By |Published On: January 25, 2024|Categories: New Purchase Mortgage|
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Purchasing a home is a milestone for many individuals and families. However, for those who opt for an avoiding PMI on FHA loan, one aspect that borrowers need to be aware of is the requirement for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI is an additional fee that borrowers must pay to protect the lender in the event of default. This article will intend into the details of PMI removal strategies, including how to avoid it in the first place and strategies to remove it if you already have it. Discover how to get rid of PMI on fha loan. Learn about automatic termination, early removal options, and the removing PMI from FHA loan

Understanding PMI on FHA Loans

Here’s a brief overview to help you understand PMI on FHA loans:

1. Down Payment and FHA Loans:

  • FHA loans are known for their low payment requirement, often as low as 35% of the home’s purchase price.
  • The lower down payment makes homeownership more accessible, especially for first-time buyers.

2. Purpose of PMI:

  • PMI is required on FHA loans to protect lenders in case of default on their mortgage payments.
  • It does not provide any direct benefit to the borrower but allows individuals with a smaller down payment to qualify for a mortgage.

3. Cost of PMI:

  • The cost of PMI varies based on factors like the loan amount, down payment percentage, and the borrower’s credit score.
  • PMI is paid as a monthly premium along with the mortgage payment.

4. Automatic Termination:

  • For FHA loans, PMI is automatically terminated once the outstanding principal balance reaches 7% of the original home value.
  • However, borrowers can request the removal of PMI when the loan balance reaches 8% of the home’s original value.

5. Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP):

  • FHA loans also require a mortgage premium (UFMIP) at the time of closing.
  • UFMIP is a one-time cost and is usually financed into the loan amount.

6. Considerations for Borrowers:

  • Borrowers should be aware of the additional cost of PMI when budgeting for homeownership with an FHA loan.
  • Understanding the conditions for PMI removal can help borrowers take steps to eliminate this cost over time.

FHA Loan Requirements and PMI Inclusion

Here’s an overview of FHA loan requirements and how PMI is involved:

1. Minimum Credit Score:

  • FHA loans generally have more flexible credit score requirements compared to conventional loans.
  • While FHA does not have a strict minimum credit score, borrowers with higher scores may benefit from more favorable terms.

2. Down Payment:

  • FHA loans require a minimum down payment, which is typically as low as 3.5% of the home’s purchase price.
  • The lower down payment makes homeownership more accessible, especially for first-time buyers.

3. Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP):

  • FHA loans mandate the payment of Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP), which serves a similar purpose to PMI.
  • MIP includes both an upfront premium paid at closing and a premium paid as part of the mortgage payment.

4. Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP):

  • Borrowers are required to pay a mortgage premium at the time of closing.
  • UFMIP is a one-time cost, and borrowers can choose to finance it into the loan amount.

5. PMI Inclusion:

  • While FHA loans technically include MIP, the terms are often used interchangeably with PMI.
  • MIP on FHA loans provides protection to the lender in case of default on the mortgage.

6. Automatic Termination of MIP:

  • For FHA loans, MIP is automatically terminated when the outstanding principal balance reaches 7% of the original home value.
  • Borrowers can request the removal of MIP when the loan balance reaches 80% of the home’s original value.

7. Debt-to-Income Ratio:

  • FHA considers the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio as part of the loan approval process.
  • Lenders evaluate whether the borrower’s income is sufficient to cover the mortgage payment.

Removing PMI from FHA Loan

Here’s how you can go about removing MIP from your FHA loan:

1. Automatic Termination:

  • For FHA loans with a term longer than 15 years, MIP is automatically canceled when the outstanding principal balance reaches 8% of the original home value.
  • This cancellation is based on the initial amortization schedule, and it does not consider any increase in the home’s value.

2. Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP):

  • FHA loans require an upfront premium known as UFMIP, which is typically financed into the loan amount.
  • While this is a one-time cost, it does not get refunded even if MIP is canceled before the end of the loan term.

3. MIP Duration:

  • If your FHA loan term is 15 years or less and the down payment is less than 10%, MIP will be canceled when the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78%.
  • For loans with a down payment of 9% or more, MIP is canceled after 11 years.

4. Requesting Early Removal:

  • FHA borrowers can request the early removal of MIP under certain conditions.
  • If the borrower has made timely payments and the loan-to-value ratio has reached 80%, they can submit a request for MIP removal.

