All About Private Mortgage Insurance

by Jesse Marks 06/17/2018

You may have heard of private mortgage insurance, also known as PMI, but you’re probably not sure what exactly it is. If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price of the home, then you’ll need to pay for this additional insurance in order to secure a loan for the home. This type of policy protects the lender if you end up in a foreclosure situation. This way, the lender is assured that they will not lose money. 


Private mortgage insurance is also required if you refinance your home when it has accrued to less than 20% equity. Again, this protects the lender from losing money if the loan is defaulted on. 


Fees


The fees involved with private mortgage insurance can range based on a few factors including the actual size of the down payment and your credit score. You can expect the cost of the insurance to be somewhere between 0.3% and 1.5% of the loan amount per year. The PMI premiums are tax deductible some years and other years they are not. It really all depends upon the state of the government and what they have enacted for the particular fiscal year. Private mortgage insurance premiums can be paid either monthly or with a large payment upfront, although most policies will require the borrower to pay on a monthly basis.    


This Insurance Can Be Canceled


The lender will automatically cancel your PMI once the loan drops down to 78% of the home’s value. For this reason, you’ll want to keep track of your payments in order to see how far away you are from shedding this monthly fee. When your loan is paid down to 80% of the home’s original value, you have the right to ask your lender to discontinue to insurance premium payments.


What Is The Loan-To-Value Ratio?


This ratio is the amount of mortgage debt in the form a percentage based on how much the home is worth. It’s calculated by the following formula:


Amount owed on the mortgage/Appraised value


This is an important factor when it comes to matters of PMI insurance, as it’s how the required loan payment percentages are calculated. If a home is worth $100,000 and $80,000 is still owed on the home, the loan-to-value ratio is 80 percent. This means the borrower can request the insurance be cancelled.      


FHA Loans Have Different Requirements


If you secure an FHA loan, they require the payment of PMI premiums for the entire life of the loan. You can’t exactly cancel these insurance payments but you can refinance the loan in order get rid of the insurance. This means that you will no longer have an FHA loan.           


Private mortgage insurance can be a nuisance, however as a first-time homebuyer with little capital, the fees may be worth it when you’re able to secure your first home.

About the Author
Author

Jesse Marks

I spent years as a Law Enforcement Officer with the DC Housing Authority Police Department; it was my duty, and a privilege, to protect and to serve the public interest. I use that same dedication and commitment to my clients advantage. With the proper information and guidance, your home buying or selling, adventure...will not be intimidating. INTEGRITY Buying or selling a home is the most important transaction in your life. Because of that, it is important that you work with someone with integrity, that you trust, and feel is a market expert. People trust me with their most-valuable asset. It's a responsibility I take very seriously. I know that your success is my success. LOCAL EXPERTISE I offer local expertise in a home market tailored to meet your needs. As a local professional, I know the neighborhoods, schools, market conditions, zoning regulations and local economy. I will do the leg work, keeping you up-to-date with new listings and conditions as they impact the market. I will make the process as pleasurable and stress-free an experience for you as I can. SUCCESS I don't measure my success through awards received or achievements, but through the satisfaction of my clients. Whether you are looking to buy or sell your home, I will provide sound and trustworthy advice to help you achieve your real estate goals. Let me guide you through the complexities of buying or selling your home, eliminating hassles and stress. I look forward to working with you.