Conventional Down Payment Information
Conventional loans can require as little as 3% down, but most products require at least 5%. The actual amount that you need will be determined by Fannie or Freddie when viewing your assets, income and credit profile to determine your overal risk.
A 20% down payment will allow you to not have mortgage insurance. In addition, you can have the ability to waive your escrows. This means that you would not be required to pay your monthly payments with property taxes and homeowners insurance.
If you don't have the 20% equity, you are required to get mortgage insurance (MI). MI has various options that you need to make sure your loan originator goes through them with you to determine the best option for your family. The options vary with the down payment amount, credit score, and debt to income. The most popular current options are the upfront and the monthly mortgage insurance.