How to Avoid Mortgage Insurance

How to Avoid Mortgage Insurance by making a down payment of 20% or more of the home’s purchase price. Mortgage insurance is built into the loan to protect lenders from potential default by borrowers.

However, this added cost can significantly increase the overall cost of the loan and lead to higher monthly payments. Making a larger down payment not only avoids mortgage insurance but also lowers the amount of money that needs to be borrowed and reduces the interest paid over the life of the loan.

Other strategies to avoid mortgage insurance include finding alternative loan options or negotiating with lenders to waive the requirement. By taking steps to avoid mortgage insurance, home buyers can save thousands of dollars in the long run.

How to Avoid Mortgage Insurance


What Is Mortgage Insurance And Why Do You Want To Avoid It?

Definition Of Mortgage Insurance

If you’re planning to buy a home and applying for a mortgage, you might come across a term called mortgage insurance (mi). Mortgage insurance is not the same as homeowner’s insurance, which covers unfortunate events like fire, theft, or other damages to the property.

Mortgage insurance, instead, covers the lender, not you, when you default on your loan. In simpler terms, it’s a backup plan for the lender to recover some of their losses in case the borrower fails to repay the loan.

Types Of Mortgage Insurance: Pmi Vs. Mip

There are two most common types of mortgage insurance depending on the loan you apply for; private mortgage insurance (pmi) and mortgage insurance premium (mip). Here’s what you need to know about each type:

  • Pmi: If you are purchasing a conventional loan and can’t provide a 20% down payment, pmi is a requirement. The insurance premium is typically between 0.3% to 1.5% of the original loan amount per year, which translates into an additional $1,200 to $6,000 on a $400,000 loan, or $100 to $500 for every $100,000 borrowed. Once you reach 20% equity in the property, you can ask to remove the pmi.
  • Mip: If you apply for an fha loan, mip is required, no matter how much your down payment is. You’ll need to pay 1.75% upfront and between 0.45% to 1.05% per year of the remaining loan balance. The only way to remove mip is to refinance to a non-fha loan, or if you sell the home.

Why Do You Want To Avoid Mortgage Insurance?

Mortgage insurance may seem like a small price to pay when you are eager to purchase your dream home, but it can add up to a significant amount over time. Here are a few reasons why you want to avoid mortgage insurance:

  • Extra expenses: As we discussed earlier, mortgage insurance can add up to between 0.3% to 1.5% of the loan amount per year, which can increase your monthly payment by hundreds of dollars. That’s money that could go towards other expenses or savings.
  • Limited budget: If you don’t have a 20% down payment, it’s likely you’ll get approved for a less expensive home, which may not match your criteria.
  • Long-term investment: A down payment is an investment towards your home, and the more you invest, the more equity you’ll build. Avoiding mortgage insurance can help you pay off your mortgage quickly and invest your money in other ways, long term.

Avoiding mortgage insurance can save you money and offer long term benefits towards building your home equity. By understanding the types of mortgage insurance, you can choose the right loan, save money, and make it easier to own your dream home.

How Much Does Mortgage Insurance Cost?

Factors Affecting Your Mortgage Insurance

Before discussing the cost of mortgage insurance, it is essential to understand the factors that affect your mortgage insurance. The following are some of the critical factors that impact your mortgage insurance rates:

  • Down payment amount: Generally, the larger your down payment is, the lower your mortgage insurance will be.
  • Credit score: Your credit score is an essential factor when determining your mortgage insurance rates. The higher your credit score, the lower your mortgage insurance rate.
  • Loan type: Depending on your loan type, your mortgage insurance rates could vary. For example, fha loans have different mortgage insurance rates than conventional loans.

Pmi Cost: How Much Can You Expect To Pay?

Private mortgage insurance (pmi) cost varies based on several factors. Just like other types of insurance, mortgage insurance rates differ based on risk assessments. Here are some key points to consider when thinking about the pmi cost:

  • The average rule of thumb is that pmi costs around 0.5% to 1% of the entire loan value per year.
  • Pmi rates are usually higher for borrowers borrowing more than 90% of their home value.
  • Pmi termination requirements vary between lenders, such as reaching a specific equity percentage or paying pmi premiums for a particular duration.

Mip Cost: How Much Can You Expect To Pay?

Fha loans require mortgage insurance premiums (mip) for the entire loan term for most borrowers. The mip amount varies based on the following factors:

  • Down payments: A higher down payment lowers the mip percentage rate.
  • Loan term: Longer-term fha loans have more mip charges per year.
  • Loan amount: Higher loan amounts can result in higher mip premiums.

Mortgage insurance is an additional cost that you can avoid by opting for a larger down payment and improving your credit score. Understanding the key factors that determine mortgage insurance premiums can help you plan your homebuying budget.

How To Avoid Mortgage Insurance

Many first-time homebuyers often find themselves facing the issue of mortgage insurance. It’s an added cost that can make homeownership seem unattainable. However, there are ways to avoid mortgage insurance altogether. In this section, we’ll discuss five options that can help you avoid mortgage insurance.

Option 1: Pay A Higher Down Payment

One way to avoid mortgage insurance is by paying a higher down payment. The minimum down payment required by most lenders is 3%, but if you put down at least 20% of the home’s purchase price, you can avoid private mortgage insurance (pmi).

