Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is insurance that lenders require borrowers to have when they get a mortgage and don’t have enough equity in the home. For many buyers seeking a mortgage, avoiding the added expense of PMI means coming up with a 20% down payment when buying a home .
Mortgage insurance reimburses the lender if you default on your home loan. You, the borrower, pay the premiums. When sold by a company, it’s known as private mortgage insurance, or PMI. The FHA sells mortgage insurance, too.
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All affected FHA loans with case numbers assigned after January 26, 2015 will incur an Up Front Mortgage Insurance premium of 1.75 percent on the base loan amount. This change means an increase in premiums for those looking for purchase money loans, plus existing FHA mortgage holders interested in refinancing.
So, while FHA does not require PMI (a private mortgage insurance product), they do require borrowers to pay two different types of premiums – the upfront and annual MIP. Think of this way: Almost all borrowers who make a low down payment will have to pay for some kind of mortgage insurance.
Mortgage lenders make many borrowers who don’t have 20% to put down on a home purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI) to protect the lender if the borrower is unable to pay the mortgage. In other words, PMI guarantees your lender will get paid if you are unable to pay your mortgage payments and you default on your loan.
So what does that have to do with VA home loans. But, for most of the country, if you currently want to buy a house that costs more than the FHA limit you can’t use a VA home loan without having to.
You may have the opportunity to get rid of FHA mortgage insurance, or MIP, in as few as five years if you got your mortgage before HUD updated the cancellation rules. If you received an FHA loan afterward, and you had a low down payment, you’re stuck with MIP for the loan term, unless you refinance.