Buying a home includes incurring a variety of fees that must be paid to multiple involved parties. If you are financing your new home, you may notice that lender mortgage insurance has been added to your docket of bills to pay. Not every mortgage will require lender mortgage insurance as one of the fees, but if yours does, it is important to calculate how much this additional cost will impact your repayment each month.
Here’s how to calculate lender mortgage insurance and more information about the various types that you may encounter.
What Is Lender Mortgage Insurance?
Lender mortgage insurance is a type of protection that buyers pay for on behalf of their lender when they take a mortgage, but only under certain conditions. In the United States, lender mortgage insurance is more often called PMI, or private mortgage insurance.
When a lender offers a mortgage to a purchaser who is paying less than 20% upfront, the lender is taking a risk. In this instance, there is a higher remaining value outstanding; if the buyer defaults on the loan, the lender is forced to foreclose, causing them to lose a substantial portion of their investment. To protect their investment, lenders require buyers to purchase private mortgage insurance if their down payment is below the threshold.
Generally, lenders will expect buyers to agree to PMI if the down payment on the property is less than 20% of the total value of the home value. An example would be if a buyer is purchasing a $200,000 home and providing $5,000 as a down payment, they would be required to purchase PMI. If they put $40,000 as a down payment, PMI would not be necessary.
In most circumstances, PMI is not required for a long term. Once the home has 80% (or 78%, in some cases) loan-to-value-ratio, the purchaser can request that the PMI be removed. This will likely require an appraisal to assess the value of the home against the outstanding loan.
How to Calculate Lender Mortgage Insurance
Understanding how much your lender mortgage insurance will impact your monthly bill is a critical part of planning for your financial future. On average, PMI will typically cost from .5% to 2% of your total loan balance cumulatively over an entire year. Divide that into 12 monthly payments and you will have an idea of how much your PMI will change your monthly payments.
However, different types of PMI may have different costs:
- Borrower-paid mortgage insurance – By far, this is the most common type of lender mortgage insurance. This reflects the .5% to 2% estimate.
- Single-premium mortgage insurance – The option to pay all of your PMI at once as a lump sum. It is still usually calculated using the .5% to 2% estimate, but be aware that if you refinance or sell soon after purchase, you do not get a refund of any PMI paid.
- Lender-paid mortgage insurance – In this scenario, the lender pays for your PMI. However, in exchange, you take a higher interest rate on your loan. This can result in lower monthly payments, but your interest rate may rise by around 1% which should be factored into your costs.
- Split-premium mortgage insurance – This is a hybrid of the first two options. You pay some as a lump sum and some monthly. The upfront premium usually ranges from .5% to 1.25%.
Factors That Impact the Cost of Mortgage Insurance
Certain elements can make your private mortgage insurance more, or less, expensive. PMI is based on numerous factors:
- The loan term (length of the loan)
- LTV (loan to value ratio)
- Your credit score (or that of anyone on the loan)
- The type of interest rate you agree to (fixed, adjustable)
- The amount of coverage the lender requires
- Factors considered to be especially risky, such as jumbo loans, investment properties or second houses
While you may not be able to control some of these factors, others are more flexible. If you are concerned about the amount of lender mortgage insurance that you are being asked to pay, consider which of these elements you may be able to negotiate. It is also wise to avoid making big purchases (including cars or furniture) before you close on your home allowing your credit score to remain as high as possible.
Trust the Experts to Help You Understand All of the Factors of a Home Purchase
Whether you are purchasing a residential home, a commercial property or an investment property, you may be required to pay private mortgage insurance. The experts at Mathis Title Company can help you understand how to protect your new investment, from planning for PMI to purchasing a secure title insurance policy that protects your purchase. Contact Mathis Title Company to learn more or to schedule an appointment to get started.