How to Move in with $0 Down

Coming up with a substantial down payment is one of the leading barriers between home buyers and home ownership. While many people don’t know it, there are options that offer economically-struggling home buyers the ability to purchase a home with no money down.


Interested in buying a home, but don’t have the cash in hand to put towards a down payment? Rather than giving up on your goal, you might find the right loan to meet your needs with one of these zero-down mortgage programs.

USDA Loans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program is designed to “improve the economy and quality of life in rural America.” USDA loans are low-interest, zero-down mortgages for low-to-moderate income families. You might be surprised to discover just how realistically obtainable this type of loan is.

One major benefit of a USDA loan is that they have the lowest mortgage insurance premium (MIP) than any other type of mortgage available. The annual MIP fee is added to your monthly payment.

Most people think of farms in the middle of nowhere when they hear the world “rural,” but most properties are eligible, even within a 30-mile radius of major cities. And who knows, maybe green pastures might be your thing. Check out the USDA eligibility map to see if you qualify for a USDA loan in your area.

VA Loans

VA loans offer veterans 100% financing, so you are not required to bring any cash to the table. This is the only zero-down loan that does not require mortgage insurance, making it one of the most affordable mortgage programs available.

While VA loans do not require mortgage insurance, there is a one time “lending fee.” This fee is 2.15% of the overall loan amount, but don’t worry, it can be financed into the loan.

The process for applying for a VA loan is easy. You can even check your eligibility online—a step that paves the way to VA loan preapproval. This type of loan does require a higher credit score, but lower minimum score requirements can be found (and tend to differ lender to lender). You may want to shop around a bit for this one.

NEXT: FHA & Military Need To Know.