3.5% down payment from a relative or other third party, or use a government agency program to cover that cost.
Being cash poor doesn't mean that it's impossible to buy a home. Before you give up your dream of home ownership, find out if one of these programs can help you buy a home for little or no money down.