How Much Is The Down Payment For A $300,000 House? (2024)

Down payment options for a $300K house

Have you ever wondered how much a down payment for a $300k house would be? That’s going to depend entirely on the type of mortgage you choose.

While some lenders may require no down payment at all, most will need at least 3% of the purchase price ($9,000) or 3.5% ($10,500). However, if you have a down payment of 20% ($60,000), you could save quite a bit on mortgage insurance and interest charges.

Check your low down payment eligibility. Start here

The key lies in choosing the down payment amount that aligns best with your circ*mstances. Read on to learn how to figure out the right one for you.

In this article (Skip to...)

  • Down payment options
  • Estimated mortgage payments
  • Funding down payments
  • FAQ

>Related: How to buy a house with $0 down: First-time home buyer

How much down payment for a $300,000 house?

The down payment needed for a $300,000 house can range from 3% to 20% of the purchase price, which means you’d need to save between $9,000 and $60,000. If you get a conventional loan, that is.

You’ll need $10,500, or 3.5% of the home price, with a FHA loan. This type of loan is usually easier to get approval for, but it also requires mortgage insurance over the life of the loan.

However, if you’re eligible for either a VA loan or USDA loan, you can buy a house without any down payment.

Ultimately, the exact amount depends on your loan type, credit report, and lender criteria.

What are the minimum down payment options for a $300K house?

Remember that every journey to homeownership is unique, especially when arranging the down payment for a $300,000 house. Lenders scrutinize your credit score, gross monthly income, and debt obligations to gauge your eligibility for a home loan, which hinges on your financial circ*mstances.

Explore your home buying options. Start here

Thankfully, there are options for many borrowers that require little or no down payment.

0% down payment options

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to buy a house, there are paths to owning a home without the traditional down payment requirement. Two such paths are through VA and USDA loans, each offering unique opportunities to buy a home with 0% down. Here’s how they work.

With VA loans and USDA loans, you can buy a $300,000 house with no down payment whatsoever.

VA loans

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers those who’ve served in the military a chance to buy a home with no money down. This VA loan is available to veterans, active-duty service members, National Guard members, reservists, and certain surviving spouses.

To qualify, you’ll still need to meet your participating lender’s eligibility requirements. While the VA hasn’t set a minimum credit score for this loan, many lenders are looking for FICO scores in the 620–660 range, although some are satisfied with scores as low as 580.

You’ll also need a VA-issued Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which your lender can help you obtain.

Check your VA loan eligibility. Start here

USDA loans

The rural development program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture also gives buyers the opportunity to purchase a home with no down payment, as long as they buy a home in a designated rural area.

To be eligible for a USDA loan, your household income must be low to moderate and below the area median income (AMI) where you intend to purchase. Not sure whether your income qualifies? Use this lookup tool to check your eligibility.

Most lenders offering USDA-guaranteed mortgages ask for a credit score of at least 640, although the USDA itself does not have a set credit score requirement. The USDA’s automated underwriting system requires a 640 credit score for automatic approval. However, some USDA lenders might consider scores below 640 with compensating factors in place. These could include a lower debt-to-income ratio (DTI) or making a down payment.

Check your USDA loan eligibility. Start here

3% down payment options

You can buy a $300,000 house with only $9,000 down when using a conventional mortgage, which is the lowest down payment permitted, unless you qualify for a zero-down-payment VA or USDA loan.

Most mortgage lenders have some form of conventional 97 loan program, which only requires 3% of the home price as down payment. Similarly Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both offer first-time home buyer programs that also only require 3% down: HomeReady and Home Possible.

You can buy a $300,000 house with only $9,000 down when using a conventional mortgage, which is the lowest down payment permitted, unless you qualify for a zero-down-payment VA or USDA loan.

Check your conventional loan eligibility. Start here

Different lenders have different rules, but typically they require a 620 credit score for conventional loan approval. Individual lenders can impose higher minimums, and it’s important to highlight this. Because if you are turned down with a score of 620, it’s a smart move to explore other lenders who might offer more flexible terms.

Remember that when you make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price, conventional loans require private mortgage insurance (PMI). Yet, you have the option to cancel PMI once your home’s value equals 20% of the loan amount.

3.5% down payment options

You can buy a $300,000 house with $10,500 down using an FHA loan, which are typically easier to qualify for than other types of mortgage loans. With an FHA loan, you can buy your dream home by putting down just 3.5% of the home’s purchase price.

You can buy a $300,000 house with $10,500 down using an FHA loan, which are typically easier to qualify for than other types of mortgage loans.