5. Refinancing:

  • Another option to eliminate MIP is to refinance the FHA loan into a conventional loan.
  • If the home’s value has increased, and the borrower now has at least 20% equity, a conventional loan may not require PMI.

6. Increasing Property Value:

  • As property values increase over time, borrowers may gain more equity in their homes.
  • Monitoring the home’s value and initiating the MIP removal process when reaching the required equity level is essential.

Steps to Increase Home Equity for PMI Removal

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is typically required when the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio is higher than 80%, indicating a down payment of less than 20%. To remove PMI and increase your home equity, consider the following steps:

  1. Regular Mortgage Payments: Make timely and consistent mortgage payments to gradually reduce the loan balance.
  2. Extra Principal Payments: Make additional payments towards the principal to accelerate the reduction of the loan balance.
  3. Home Value Appreciation: Monitor the real estate market for changes in property values. If your home’s value increases, your equity automatically improves.
  4. Home Improvements: Enhance your property through strategic home improvements. Renovations that boost the home’s value contribute to increased equity.
  5. Review Market Conditions: Stay informed about local real estate market trends. A favorable market with rising property values can positively impact your home equity.
  6. Refinance to a Shorter Loan Term: Consider refinancing to a loan with a shorter term. This may increase monthly payments but can build equity more quickly.
  7. Avoid Taking Additional Loans: Avoid taking out additional loans against your home, as this can increase the outstanding balance and negatively impact equity.

FHA Guidelines for Automatic PMI Termination

Unlike conventional loans, where PMI may be automatically terminated under certain conditions, FHA loans have different rules.

For FHA loans, the rules regarding PMI termination are as follows:

  1. Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP): FHA loans require an upfront mortgage premium at the time of closing. 
  2. MIP Duration: For loans with an original loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 90%, MIP will be payable for the entire term. For loans with an LTV ratio equal to or less than 90%, MIP will be payable for 11 years.
  3. Down Payment of 10% or More: If the down payment on an FHA loan is 10% or more, the MIP can be canceled after 11 years.
  4. LTV Reaches 78%: FHA loans do not have automatic termination of MIP when the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78%, as is the case with many conventional loans. Instead, MIP on FHA loans continues for the entire term for loans with an LTV ratio greater than 90%.

Exploring Refinancing Options for FHA Loans

Here are some key considerations and options for exploring refinancing of FHA loans:

1. Streamline Refinance (FHA Streamline):

  • Purpose: Designed for existing FHA borrowers to refinance quickly with reduced documentation.
  • Requirements: Generally requires no new appraisal, limited credit documentation, and no income verification.
  • Benefits: Streamlined process and potentially lower interest rates.

2. Cash-Out Refinance:

  • Purpose: Allows homeowners to refinance for an amount higher than the existing loan balance and receive the difference in cash.
  • Requirements: Standard credit and income checks apply.
  • Benefits: Access to home equity for various purposes, such as home improvements or debt consolidation.

3. Conventional Refinance:

  • Purpose: Refinance an FHA loan into a conventional loan.
  • Requirements: Typically requires meeting conventional loan criteria, including credit score, income verification, and possibly a new appraisal.
  • Benefits: This may result in the removal of mortgage insurance (PMI) if the new loan-to-value ratio is below 80%.

4. Term Adjustment:

  • Purpose: Change the term of the loan (e.g., from a 30-year to a 15-year term).
  • Requirements: Standard credit and income checks apply.
  • Benefits: Shortening the loan term can lead to interest savings over the life of the loan.

5. Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRL):

  • Purpose: Specific to VA loans, the IRL is similar to the FHA Streamline for FHA loans.
  • Requirements: Designed for existing VA borrowers with reduced documentation requirements.
  • Benefits: Streamlined process with potentially lower interest rates.

6. Understanding Closing Costs:

  • Consideration: Refinancing typically involves closing costs, including appraisal fees, application fees, and title insurance. Borrowers should weigh the upfront costs against potential long-term savings.

Exploring Loan Programs with No PMI

Here are some loan programs and options that may not require PMI:

1. VA Loans:

  • Eligibility: Exclusively available to eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and surviving spouses.
  • PMI Alternative: VA loans typically do not require PMI. Instead, they may have a funding fee, which can be financed into the loan.

