No matter how much you pay, figuring out the down payment is a crucial step toward becoming a homeowner. 

Figuring out your down payment

How much should you save for a down payment on a home?

There’s really no magic number when it comes to down payments. Some conventional loans require as little as 3% down, but you can pay up to 20% or more to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). Ultimately, how much you put down should depend on your unique situation. Consider your holistic picture, including savings, income, and other debts or financial priorities. 

Go high: Perks of a higher down payment

  •  You don’t have to pay for PMI when putting down 20% or more (generally, if paying less than 20%, PMI would raise the monthly cost of your mortgage until you’ve paid off 20% of the principal balance).
  • The higher your down payment, the lower your monthly payments will be.
  • A higher down payment can help you secure better interest rates, which can significantly reduce the cost of borrowing.
  • You’ll have instant equity in your home and a lower debt-to-income ratio, which keeps your credit score healthier.

Or go low: Perks of a smaller down payment

  •  You can own a home sooner rather than later.
  • You may have more money left over for moving, repairs, and renovations.
  • You can use more of your savings for other financial goals, like investing in the stock market or boosting your emergency fund (which you might need more often as a homeowner!). 

5 tips for saving for your down payment

  1. Set savings goals and a timeline for reaching them. Keep them somewhere you can be reminded of them to help you stay on track.
  2. Put your savings on autopilot with automatic transfers from every paycheck.
  3. Store cash for your down payment in a high-yield savings account.
  4. Is it possible you have family who could help? Consider asking loved ones who may be willing to contribute gift money toward your down payment.
  5. Many states have housing assistance programs and tax credits for first-time homebuyers. Here’s a directory of first-time homebuyer assistance programs in every state.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

Mortgage payment calculator

This calculator is made available by one or more third party service providers. It is not intended to be an advertisement for a product or service at any of the terms used herein. It is not intended to offer any tax, legal, financial or investment advice. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. Truist Financial Corporation ("Truist") and its affiliates do not provide legal or tax advice. Truist cannot guarantee that the information provided is accurate, complete, or timely. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. Changes in such laws and regulations may have a material impact on pre- and/or after-tax investment results. Truist makes no warranties with regard to this calculator or the results obtained by its use. Truist disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or any tax position taken in reliance on, this calculator. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

Save more for what’s next.

With the Truist Online Savings Account, you can save for emergencies and other life goals—like a bigger down payment on your next home. 

No minimums to open

Start with $50. Or $10. Or even just $5. There’s no minimum deposit required to start your account.1

Convenient access

Wherever life’s next chapter takes you, you can easily access your savings online or through the app. 

Low fees

Because it shouldn’t cost a lot when you’re trying to save money.