What is private mortgage insurance (PMI)?
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is an insurance policy, separate from homeowner's hazard insurance coverage, that is usually required by the lender if the down payment is less than 20 percent of the sales price or appraised value of the house. PMI protects the lender from the risk of loss if you default on your mortgage, and the premiums are typically paid monthly by the borrower. In many cases, PMI is no longer required once the borrower has made enough timely mortgage payments such that the borrower has sufficient equity in the property.
Last Reviewed: October 2020
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