What Is Mortgage Insurance and How Does It Work?
Mortgage insurance protects the lender in the event you default on the loan. In return, the lender agrees to provide a higher mortgage amount to cover the additional down payment needed. Mortgage insurance can be included in your new monthly payment, paid by the lender in return for a higher interest rate, or paid upfront. The rates used to calculate mortgage insurance are based upon debt-to-income ratio, credit, and how much down payment you will need to meet the 80% loan-to-value requirement, or 20% down.
- PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance): This insurance can be paid upfront or financed into your mortgage. Once you reach 78% loan-to-value, refinance, or reach the mid-point of your mortgage, this insurance will go away. If you own a multi-family home or investment property, these rules differ, and you may want to talk with your loan officer about those options.
- LPMI (Lender-Paid Mortgage Insurance): This option is when the lender pays for your mortgage insurance and in return, you agree to pay a higher interest rate where the premiums are built in.
- MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium): If you’re applying for an FHA mortgage, you pay part upfront and the remainder is financed into your mortgage payment. If you are not able to pay any part upfront, it too can be financed into your mortgage payment. It’s important to note, for FHA loans, MIP would last for the term of the loan if you purchased or refinanced your home on or after June 3, 2013 and you had a down payment of less than 10%.
Bottom line: Remember, in addition to mortgage insurance, there are several ways to purchase a home without a 20% down payment. If you are interested in exploring mortgage insurance as an option, talk with your loan officer to see which types work best for you.
Source: Mortgage Market Guide