How To Get Rid Of Your Private Mortgage Insurance And Lower Your Payments

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is an added cost factored into the early term of mortgage repayments. Budgeting for this added expense is important as you consider buying a home, but you won't always have to shoulder this burden. This leads homeowners to better cash flow management after a few years of diligently paying down their mortgage, as the PMI supplement evaporates from the monthly bill. But this has led many homeowners to wonder how they can eliminate this added cost faster than the nominal schedule in the initial mortgage contract terms.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that PMI coverage — unlike the name might suggest to the uninitiated — protects the mortgage lender, not the homebuyer, in the event of a default on the loan. This means you'll never see any benefit from this insurance product, pressing the case for rapid removal of the line item from your monthly bill. Fortunately, eliminating PMI payments is a standard process that all new homeowners will eventually reach and complete, assuming they continue paying their mortgage according to the terms. With these key facts and upcoming tips, getting rid of this added burden faster is straightforward and can help you hold onto more of your hard-earned cash.

PMI is assessed on loans with down payment below 20%

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is tacked on to your monthly mortgage payments if your equity in the property is less than 20%, via Rocket Mortgage. This is generally considered an industry standard and is unavoidable for buyers looking to invest less than this figure in the initial purchasing phase of home ownership. Private mortgage insurance uses the same kind of credit calculations that the interest rate on your mortgage and credit card employs. Because of this, a lower credit score will result in higher PMI contributions in the early years of possessing the property.

PMI helps secure the lender's financial stability if you default on the loan, regardless of whether they sell the asset. This can be frustrating for a buyer who has never had significant credit management issues. If you stop paying your mortgage, your lender may seek to repossess the home and sell it to cut losses on the investment. This effectively gives lenders a fantastic amount of leeway regarding underwriting mortgage loans but doesn't help the buyer.

Renovations and market conditions eliminate PMI

Fortunately, you can eliminate your PMI payments through a few different means. Throughout your time in the home, you will continue to pay back the lender through monthly mortgage payments. After a while, your equity in the property will naturally rise above 20%. Once this happens, you can request a cessation of PMI payments. You'll need to notify your lender in writing that you wish for this to be removed, but after you've accrued a 20% share in the property's ownership, your lender is required to grant this request, per Investopedia.

Buying your way into 20% equity isn't the only way to eliminate PMI payments. A reassessment of the home's value can help you climb to this magic number more quickly. If the market explodes after you purchase the property or engage in a value-altering renovation, your equity value also increases. This is similar to how a stock's price jumping creates additional financial value for shareholders. Hypothetically, if you purchase a $100,000 home with 10% down, and the value suddenly doubles (through market factors or renovations), your equity in the property significantly increases. Regarding the unchanged $90,000 loan balance and a new assessed value of $200,000, you now lay claim to $110,000 of the home's value if you sell. However, these changes must be assessed through official surveys and come with added tax implications.