What is PMI?
Private mortgage insurance, also called PMI, is a type of mortgage insurance you might be required to pay for if you have a conventional loan. Like other kinds of mortgage insurance, PMI protects the lender—not you—if you stop making payments on your loan.
When Would I Consider a Loan with Mortgage Insurance??
Lenders sometimes offer conventional loans with smaller down payments that do not require PMI. Usually, you will pay a higher interest rate for these loans. Paying a higher interest rate can be more or less expensive than PMI—it depends on a number of factors, including how long you plan to stay in the home. You may also want to ask a tax advisor about whether paying more in interest or paying PMI might affect your taxes differently.
Can I Avoid Mortgage Insurance When Putting Less Than 20% Down?
The most common way for mortgage insurance to be paid is as a monthly premium rolled into your mortgage payment. Many buyers do not realize that there is also an option to pay the premium as a single lump sum upfront called single-payment mortgage insurance. Paying it upfront may end up being a significant cost saving over the life of the loan.