Glossary Terms

Total Down Payment

The total down payment is the amount of money that you’re able to put down on your purchase.

The total down payment is the amount of money that you're able to put down on your purchase. If you're buying a house or a car, the recommended down payment amount is 20 percent. For a house, the reason is because with 20 percent down, you will avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). For a car, 20 percent is the sweet spot that gives you less of a chance of being upside down on your car loan.

Unfortunately, the average down payment on homes and cars is usually lower than the recommended 20 percent. Prices have gone up while incomes have remained flat, making it harder for people to save.