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Private Mortgage Insurance!  Many curse the very name!
Without it, however, most low-down-payment home buyers might never get a chance to own.
If you're like thousands of homeowners across the US who put less than 20% down payment on your home, there is a good chance part of your monthly payment includes Private Mortgage Insurance, commonly referred to by its initials - PMI. Insurance is exactly what it is - for the LENDER, that is. It covers the lender in case of Borrower Default, on high Loan To Value Loans.
The Insurance Premium? Although the Insurance protects the lender, the premium is paid in full by the borrower. Depending on the price of your home, and the original Loan to Value, this premium can run into hundreds of dollars each month.
Further, on some types of Government Backed Loans - including low-down-payment FHA and VA Loans, borrowers may be forced to also pay a lump-sum insurance premium up front, in addition to the monthly charge. The upfront fee for FHA Mortgages, with only 3.5% down payment initially, is currently 1.75% of the initial loan amount, added to the principal amount of the new loan or re-finance.
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