Check your FHA loan eligibility. Start here

The down payment requirement for a conventional loan is only slightly less than that. But remember that FHA loans charge mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) for the life of the loan or until you refinance it into another type of mortgage.

So why do so many people choose FHA loans? First and foremost, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) allows borrowers with credit scores as low as 580 (or 500 if able to make a 10% down payment).

Borrowers seeking a faster route to homeownership find FHA loans an appealing option because of this flexibility. Additionally, if you move or refinance within the next few years, the burden of mortgage insurance payments tends to be less significant.

20% down payment options

You can buy a $300,000 house with $60,000 down with any mortgage loan, but most buyers opt for a conventional loan because a 20% down payment generally leads to lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and eliminates the need for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

You can buy a $300,000 house with $60,000 down with any mortgage loan, but most buyers opt for a conventional loan because a 20% down payment generally leads to lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and eliminates the need for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

This significant upfront investment can ultimately save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan, making it an attractive option for those with sufficient savings.

“FHA loans and programs like HomeReady have lower interest rates,” reminds Jon Meyer, loan expert and licensed MLO. “So use a down payment calculator to find the difference in total payments between different loan programs to see which makes more sense.”

Check your conventional loan options. Start here

How much is the monthly payment for a $300K house?

With a 7% fixed interest rate, your monthly mortgage payments for a $300K house could range from $1,600 to $2,300. However, the amount of money you’ll need varies based on several factors, including the strength of your credit report, the type of loan you choose, and other personal financial factors.

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We used The Mortgage Reports’ mortgage calculator to model the monthly payments on a $300K home. Using a 30-year loan term with a fixed 7% interest rate, here’s how much you might pay from month to month:

  • VA loan payment: $1,996: Zero down and a rate of 7% (no mortgage insurance).
  • USDA loan payment: $2,056: $1,996 mortgage payment with $60 mortgage insurance, with zero down and a rate of 7%.
  • Conventional loan payment: $2,251: $1,936 monthly payment and $315 private mortgage insurance, with 3% down and a rate of 7%.
  • FHA loan payment: $2,135: $1,926 monthly mortgage payment and $209 mortgage insurance, with 3.5% down and a rate of 7%.
  • 20% down conforming loan payment: $1,597: 20% down and a rate of 7% (no PMI needed)

Note: These examples include only loan principal and mortgage interest. They do not include additional housing costs, like property taxes, homeowners insurance, and homeowners association (HOA) dues because they vary from one region to the next.

You can use a mortgage calculator to model your own housing payments using today’s mortgage rates.

We’ve used the same mortgage interest rate (7%) for each example. However, it’s worth mentioning that different types of mortgage loans have varying rates. Keep in mind that mortgage rates could have potentially shifted by the time you’re reviewing this information.

How to get the down payment for a $300K house

As you explore options for financing the down payment for a $300K house, it’s important to consider a variety of resources. State-specific homebuyer programs and down payment assistance programs are two avenues that offer unique opportunities and advantages for first-time buyers.

Down payment assistance

If you don’t have the amount of money necessary for the down payment on a $300K house, rest assured that there are solutions. As mentioned earlier, down payment assistance (DPA) programs offer home affordability programs tailored to individuals with low to moderate household incomes.

Check your loan options. Start here

There are thousands of these assistance programs across the country. Speak with your loan officer, real estate agent, or Realtor to find one in your area. And if you’re at the initial stages of your home buying journey, we’ve gathered DPA programs in every state just for you.

Each DPA program operates independently and establishes its own set of rules. So we can’t tell you exactly what assistance you may receive. However, it’s likely to fall into one of these categories:

  • Low-interest loan that is repaid alongside your mortgage
  • Forgivable loan that doesn’t have to be repaid if you live in the home as your primary residence for a certain number of years
  • Outright grant that never has to be repaid

Some DPAs may also extend support to cover your closing costs. And it’s worth noting that lenders are generally supportive of DPAs, as they are well-versed with these programs and often approve them.

Government grants

Government grants for first-time home buyers can significantly ease the financial burden of a down payment. Unlike loans, these grants don’t require repayment, making them an extremely attractive option.

These grants are often available through local or state housing authorities and are designed to assist buyers with various aspects of the home purchasing process.

Eligibility criteria can include income levels, property location, and the buyer’s status as a first-time homeowner. We’ve compiled a list of home buying grants in each state to help you explore your options.

Gifts from family and friends

If you’re finding it challenging to gather the down payment for a $300K house, consider that many lenders accept cash gifts from family members to cover this cost. Be aware that lenders might have specific policies regarding gifts from non-family members, so it’s important to inquire about their rules.

