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What does Down Payment Mean?_WC

​​The overall cost of buying a property involves two major components including the Home Loan amount and the down payment, which is not a part of the loan sanctioned by the lender for homebuying​. Simply put, ​a down payment is ​the advance payment you make while purchasing a property.​ Thus, a​ down payment on a Home Loan represents a percentage of the total purchase amount of the home.

As a potential homebuyer, you will have to consider two aspects when thinking of arranging the funds to buy a new house:

  • The Home Loan amount, which the lender will disburse
  • The Down Payment amount – a portion that will not be covered in the Home Loan sanction

No lender is permitted to fund the entire cost of the property, which leaves you to arrange the deficit, namely, the down payment.

So, effectively, to purchase a property through external finance, you will need to pay a share of the property value yourself. And for the remaining amount, you can avail of a Home Loan.

Many choose to opt for a personal loan to fund the down payment amount, but by putting in your own money, you not only reduce your total cost of borrowing (since there is no interest on your own funds) but also validate your financial standing with your Home Loan lender.

The down payment amount depends on how much of the total property value can be covered in the Home Loan amount. As per the current RBI guidelines, a lender can disburse a maximum of 75% to 90% of the property value as a Home Loan amount. The disbursal percentage depends on the total cost of the property. However, it is always advisable to make a sizable down payment when you are availing of a Home Loan.

Lenders employ the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio while calculating what percentage of the property’s cost they can sanction as the Home Loan amount. As per the RBI mandate, the current Home Loan LTV ratio stands at 75% to 90% of the property  value, i.e., they can fund only up to 90% of the cost, and not more.

Here is the RBI’s LTV policy on Home Loans:

Home Loan Sanction Amount LTV Ratio for Home Loan
Up to Rs.30 Lakh Cannot exceed 90%
Between Rs.30 Lakh to Rs.75 Lakh Cannot exceed 80%
​Above Rs.75 Lakh Cannot exceed 75%

Here are some other benefits of making a sizeable down payment:

  • You have a lower dependency on borrowed funds
  • A request for a smaller loan amount means a lower percentage of interest outflow
  • Your Home Loan eligibility is higher, as your lender sees your application as comparatively less risky
  • You stand to benefit from more competitive lending terms

​​​​Opting for a smaller down payment when taking out a Home Loan may seem attractive for several reasons:​​​

  1. Feasibility: A smaller down payment makes the initial cost of purchasing a home more manageable, as you won't have to spend a large sum upfront.​​​
  2. ​​​​Preserving Savings: By opting for a smaller down payment, you can keep your critical savings and investments intact, rather than depleting them to arrange a larger down payment.​​​
  3. ​​​​Retaining Liquid Cash: Having surplus liquid cash allows you to explore other investment opportunities that may offer higher returns than tying up your funds in a larger down payment.​​​

While making a sizeable down payment has many benefits, it does not change the fact that it is money out of your pocket and could impact your personal finances significantly. Many borrowers are wary of liquidating their assets and anticipate a fund crunch, at a time of need.

However, if planned for properly, putting down a substantial amount as a down payment will serve you well in the long run. Here are some tips that may help in the preparatory phases of your home buying journey:

  • Start Saving Early: If buying a house has been on the horizon for a while, you will do well by saving from an earlier age. This way, you will have funds put aside with the intent of buying a house and will not have to dip into your savings. 
  • Explore Partial Payment Options: Many developers offer a part-payment option, wherein you have to pay the down payment in chunks, as new phases of the property’s construction are completed. This allows you a more relaxed timeframe to complete your down payment. However, this is not a standard rule and depends on your project developer. 

The 50:30:20 Rule: One of the formulae by which one can achieve significant savings for a down payment is by using the 50:30:20 rule. Here, 50 is the ratio you set aside for fixed expenses, 30 for discretionary expenses and 20 for savings. Buying a house requires a serious amount of money – an amount that may not be accumulated overnight but can be collected through days and months and years of seemingly small savings.

Invest in Secure Growth Avenues: When the thought of buying your own house strikes you, that’s when you should ideally start taking steps to keep aside a certain amount as investment. It could be in the form of a savings bank account, a fixed or recurring deposit, a mutual fund, gold, PF, etc. Investments that can easily be liquidated are a good source of Home Loan down payment.

Get Ready for Some (Significant) Lifestyle Changes: In order to buy a house, you should ideally start saving at least 4 to 5 years ahead of time. One way to achieve that is by adopting a modest lifestyle – at least for the first few years. If you are living in a rented apartment, consider moving to one with lesser rent. If you spend on clothes, apparels and foods – consider cutting down on them. Try to live as tight as possible without compromising on your happiness and mental health. Use these days as motivation for the days to come!

Also Read: About NOC for Home Loan

Lenders specify the minimum down payment for Home Loan that needs to be made in order to avail a loan. However, you may choose to pay as much as you want provided you understand the pros and cons of a higher down payment.

Pros of Making a Higher Down Payment

  • You own a larger equity in the property and thus lower your dependence on borrowed funds.
  • With a higher Home Loan down payment, your dependence on loan is reduced.
  • You can benefit from lower EMIs, lowers interest outflow, and even aim to become debt free sooner.
  • You may get your loan without hassles as lenders may quickly sanction a low amount
  • Your stress to repay significantly reduces, allowing you to save the excess money or invest the same.

Cons of making a Higher Down Payment

  • Locking up maximum funds leave you with less cash at hand. This may lead to a financial crunch during an emergency.
  • When you expend most of your saved money on down payment, you may be left with very little for the initial expenses such as furniture and consumer durables, repairs and renovation, etc. to make your house a home.

Home Loan Down Payment: FAQs

Home Loan Down Payment: FAQs

The down payment you make while purchasing a property plays a significant role in determining the Home Loan terms. Therefore, making a sizable down payment can prove to be beneficial while availing of a Home Loan.

As per the RBI guidelines, a lender can disburse a maximum of 75% to 90% of the property value as a Home Loan amount. You can avail of 90% of the property value as a Home Loan. However, the value of the property that you are planning to purchase should not exceed Rs.30 Lakh.

A down payment is ​the advance payment you make while purchasing a property.​ It represents a percentage of the total purchase amount of the home.

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