Private mortgage insurance, also called PMI, is a type of mortgage insurance you might be required to pay for if you have a conventional loan. Like other kinds of mortgage insurance, PMI protects the lender—not you—if you stop making payments on your loan.
PMI is insurance for the mortgage lender's benefit, not yours. You pay a monthly premium to the insurer, and the coverage will pay a portion of the balance due to the mortgage lender in the event you default on the home loan. ... You can avoid PMI by making a 20% down payment.
While PMI is an initial added cost, it enables you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting five to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment. While the amount you pay for PMI can vary, you can expect to pay approximately between $30 and $70 per month for every $100,000 borrowed.
To sum up, when it comes to PMI, if you have less than 20% of the sales price or value of a home to use as a down payment, you have two basic options: Use a "stand-alone" first mortgage and pay PMI until the LTV of the mortgage reaches 78%, at which point the PMI can be eliminated. 1 Use a second mortgage.
In this case, the LPMI does save you a bit of money each month. However, you can never cancel LPMI, even if you pay your mortgage down below 80% of its value. Traditional PMI simply falls off when your loan balance hits 78% of the original purchase price.
PMI is designed to protect the lender in case you default on your mortgage, meaning you don't personally get any benefit from having to pay it. So putting more than 20% down allows you to avoid paying PMI, lowering your overall monthly mortgage costs with no downside.
Let's take a second and put those numbers in perspective. If you buy a $300,000 home, you would be paying anywhere between $1,500 – $3,000 per year in mortgage insurance.
This federal law, also known as the PMI Cancellation Act, protects you against excessive PMI charges. You have the right to get rid of PMI once you've built up the required amount of equity in your home.
Private mortgage insurance does nothing for you
This is a premium designed to protect the lender of the home loan, not you as a homeowner. Unlike the principal of your loan, your PMI payment doesn't go into building equity in your home.
Example of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
For the same $200,000 loan, you might pay 1.4% upfront, or $2,800. However, it's important to consult your lender for details on your PMI options and the costs before making a decision.
You can request to have your PMI cancelled when your mortgage balance is 80% of your home's original value. And when you hit 78% of your home's original appraised value, your PMI will automatically be cancelled. After this, your monthly mortgage payment will go down—yay!
PMI is arranged by the lender and provided by private insurance companies. PMI is usually required when you have a conventional loan and make a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home's purchase price.
The tax deduction for PMI was set to expire in the 2020 tax year, but recently, legislation passed The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 effectively extending your ability to claim PMI tax deductions for the 2021 tax period. In short, yes, PMI tax is deductible for 2021.
How this affects you: Homebuyers who put 20 percent or more down don't have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI) when getting a conventional mortgage. That usually translates into substantial savings on the monthly mortgage payment, but it's not worth the risk of living on the edge, Conarchy says.
Zillow notes that credit unions will occasionally waive PMI for applicants on a case-by-case basis. Some financial institutions will also ask buyers with poor credit or inconsistent income to get PMI, even if they make a significant down payment.
Generally, to cancel PMI based on the current value of the home, you must have owned the home for at least two years and have 25% equity in the home, or a 75% loan-to-value ratio (LTV). If you've owned the home for at least five years, you can cancel when you have 20% equity or 80% LTV.
When it comes to calculating mortgage insurance or PMI, lenders use the “Purchase price or appraised value, whichever is less” guideline. Thus, using a purchase price of $200,000 and $210,000 appraised value, the PMI rate will be based on the lower purchase price.
Besides getting a lower rate, refinancing might also let you get rid of PMI if the new loan balance will be less than 80% of the home's value. But refinancing will require paying closing costs, which can include myriad fees. You'll want to make sure refinancing won't cost you more than you'll save.
Credit scores and PMI rates are linked
Insurers use your credit score, and other factors, to set that percentage. A borrower on the lowest end of the qualifying credit score range pays the most. “Typically, the mortgage insurance premium rate increases as a credit score decreases,” Guarino says.
FHA mortgage loans don't require PMI, but they do require an Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium and a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) to be paid instead. Depending on the terms and conditions of your home loan, most FHA loans today will require MIP for either 11 years or the lifetime of the mortgage.
Your MIP rate at current levels would be 0.85%, making an annual charge of $1,700 – or $140 per month. Now let's assume the new MIP rate falls to 0.6%. Your annual charge tumbles to $1,200. And your new monthly MIP cost would be exactly $100 per month.
For example, if you make $3,000 a month ($36,000 a year), you can afford a mortgage with a monthly payment no higher than $1,080 ($3,000 x 0.36). Your total household expense should not exceed $1,290 a month ($3,000 x 0.43).
If you are purchasing a $300,000 home, you'd pay 3.5% of $300,000 or $10,500 as a down payment when you close on your loan. Your loan amount would then be for the remaining cost of the home, which is $289,500. Keep in mind this does not include closing costs and any additional fees included in the process.
Example. If the home price is $500,000, a 20% down payment is equal to $100,000, resulting in a total mortgage amount of $400,000 ($500,000 - $100,000). The average down payment in the US is about 6% of the home value.
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).