En Español

How to know when you’re ready to buy a new home.

For many first-time homebuyers, concerns about how much house they can afford can be daunting. A common misperception is that a 20% down payment is needed in order to purchase a home. Often, that’s not true at all.

We’ve created this tool to provide the information that will be essential to understanding what options are available, including Essent Mortgage Insurance.

About You

About You

How much do you have for a down payment?

No matter how much you have been able to save for a down payment, there are options like mortgage insurance or gift funds that can help you buy a home much sooner than you may think.

What is your amount saved toward a home?

$0 $1,000,000

What is your gift fund amount toward a home?

$0 $250,000

What is your credit score?

Credit scores affect how much of a loan amount you will get approved for and can also affect your interest rate. Credit scores range from 300 (poor) up to 850 (excellent). A score of 700 is generally considered good. Essent MI requires a minimum credit score of 620.

620 850
Your New Home

Your New Home

What is the home price?

Figuring out how much home you can afford is one of your biggest decisions. A good rule of thumb is that your total payment should be no more than 28-36% of your gross monthly income.

$50,000 $2,000,000

What will your mortgage look like?

There are a number of factors that go into your mortgage interest rate, including your credit score, loan term, and amount of down payment.

What is your mortgage interest rate?

0% 10%

What is your loan term?

15 years 30 years

What are your estimated monthly property tax, insurance, and other costs associated with the loan?

$0 $10,000

What is your estimated home appreciation rate?

This can vary greatly from market to market, so it’s a good idea to do some research here. With a higher rate of appreciation in your market you may decide that your money is better used for attaining home equity than savings. For example, if your home appreciation rate is 3% annually, and your savings return is 1%, buying may seem more favorable, depending on your long and short-term goals and needs.

0% 10%
Your Savings Plan

Your Savings Plan

How much are you able to set aside each month towards a down payment?

This will help us figure out how long it will take you to get to a 20% down payment. You may decide that you’d prefer to buy sooner with the assistance of Essent Mortgage Insurance.

$0 $20,000

How much interest does your savings account earn?

Is your money making money for you? This will help us get to a more exact figure when it comes to calculating the length of time you’ll need to save to get to 20% down payment.

0% 15%
Looking Forward

Looking Forward

What is your monthly rent cost?

This will help us calculate how much you’ll be spending in the coming years if you continue to rent. It is also a good relative measure to start assessing how much you might be comfortable paying per month for a mortgage.

$0 $10,000

If you’re renting currently, how much do you expect your rent to go up?

What you pay today may be substantially different than what you’ll pay 5 years from now for the same property depending on your market. This number will help us paint a more accurate picture of what you’ll spend as a renter in the coming years versus as a buyer.

0% 10%

Good News

Essent Mortgage Insurance can make buying your home possible, even without a 20% down payment saved! And it’s not something you’ll need to pay for forever. You can request cancellation of mortgage insurance when the loan-to-value ratio of your home drops to 80 percent.

Learn more about mortgage insurance


EssentIQ is not an advertisement within the meaning the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z when used in direct personal contact with an individual consumer to provide a mortgage loan cost estimate.

Your EssentIQ report is based on information you provided and may make assumptions about information you did not provide. It is for illustrative purposes only. Your Essent monthly MI premium presumes the purchase of a primary residence with a fixed-rate mortgage and borrower-paid, non-refundable MI for one borrower with a debt-to-income ratio less than 45. Minimum FICOs and other Essent underwriting guidelines apply. Your premium is based on traditional rates and guidelines in effect as of the date of this report; it does not leverage the EssentEDGE pricing engine. Essent does not represent or warrant their accuracy. Essent rates are subject to regulatory approval. For complete rate and guideline information, visit essent.us. To apply for Essent MI, please complete an Application for Mortgage Insurance, or submit an application online at essent.us or through your loan origination system.

Notice to the Consumer: Essent provides the EssentIQ service in Spanish for your convenience. Essent is not affiliated with your lender or broker, and the fact that this service is available in Spanish does not mean that your lender or broker can discuss your loan with you in Spanish or provide Spanish-language loan disclosures or loan documents.

Purchase now with 3% down

and Essent Mortgage Insurance

You need at least 3% down to qualify for a loan with Essent Mortgage Insurance.


$1,294 / month
including mortgage insurance

Read your full report