By paying private mortgage insurance (MI/PMI), you may be able to refinance your home with less than 20 percent equity.
You might also be able to buy a home with a down payment as minimal as 3.5 percent
However, getting through the process is seldom a straight path for mortgage borrowers.
Hi, I'm Kate Ford author and publisher of this website but you may already know me as Ask Kate.
I will be your guide throughout the twists and turns of mortgage insurance approvals and denials.
So continue browsing the following letters to learn what other borrowers asked about mortgage insurance, and just as important, how to get MI removed.
But first, do you have a question?
Go here to ask Kate a question about your mortgage.
Questioning Conventional Private Mortgage Insurance Calculations - Steve's lender says his PMI is $238 each month. He asks if there's an actual calculation or has his lender just made up the amount. Paul wants to drop PMI based on his home's increasing value but suspects that the lender is stalling.
Mortgage Insurance Cost: Is Your Bank Overcharging You - I am currently trying to refinance my streamline mortgage. I have an agent claiming there's a $4100 fee for the PMI premium plus the monthly PMI charge. Is this normal across the board?
Private Mortgage Insurance Approvals and Denials - Mike asks if his lender will require a down payment to avoid MI since the appraisal came in 20% higher. Elizabeth questions why her lender requires PMI since her loan-to-value is only 60%. Mike in Illinois wonders why his bank offered initial loan approval knowing full-well that the MI company would never agree.
Refinancing My Home to Remove Mortgage Insurance - Kristie, a novice at homeownership, asks if it makes sense to refinance at the same rate to remove private mortgage insurance (PMI). She also asks how mortgage refinancing (rate-and-term vs cash-back) works when homeowners have equity in their homes.
Appraisal Discrepancies: Home Buying and Cancelling PMI - Jeana is buying a condominium and finds her two appraisals are $20,000 apart from each other. What gives? Thomas received a letter from his lender regarding appraised values for his PMI cancellation. But he feels it doesn't jive with the Homeowners Protection Act.
Predatory Lending Laws, Credit Enhancements, and LPMI - When homeowners with undisclosed mortgage insurance seek financing, they are shocked to find out they are not qualified for the HARP refinance program because of MI (aka credit enhancements) they never knew they had.
Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance Halts HARP Refinance - Although she has paid her mortgage insurance, Amy's lender never sent them to the MI company. So Fannie Mae won't approve her HARP refi. Chris in Washington and Lloyd in Texas question why their lenders refuse to remove PMI.
Refinancing Your FHA Mortgage in Exchange for LPMI - Denise's lender is offering a refinance that will lower her monthly house payment $225 a month. But here's the catch... closing costs of $6500 and lender paid mortgage insurance. So Denise asks me about LPMI.
When Lender's Mortgage Insurance Is Clear as Mud - Mike is sure many Americans are tricked into paying mortgage insurance premiums to reduce bank risk. Reddy wants to know about BPMI vs LPMI. Dan asks about lender's mortgage insurance cancellation for his investment property.
Who Determines the Cost of PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) - Our PMI payment is $320.00 per month. Is there a ceiling on PMI? From everyone that I've spoken to, the response is that we were taken advantage of on the PMI.
How to Refi Your Underwater Mortgage with PMI - What an awesome website you have created, loaded with useful information for lost homeowners. How do we find out what we are eligible for and how to get the best mortgage rate.
Ask Kate about Hidden Cost of PMI - Is adding PMI to refinance a good idea? I'll drop Private Mortgage Insurance the moment my home appreciates to 80%.
Who Broke The Mortgage Loan To Value Calculator - I read most Private Mortgage Insurance is terminated in 60-months yet I'm still getting the run around. Gee if I am paying taxes on an assessed value of $90,400.00 haven't I met these guidelines?
Homepath Financing Without Private Mortgage Insurance - Our offer was accepted on a home and we are using HomePath financing. Since Personal Mortgage Insurance is not required, does this mean we have an uninsured home?
How To Calculate Mortgage Insurance - My mortgage broker stated that my private mortgage insurance will be around $720 a year. Am I paying too much?
How Can I Can Cancel PMI - Juan, I'm sending you straight to the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Mortgage Insurance Companies of America for clarification. I insist, the response of your mortgage company is NOT in the spirit of the law.
