What is Mortgage Insurance & How Does it Work With it

Mortgage insurance protects the lender or the owner of the property if the borrower defaults on the loan or otherwise fails to meet his obligations. Some lenders will have to pay the mort. insurance cost to the borrower as a condition of the loan.

What is mortgage insurance?


Borrowers usually have to pay for mortgage insurance in FHA or USDA mortgages. This is usually required by private lenders for conventional loans when the down payment of a borrower is less than 20%. This is known as Private Mortgage-Insurance (PMI).

Another form of mortgage-insurance is mortgage life insurance. These policies will vary between insurance companies, but usually the death benefit will be the amount that the mortgagee will pay in the event of the borrower’s death. The mortgage lender will be the beneficiary as opposed to the beneficiary nominated by the borrower.

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How Does Mortgage Insurance Work?

Mortgage insurance is something that is required by a mortgage lender in certain circumstances. The premium is paid by the borrower and the monthly mortgage may require additional costs or advance payment. Examples of mortgage insur works in different situations.

PMI is generally required for traditional lenders who pay less than 20% of their mortgage time: the cost will be added to the monthly payment. Borrowers can request that the PMI be revoked when they reach a level where their equity in the property is at least 20%. The process will vary slightly by lender, so be sure to understand how it works before taking out a loan.

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) is assessed on all mortgages taken through the FHA program: MIP includes both an advance premium payment, as well as an annual payment when taking a mortgage. Annual payments range from 0.45% to 1.05% of the outstanding mortgage balance. If your down payment is 10% or more, the MIP payment expires after 11 years.

U.S. The Department of Agriculture offers zero-down payment loans to promote homeownership in rural and some suburban areas: USDA’s mortgage programs typically require both an advance premium payment and an annual payment issued as part of the mortgage payment. The amount for 2019 is 1% of the loan amount for the advance fee and the annual fee is 0.35% of the average amount outstanding for the year, this payment is divided into monthly installments.

Loans made through Veterans Administration may be without down payment and may offer attractive rates for veterans, active or disabled service members: some reserved and eligible widows are also eligible. VA loans do not require insurance, but they do require a hefty funding fee. These fees range from 1.25% to 3.3% of the mortgage loan amount. These fees usually need to be paid in advance but can be included in the loan and can be done as part of the monthly payment. Some borrowers are exempt from these fees depending on their circumstances. The VA claims that these fees help cover some of the costs associated with this program.

Is Mortgage Insurance Necessary

This is a question to address to the lender. Lenders may find that insurance or VA funding fees are required to allow their borrowers to make loans that may be less than their stellar financial status.

Another way to look at this is to look at the overall cost of programs such as the FHA, VA and USDA programs. To determine the effect of the required mortgage-insurance or VA funding fee, borrowers should look at the total cost, including how the interest rate compares to the option they are considering.

The best way to avoid paying for mortgage-insurance in any form is to take a traditional mortgage and reduce it by at least 20%. If you are unable to manage this level of down payment, be sure to include the cost of the mortgage-insurance in your monthly expenses or the money you will need at the time of closing.

It may or may not be an option to borrow some or all of the down payment from family members, but it can be a consideration. Additionally, in some cases you may be able to tap into your Roth IRA account for a down payment for tax-free and penalty-free funds.

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