Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI, is a type of insurance that many lenders require for any mortgage with a down payment less than 20%. This is the main reason a minimum 20% down payment is so widely suggested. But if you aren’t able to put 20% down and are forced to take PMI, you needn’t worry too much. It’s also possible to get rid of existing PMI in certain circumstances.
One method that doesn’t require any specific action on your part is to simply wait until automatic termination of PMI, which occurs when you reach 22% equity and are current on your mortgage payments. However, it’s possible to request to terminate it earlier as long as your equity is at least 20%. There are a few ways to do this faster. The simplest option is to pay more than the required mortgage payment. This allows you to reach 20% equity faster while also reducing your PMI costs along the way. Another way you could potentially reduce payments to speed up equity gain is to refinance to a lower interest rate. Depending on your circumstances, this may or may not increase your total mortgage cost excluding PMI, but could eliminate PMI faster. There’s one more possibility: Reappraising your home. It’s possible that your home has accrued enough value that determining the new value of your home reveals that you actually do have at least 20% equity. If you do, you can request to remove PMI.