Keep in mind that there are guidelines associated with such gifts. The main one is that the money you receive should genuinely be a gift and not a concealed loan. To satisfy this requirement, your donor will have to provide a mortgage gift letter, explicitly confirming that the funds are indeed intended as a gift.

You’ll also need to document the transfer of funds. This involves showing the source of funds and the money leaving from your donor’s account to yours.

State-specific home buyer programs

Many states offer unique programs designed to assist first-time home buyers, especially those struggling with the down payment for a $300K house. These programs often include low-interest loans, grants, or tax credits tailored to make homeownership more accessible.

Benefits and eligibility vary, focusing on income levels, purchase price limits, and sometimes even specific professions or locations.

By taking advantage of these state-specific initiatives, buyers can find valuable assistance that eases the financial burden of their home purchase.

Employer-assisted housing programs

Employer-Assisted Housing (EAH) programs can be a significant benefit for employees, particularly when it comes to gathering the funds for the down payment for a $300K house.

Offered by some companies, EAH programs can include direct financial assistance, favorable lending terms, or even outright grants.

Not only do these programs help in facilitating homeownership, but they also serve as a tool for employers to attract and retain talent. Employees should inquire with their HR department about the availability of such housing benefits.


Opting to save for a 5-20% down payment not only reduces your monthly mortgage payments but also helps you qualify for more favorable loan terms and lower interest rates, saving you money in the long run.

One effective strategy is to set up a dedicated savings account for your down payment, making regular contributions a part of your monthly budget. Additionally, automating transfers to your savings account can help you reach your goal faster without the temptation to spend.

401(k) or IRA withdrawals

Tapping into retirement savings, such as a 401(k) or an IRA, is a notable option for those needing additional funds for the down payment for a $300K house.

The IRS allows first-time home buyers to withdraw up to $10,000 from an IRA without facing the early withdrawal penalty.

Some 401(k) plans also permit loans or withdrawals for home purchases. However, this strategy requires careful consideration due to potential tax implications and the impact on future retirement savings.

Consulting with a financial advisor is advised to understand the full scope of this decision.

FAQ: How much down payment for a $300K house?

Check your loan options. Start here

Does earnest money go toward down payment?

Yes, earnest money typically goes toward the down payment on a house. When you make an offer on a home, earnest money is paid as a sign of good faith to the seller, demonstrating your serious interest in the property. It’s held in an escrow account and is credited towards your down payment at closing.

What credit score is needed to buy a $300K house?

The required credit score to buy a $300K house typically ranges from 580 to 720 or higher, depending on the type of loan. For an FHA loan, the minimum credit score is usually around 580. Conversely, conventional loans generally require a minimum score of 620, but securing more favorable interest rates often demands a score above 720.

How much is the down payment for a $300K house?

You’ll need a down payment of $9,000, or 3 percent, if you’re buying a $300K house with a conventional loan. Meanwhile, an FHA loan requires a slightly higher down payment of $10,500, which is 3.5 percent of the purchase price.

How much do I need to make to buy a $300K house?

You’ll likely need to make about $75,000 a year to buy a $300K house. This is an estimate, but, as a rule of thumb, with a 3 percent down payment on a conventional 30-year mortgage at 7 percent, your monthly mortgage payment will be around $2,250. Keep in mind this figure doesn’t include home insurance or housing expenses. Also, your home buying budget will vary depending on your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, type of loan, mortgage term, and interest rate.

What is my debt-to-income ratio?

Your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, is how much money you owe compared to how much you earn, expressed as a percentage. Calculate DTI by dividing your gross monthly income (pre-tax income) by your minimum monthly debt payments, which include debt like car loans, student loans, credit card payments, and even child support. As an example, if your monthly pre-tax income is $4,000, and you have $1,000 worth of monthly debt payments, then your DTI stands at 25 percent.

How much house can I afford?

A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t spend more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income on housing costs and no more than 36 percent on total debts, including your mortgage and credit card payments. For example, if you earn $4,000 in pre-tax income and have $100 in debt repayment, then your mortgage payment shouldn’t exceed $1,340. This financial principle is commonly known as the 28/36 rule.

Your down payment for a $300K house

Ready to unlock the door to your new home? Navigating your mortgage options doesn’t have to be a solo journey. Whether you’re determining how much down payment you need, understanding loan eligibility, or figuring out how to skip mortgage insurance, we’ve got you covered. Click below to explore a simplified path to homeownership, tailor-made to fit your financial situation.

Start with preapproval from a trusted mortgage lender and discover the possibilities that await you. Begin your next step towards a home that feels uniquely yours by clicking the links below.

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How Much Is The Down Payment For A $300,000 House? (2024)
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