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Reasons to Avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Purchasing a house is a fun but daunting process. Among various considerations is the fact that borrowers need to spend on private mortgage insurance (PMI). For homebuyers, it sometimes appears to be a bad association. However, sometimes it is not the best to use it, for example, in some cases. It’s time now to investigate the six main reasons to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI).

man placing money on table from his hand, a small house is on the white table
Image source: Marco Verch/Flickr

1. Cost:

If you buy a house with less than a 20% down payment, then PMI (private mortgage insurance) is something that your bank or lender will just demand that you pay. On the other hand, this added cost is just another debt that is added to your monthly mortgage payment, thus making homeownership expensive.

The price of PMI can be different based on factors such as, for instance, your loan term and credit score. It typically ranges from 0.3 to 1.5 percent of the original amount periodically. Notably, this particular extra expense can be an added stress on their budget or, sometimes, severely restrict their finances.

2. Not Deductible:

Mortgage interest is generally tax-deductible, while PMI is not. That is the big difference between these two. This is another reason to avoid private mortgage insurance(PMI). Nonetheless, some circumstances where you may claim PMI costs through deduction exist.

This is  mainly if you decide to itemize deductions and keep checking against your income. Hence, you pay the mortgage insurance with after-tax dollars due to its ineligibility in deducting its expenses from taxable income, thus making it more expensive.

3. Your Heirs Do Not Benefit:

It should be kept in mind that the PMI is for the safety of the lender and not for your heirs or you. In the event of a default on your loan, PMI compensates the lender for any losses they might suffer.

Conversely, for your contribution, you will receive absolutely nothing. You receive neither a financial windfall nor any refund. In contrast, this is just an extra cost that is paid in order to assure the interests of the mortgage lender. Your heirs may be left with no tangible heirloom items after the whole thing.

4. Lost Investing Opportunity:

Every dollar you assign for PMI is a dollar that should have been directed to the investment that yields higher returns. Whether it is on the stock market or bond trading, using your money in a reasonable way can help your assets grow in the future. Thus, when money needs to be directed towards paying off PMI, you miss the chance to set up a fund and plan for financial security.

5. Difficult to Cancel:

The PMI friction points are the challenges that the customer faces whenever they want to cancel the contract. The situation can be more complex than that: even if you already have a loan-to-value ratio (usually less than 20 percent equity). You may face various conditions or requirements to pass an official appraisal for mortgage cancellation.

Undoubtedly, a long-drawn period of PMI will extend the PMI payment and make you fall short of your financial targets. This is because you will be held responsible for the extra expense of the insurance that you no longer need or want.

6. Payment Is Ongoing:

Unlike other upfront costs that must exist for homeownership, as illustrated by closing fees and down payments, PMI costs continue throughout the life of the mortgage until the customer attains the required equity.

So, even as you are on the winning streak of building equity in your home, you still have PMI obligations. These obligations require extra payments, making you pay more for your home ownership. Just like being on that lifelong operating tab where you seem to never be short of the bill to pay even when you are doing extremely well at paying off the mortgage.

When to Avoid PMI?

Not involving PMI is an even better thing if you can afford a sufficient down payment or some other type of financing. With alternative financing you don’t need to pay a premium for PMI, like a home equity loan.

More so, if you believe that home prices will rise very fast or that you may refinance your loan within a very short period of time, you should look forward to avoiding PMI so as to save a lot of money in the long run. Through careful planning of your financial situation and using all the opportunities that are available to you, you can come up with a well-informed decision.

How to avoid PMI?

There are several ways to circumvent spending on private mortgage insurance at all. The approach that is most frequently taken is to ensure a down payment of at least 20% of the home purchase price. Through this action, you will have realized the necessity of the PMI. The PMI can be saved here and there within your mortgage loan period for a very high amount of money.

Hence, more lenders give piggyback mortgages to those who take out a second loan to cover the down payment part, to avoid PMI. While there are various options for cash-out refinancing or governments’ loan programs. One of them is an FHA loan, which is backed by the government. It is often entitled to pay a premium upfront as MIP instead of PMI, is another worth-trying choice.


PMI might be a less appealing alternative, and it is crucial that you understand its implications. As well as you should know other alternatives that would help in making informed decisions regarding mortgage financing. PMI can be very costly during the life of the loan. You must consider all above reasons to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Given the continuous large payments throughout the loan term, higher monthly payments might not be feasible during emergencies. People must find ways to make a bigger down payment and alternative loan structures. They even have refinancing options they choose to foresee into the future that are financially secure for homeownership.

Be that as it may, the decision is in your hands. Hence, knowledge about the most undermining elements of PMI can be a game-changing choice for your future.





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