This not only helps you save on monthly payments, but it also eliminates the added cost of insurance altogether.

Option 2: Take Out A Piggyback Loan

A piggyback loan, also known as an 80-10-10 loan, allows you to take out a second loan to supplement your down payment. Typically, this involves taking out a first mortgage for 80% of the home’s purchase price, a second mortgage for 10% of the purchase price, and providing a 10% down payment.

With this option, you avoid mortgage insurance and can also potentially get a lower interest rate on the primary loan.

Option 3: Look For Lender-Paid Mortgage Insurance (Lpmi)

Lender-paid mortgage insurance (lpmi) is an alternative to traditional pmi. Instead of the borrower paying monthly insurance premiums, the lender pays the insurance premiums in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate. While this option may increase your overall interest rate, it can also help you avoid mortgage insurance altogether.

Option 4: Get A Va Loan

If you’re an eligible veteran or active duty service member, a va loan may be the right option for you. Va loans are guaranteed by the department of veterans affairs and do not require mortgage insurance, regardless of the down payment.

This can result in significant savings over the life of the loan.

Option 5: Wait Until You Have Enough Equity

If none of the above options work for you, you can always wait until you have enough equity in your home to avoid mortgage insurance. This typically occurs when you reach 20% equity in the home, at which point you can request that the lender remove the pmi.

While this option may take longer, it’s a surefire way to eliminate mortgage insurance.

There are several ways to avoid mortgage insurance. By paying a higher down payment, taking out a piggyback loan, looking for lender-paid mortgage insurance, getting a va loan, or waiting until you have enough equity, you can save money and move closer to achieving your dream of homeownership.

Pros And Cons Of Avoiding Mortgage Insurance

Pros Of Avoiding Mortgage Insurance

Avoiding mortgage insurance could benefit homebuyers in several ways:

  • Lower monthly payments: One of the obvious benefits of avoiding mortgage insurance is lower monthly payments. Typically, mortgage insurance amounts to an additional 0.5% to 1% of the total loan amount. So, if you can avoid it, you could potentially save a significant amount of money on your monthly payments.
  • Build equity faster: When you put down a larger down payment to avoid mortgage insurance, you are immediately building more equity in your home. This means that you could own more of your home, sooner, which could help you if you ever decide to sell or refinance your home in the future.
  • Better interest rates: If you put a larger down payment and avoid mortgage insurance, you may be more likely to qualify for lower interest rates on your mortgage. This could translate into significant savings over time.

Cons Of Avoiding Mortgage Insurance

While there are certainly advantages to avoiding mortgage insurance, there are also some potential downsides to consider, such as:

  • Higher upfront costs: Avoiding mortgage insurance means you will likely need to contribute more money upfront towards your down payment. This could mean parting with a larger chunk of cash upfront, which can be challenging for many homebuyers.
  • Limits homebuying options: Not everyone has the ability to avoid mortgage insurance, particularly if they do not have a large amount of cash to put towards their down payment. This can limit homebuying options, particularly in higher-priced housing markets where property values are high.
  • Potentially slower homebuying process: Avoiding mortgage insurance could mean that your loan is considered riskier without mortgage insurance. As a result, the underwriting process for your loan may take more time, which could delay your homebuying process.

There are both pros and cons to avoiding mortgage insurance when buying a home. It’s important to carefully consider the potential benefits and downsides before committing to this approach. Ultimately, the decision to avoid mortgage insurance will depend on your unique financial circumstances, homebuying goals, and personal preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Avoid Mortgage Insurance

How Can I Avoid Mortgage Insurance?

Mortgage insurance can be avoided by putting down 20% of the purchase price as a down payment. An alternative option is to take out a piggyback loan, where a second mortgage is taken out to cover any remaining balance.

What Is Mortgage Insurance?

Mortgage insurance is a policy that protects lenders in case the borrower defaults on their loan. Borrowers with less than a 20% down payment are required to pay mortgage insurance.

Is Mortgage Insurance Mandatory?

Mortgage insurance is mandatory for borrowers who put down less than 20% of the purchase price as a down payment. It is designed to protect lenders in case the borrower defaults on their loan.

What Is A Piggyback Loan?

A piggyback loan is a second mortgage taken out by a borrower to cover the remaining balance after putting down a down payment of less than 20%. The second mortgage is used to prevent the borrower from paying mortgage insurance.

How Much Does Mortgage Insurance Cost?

The cost of mortgage insurance varies based on the loan amount, down payment amount, and the borrower’s credit score. Typically, mortgage insurance costs 0. 5-1% of the loan amount per year.


Mortgage insurance can add a substantial monthly cost to your mortgage payment, which can quickly become a burden for many homeowners. However, by taking strategic financial steps, you can successfully avoid mortgage insurance. With a solid financial plan, like saving for a larger down payment or opting for a second mortgage, you can eliminate the need for mortgage insurance and free up additional income to achieve financial goals, such as saving for retirement or building an emergency fund.

By incorporating the tips mentioned within this post, you can avoid mortgage insurance fees and pave the way for a more secure financial future. Remember, every financial decision matters, so take the time to explore your options and choose the one that aligns with your goals and values.

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