How to Find Money for a Down Payment

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Dewita over at Urban Trekker covered Seven Ways to Accumulate a Down Payment earlier this week. Her list included:

1. Have your parents give you the money as a gift.
2. Borrow against your 401K or insurance policy.
3. Sell or borrow against an asset.
4. Obtain low point or zero point loan.
5. Ask the seller to pay for all or a part of your non-recurring closing costs.
6. Ask the seller to carry back financing.
7. Consider different loan programs.

Off the top of my head, there are a few others I’d like to add to the list:

8. Use one or multiple credit cards for the money
9. Post your needs on a site like and let a bunch of private lenders compete to give you money.
10. Ask a friend or family member

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin is a serial entrepreneur, investor, podcaster, publisher, educator, and co-author of How to Invest in Real Estate. He started BiggerPockets to help democratize the real estate investing landscape for himself and others, aiming to make it accessible for everyone, regardless of income or education. Today, BiggerPockets is the premier real estate investing website online with over one million members and reaching over 70 million people with the message of financial freedom through real estate investing. Joshua, along with his wife and three daughters, make their home in Denver, Colorado, and spend any time they can traveling, exploring, and adventuring. Read more about Joshua’s story in 5280 and


  1. Yikes! Using a credit card to come up with a down payment for a mortgage.

    My personal opinion on this is “Don’t ever do that” – Using a credit card to finance a down payment will likely result in a foreclosure on the home within a few years.

    A down payment on a mortgage is a huge amount and the interest charges associated with borrowing on a credit card are astronomical. I would advise consulting with a lender before taking such action.

    What I personally recommend using a credit card to gain more money for is starting an internet business. The costs are relatively low to start so the interest charges won’t lead to financial ruin as they would if one were to take out an advance on their credit card for the downpayment.

  2. Sometimes, using a credit card is sometimes a viable option. I’m not advocating it, just suggesting it as an option. Some hard money guys will actually charge more then your cards will, surprisingly. Just something to think about.

  3. Good point, I have personally gone down the road of financing on a credit card and want to warn others of the financial hardship this can cause.

    Hey, avoiding those hard money lenders is a wise financial decision too. Sometimes patience must prevail 🙂

  4. I agree with Bryce but where do you fiend these investers? I would like some help on fiending those people. I have many properties in site with lots of return but I can not come up with the money to start.

  5. As someone planning to buy a home next year in Missouri, let me tell you my personal plan: save money and don’t go out on the weekends.

    It’s hard to tell your significant other “no,” but if you want to progress into a home owner, you have to know your limits and bounds.

    You can get a down-payment in as little as 12-months even on an entry-level salary.
    .-= Zach @ Mid Mo Mortgage´s last blog ..Jan 29 – Market Growth Surging As GDP Reports Forthcoming =-.

  6. Lynne Taylor on

    Please clarify: how does asking the seller to pay for closing costs give you money for a down payment? The down payment has to be given prior to, or at the same time as, signing. The fact of the seller covering certain costs does not put cash in your pocket for a down payment.

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