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First-Time Homebuyer Guide
The Perfect Payment

The Perfect Payment

Your total monthly mortgage payment should be less than 30% of your gross monthly income. Depending on your income, credit scores, down payment, and any outstanding monthly debts that figure may go higher. It is important you feel comfortable paying this amount each month.

A monthly mortgage payment consists of the following: 
  • Principal & Interest
  • Property Taxes
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) - if applicable
Watch: First-Time Homebuyer Tip - Costs Associated with Buying a Home 

Considering the Extras

It's important to make sure you'll be able to afford other expenses associated with your home. Estimate the following costs (if applicable):
  • Mortgage Insurance
  • County Taxes
  • Condo Fees
  • Homeowners Association (HOA) Dues
  • Utilities and Fees
  • Exterior and Interior Home Repairs
  • Maintenance (annual checks for water heater, heat pump, chimney, gutter, etc.)
Click here for a list of expenses associated with owning a home.

Down Payment Options

Depending on your credit scores, your down payment can be as low as 3% of the purchase price of the home (Ex: $150,000 Purchase Price = $4,500). Acceptable sources of down payment money can come from your bank account, investment accounts, 401K, or even a gift from a family member.

See your mortgage consultant for details.

Watch: First-Time Homebuyer Tip - Down Payment Options
Watch: First-Time Homebuyer Tip - Down Payment Sources

Down Payment Calculator »  

Private Mortgage Insurance

Your lender will require you to get mortgage insurance if your down payment is less than 20% of the appraised value or sale price of your home. A mortgage insurance policy protects your lender in case you default on the payments. As a borrower, you pay the premiums, and the lender is a beneficiary.

See your mortgage consultant for details.

Watch: First-Time Homebuyer Tip - Private Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage Insurance Reduction »   

Mortgage Pre-Approval

Once you're sure you want a house, it's time to find out how much you can actually spend. The best way to do this is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. We offer fast and free pre-approvals that will help you and your REALTOR® shop for the right home to fit your needs. 

How Much Can I Borrow? » 

Click here for information you should know before applying for a mortgage.

Resource Center » Mortgage Calculators »

Talk to us

To apply for a mortgage or get answers to questions, call our Mortgage Specialists at 317.558.6160 or 866.367.8600 or email us at

FORUM NMLS #469848
NMLS Registry Information for FORUM Credit Union Mortgage Loan Originators