Cash in Your Mattress? Why you can't use it as a down payment.

Do you bury your cold hard cash in coffee cans in the backyard?

Or do you keep yours in the mattress?

Either way, when it’s time for you to go buy a house and you need funds for a down payment, you may not be able to show up to the closing with a paper sack of $20 bills. Even though cash is king, unfortunately, it is not a verifiable asset for funds to close. Today’s banking regulations require that we verify all the funds you plan to bring to closing meaning it needs to be seasoned in a verifiable bank account, investment account, or other security.

So what do you do if all your cash is in a Ziploc bag in the freezer next to the frozen peas?

You need to make sure that the funds are deposited into a bank account and the deposit must not show on the 60 days of bank statements you provide to the bank for loan processing. When the underwriter reviews the bank statements they will notice a large deposit and request a verification of deposit. This means they will want a copy of the deposit ticket and if you deposited a bunch of cash—those funds can’t officially be verified. Large cash deposits can be perceived in a negative light. I’m not saying you are doing any illegal activity but the bank has an obligation to confirm that the funds you are using for closing are acquired properly per the guidelines.

So, take the time to dig up those coffee cans and get that cash deposited in a bank if you plan to buy a home soon. Unless you have enough to buy the entire house with it. Then you can do whatever you want with it….but if you need a loan, get that cash in a bank so it can be verified.


Zach is a Mortgage Advisor with State Bank in Dublin, OH. He writes and speaks regularly on the mortgage industry, personal finance, business development, and leadership. His focused approach on educating clients through the mortgage process allows him to help hundreds of new homeowners each year.

Learn more about Zach at, find him on instagram @mortgagecoachzach, or call/text him at 740-398-4917.

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