When mortgage rates are low, you might consider refinancing your mortgage to save on interest costs or reduce your monthly payments. At the same time, refinancing might enable you to eliminate PMI if your new mortgage balance is below 80 percent of the home value.
The short answer: yes, private mortgage insurance (PMI) can be removed when you refinance. In most cases, PMI is cancelled automatically once the homeowner has reached 22% equity in the home – which is the same thing as “78% loan-to-value ratio (LTV).” You'll see both terms used, so don't be confused.
Whether you'll need PMI on the new loan will depend on your home's current value and the principal balance of the new mortgage. You can likely get rid of PMI if your equity has increased to at least 20% and you don't use a cash-out refinance.
But your lender won't simply remove PMI when you hit the 20% equity mark. You have to ask, and the lender can say no -- for a while. A lender has to drop PMI when you reach 22% equity based on the original purchase price of the home (in other words, when you owe 78% of your home value).
For homeowners with a conventional mortgage loan, you may be able to get rid of PMI with a new appraisal if your home value has risen enough to put you over 20 percent equity. However, some loan servicers will re-evaluate PMI based only on the original appraisal.
You have the right to request that your servicer cancel PMI when you have reached the date when the principal balance of your mortgage is scheduled to fall to 80 percent of the original value of your home. This date should have been given to you in writing on a PMI disclosure form when you received your mortgage.
You can only remove your payments through a refinance if you have LPMI, or you have MIP and made less than a 10% down payment. Step 1: Reach 20% home equity. You must reach 20% equity in your home before you'll be allowed to refinance. You'll need to pay for PMI again if you refinance with less than 20% equity.
The traditional way to avoid paying PMI on a mortgage is to take out a piggyback loan. In that event, if you can only put up 5 percent down for your mortgage, you take out a second "piggyback" mortgage for 15 percent of the loan balance, and combine them for your 20 percent down payment.
Before buying a home, you should ideally save enough money for a 20% down payment. If you can't, it's a safe bet that your lender will force you to secure private mortgage insurance (PMI) prior to signing off on the loan, if you're taking out a conventional mortgage.
Is PMI deductible? The legislation, signed into law Dec. 20, 2019, not only makes the deduction available again for eligible homeowners for the 2020 and future tax years, but also enables taxpayers to take it retroactively for the 2018 and 2019 tax years by filing amended returns.
You can avoid PMI without 20 percent down if you opt for lender-paid PMI. However, you'll end up with a higher mortgage rate for the life of the loan. That's why some borrowers prefer the piggyback method: Using a second mortgage loan to finance part of the 20 percent down payment needed to avoid PMI.
Many loans have a “seasoning requirement” that requires you to wait at least two years before you can refinance to get rid of PMI. So if your loan is less than two years old, you can ask for a PMI-cancelling refi, but you're not guaranteed to get approval.
Dear (Servicer Name): I am requesting to cancel my private mortgage insurance. The coverage is with (Mortgage Insurance Company Name) and my mortgage loan number is (loan number). I have included documentation to support why I think the equity in my home has reached or exceeded 20%.
PMI automatically falls off for conventional loans once you have 22% equity in the home. You can also request that PMI be removed once you reach 20% equity. You may need a new appraisal if your home value went up and you'd like to use that equity in the calculation.
“In order to get your private mortgage insurance removed, you may need to be on the loan for a minimum of 12 months,” shares Helali. “After you've been on the loan for one year, the lender should automatically dissolve the PMI when you have 22% equity in the home.”
These FHA mortgage loans are not eligible for automatic mortgage insurance cancellation. To stop paying mortgage insurance premiums you'd need to refinance out of your FHA loan. The good news is that there are no restrictions on refinancing out of FHA into a conventional loan with no PMI.
Getting rid of PMI is fairly straightforward: Once you accrue 20 percent equity in your home, either by making payments to reach that level or by increasing your home's value, you can request to have PMI removed.
On average, PMI costs range between 0.22% to 2.25% of your mortgage. How much you pay depends on two main factors: Your total loan amount: As a general rule, PMI expenses are higher for larger mortgages. Your credit score: Lenders typically charge borrowers with high credit scores lower PMI percentages.
Get an 80-10-10 loan
Combined with your savings for a 10% down payment, this type of loan can help you avoid PMI.
With an "80-10-10" piggyback mortgage, for example, 80% of the purchase price is covered by the first mortgage, 10% is covered by the second loan, and the final 10% is covered by your down payment. This lowers the loan-to-value (LTV) of the first mortgage to under 80%, eliminating the need for PMI.
Mortgage insurance can put you in a house a lot sooner. You might pay more than $100 per month for PMI. But you could start gaining tens of thousands per year in home equity. For many people, PMI is worth it.
A PMI tax deduction is only possible if you itemize your federal tax deductions. For anyone taking the standard tax deduction, PMI doesn't really matter, Han says. Roughly 86% of households are estimated to take the standard deduction, according to the Tax Foundation.
Taxpayers have been able to deduct PMI in the past, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act extended the deduction into 2020 and 2021. The deduction is subject to qualified taxpayers' AGI limits and begins phasing out at $100,000 and ends at those with an AGI of $109,000 (regardless of filing status).
Can you deduct these closing costs on your federal income taxes? In most cases, the answer is “no.” The only mortgage closing costs you can claim on your tax return for the tax year in which you buy a home are any points you pay to reduce your interest rate and the real estate taxes you might pay upfront.