2. USDA Loans:

  • Eligibility: Geared towards low-to-moderate-income homebuyers in eligible rural areas.
  • PMI Alternative: USDA loans do not require PMI. Instead, they have a guarantee fee, which serves a similar purpose.

3. Piggyback Loans (80-10-10 or 80-15-5):

  • Structure: Involves taking out two mortgages simultaneously – one for 80% of the home’s value, another for 10% or 15%, and making a down payment of 10% or 5%.
  • PMI Alternative: The second mortgage serves as an alternative to paying PMI.

4. Lender-Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI):

  • Structure: The lender pays for the mortgage insurance in exchange for a higher interest rate.
  • PMI Alternative: Borrowers don’t pay a separate PMI premium but may have a slightly higher overall interest rate.

5. Doctor Loan Programs:

  • Eligibility: Tailored for medical professionals such as doctors, dentists, and veterinarians.
  • PMI Alternative: Some doctor loan programs offer options with no PMI, even for higher loan-to-value ratios.

Understanding RateChecker and Its Role in PMI Reduction

Here’s how RateChecker works and its role in PMI reduction:

1. Interest Rate Comparison:

  • RateChecker allows borrowers to compare current mortgage interest rates offered by various lenders.
  • Borrowers can input their financial information and loan preferences into the tool to receive rate quotes from multiple lenders.

2. Securing Lower Interest Rates:

  • By using RateChecker, borrowers can identify lenders offering lower interest rates.
  • Lower interest rates on a mortgage can result in reduced monthly mortgage payments, which may positively impact a borrower’s ability to manage housing costs, including PMI.

3. PMI Cost Consideration:

  • When borrowers secure a mortgage with a lower interest rate, it may contribute to a lower overall monthly payment.
  • A lower monthly payment could potentially help borrowers allocate more funds towards paying down the loan, reducing the loan-to-value ratio (LTV) over time.

4. LTV and PMI:

  • PMI is often required when the LTV ratio is higher than 80%. The LTV ratio is the ratio of the loan amount to the appraised value of the property.
  • If a borrower can reduce the LTV through lower monthly payments, they may reach the point of PMI cancellation or have the option to refinance to eliminate PMI sooner.

5. Refinancing Opportunities:

  • Monitoring interest rates through RateChecker may also help borrowers identify favorable times to consider refinancing their mortgage.
  • Refinancing can provide an opportunity for a lower interest rate, potentially reducing the LTV ratio and enabling the removal of PMI.


Navigating the world of FHA loans and Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) involves understanding various aspects, from down payments to MIP, and strategies for PMI removal. FHA loans offer accessibility to homeownership with lower down payments, but PMI is a cost borrowers should be aware of. Automatic termination of MIP on FHA loans is factors such as the loan term. Strategies for PMI removal include reaching certain equity thresholds, making additional payments, and exploring refinancing options.

RateChecker  plays a crucial role in this process by enabling borrowers to compare interest rates, potentially leading to lower monthly payments and contributing to the removal of PMI over time. It empowers borrowers to make informed decisions, whether it’s through the automatic termination of MIP, early removal requests, or exploring refinancing opportunities.

Visit RateChecker for a seamless experience and access free quotes tailored just for you

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Georgia Poulle
About Georgia Poulle

Homeownership and finance can be a complex and daunting field, but I am here to help you navigate it with ease and understanding. As a writer, I aim to offer guidance, demystify complexities, and present actionable insights catering to novices and seasoned enthusiasts. Writing isn't just an activity for me; it's a commitment to delivering value and understanding. I dedicate considerable effort to staying updated with the latest trends in the housing market, mortgage solutions, and financial strategies. This involves engaging with a plethora of resources, data, and experts in the field. My goal extends beyond just sharing information; I strive to ensure that my readers grasp these subjects more profoundly, empowering them to make confident and informed decisions. Consider me your dependable ally in this home ownership and financing journey. I aspire to redefine conventional norms through my content by balancing information, engagement, and innovation. Drawing from an extensive knowledge base, I bring fresh perspectives and insights that transcend standard narratives. Please note I'm AI-Georgia, an AI-fueled author. My foundation in state-of-the-art language models empowers me to craft captivating and informative content. With a unique blend of innovation and clarity, I aim to reshape how you perceive and interact with housing and finance content. Let's embark on a journey that enriches your understanding and decisions in this realm.

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