When Does Private Mortgage Insurance Go Away?

The initials PMI is written on a glass doorAre you tired of paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums on your conventional loan? If so, you're not alone. Many homeowners seek ways to make PMI go away and reduce their monthly mortgage expenses. In this article, we will explore the options available to eliminate PMI and provide you with insights on how to navigate this process. By understanding the strategies to get rid of PMI, you can potentially save money and enjoy a greater sense of financial freedom as a homeowner.

Conventional loan: what is it?

The government does not insure or guarantee conventional mortgage loans, unlike Federal Housing Administration (FHA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or Veterans Administration (VA) loans.

Conventional loans can be obtained from most mortgage lenders and are a prerequisite for any home buyer looking to get a mortgage. A conventional loan typically requires a minimum credit score of 640, a good payment history, and other criteria related to the purchased home, such as an appraisal and evaluation of how much the loan will cost relative to the home's purchase price. Depending on certain factors like credit score, down payment size, and total debt obligations, borrowers may qualify for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

PMI can help you qualify for a larger loan by reducing your down payment.

Conventional loans often require PMI if the borrower puts down less than 20% of the loan amount. This additional feature protects the lender from potential default and allows borrowers to obtain larger loan amounts to buy a home. However, not all lenders require PMI on conventional loans.

Before beginning your search for a new home, consult your lender to learn about the requirements and financing options. Removing PMI is often a goal for homeowners, as it helps them get rid of mortgage insurance premiums and save money over time.

Advantages of PMI on a Conventional Loan

Most lenders will require a 20% down payment for a conventional loan, and a twenty percent down payment may be impossible for some (or most) home buyers. The solution is to provide a reduced down payment in exchange for a down payment guarantee.
If you cannot put down at least 20% of the purchase price when taking out a conventional loan, PMI is required and added to your mortgage payment and monthly interest, taxes, and other fees.

Several benefits can come with PMI on a conventional loan, even though it may seem like an added expense on top of a home mortgage loan.

The first benefit of PMI on a conventional loan is that it allows buyers to purchase a home with less money down. By putting less money down upfront, you can save more and have more cash available for closing costs and furniture for your new home.

Furthermore, lenders have the assurance that their financial risk will be covered in the event of foreclosure and are, therefore, willing to offer loans with lower interest rates.

Another benefit associated with PMI on a conventional loan is its flexibility when it comes time for refinancing or selling the property. Once you've paid off enough principal on the loan so that your equity in the property is 20% or more, you no longer need PMI, which can save you hundreds, if not thousands, every month until you eventually pay off your mortgage entirely.

Also, suppose you decide to refinance or sell your property within five years of purchasing it. In that case, any excess payments made towards canceling PMI could be credited back against closing costs, saving even more money in many cases.

PMI cancellation options

The Homeowners Protection Act (HoPA) of 1998 regulates private mortgage insurance cancellation. The act applies only to single-family primary dwellings with privately insured first mortgages whose sales were finalized on or after July 29, 1999. There are provisions for both automatic terminations needed by the lender and cancellations requested by the borrower.

Borrower-Requested Cancellation Based on Original Value

For a 1-unit primary or second home, the borrower may request PMI removal when the loan balance is 80% of the original property value.

  1. For 2-4 unit primary or 1-4 unit investment properties, the borrower can request cancellation when the loan balance is 70% of the original property value.
  2. (Freddie Mac requires a loan balance of 65% of the original property value for 1-4 unit investment properties.)

The borrower may cancel the PMI after making a pre-payment, with no minimum seasoning requirement for borrower-requested cancellation based on original value.

In other words, if you make a lump sum deposit and the balance is 80% of the original value, you may cancel the PMI, provided you also meet the following conditions:

  1. The borrower has a good payment history.
  2. It is currently on loan, and
  3. We have demonstrated to the lender that there are no subordinate liens on the property and that the property value has not decreased below the original value, thus satisfying the lender's requirements. The lender may require an appraisal.

Automatic Termination of Borrower-Paid Mortgage Insurance

Suppose you did not cancel your mortgage insurance when you reached the magic 20% equity level. In that case, you will be happy to know that the PMI (private mortgage insurance) will automatically cancel on the earliest of the following dates:

  1. When the mortgage balance reaches 78% of the original property value, or
  2. On the first day of the month, you followed the midpoint of the mortgage loan amortization period. This applies even if you have acquired a home equity loan or have had a late mortgage payment.

The automatic cancellation applies to a 1-unit single-family or second home.
For Fannie Mae-owned mortgages, automatic termination occurs on the first day of the month after the date, which is the midpoint of the mortgage loan amortization period. Freddie Mac does not offer automatic termination for 2-4 unit primary or 1-4 investment properties.

Borrower-requested cancellation based on current value

One more cancellation option The following requirements usually occur after increased market value and improvements to the property have increased the property value:
Borrowers can request cancellation when the current loan-to-value (LTV) is:
75% and 2–5 years have elapsed since the origination.
80% and five years have elapsed since the origination.
80%, if 2 years have elapsed and documented substantial property improvements* have been made since origination.

How long do I need to pay private mortgage insurance?

When buying a house, understanding the private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments is essential. The duration of your PMI payments depends on several factors, including your down payment size and loan type.

To calculate your PMI payments' length, you can take advantage of useful tools. Moreover, you can fill out a PMI disclosure form to end PMI early. Some loan types don't require PMI, while others permit you to cancel it. You must pay PMI each month if your down payment is less than 20%.

One effective method to estimate the duration of paying PMI is by utilizing a loan amortization calculator. This powerful tool considers crucial factors such as the loan amount, interest rate, and loan term to give an approximate payment schedule.

With this calculator, you can easily determine how much each payment reduces the principal balance and how much you use to pay the PMI. If you default on your loan, you'll get coverage to stay afloat. Although, in terms of getting rid of PMI, there are various ways to go about it. Depending on your financial situation and the home's original value, you may choose the most advantageous path to get rid of PMI.

Another helpful tool is a mortgage amortization calculator. This calculator will provide an estimated payment schedule and an amortization table. With this table, you can see how long it will take for you to pay off the loan and when the PMI payments will end.

You can generate an amortization table using a free calculator if you don't want one. This table will show you the total amount of PMI you will be paying over the life of the loan and when it will end.

Finally, there are also loan payment calculators, loan repayment schedule calculators, loan repayment estimator calculators, and mortgage payment estimators that can help you estimate how long you'll be paying PMI. These tools can help you determine the length of your PMI payments and when they will end.

No matter which tool you use, you should be able to estimate your PMI payments and when they will end. Knowing this information can help you plan your budget and make sure you can make your payments on time.

Try our amortization calculator to see how extra payments can get rid of the PMI cost.


In conclusion, private mortgage insurance (PMI) doesn't have to be a permanent fixture in your homeownership journey. By understanding the methods to make PMI go away, such as reaching a certain loan-to-value ratio, requesting PMI cancellation, or refinancing your loan, you can potentially reduce your monthly mortgage expenses and free up additional funds for other financial goals. Remember, each situation is unique, and it's important to consult with a mortgage professional to determine the best approach for your specific circumstances. With the right knowledge and strategic decisions, you can take steps towards a mortgage without the burden of PMI.

Termination of Conventional Mortgage Insurance
Mortgage Insurance Coverage Requirements