Low down payment, higher costs

Make a lower down payment, and you'll face higher monthly mortgage payments.

How come? Several reasons. The first is just simple math: If you put up less money now toward the price of the house, you'll need to borrow more and will have more of the cost to pay off.

Next, loans with lower down payments usually come with higher interest rates.

Finally, a big reason is something that's often dreaded called private mortgage insurance, or PMI

The right homeowners insurance policy protects you, your loved ones and your home.

Find the coverage you need at the most competitive rate in your area. Compare quotes from over 200 insurance companies with SmartFinancial.

Compare Now

Benefits of a 20% down payment

Lenders love it when you can make a 20% down payment, because that makes the mortgage a good risk. The lender believes it would have no trouble recouping the other 80% if you were ever to default on the loan and fall into foreclosure.

Calculate what your monthly mortgage payment would be with a 20% down payment, to see if you could afford it.

If you don't want to put that much money down, understand that the lender will make you buy PMI. It's insurance that pays off the loan if you ever stop paying. PMI can be expensive, and the premiums are tacked onto your mortgage payments. 

Some types of mortgages — including VA loans — allow for low down payments with no PMI.

Risks of a higher down payment

But making a larger down payment isn't necessarily the smartest choice. 

A big chunk of money will be tied up in your home. You won't have an easy way of getting at that money if you're suddenly slapped in the face with a major unexpected expense and don't have an emergency fund to deal with it. 

When you make a hefty down payment, there's also a chance you could lose that money completely.

If you're ever foreclosed on, the down payment will never be returned. Or, if you have to sell the home for less than you paid, you might not recover your down payment.

Get peace-of-mind on your home insurance

Homeowners insurance buys you peace of mind. But are you sure you’re not paying too much for home insurance?

SmartFinancial compares quotes from over 200 insurance companies to check for discounts and help you find lower rates in your area.

Use SmartFinancial right now and stop overpaying for home insurance.

What to Read Next

Disclaimer

The content provided on MoneyWise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.