Mortgage Daily

Published On: December 23, 2022

Eliminate Your Premium Mortgage Insurance Permanently

PMI is a significant expense for homeowners, averaging $100 to $300 monthly. Fortunately, you are not permanently bound to PMI. There are several options to eliminate PMI and reduce your monthly payments once you’ve established equity in your house.

Some homeowners can seek PMI deletion, while others must refinance into a loan without mortgage insurance. Here’s how to eliminate your PMI.

How to Eliminate PMI: Key Takeaways

Can you eliminate PMI? The answer depends on the kind of loan and the outstanding principle sum.

Remove traditional PMI:

  • When home equity reaches 22%, conventional PMI expires automatically. As you pay down your mortgage and your home’s value rises, you accrue equity.
  • When you have 20% home equity, you can seek cancellation of PMI. Contact your loan servicer to seek the deletion of PMI coverage.
  • Remove FHA MIP
  • FHA mortgage insurance (MIP) is required for the life of the loan unless a 10% or greater down payment is made.
  • To eliminate FHA mortgage insurance, refinance into a conventional loan.
  • FHA mortgage insurance premium cancellation requires 620 and 20 percent equity credit score.

As house prices rise across the country, many homeowners still paying for mortgage insurance will now have sufficient equity to cancel or refinance out of mortgage insurance.

“This may be possible with a new assessment, but not all lenders will permit it. It must typically be based on the original loan conditions and home valuation when the loan was secured. Otherwise, according to Jon Meyer. You must refinance to have the increased value recognized.

If you fulfill the requirements to eliminate PMI, you might immediately begin saving on your mortgage.

Four Methods to Eliminate PMI

Naturally, the majority of homeowners would prefer not to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

If you are qualified, there are various ways to eliminate PMI. Only some homeowners must refinance to eliminate mortgage insurance.

  • Wait for PMI to expire on its own. PMI is automatically canceled for traditional mortgages when the loan debt reaches or falls below 78% of the home’s assessed value.
  • Request PMI cancellation. For conventional loans, you can seek PMI cancellation at an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio instead of waiting for PMI cancellation at 78 percent.
  • Refinance into a conventional loan that does not require PMI. Once the mortgage debt exceeds 80% of the property’s value, FHA borrowers can refinance into a conventional loan without PMI.
  • Refinance into a no-PMI mortgage. For loans with an LTV below 80%, it may be feasible to refinance into a program that does not need PMI.

Homeowners with conventional loans have the most straightforward option for eliminating PMI. This mortgage insurance coverage terminates automatically when the loan-to-value ratio hits 78% (meaning you have 22% equity in your property).

Alternatively, the homeowner can request that PMI be withdrawn at 80% LTV rather than waiting for it to be removed automatically when home equity exceeds 22% (78% LTV).

When seeking PMI cancellation, the loan-to-value ratio may be determined either on the original purchase price or the house appraisal (whichever is lower). Or, if the value of your property has increased, you can get a new appraisal and remove PMI based on the current worth of your home.

The procedure might differ per loan servicer; thus, you should contact yours to discuss your choices.

How to Refinance to Eliminate PMI

FHA loans make it more difficult for homeowners to remove mortgage insurance than conventional loans.

Your mortgage insurance payment (MIP) will not immediately decrease if you have a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). MIP lasts typically for the loan (or 11 years if you put down 10% or more).

Nonetheless, FHA-insured homeowners still have choices for eliminating mortgage insurance.

Refinancing your mortgage is one approach to eliminate MIP.

According to Wendy Stockwell, vice president of operations support and product development at Embrace Home Loans, refinancing from an FHA or conventional loan to a new conventional loan would eliminate MIP or PMI payments. This is achievable if the LTV is 80% or below.

Ask Your Lender About Lending Packages Without PMI

Stockwell explains that it is also feasible to refinance into a scheme that does not need MIP or PMI, even if the LTV exceeds 80%.

The following mortgage lending programs do not need mortgage insurance:

  • Best in America mortgage provided by Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America
  • Mortgages from Bank of America Affordable Loan Solution®

*Programs that were active at the time this article was written. Loan schemes are susceptible to alteration.

“The interest rate [on non-conforming loan products] may be somewhat higher than that of a traditional loan,” adds Stockwell. However, the absence of mortgage insurance payments will ultimately result in a decrease in your overall monthly mortgage payment.

VA loans, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, do not require continuous mortgage insurance. They also provide competitive interest rates. The VA loan program is an excellent method to save money for veterans and active-duty military members.