PMI Insurance Delays Increase Home Buyer Stress - Everything was good to go until the title company wouldn't insure because the seller hasn't owned the house long enough. Now we won't be able to get PMI insurance for another 90 days.
Home Appraisal Value - How does the bank determine the value of a house I want to buy and if I can avoid PMI?
Getting Rid Of PMI - I foolishly believed the bank would be happy to cancel PMI since I sent $40,000 to bring loan to 80 percent and never missed a payment.
PMI And Home Appraisal Value - My house appraised $55,00 higher than the purchase price with a bank appraisal. Why do I still need PMI?
Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI) - Did my lender disguise mortgage insurance by increasing my interest rate?
Mortgage Approval For PMI - Will I be approved? How confident should I be that I will be approved?
How do I cancel private mortgage insurance - Is PMI based on original loan appraisal or the lower refinanced value?
PMI refinancing advice - Would it benefit me to look into refinancing for a lower rate or would I have to pay PMI since I do not have more than 20% equity in the home?
Private mortgage insurance questions - Are there other programs that I could refinance and avoid paying private mortgage insurance or MIP?
Homeowner's Protection Act of 1998 for PMI termination - I asked my lender about the automatic termination of PMI upon reaching 78% loan to value.
Where to get PMI approvals - Are there companies who offer PMI for homes in the California declining market?
How can appraised value get rid of PMI - We feel the appraisal was not accurate.
How to get rid of PMI - Can I refinance by getting a VA Loan this time so I can get rid of the PMI.
PMI calculation - I'm wondering if the mandatory release of private mortgage insurance at less than 80% LTV will be based on the original value or the new appraised value.
Buying a house and private mortgage insurance - I don't have $500.00 for the appraisal so how can I remove monthly PMI from my mortgage loan?
Mortgage insurance companies - Is there anything we can do to speed up the PMI process?
Mortgage rate refinance with no PMI required - I want to refinance early in the mortgage but I am not paying private mortgage insurance!
Refinancing or a second mortgage - Once your refinanced loan amount goes over the 80 percent of your home's value, is not paying private mortgage insurance an option?
HARP and HAMP Loan Modification Answers - Unique help for modifying your mortgage, HARP refinancing, and understanding the Making Home Affordable Program.
Rate Lock Answers Part I - Learn the nitty gritty inside story of locking your mortgage rate.
Rate Lock Answers Part II - The dilemma of locking mortgage rates continues with the most recent letters.
Refinance Answers Part I - Refinancing brings out opinions, for sure! Get the facts here.
Refinance Answers Part II - The most recent questions on refinancing a mortgage.
Home Buying Answers I - Learn how to buy a house. Unusual facts to aid your home buying experience.
Home Buying Answers II - Home buyers ask questions and tell their stories.
Credit Score Answers - Improving credit could change your life. Find how to get more than temporary results.
FHA and VA Answers - Clear the fog. The low down on VA and FHA loan requirements.
PMI Answers - Private mortgage insurance, friend or foe? Do you know how to get rid of it?
ARM Answers - Do you have an adjustable rate home mortgage? You can ask me for help.
Reverse Mortgage Answers - A unique source of income for Senior Retirees.
How To Compare Mortgage Rates Online - You'll enjoy this collection of homeowner questions and experiences while shopping for lenders.
Mortgage Advice Forum - Savvy home mortgage questions and tips from readers to my website.
Mortgage News - Bold opinions of Joe Public regarding mortgage and real estate news.
Website Answers - Yes... I'm even asked how to build a website.
September 2015: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Improve Loan Modifications.
September 2015: New Foreclosure Time Frames in 33 States.
June 2015: California Owes Millions to Struggling Borrowers.
June 2015: The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Update.
May 2015: HAMP and HARP Program Extensions.
Hear what Suzana says after reading The Mortgage Freedom Project...
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What Is PMI - Could private mortgage insurance be your solution to equity and down payment problems? 2013 Update: Deductible mortgage insurance premiums.
Updates on HARP 2.0 Refinance with Borrower and Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance - PMI and LPMI.
Could you be entitled to a mortgage insurance refund from FHA?
How do lenders calculate PMI? Credit history, amount of down payment or equity, occupancy status, and loan type factors.
How Do I Cancel PMI Will refinancing or a new appraisal be required?
What to do if PMI Decision Making is getting in the way of refinancing or buying a house.
My name is Kate and I will be your guide - PMI Questions and Answers