Things You Should Understand About Private Mortgage Insurance

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is a sizable expense during the process of buying a home that many overlook until it impacts their financial decisions. Understanding PMI, its purpose, and strategies to manage or eliminate it can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.

What is PMI?

PMI is a type of insurance that protects lenders in case the borrower defaults on their mortgage payments. It’s typically required when the borrower’s down payment is less than 20% of the home’s purchase price. This insurance doesn’t benefit the homeowner directly but allows lenders to offer mortgages with lower down payment requirements.

Why Does PMI Exist?

Lenders perceive higher risks with smaller down payments. PMI provides them with a safeguard against potential losses if borrowers default. By mitigating their risk, lenders can extend mortgage loans to individuals who might not otherwise qualify due to insufficient funds for a sizable down payment.

How to Avoid PMI:

Save for a Larger Down Payment: Aim to save at least 20% of the home’s purchase price to avoid PMI altogether. While it may take longer to accumulate this amount, it can significantly reduce your monthly mortgage payments.

Explore Loan Options: Some lenders offer loans that don’t require PMI, even with a down payment of less than 20%. Research different loan programs, such as VA loans for veterans and USDA loans for rural homebuyers.

Piggyback Loans: Another strategy involves taking out a second mortgage, often referred to as a piggyback loan, to cover part of the down payment. This can help you avoid PMI while still putting down less than 20%.

Eliminating PMI:

If you’re already paying PMI, there are several ways to eliminate it:

Reach 20% Equity: Once you’ve paid down your mortgage balance to 80% of the home’s original appraised value, you can request cancellation of PMI. This typically involves contacting your lender and providing documentation to prove your home’s value hasn’t decreased.

Refinance: If you can’t reach 20% equity through regular payments, consider refinancing your mortgage. With a new appraisal, if your home’s value has increased, you may qualify to refinance without PMI.

Renovate: Increasing your home’s value through renovations can expedite reaching the 20% equity threshold, allowing you to cancel PMI sooner.

Private Mortgage Insurance is an additional cost that can significantly impact your homeownership expenses. Understanding how PMI works and exploring strategies to avoid or eliminate it can help you save money and achieve financial security faster. Whether you’re in the process of buying a home or already paying PMI, implementing these strategies can put you on the path to a more affordable and financially stable future. If you have additional questions about PMI or other mortgage needs, give us a call.

3 Ways To Avoid Mortgage Insurance

3 Ways to Avoid Mortgage InsuranceWhen you are buying a home, you may run into a number of hurdles to complete the purchase. One of the items that you may be asked to purchase is called private mortgage insurance, often shortened to PMI. This is a unique insurance policy that your lender, such as the credit union or bank, may ask you to buy in order to protect themselves. In this insurance policy, the bank protects themselves against losing money if you end up defaulting on your loan.

Unfortunately, if you are asked to purchase PMI, this will increase your monthly mortgage payment. Therefore, most people try to avoid it. Fortunately, there are a few ways to do this.

Increase the Size of Your Down Payment

Typically, the lender will ask you to purchase PMI if your loan to value ratio is off. In most cases, the lender will ask you to buy PMI if you put down less than 20 percent. It is important to remember that this is still handled on an individual case-by-case basis and each lender handles this differently. 

Invest in a Piggyback Mortgage

Another option to avoid PMI is to invest in something called a piggyback mortgage. In this case, you are splitting your mortgage into two policies. For example, if you put down 10 percent, you would need to take out a mortgage for the other 90 percent.

When you take out a piggyback mortgage, you split this 90 percent loan into one mortgage for 80 percent and the other for 10 percent. The drawback of this policy is that the second loan might have a higher interest rate than the first. This can help you avoid having to take out PMI.

Try Building the PMI Into the Loan

Finally, the last option is to roll them into the cost of the loan. In this case, the lender avoids asking you to purchase PMI and instead charges you a little bit more money for the loan. You won’t have a section on your bill for “private mortgage insurance” but you will have a slightly higher monthly payment anyways. Remember that you can refinance to a lower rate later, saving some money; however, it might be harder to eliminate PMI.

Avoiding Mortgage Insurance

These are a few ways that you can avoid purchasing PMI. This will help you keep your monthly payments low. As always, speak with your trusted mortgage professional for personal advice on your specific situation.

How Do I Get Rid of PMI?

How to Get Rid of PMIHow to Get Rid of PMI?

PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) is a type of insurance that lenders may require borrowers to pay if they have a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price. The purpose of PMI is to protect the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan. However, once you have paid off enough of your mortgage or your home has appreciated in value, you may be able to get rid of PMI. Here are some ways to do so:

Pay down your mortgage: If you make extra payments on your mortgage or pay more than the required monthly payment, you can build equity in your home faster and reduce the amount of PMI you have to pay. Once you reach 20% equity in your home, you can request your lender to remove the PMI.

Refinance your mortgage: If you can’t afford to make extra payments, you may consider refinancing your mortgage to a lower interest rate. This could lower your monthly mortgage payment and help you build equity in your home faster. Once you have enough equity in your home, you can request your lender to remove the PMI.

Get your home appraised: If your home has appreciated in value since you bought it, you may be able to get rid of PMI by getting your home appraised. If the appraisal shows that you have 20% or more equity in your home, you can request your lender to remove the PMI.

Wait for automatic termination: If you have a conventional mortgage, your lender is required to automatically terminate your PMI when you reach 22% equity in your home, provided you are current on your mortgage payments.

Why Do Lenders Require PMI?

Lenders require PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) when a borrower has a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price. The purpose of PMI is to protect the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan. If the borrower defaults, the PMI will cover the lender’s losses up to a certain percentage of the loan amount, typically 20% to 30%.

Lenders require PMI because borrowers with less than 20% down payment are considered to be at a higher risk of defaulting on their mortgage. This is because they have less equity in the property, which means they have less of their own money invested in the home. If the borrower defaults, the lender may not be able to recover the full amount of the loan by selling the property.

PMI allows lenders to offer mortgages to borrowers with less than 20% down payment while still protecting themselves against the risk of default. Without PMI, lenders would likely require larger down payments, which would make it more difficult for many borrowers to qualify for a mortgage.

It is important to note that PMI is not the same as homeowner’s insurance, which covers damage to the property. PMI is solely for the benefit of the lender and does not provide any protection for the borrower. The specific requirements and procedures for removing PMI may vary depending on your lender and the type of mortgage you have. It is important to check with your lender to determine what steps you need to take to remove PMI.