Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Is There a Minimum Required Down Payment for Mortgages?

The minimum amount required for a down payment of a mortgage is 5% of the cost of the home when less than $1 million. For homes worth more than $1 million, the minimum increases to 20% of the home’s cost.

This amount will be modified by your debt levels and income, so by simply having 5% of your home’s price in cash doesn’t automatically grant you the mortgage you need to afford your home.

Your Debt Service Ratios Limit Your Mortgage

The Gross Debt Service Ratio and Total Debt Service Ratio limit how much of your monthly income can go towards mortgage payments. Your GDS is limited to 32% while your TDS is capped at 40%. Even if you’ve saved a significant portion of your down payment, your bank will not allow you to take on so much debt to severely limit the remainder on your income after making your mortgage payments.

The GDS is calculated by adding up mortgage principal and interest, taxes, heating expenses, and condominium fees if applicable. These monthly payments should not exceed 32% of your gross monthly income. The TDS adds up housing costs, credit card interest, car payments, and other loan expenses, which should leave 60% or more of your gross household income.

If you’re buying a home with a down payment of less than 20%, you will be required to purchase mortgage default insurance since you now have a high-ratio mortgage. It’s worth noting that additional costs required to close a home isn’t part of the cost of a mortgage, so having funds available to pay for them is important.

What to Do In Case Your Mortgage Falls Short

There are a number of ways to address the limitation your bank has placed on the mortgage they will lend to you.

● Save enough money to increase your down payment. Although this doesn’t change your GDS and TDS ratios, you will require less of a mortgage with a greater down payment. If your debt-service ratios are too restricting, it may not be feasible to simply increase your down payment.

● Pay off your debts to reduce your TDS ratio. Prior to signing a mortgage, take steps to aggressively reduce your existing debt. It may seem appealing to let low interest rate debt sit around, but it’ll cut into how much you can afford to spend on a home.

● Increase your income to give yourself more room for your GDS. Reducing spending is easier than increasing income, and depending on your local economy and job availability, finding a higher paying job may be difficult.

Apply for a full service mortgage with your partner, or ask someone to be your guarantor. Parents, employers, or anyone with a good credit history could co-sign your loan. 

Why are the GDS and TDS Used by Lenders?

In the case of sudden job loss, having to repay a large mortgage puts you in a financially risky position. This is good for neither the lender nor the consumer. Consult your bank or a professional in personal finances for more information.

Author Bio:

I am Eric Jones, a businessman by profession. Business and entrepreneurship are my passion and I love researching on the various aspects of those areas. I make sure that I don’t miss out any updates and for this reason I read quite a lot. Law is yet another area which I am passionate to know more about.

1 comment:

  1. I am in search of a new house for myself and a mortgage loan provider and as it's my first experience there are more questions now than answers. I studied a lot of information and tend to agree with this site that it's better to have 20% of downpayment, which guarantee you not only some equity from the very beginning, but make your expenses less while dealing with a certain kind of insureance.


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