PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance is extra insurance that lenders require from most home buyers who obtain loans that are more than 80 percent of their new home's value. In other words, buyers with less than a 20 percent down payment are normally required to pay PMI.
PMI plays an important role in the mortgage industry by protecting a lender against loss if a borrower defaults on a loan and by enabling borrowers with less cash to have greater access to home ownership. With this type of insurance, it is possible for you to buy a home with as little as a 3 percent to 5 percent down payment. This means that you can buy a home sooner without waiting years to accumulate a large down payment.
If you put down 20 percent or more when you buy a home, you can usually avoid paying mortgage insurance on a conventional loan. And once you've built up a certain amount of equity in your home, you can request to cancel it.
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To remove private mortgage insurance (PMI) that you pay on your mortgage loan, you must be up to date with your monthly payments. These rules apply to mortgages closed on or after July 29, 1999. Federal law generally provides two ways for you to remove PMI from your home loan: canceling PMI or PMI termination.
Two different laws regarding the cancellation of PMI are:
The Homeowners Protection Act gives you the right to request that your lender 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. If you can't find the disclosure form, contact your lender.
You can also make this request earlier if you have made additional payments to reduce the principal balance of your mortgage to 80 percent of the original value of your home.
Even if you don’t ask your lender to cancel PMI, your lender still must terminate PMI on the date when your principal balance is scheduled to reach 78 percent of the original value of your home. You also need to be current on your payments on the anticipated cancellation date. Otherwise, PMI will not be terminated until shortly after your payments are brought up to date.
It’s worth noting a termination request is different than a cancellation request. Your lender must terminate PMI even if the principal balance of your loan has not actually reached 78 percent of the original value of your home – for example, because the value of your home declined.
Every client's situation is different and handled with a unique, personalized approach. As a San Antonio, Texas based Mortgage Broker we we have unlimited flexibility to shop the entire lender market which allows us to provide significant pricing advantages over banks and credit unions to secure often hard-to-find financing that a lot of lenders don’t even offer.