Can You Get a Conventional Loan With 5% Down?

A number 5 and 5 percent symbol with green letters on whiteDreaming of homeownership but worried about the hefty down payment? The burning question on many aspiring homeowners' minds is: Can you get a conventional loan with just 5% down payment?

With the housing market constantly evolving and lending practices adapting to meet new demands, it's crucial to understand your options.

This article delves into the possibilities, requirements, and considerations involved in securing a conventional loan with only 5% down. Let's uncover the facts behind this intriguing mortgage scenario.

Key Takeaways:

  • Conventional loans offer the opportunity of homeownership with a minimum down payment of 5%.
  • First-time homebuyers can take advantage of a fixed-rate mortgage with a 5% down payment.
  • A 5% down payment allows you to enter the housing market sooner and build equity in your home.
  • Choosing a conventional loan with a 5% down gives you the flexibility to select your mortgage options.
  • When deciding the right down payment amount for your mortgage, consider your financial situation and goals.

The Minimum Down Payment for a Conventional Loan: 

When securing a conventional loan for your dream home, the minimum required down payment is 3%. While seemingly small, it's crucial to note that most lenders add private mortgage insurance (PMI) fees to your monthly payments when your down payment is less than 20%.

This safeguards the lender in the event of a loan default. Despite the added cost, many first-time homebuyers still opt for less than a 20% down payment.

A lower down payment requirement enables those aiming to buy their first home to enter the housing market sooner. It also allows them to qualify for fixed-rate mortgages up to $766,550 for various property types.

While PMI is required until home equity reaches 20%, a 3% down payment can be a strategic choice for purchasing a primary residence before property values rise further.

Opting for a 5% down payment offers additional benefits. With a slightly larger down payment, you can choose between an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or a fixed-rate mortgage.

A 5% down payment may also lower interest rates, providing long-term savings and maintaining cash reserves for emergencies.

Benefits of a 3% Down Payment for First-Time Homebuyers:

The benefits of a 3% down payment for first-time homebuyers extend beyond just the initial affordability factor. With a conventional loan, a lower down payment requirement can make homeownership more accessible to those with limited savings.

This reduced down payment can ease the financial burden for buyers, allowing them to preserve funds for other expenses such as closing costs and home improvements.

Additionally, for individuals with strong credit scores and favorable debt-to-income ratios, a lower down payment may still secure competitive interest rates, making the overall mortgage more affordable.

However, it's essential for buyers to consider the implications of a smaller down payment, such as the potential need for private mortgage insurance and the impact on the loan-to-value ratio.

Therefore, thorough pre-approval and home appraisal processes are crucial to ensure that buyers are making informed decisions about their mortgage options.

Benefits of a 5% Down Payment:

The benefits of a 5% down payment for aspiring homeowners are multifaceted and can significantly impact their journey towards homeownership.

With a conventional loan, a slightly higher down payment requirement can result in several advantages. Firstly, a 5% down payment may help borrowers secure more favorable interest rates, especially for those with strong credit scores and healthy debt-to-income ratios.

Additionally, a higher down payment can lower the loan-to-value ratio, potentially reducing the need for private mortgage insurance and ultimately decreasing monthly mortgage payments.

Moreover, a larger down payment may also lead to decreased closing costs, offering additional savings for homebuyers.

However, it's essential for buyers to weigh the benefits of a 5% down payment against their financial circumstances and long-term homeownership goals, ensuring they make informed decisions throughout the pre-approval and home appraisal processes.

Advantages of a 3% Down Payment: 

A 3% down payment on a conventional loan offers numerous benefits for first-time homebuyers looking to enter the housing market. Here are some advantages to choosing a 3% down payment:

  1. Access to fixed-rate mortgages: With a 3% down payment, homebuyers can qualify for a conventional loan of up to $1,149,825  for various properties, including single-family homes, condos, townhouses, and planned unit developments (PUD), depending on the county loan limits.

    This allows buyers to secure a mortgage with a stable interest rate, providing peace of mind and predictability in their monthly payments.

  2. Opportunity to buy sooner: First-time homebuyers can expedite their entry into the housing market by opting for a lower down payment. This can be particularly beneficial in areas with rapidly rising property values. Rather than waiting to save up for a larger down payment, buyers can secure their primary residence sooner and potentially benefit from future property value appreciation.

  3. Financial flexibility: While private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required until home equity reaches 20%, a 3% down payment allows homebuyers to keep more cash for emergencies or other financial priorities. This added flexibility could provide a sense of security and enable buyers to manage their unexpected expenses better after purchasing a home.

In summary, a 3% down payment on a conventional loan opens doors to homeownership for first-time buyers, offering the opportunity to qualify for fixed-rate mortgages, buy a primary residence sooner, and maintain financial flexibility.

While it's essential to weigh the costs and considerations of PMI, this lower-down payment option can be a wise choice when considering the current housing market and individual financial goals.

Advantages of a 5% Down Payment: 

A 5% down payment on a conventional loan offers several advantages for homebuyers. Let's take a closer look at why choosing this slightly more significant down payment could be beneficial:

  1. More Mortgage Options: With a 5% down payment, homebuyers can select between adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and fixed-rate mortgages. This allows them to choose the mortgage option that best suits their financial goals and circumstances.

  2. Potential for Lower Interest Rates: By increasing the down payment to 5%, homebuyers may qualify for a lower interest rate on their mortgage. A lower interest rate can lead to significant savings over the life of the loan, reducing the overall cost of homeownership.

  3. Emergency Funds: Opting for a 5% down payment allows homebuyers to retain some cash for emergencies. Additional funds can provide peace of mind and financial security if unexpected expenses arise after purchasing the home.

By considering these benefits, homebuyers can make an informed decision about the down payment amount that aligns with their preferences and financial situation.

Advantages of a 10% Down Payment: 

Choosing a 10% down payment for a conventional loan has many advantages and opportunities. Let's take a closer look at the benefits:

  1. Lower Interest Rate: One key benefit of a 10% down payment is the potential for a lower interest rate on your mortgage. Lenders often offer more favorable rates to borrowers who can provide a larger down payment. This can result in significant savings over the life of your loan, helping you build equity more quickly and pay off your mortgage sooner.

  2. Second Home Purchase: If you dream of owning a second home, a 10% down payment can make that dream a reality. With a higher down payment, lenders may be more willing to finance the purchase of a second home. Whether it's a vacation or investment property, a conventional loan with a 10% down payment could be the key to making it happen.

  3. Shorter Loan Term: When you put 10% down on a conventional loan, you may have the option to choose a shorter loan term. Shorter loan terms, such as 15 or 20 years, typically have lower interest rates. This means you can build equity faster and become mortgage-free sooner.

By opting for a 10% down payment, you can secure a lower interest rate, potentially purchase a second home, and enjoy

the benefits of a shorter loan term. Consider your financial goals and qualifications when deciding the right down payment amount for your mortgage.


In conclusion, obtaining a conventional loan with a 5% down payment is indeed possible for eligible borrowers. While the requirement traditionally hovers around 20%, this lower option can make homeownership more accessible.

Prospective buyers should carefully consider factors like credit score and debt-to-income ratio to gauge their chances of approval. Consulting with a reputable lender can provide tailored guidance on navigating the application process successfully.

For those aspiring to purchase a home with less upfront savings, exploring the viability of a conventional loan with 5% down may be a promising avenue towards realizing homeownership dreams.