How to Get Rid of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) on an Existing Loan. Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is an additional monthly fee required by most lenders when your down payment on a home is less than 20 percent. Here are some ways to get rid of PMI on your existing home loan.
Read through the loan documents. A loan with PMI (also known as mortgage insurance, or MI) should include a document describing the mortgage insurance and providing the rules for canceling it.
Maintain a good repayment history on your loan.
Request the cancellation of PMI in writing when your equity has increased to greater than 20 percent of the home's current value (in which case you'll need an appraisal to verify), or when the loan has been paid down to 80 percent of the original loan amount. (If you've paid the original loan down to 80 percent, you can request a cancellation of PMI without an appraisal.)
- Unlike mortgage interest, PMI is not deductible.
- There may be an initial period during the first two to three years of a loan term in which PMI cannot be canceled, even if you've accrued 20 percent equity or the home has appreciated in value.
- You can provide an appraisal to your lender (at your expense) to prove the increase in your home's value.
- New laws are in the works to make it easier for the borrower to remove PMI. An expected change is the automatic removal of PMI once the loan balance reaches 78 percent of its original value or is at the midpoint of the loan term.
- Removing PMI can save a borrower $500 to $1,500 per year on average.