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Rocket Mortgage ONE+. 1% down payment mortgage

You want to pay little, but get good quality and a lot of square meters. Why not try and make it happen. The Rocket Mortgage ONE+ program is an offering that addresses housing affordability issues in the US market. The initial payment will cost only 1% – sounds good. Let’s see what pitfalls there are and how to buy a house with a 1% down payment mortgage.

How does this work? 

Everything is very simple. According to ONE+, the borrower receives a 2% grant from the lender. This becomes in addition to the 1% down payment. Then comes the simple math – that is, it turns out, only 3%.

A 3% down payment is provided by Fannie Mae and a 2% grant is provided by Rocket Mortgage. Let’s say you buy a house for $350,000. 3% here is 105,000. But under the ONE+ program, you only pay 3,500, and Rocket Mortgage gives you another 7,000.

A nice bonus is free mortgage insurance. It is often mandatory if you pay the minimum down payment. And your loan exceeds 80% of the total value of the house. In general, additional savings on insurance payments, and this is already $245 per month.

Oftentimes, you won’t be able to drop mortgage insurance until you’ve paid off 20% of the value of the entire home — on average, that’s about 7 years of mortgage payments. Free insurance helps save up to 20 thousand dollars over the same 7 years.

Who is it suitable for? 

It is important to understand that ONE+ is not suitable for people who just want to save money. But it does work for millions of low- and middle-income Americans — helping those who would like to buy property but can’t afford it. 

‘With affordability being tougher, people are getting boxed out. Free money helps people want to buy a home,’ says Bill Banfield, executive vice president of Capital Markets at Rocket Mortgage. 

A candidate for the ONE+ program must meet the following requirements:

  • the total income is 80% or less than the average income for the area
  • buyers purchase a single-family home (an apartment building cannot be purchased under this program)
  • the property must be the principal residence of the buyer
  • minimum credit rating — 620
  • whether you buy a house for the first time or again — it does not matter

Rocket Mortgage estimated that more than 90 million Americans could qualify for their program and receive funding to buy a home. It is the down payment — this is the factor that often becomes an obstacle to the acquisition of real estate. This conclusion is based on US income data. 

‘We talk with people from all walks of life every single day – many of whom are ready to own a home, and could easily make the monthly mortgage payments but are having trouble saving for a down payment. ONE+ is a response to that feedback and the latest example of Rocket’s commitment to creating programs that help make homeownership more attainable’, — said Bob Walters, CEO of Rocket Mortgage.

How to apply?

If you’re thinking about the ONE+, you can find more information on the RocketOnePlus website. Or, contact a mortgage broker — for example, LBC Mortgage. We work with a wide variety of mortgage programs and we can find the right one for you! 

Are there any nuances? 

Let’s get into the details to better understand how Rocket Mortgage ONE+ works and if it’s right for you.

The main subtlety: the maximum loan amount is 350,000 US dollars. Yes, you are unlikely to buy a house in California. But on the other hand, you can buy it cheaper in the state – you will have your own housing and you will pay YOUR mortgage, and not someone else’s. Please note that the down payment cannot exceed 4.99% — and this is considering the 2% grant.

The ONE+ program from Rocket Mortgage is considered more flexible when compared to United Wholesale Mortgage, for example. They launched a 1% down payment offer back in April for clients who earn 50% or less of the average income.

As you can see, Rocket Mortgage’s offer reaches more potential customers and also offers mortgage insurance.

Among the main disadvantages of such programs are: 

  • possible change in conditions in the future if the lender decides to refuse the loan 
  • the borrower may pay more than their house is worth — for example, if the buyer has invested only 3%, price cuts can jeopardize their repayments

Here you can think of the great recession and the danger of buying a house on ‘too good terms’ — with a small down payment. But today the situation in the market looks a little different than in 2008. No one gives a loan just like that – the solvency of potential home buyers is carefully checked. They must meet a lot of criteria and have a good credit score. All this helps to measure their income in relation to their debt.

What other options are there? 

Okay, buying a house with a 1% down payment mortgage is a cool decision! But what if you don’t qualify for ONE+? There are several other alternatives with a minimum deposit — you can definitely find something suitable. 

  • FHA loan — if your credit score is 580 or higher, you will be able to qualify for 3.5% 
  • VA home loan offers 0% to 5% down payment 
  • USDA Home Loans work in principle with no down payment 

Neither the VA nor the USDA charges mortgage insurance. But USDA loans come with a guarantee fee, while VA loans come with a financing fee. Therefore, you will definitely have plenty to choose from if you are wondering how to buy a house with a 1% down payment mortgage.

Everywhere has its own nuances, so get ready to study the information on different mortgage programs. We emphasize that despite the low initial payment, you will need funds to close the transaction — payment of the property right, home appraisal, loan processing. This is an additional 3-6% of the cost of the entire loan. Think in advance if you can afford this amount and don’t get attached to 1% — your costs will still be higher.


So, we figured out how to buy a house with a 1% down payment mortgage. Most importantly, it’s possible. Whether it’s right for you is another matter entirely. When making a decision, familiarize yourself with the various mortgage programs — information about them is available on our website. There are many loan options available to suit your personal needs.

Contact LBC Mortgage for advice if you want to analyze the transaction, find out all the details on the mortgage, and make an informed decision. Buying a house is easy. The main thing is to do it smartly!

The main benefit of Rocket Mortgage ONE+ is that you don’t have to spend years saving up for a down payment. Plus, you save on private mortgage insurance.

Among the possible disadvantages, a higher interest rate can be distinguished when compared with the usual down payment. Yes, on the one hand, you make a deal at 3%, and on the other hand, your monthly payments will be higher — like a deal of 5% or 10%.

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