ALERT: Change in FHA Mortgage Insurance Program
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If you are shopping for a mortgage, be aware of changes to the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) mortgage insurance program. Most lenders typically charge a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) if the borrower puts down less than 20 percent of the appraised value or sale price on a home. Mortgage insurance protects the lender should the borrower default on the payments; the mortgage insurance pays off the loan. Mortgage insurance may be underwritten by private corporations or the federal government through FHA.
Once the borrower has paid down 20 percent of the loan (a loan-to-value ratio of 80 percent), they may discontinue paying the MIP. Federal law requires lenders to tell the buyer at closing how many years and months it will take for them to reach that 80 percent level and cancel the mortgage insurance. Lenders must automatically cancel mortgage insurance when the balance hits 78 percent. Until recently, the mortgage insurance on FHA loans could be dropped at the 78 percent loan-to-value ratio or after five years, whichever was longer.
Effective on FHA case numbers assigned on or after June 3, 2013, mortgages financed with less than a 10 percent down payment will be assessed the MIP until the end of the mortgage term or for the first 30 years of the term, whichever occurs first. In other words, most borrowers will pay mortgage insurance premiums for the life of the loan; they will not be able to drop the MIP at 78 percent loan-to-value. This will add to the overall cost of the loan.
If you are planning to purchase a home, do your homework. Check out the various mortgage options available through different lenders and shop around for the best interest rate. Remember, the larger your down payment, the smaller your mortgage and monthly payment. If you can put 20 percent or more down, mortgage insurance will not be required.
For more information, please contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office.