# Mortgage Down Payment Calculator

## What is a down payment?

A down payment is the portion of the home purchase the buyer makes in cash upfront, with the rest of the purchase covered by the mortgage. For conventional and FHA loans, a down payment is required to buy a home. These funds can come from your savings, a gift from family or a friend, proceeds from the sale of another home, grants and other sources. The lender views your down payment as a buyer’s participation in the purchase, and the higher the down payment is, the less risky it is for the lender.

## How to calculate your down payment

The bigger your down payment, the less you’ll need to borrow. This calculator helps illustrate what happens when you put down more or less. To use it:

1. Input your minimum down payment. This is the lowest amount of money you’re able to put toward your home purchase. If you’re getting a conventional mortgage loan, for example, your down payment might be as little as 3 percent of the home’s price.
2. Input your maximum down payment. This is the highest amount of money you’re willing and able to put toward your home purchase.
3. Input the home’s purchase price.
4. Input the loan term in months. For a 30-year mortgage, this equates to 360 months.
5. Input the interest rate on your mortgage. You might already know your rate if you have a preapproval from a lender. If not, you can make an educated estimate based on your credit score and prevailing market rates.

Once you enter this information, you’ll learn how your monthly mortgage payment changes based on a higher or lower down payment amount, as well as how much you could save on your mortgage over time if you put more money down.

## Benefits of a larger down payment

With a larger down payment, you won’t have to borrow as much mortgage to complete the purchase of your home. On the surface, this means you’ll have a lower monthly mortgage payment and save real money on interest charges. This also might keep you from taking on more debt than you can handle.

On a deeper level, you’ll get a lower interest rate, too. That’s because you’re taking on less mortgage, making you a lower risk for a lender. In addition, you’ll have that much more instant equity to pull from, plus a lower mortgage insurance premium or the ability to avoid these premiums altogether. For the most common types of mortgages, lenders charge premiums when you put less than 20 percent down.

In 2023, the median down payment was 14 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. This is much higher than many of the minimum down payment requirements:

## How to prepare for a down payment

If you’re struggling to prepare to make a down payment, you’re not alone. With the gaping mismatch between income growth and home price appreciation, many homebuyers can’t feasibly save much. There are programs, savings vehicles and strategies that can help, including:

## Next steps to get a mortgage

Once you know how much of a down payment you can make, you can take further steps to get a mortgage:

• Shop for a mortgage: Learn how to get a mortgage and decide what type of mortgage you want.
• Get preapproved: Choose at least three lenders to get preapproved with to compare their offers.
• Read reviews on lenders: Find out what others have to say about the lenders you’re interested in.