If the borrower defaults on the loan, private mortgage insurance, or PMI, reimburses the lender. The private mortgage insurance paid by home-loan borrowers allows lenders to offer mortgages to a lot of buyers who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for a loan.


Previously, mortgages taken a minimum down payment, usually 20% of the cost. The down payment was supposed to ensure that the buyer would honor the loan commitment, as defaulting would indicate the reduction of a large investment. In theory, with at least 20 percent equity in the house from the onset of the loan, a creditor would be able to recuperate at least this sum by selling the house, if necessary, after a foreclosure.

Down Payment

PMI has been accessible to buyers and lenders because the late 1950s. It is usually required by lenders once the borrower makes a down payment smaller compared to the traditional minimum of 20 percent. The PMI contract is available on conventional loans that are not backed by guarantees of the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Veterans Administration. Loans guaranteed by these public agencies do not require PMI and instead levy their own insurance premiums .

Up-Front Premiums

In the past, PMI was billed as an upfront cost to the borrower. In accordance with this 1997 article”Understanding the Cost of Private Mortgage Insurance,” by L. Lee Colquitt and V. Carlos Slawson, published by the online journal Business Quest, these premiums amounted to 2.2 percent of the amount of the loan in the early 1990s, representing a significant cost to anybody borrowing cash with the usage of a conventional loan.


Most creditors today pay the PMI premium . The PMI rate is figured as a percentage, usually around 1 to 2 percent, of the outstanding principal amount of the loan, divided into twelve monthly payments. On a loan amounting to $150,000 in principal, the yearly premium in the PMI rate of 1 percent is $1,500, or $125 per month.


Normally, the higher the loan-to-value ratio, the costlier the PMI premiums as a proportion of the primary mortgage amount. For example, to get a loan in which the borrower has produced a 10-percent down payment, the loan-to-value ration is 90 percent the PMI may be approximately .75 percent of the primary loan amount; a loan using an 85-percent loan-to-value may charge approximately .50 percent.


By the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998, the borrower is allowed to request and receive a cancellation of PMI once the loan principal amount reaches 80% of the house’s selling price. The creditor is required to notify you in the final of the loan once the 80-percent ratio is going to be reached if you make the monthly principal and interest payments as scheduled. Some borrowers believed insecure may be billed PMI down to some 50-percent loan-to-value ratio.

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