First Time Home Buyer News

What You Need to Know About Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – Jessica Couch

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You’ll be required to carry private mortgage insurance if you don’t have enough cash to make a 20% down payment on a home. It costs anywhere from 0.20% to 1.50% of the balance on your loan each year, based on your credit score, down payment and loan term. The annual cost is divided into 12 monthly.

Obtaining private mortgage insurance is available if you don’t have these numbers however the costs can change. Following is the three types of PMI and how they might benefit you when buying or refinancing a house. Monthly PMI this is the most common type of mortgage insurance as it is the simplest to compute. It’s usually based on anywhere between .5 to 1% of your loan amount on an annual basis.

Ask your lender if the loan you are considering requires private mortgage insurance or a mortgage insurance premium (MIP). How much PMI costs The cost of PMI depends on your credit score and down payment, but generally it ranges from 0.3 percent to 1.5 percent of the original loan amount each year.

Generally speaking, private mortgage insurance is designed to protect the lender in case you stop making payments on your home, but PMI can be beneficial to homeowners because it can allow you to get qualified for a loan that you would otherwise not be able to afford without a 20 percent down payment. It can also help you qualify for a loan at a lower interest rate than if you were to get a conventional loan with a low down payment and no PMI (those usually have higher interest rates).

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It can also be required when you’re refinancing with a conventional loan and your equity is less than 20 percent of your house’s value. In most cases, your lender will set up PMI through a private insurer and add the premium to your mortgage payments to make things as seamless as possible for you.

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Your lender requires you to have private mortgage insurance so that if you can no longer make payments on your home, the lender will still get paid (through the private insurance policy). PMI basically safeguards the lender in the event of borrower default. It does not protect you, the borrower, if you fall behind on your mortgage payment.