Most lenders require a PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) when a household makes a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price — or, for mortgages, a collateral-to-value ratio (LTV) of more than 80% (the higher the LTV ratio, the higher the risk level of the mortgage). PMI allows borrowers to receive financing if they can afford (or prefer) to file only 5% to 19.99% of the cost of living, but there is an additional monthly cost to pay. Borrowers pay their PMI monthly until they acquire enough equity in the home that the lender no longer considers high risk.
PMI costs can be limited from 0.25% to 2% (but typically work out to 0.5 to 1%) of your loan balance per year, depending on your down payment and mortgage, the length of the loan, and your credit score. The higher your risk factors, the higher the rate you pay. Also, since PMI is a percentage of the loan amount, the more you borrow, the more PMI you will pay.
How Long do You Tolerate PMI?
Once the LTV of the mortgage drops to 78%—that means your down payment, plus the loan amount you “paid,” equal to 22% of the home’s purchase price. The lender must automatically cancel the PMI, as required by federal homeowner protection law, even if the market value of your home has decreased (if you use your mortgage).
Otherwise, the time you must transfer PMI depends on your chosen PMI.
There are three different types of private mortgage insurance:
Paid PMI (BPMI): You pay a monthly premium until your PMI ends (when your LTV balance should reach 78% of your home’s original value) or when it is canceled at your request. When the borrower has reached 20% equity in the house, the borrower may notify the lender in writing that it is time to stop making PMI payments. Lenders must provide the buyer with a written statement at closing stating how many years and months it will take for the buyer to pay 20% of the mortgage principal. But this may be earlier due to rising home prices (validated by appraisal) or because you have made additional principal payments. The lender must comply if the value of your home has not fallen, you have a history of timely payments, and you verify that you do not have a second lien or a subordinate lien on the property. You can also request a cancellation when you reach the middle of the amortization period (for example, a 30-year loan will get the middle in 15 years).
Premium PMI: You pay mortgage insurance premiums upfront in a lump sum, eliminating the need for a monthly PMI payment. You may pay the single premium in full at the closing or financing of the collateral. While it requires more upfront costs, this option can save money for long-term homeowners.
Payable PMI (LPMI): The lender pays private mortgage insurance on behalf of the borrower. It can be the outcome of lower monthly mortgage payments. Unlike BPMI, you cannot cancel LPMI because it is a durable loan part. Still, you may end up paying more interest over the life of the loan, mainly since rates are usually higher for this kind of PMI (because its cost is included in the mortgage interest rate for credit life).
This 78% threshold for auto-completion is based on the date LTV is scheduled to reach 78%, not actual payments according to the depreciation schedule. If you made additional payments and hit the 78% threshold early, your lender does not have to terminate PMI before the initially scheduled date, which could leave you with months or even years of avoidable PMI payments. (By law, creditors must tell you about the general right to cancel PMI, but not when you precisely can.) With BPMI, tracking mortgage payments and building your wealth is essential.
Also, don’t expect the lender to know that your equity in the property has reached 20% of the original purchase price or current appraisal value. If so, then you will be required to cancel. To request a cancellation, you must be aware of your mortgage payments and have a good account; specifically, what you have:
- Price has not been made that has expired 60 days or more within the first 12 months of the last two years before the date of cancellation (or the date you are requesting cancellation, whichever is later) or
- Has not made a payment for 30 days or more in the 12 months before the cancellation date (or the date you request the cancellation, whichever is later).
Paying off your mortgage isn’t the only way to create equity that allows you to claim a cancellation. Making improvements that add enough value to your home can also go to the bare minimum. If you’re doing a major renovation – for example, it’s important to redo the kitchen – review the numbers to see if you can now get a written PMI cancellation request.
Once PMI has been canceled, the lender cannot claim further PMI payments more than 30 days after receiving your written request or when you satisfied the evidence and certification requirements, whichever is later.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.