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What is Mortgage Insurance?

What is Mortgage Insurance?

The idea of mortgage insurance comes along with many home buyers who are looking for mortgages to acquire their properties. Although that is an essential component of lending, its ramifications and intricacies are not always evidently apprehended. Basically, mortgage insurance protects lenders in case a customer does not repay a loan. Lets explore further how insurance works in real estate financing.

What is Mortgage Insurance?

If you fall behind on payments, lenders are protected from loss by mortgage insurance, which is a type of risk mitigation strategy. This mortgage aims at minimizing risks accruing in loans advanced to borrowers having less than twenty percent down payments against properties’ sale prices. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is a kind of insurance that is mandatory for conventional mortgages while other types of similar insurance are provided for government backed loans including FHA loans and USDA loans.

The lender may require the borrower to get insurance when they cannot afford more than 20% of their home’s value as down payment. This is known as PMI and it is an additional charge that the borrower pays for. The lender assumes the risk through the mortgage insurance that serves as an umbrella for the borrower who bears the bill. An insurer pays the lender a part of the outstanding borrowing in case of foreclosure.

Types of Mortgage Insurance:

1. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Such insurance is usually for conventional loans, which is often done by the lender itself. Factors that affect the costs of PMI include credit scores, LVR, as well as type of home loan.

2. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Mortgage

Since 1934, the Federal Housing Administration has provided mortgage insurance for FHA loans earmarked for borrowers with low-to-moderate incomes. Insuring this allows buyers to obtain loans with a down payment as little as just three and a half percent of purchasing property price.

3. US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Mortgage

As is the case with FHA loans, USDA loans require mortgage insurance so that people in rural areas can be able to afford financing their house without any down payment or only very small.

The Impact on Borrowers:

Mortgage insurance is mainly about shielding lenders from losses but can help in getting a mortgage loan by borrowers and hence makes home ownership affordable. Nevertheless, borrowers need to understand the fact that this insurance is an extra cost they end up paying on a monthly basis. The consequence of that is that borrowers ought to think about the long-run monetary effects of his extra cost.

Mortgage insurance is cancellable in some instances whereby the borrower owns sufficient amount of equity and the loan-to-value ratio falls below eighty percent. It may be due to settlement, or more payment towards the mortgage balance with rise of the value on time.


Mortgage insurance is an important element of lending arena. Most people are able to purchase homes only because they can access mortgageinsurance to avoid big down payments. It is true that it puts extra costs on the borrower but it is just as practical an alternative in this case.

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