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Buying A Home With Little or No Money Down

For decades a 20% down payment was the prevailing standard in the U.S. mortgage industry. The 20% down payment served a twofold purpose. The borrower’s 20% equity position lowered the chances of the lender suffering a loss in case of default. Secondly, defaults were less likely because of the borrower’s substantial stake in their property.

The 20% down payment has been replaced to a large degree by mortgage insurance, which compensates the lender for their loss if the borrower defaults.

These days there are a number of mortgage products available to borrowers with little or no down payment. Some are coupled with grants or other loan products, and virtually all have mortgage insurance in one form or another.

If you need a low or no down payment option, consider the options below:

When Is A Late Payment “Officially” Late?

This seems like a no-brainer, but like so many other things in the mortgage business it really isn’t.

Most of us have obligations that require some form of monthly payment. A typical scenario involves a car payment that’s due on a certain date, let’s say the first of the month.

Many installment agreements also include a 10 day grace period and a penalty for late payments. Late payment penalties are usually about 5% of the monthly payment, and the grace period is simply a period of time during which a payment can be made, after the date it’s officially due, without incurring a penalty.

Let’s assume the payment is $300. In accordance with the installment agreement the payment is due by the first, but because there’s a grace period, as long as the payment is made on or before the 10th there’s no late fee. However if the payment is received after the 10th, there’s a 5% ($15) late fee added to the $300 payment for a total amount due of $315.

If the payment is made on the 11th and the borrower is assessed the $15 late fee, is the payment late? Yes and no. Under the installment agreement the payment is late because it was not “paid as agreed” (not received within the grace period).