If you’re navigating the world of mortgages, you might have encountered the term “mortgage insurance.” But what exactly is it, and how does mortgage insurance work? We are happy to break it down so you can make informed decisions about your home financing. At Edge Mortgage Inc. we know that going through the home loan process can feel confusing and overwhelming at times. While we strive to make it as quick and easy of a process as possible, we also think it’s helpful for you to be informed along the way. Knowing the steps and what to expect is a huge part of helping you feel at ease. It also helps you to feel confident that you’ve made the very best decision for you and your unique situation.

We believe in supporting our clients by removing costly and difficult mortgage processes and replacing them with high-quality customer service. We know not all clients are exactly the same and they shouldn’t be treated as such. As your trusted mortgage broker, we have access to many different lenders and products and work hard to find a loan to best fit your needs. We are there for our clients every step of the way. So, now that you know the best Colorado, Wyoming, Iowa, and Nebraska mortgage broker to choose to work with, let’s take a closer look at mortgage insurance. What is it and how does mortgage insurance work?

How does mortgage insurance work?

What is Mortgage Insurance?

Mortgage insurance is a type of insurance that protects lenders in case a borrower defaults on their mortgage. It’s often required for loans with a down payment of less than 20%. There are different types of mortgage insurance depending on the loan you choose:

  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Typically required for conventional loans.
  • Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP): Required for FHA loans.
  • VA Funding Fee: Applies to VA loans.
  • USDA Loan Insurance: Applies to USDA loans.

How Does Mortgage Insurance Work?

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

PMI is usually required if you’re putting down less than 20% on a conventional loan. Here’s how it works:

  • When It’s Required: Lenders typically require PMI if your down payment is less than 20% of the home’s purchase price.
  • Calculation: The cost of PMI is based on your loan-to-value ratio, credit score, and loan type.
  • Payment Methods: PMI can be paid monthly, upfront at closing, or as a combination of both.

Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP)

MIP is required for FHA loans and has a different structure:

  • When It’s Required: All FHA loans require MIP, regardless of the down payment amount.
  • Calculation: The cost of MIP depends on the loan amount, loan term, and loan-to-value ratio.
  • Payment Methods: MIP includes an upfront premium paid at closing and an annual premium paid monthly.

Other Types of Mortgage Insurance

  • VA Funding Fee: For VA loans, the funding fee is a one-time charge that varies based on your down payment and service history.
  • USDA Loan Insurance: USDA loans require both an upfront guarantee fee and an annual fee.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Mortgage Insurance


  • Enables Homeownership: Allows you to buy a home with a smaller down payment.
  • Protects Lenders: Reduces the risk for lenders, which can lead to more loan approvals.


  • Additional Cost: Adds to your monthly mortgage payment.
  • Difficult to Remove: This can be challenging to eliminate without refinancing or reaching 20% equity.

How to Avoid or Eliminate Mortgage Insurance

Avoiding Mortgage Insurance

  • Larger Down Payment: Aim for a 20% down payment to avoid PMI.
  • Lender-Paid PMI: Some lenders offer to pay PMI in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate.

Eliminating PMI

  • Reach 20% Equity: Once you’ve paid down enough of your loan, you can request cancellation.
  • Refinance: Refinancing to a conventional loan can remove PMI if you have sufficient equity.

Eliminating MIP

  • Refinance FHA Loan: Switching from an FHA to a conventional loan can eliminate MIP.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mortgage Insurance

Common Questions

  • How long do I have to pay for mortgage insurance? The duration depends on your loan type and terms. PMI can be canceled once you reach 20% equity, while MIP might be required for the life of an FHA loan unless refinanced.
  • Is mortgage insurance tax-deductible? Sometimes. It’s best to consult a tax advisor for current regulations.
  • What happens to mortgage insurance if I sell my home? The insurance payments stop, but you won’t get a refund for premiums already paid.

Myths and Misconceptions

There are a few myths about mortgage insurance, such as needing perfect credit or a huge down payment. The reality is that mortgage insurance makes homeownership more accessible by allowing for lower down payments and flexible credit requirements.

Understanding how mortgage insurance works can help you navigate your home-buying journey more confidently. Knowing the ins and outs of mortgage insurance is crucial, whether you’re trying to figure out how to avoid it or if it’s a necessary part of your mortgage plan. If you have more questions or need personalized advice on mortgage insurance and your home loan options, don’t hesitate to reach out. The Edge Mortgage Inc. team is here to help you find the best financing solution for your needs.

Check out some of our 5-star reviews from happy clients

“This was my first home loan and Keri was very easy to work with! she made the process of getting a mortgage a little less daunting, she made sure to keep my fiancé (now wife) and I informed without making it feel overwhelming. Any time we encountered something that looked like it might be a problem to me, Keri helped walk us through it and we were able to make it to closing day! I would definitely recommend Edge Mortgage, Inc. to anyone looking to purchase a home!” -Nathaneal

“Keri was amazing helping us every step of the way purchasing our first home. We had no idea where to start or what type of loan to consider. She was very quick to answer us with our busy work schedule all times of the day! I highly recommend Keri and her team.” -Angie

Edge Mortgage Inc. is the best mortgage broker in Colorado, Wyoming, Iowa, and Nebraska

Edge Mortgage Inc. is located in Johnstown, Colorado, and serves all of Ohio, Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. We offer honest answers and a stress-free process and we have no hidden or extra fees, keeping more money in your pocket. We are your trusted mortgage broker and we are ready to serve you. Call us today at 970-744-0000.

You may also be interested in reading VA Loans: Eligibility Requirements and Veteran Benefits

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