How Much You May Save by Refinancing Without PMI

“Let’s suppose your property is worth $250,000,” says Mike Scott, senior mortgage loan originator at Independent Bank. “Your FHA loan has a balance of $195,000 and a rate of 4.25 percent. And 27 years are remaining on the debt.”

Scott notes that this loan’s monthly principle and interest payment is a little over $1,000. The MIP, however, will cost you an additional $140 monthly.

You decide to refinance your $200,000 conventional loan into a new $200,000 conventional loan. Your rate for 30 years is 3.75 percent. Assume that the new mortgage includes closing expenses and other prepaid things.

“You are beginning over with a 30-year debt. However, your main interest payment is now $930 per month, and no MIP is necessary. That’s a monthly savings of [over $200], at least initially,” adds Scott.

Considerations Before Refinancing Out of PMI

Refinancing to eliminate PMI might be a sensible choice, but it is not always the best option.

“Refinancing to eliminate PMI may incur closing charges, which may include host fees,” explains Keith Baker, coordinator of the Mortgage Banking Program at North Lake College and faculty member.

Also, keep in mind that refinancing a new FHA loan may incur up-front charges that may negate the savings you get.

“With an FHA loan, the MIP is paid upfront. When refinancing an FHA loan after three years, you will be required to pay the MIP upfront once more, warns realtor and real estate attorney Bruce Ailion.

Ailion says, “You should determine how long it will take for the savings to cover the new loan cost by calculating the savings against the charges. Refinancing is generally not wise if the term is longer than the expected length of your stay in the house.

Another exception? If you still owe more than 80% of the value of your current house, refinancing may be less advantageous.

Additionally, if your credit score is below 700, understand that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac impose loan level price adjustments for conventional loans. This may result in a higher interest rate than you are now paying.

Remove Mortgage Insurance From Traditional Loans

If you have a traditional loan with a down payment of less than 20%, you will likely pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).

According to Stockwell, borrowers are forced to pay PMI on traditional loans when they borrow more than 80 percent of the home’s equity. She continues, “PMI is paid either monthly or lump sum at the time of closing.”

Scott states that to remove PMI, the loan-to-value ratio (LTV) must exceed 80 percent. Once your LTV hits 78%, your PMI will immediately lapse. He says that the initial worth of your house is often considered.

Alternatively, PMI can be terminated upon request after your home’s equity exceeds 20 percent of the purchase price or appraised value.

“Or, PMI will be canceled when you reach the halfway point of your mortgage’s amortization.” Therefore, for a 30-year loan, PMI should terminate automatically after 15 years,” explains Baker.

Remove FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

In contrast to private mortgage insurance, mortgage insurance premium (MIP) is only levied on FHA loans.

“MIP payments are divided up. Initially, you pay an upfront charge at closing. According to Stockwell, the remaining payment is amortized monthly for the loan term.

MIP is needed to be paid for 11 years on FHA loans with LTV levels between 70% and 90%.

“However, when the LTV is 90.01 percent or above, the MIP must be paid for the loan duration. Therefore, if your LTV is 91% and you have a 30-year FHA loan, you will pay MIP for 360 installments,” explains Stockwell.

Unless you refinance or pay off your mortgage early, this is true.

If you have an FHA loan and build up more than 30 percent equity in your house before the end of the 11-year MIP period, a refinancing might allow you to eliminate the insurance charges early.

Is PMI Bad?

It’s simple to see why PMI frustrates many homeowners: You’re paying for coverage that protects your lender. The same holds for the MIP requirement of the FHA.

However, mortgage insurance is only partially negative. Without it, you would likely pay a higher interest rate since your lender would be taking on greater risk.

This is particularly true for homeowners who made the minimal down payment of 3% on a conventional loan or 3.5% on an FHA loan.

When you can quit paying this additional payment without incurring greater closing costs or an increased interest rate, you should do so.

PMI Removal FAQ

How Can I Eliminate PMI Without a 20 Percent Down Payment?

If you are still looking for a loan, you may avoid PMI by selecting an unique loan without PMI or by obtaining an 80/10/10 piggyback loan that replicates a 20 percent down payment. If you currently have a mortgage with PMI, refinance into a loan without PMI.

Can You Eliminate PMI With a New Evaluation?

If you refinance to eliminate PMI, a new property valuation will be performed to ensure that your loan-to-value ratio is below 80 percent. Homeowners with a traditional mortgage loan may be eligible to eliminate private mortgage insurance (PMI) with a new assessment if their home’s value has climbed beyond 20 percent equity. Nevertheless, some loan servicers will reevaluate PMI using simply the initial evaluation. Therefore, contact your servicer directly to discuss your choices.

