How to get a good deal on mortgage insurance

Owning a home is a dream for many, but mortgage insurance can make it an expensive reality. By planning and strategizing, you can navigate the complexities of mortgage insurance and find a favorable deal. This guide offers a detailed look at mortgage insurance, equipping you with the information and resources needed to make informed decisions and reduce your financial burden.

 Mortgage Insurance: Purpose and Implications

Mortgage insurance, also known as private mortgage insurance (PMI), serves as a safeguard for lenders, protecting them from financial losses in the event of a borrower’s default. When you make a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price, lenders perceive the loan as riskier, hence the requirement for PMI. PMI premiums vary based on several factors, including your credit score, loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, and the type of mortgage you choose.

Strategies to Avoid Mortgage Insurance

  1. Increase Your Down Payment: The most straightforward way to avoid PMI is to increase your down payment to 20% of the home’s purchase price. This demonstrates your financial strength and commitment to the loan, making you a less risky borrower in the eyes of lenders.

  2. Consider Piggyback Loans: A piggyback loan involves combining a first mortgage with a smaller second mortgage to cover the remaining down payment. This strategy allows you to avoid PMI while still making a lower initial down payment.

  3. Explore Lenders with Flexible PMI Policies: Some lenders offer PMI cancellation policies that allow you to terminate PMI once you reach a specific equity threshold in your home. This option can be beneficial if you plan to make additional principal payments to reduce your loan balance quickly.

  4. Refinance Your Mortgage: If you’ve made significant principal payments towards your mortgage, refinancing to a new loan with a lower LTV can eliminate PMI. This strategy may be particularly advantageous if interest rates have fallen since you initially purchased your home.

Negotiating Favorable PMI Terms

  1. Shop Around for PMI Providers: Don’t settle for the first PMI provider your lender suggests. Compare quotes from multiple providers to find the most competitive rates and terms.

  2. Negotiate with Your Lender: Lenders may have some flexibility in pricing PMI, especially if you have a strong credit history and a stable income. Don’t hesitate to negotiate for a lower PMI premium.

  3. Choose a Shorter Mortgage Term: Opting for a shorter mortgage term, such as a 15-year loan, can reduce the overall PMI costs, as you’ll pay off the loan and eliminate PMI sooner.

Additional Tips for Minimizing PMI Costs

  1. Improve Your Credit Score: A higher credit score indicates your creditworthiness, which can lead to lower PMI premiums. Regularly check your credit report and take steps to improve your score, such as paying bills on time and keeping your credit utilization low.

  2. Consider Lender-Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI): LPMI allows you to finance the PMI premium upfront rather than adding it to your monthly mortgage payments. This option may be worthwhile if you plan to stay in your home for a shorter period.

  3. Review PMI Requirements Regularly: Keep an eye on the amortization schedule of your mortgage to track your progress towards reaching the 80% LTV threshold, at which point you can request PMI cancellation.


Mortgage insurance can be a daunting aspect of homeownership, but with the right strategies and knowledge, you can navigate the process effectively and secure the best possible deal. By increasing your down payment, shopping around for PMI providers, and negotiating favorable terms, you can minimize your PMI costs and make informed decisions that align with your financial goals.

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