It may seem like getting into a new home has a huge barrier of entry. There are a lot of things you need to do to qualify to own a home. You need to be able to have enough in savings, you need to have a good credit score, and you need a 20% down payment before lenders will give you a loan to purchase a house. Or do you? You don’t have to have a 20% down payment. There are a lot of different programs that allow you to get into a home with less than 20%. Most of all, some options let you do a zero-down payment. What are three programs that will offer you a zero down option?

Department of Veteran Affairs

Better known as a VA loan, this loan specifically helps active-duty service members, certain qualified veterans and even some members of National Guard and Reserves. A VA loan doesn’t require a down payment for qualified families nor do they require mortgage insurance. In place of paying mortgage insurance, a lender will pay a funding fee. The amount of funding fee you will pay depends on the size of the loan, the number of years of service in the military, and other factors. You can roll the funding fee into your monthly mortgage payment.


The US Department of Agriculture is the backer of USDA loans. The USDA encourages buyers to build or buy homes in less developed areas (rural or suburban areas) by offering a no down payment option as well as a lower interest rate. Some requirements are that you have to be a low or Moderate-income borrower, and not have any delinquencies on an outstanding loan on a federal debt. While there is no required credit score, there may be additional steps you might have to take if your score is below 640. There are some loan limits as well as size requirements, depending on the area where you are looking to buy.

Navy Federal Credit Union

There is one more option to consider for a zero-down loan. The Navy Federal Credit Union offers a zero down loan program similar to a VA Loan. To qualify, you must be a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union. To be a member, you need to be a member of the military, some civilian employees, Department of Defense or family. The funding fee doesn’t depend on any factors and is a static 1.75 percent.

It is comforting to know that there are all kinds of options when it comes to owning a home. If you don’t have much money saved, but can afford a higher monthly mortgage, these zero down mortgages are a good option. In the end, it is always better to pay as much as you can for a down payment, because it will save you money over the life of a loan. However, if you know you won’t be living in the home for a long time, a zero down payment might make more sense for your family.