Buying a house is one of the most significant financial decisions that you can make. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, or you’ve been through the process before, you should always explore your loan options.

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans have become a popular choice for many homebuyers due to their lower down payment requirements and more lenient credit standards. 

However, one drawback of FHA loans is their requirement for Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP), which can add a significant cost to your monthly mortgage payment. The good news is that you may be able to eliminate or reduce these MIP payments over time. 

In this blog post, we’ll explain what mortgage insurance premiums are and how to potentially reduce them on FHA loans to save you money in the long run.

What is a Mortgage Insurance Premium?

Mortgage Insurance Premiums are a financial safeguard put in place to protect lenders in the event that borrowers default on their mortgage loans.

Specifically with FHA loans, MIPs are designed to mitigate the risk lenders face when offering loans with low down payments and more lenient credit requirements. 

There are two types of MIPs: upfront MIP, which is a one-time fee paid at the loan’s initiation, and annual MIP, which is an ongoing payment spread out over the life of the loan. These premiums are calculated based on factors such as the loan amount, loan term, and loan-to-value ratio. 

As a homeowner, you’ll want to understand the implications of these insurance premiums on your monthly mortgage payment, and consider ways to potentially eliminate or reduce these premiums over time.

Ways to Reduce Mortgage Insurance Premiums

1. Make a Larger Down Payment

One of the most effective ways to reduce your MIP is by making a larger down payment.

The standard down payment requirement for an FHA loan is 3.5% of the purchase price, but putting down more upfront can lower your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. A lower LTV ratio translates to reduced MIP costs. While a larger down payment requires more initial funds, it can lead to substantial savings in MIP payments over time.

2. Refinance to a Conventional Loan

Once you’ve built sufficient equity in your home, you may be able to refinance into a conventional loan.

Conventional loans do not require MIP if your LTV ratio is below 80%. This move might involve upfront costs, but eliminating MIP payments could lead to substantial long-term savings.

3. Request MIP Removal

For FHA loans obtained after June 3, 2013, MIP payments can be terminated automatically once you reach an LTV ratio of 78% and have made payments for at least 11 years.

You should check with your loan servicer for the necessary steps to initiate this process.

4. Consider Paying Extra on Your Mortgage Payment

Making extra payments toward your principal balance can help you build equity faster. As you reduce your loan balance, your LTV ratio decreases, potentially leading to MIP savings or early MIP termination.

5. Explore FHA Streamline Refinance

If you already have an FHA loan and have consistently made payments, you might qualify for an FHA Streamline Refinance. This process allows you to refinance your loan with reduced paperwork and fewer qualification requirements. While this won’t eliminate MIP entirely, it could lead to lower MIP payments.

Reducing the MIP on FHA loans can require strategic planning and financial discipline. Luckily for you, our expert loan officers can help you develop a plan to reduce your MIP payments and help you find the best loan offering to fit your needs. 

Get started on your homeownership journey today with a free consultation today. 

First Heritage Mortgage is not associated with the government, and our service is not endorsed by the government, including HUD, USDA, or FHA. First Heritage Mortgage is not acting on behalf of or at the direction of HUD, FHA, USDA, or the federal government.

The included content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as professional advice. Additional terms and conditions apply. Not all applicants will qualify. Consult with a finance professional for tax advice or a mortgage professional to address your mortgage questions or concerns. This is an advertisement. Prepared 08/24/2023.