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Private Mortgage Insurance – What it is?


Private Mortgage Insurance – PMI

Even for an experienced home buyer all the definitions and acronyms  such as (PMI) private mortgage insurance may be confusing. For a mortgage broker the guidelines can sometimes be overlooked.  The business itself must is built on loan processors and underwriters.   The loan processor compiles and organizes all the required documents and double triple check it before sending it to underwriting and I can assure you from there something more will be required or needed to complete the process and get the clear to close.   If an experienced home buyer feels this way can you imagine the first time home buyer?   Beginning with one of the basic facts, Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).  What is it, what is it for, for whose benefit is it?

Private Mortgage Insurance – Why is it needed?

When buying a home, it is not uncommon for some lenders to require a down payment of 20% of the home’s purchase price.  There are many lenders that offer loans with less than 20% down, even as low as 5% on a conventional and 3% on FHA.  Most people are familiar with MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium) on FHA.  This is insurance the borrower has to purchase to insure their own loan against foreclosure.  This insurance protects the lender not the borrower.   When a borrower uses Conventional financing (Loans that are not federally insured) and they put less than 20 % down on your new home, your lender will usually require you to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI as it is commonly referred.

Private Mortgage Insurance – What is it for ?

What exactly in PMI what is it for ?  Simply put and very similar to MIP on FHA  Loans it is an additional amount you pay along with your mortgage payment the protects the lender if you fail to pay, just like MIP on an FHA loan.  Typically it is paid monthly with your mortgage payment, unless you make a one-time upfront payment for the PMI at closing, which always begs the question if you have money to pay it upfront why not add that same amount to your down payment therefore reducing the monthly premium and total interest paid over the term of the loan.

Private Mortgage Insurance – How much do I pay ?

My best advice to you when shopping for a mortgage lender or broker is ask the lender or mortgage broker what will be required for a minimum down payment and what special home loan programs may be available such as FHA, VA, USDA.  Once you narrow in on the loan program that best suits your needs ask questions, such as what the total cost of the insurance is and how much it will increase your payment once it is included.  Ask what a one time premium would be and determine if paying it upfront would be a better benefit or applying that same money to the down payment and reducing the total interest paid and the monthly cost of the PMI.

Your Realtor or Mortgage Broker can direct you and there are also many good informational websites such as and of course the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can also help

The Larry Stepp Team at Gustan Cho Associates are available 7 days a week and Holidays.  My Team of Mortgage and Real Estate people can guide you through this exciting and sometimes scary process.


Larry Stepp       407-922-4755

The information contained on website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Loan Cabin or its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or guest writers of Gustan Cho Associates and do not reflect the policy of GCA, its officers, subsidiaries, parent, or affiliates.

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