Can Mortgage Insurance on an FHA Loan Be Eliminated?

MIP (the sort of mortgage insurance particular to FHA loans) is included in all FHA loans. However, if you have at least 20 percent equity in your house, you can convert your FHA loan into a conventional loan without PMI.

Is Mortgage Insurance a Financial Waste?

PMI (or MIP on FHA loans) is often worthwhile if it expedites home-buying. Almost all mortgage plans requiring a down payment of less than 20% require mortgage insurance. As a result, mortgage insurance is popular among homebuyers who wish to avoid saving for a substantial down payment for years. Remember that mortgage insurance is temporary. You can refinance or delete it in the future.

Do You Never Receive PMI Refunds?

PMI premiums cannot be refunded. Consider it similar to auto insurance: You pay premiums, and the insurer only pays out if anything goes wrong. The only exception to this regulation is streamline refinances for FHA loans. If a homeowner refinances an existing FHA loan into a new FHA loan within three years, they are eligible to get a return of a portion of the upfront MIP payment on the previous loan. This loan is often straightforward to qualify for if you have a solid payment history over the last three months.

Does It Make Sense to Refinance to Eliminate Mortgage Insurance?

Refinancing to eliminate PMI mortgage insurance is worthwhile if the savings exceed the refinance closing fees. The current environment of low-interest rates provides the opportunity to exit a loan with higher interest rates and eliminate mortgage insurance. However, you must still evaluate how long you want to remain in the home after refinancing. Refinancing may cost more than it saves if it’s only a few years. However, if you plan to remain in your home for at least five more years, it is frequently worthwhile to refinance out of PMI. Obtaining a no-closing-cost refinancing or adding closing expenses to the loan balance may also be advantageous.

What Is the PMI Cost?

Annually, PMI typically costs between 0.5 and 1.5 percent of the loan amount. On a $200,000 loan, PMI would cost between $1,000 and $3,000 a year. Alternatively, $83 to $250 each month. PMI rates are determined by your credit score and down payment amount.

Does a Second Mortgage Demand PMI as Well?

Additional PMI payments should not be required when obtaining a second mortgage, such as a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. PMI applies exclusively to your initial mortgage loan. Through the 80-10-10 piggyback mortgage option, a second mortgage can help you avoid PMI by paying a portion of your down payment on a house purchase.

Is PMI Based on the Original Sales Price or the Home’s Current Worth?

Different lenders and loan servicers employ distinct methods to calculate your loan-to-value ratio (LTV). Some lenders compute LTV based on the home’s initial purchase price, while others use the original home appraisal. You can pay for a new appraisal if the value of your property has increased since you acquired it. An appraisal may cost up to $500. Still, the expense would be justified if your house’s current valuation indicates you have 20 percent home equity – sufficient equity to eliminate PMI on a traditional mortgage, saving you money each month.

Do USDA or VA Loans Demand PMI?

USDA loans require USDA-specific mortgage insurance. It is often less costly than the FHA’s MIP standards. VA loans are not required to carry mortgage insurance. VA borrowers are subject to an upfront financing cost. A VA loan is only available to active-duty military members and veterans.

Will a Lender Delete PMI Automatically?

The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 mandates that lenders inform homebuyers of their mortgage insurance responsibilities. The law mandates loan servicers to eliminate PMI when the LTV falls below 78% immediately. When the LTV drops below 80 percent, you can seek PMI cancellation.

How Is LTV Determined?

You may calculate your loan-to-value ratio by dividing your current mortgage debt by the value of your home and then multiplying the resulting number by 100. For instance, if you owe $175,000 and your home is valued at $200,000, you would divide $175,000 by $200,000 to obtain 0.875%. This result multiplied by 100 yields the LTV of 87.5 percent. To attain an LTV of 80%, which is low enough to seek PMI cancellation on a conventional loan, the owner of this home would need to pay down the mortgage principal balance to $160,000.

What if My Loan Servicer Refuses to Eliminate PMI Even After My LTV Reaches 80%?

Check your numbers first. Your loan servicer may be calculating LTV using the original purchase price. You may require a fresh appraisal to demonstrate that your home’s worth has improved since the initial evaluation or sale price. Please get in touch with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if your loan servicer has violated the Homeowners Protection Act.

Check Your Eligibility to Refinance

Refinancing to eliminate PMI can significantly reduce your mortgage expenses and save you money for months or years. In addition to eliminating mortgage insurance, you can reduce your interest rate and save money on interest throughout the life of the loan.


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