The following table compares the three most popular programs for homebuyers with good credit and the ability to document their income, but minimal savings for a down payment.

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(Best Option)

(Good Option)

(Last Resort)
Minimum Down Payment 0% 3% 3.5%
Upfront Mortgage Insurance * 2.15%
2.4% (Reserves/Nat'l Guard)
0% (Disabled in Service)
0% 1.75%
Annual MI 0% 1.1% with 3% Down **
.62% with 5% Down **
.85%
MI Cancellation Based on Original Appraisal N/A Cancellable when loan balance paid down to 80%. No minimum term requirement. Not Cancellable
MI Cancellation Based on New Appraisal N/A Cancellable when: (1) at least 2 years have passed and loan-to-value is 75% or less; or (2) at least 5 years have passed and loan-to-value is 80% or less. Not Cancellable
Minimum FICO Score
(AIM Policy)
640 620 640
Max Seller Credit Total Closing Costs 3% of Purchase Price 6% of Purchase Price
Other Restrictions Must be an active duty military, reservist or national guard, or veteran, or current or surviving spouse. 3% down only available to borrowers who have not owned a home in the past 3 years. 5% down available to all borrowers.  
  • *Upfront Mortgage Insurance on VA and FHA loans may be financed by adding to loan amount.
  • **Annual MI on Fannie Mae loans based on FICO score. Rates shown assume 720 FICO score.