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Many homebuyers confuse mortgage insurance and mortgage life insurance, which are very different products. Mortgage life insurance pays off a mortgage in the event of a borrower's death. It protects you.
Mortgage insurance protects the lender from the additional risk associated with low down payment loans. It benefits homebuyers by enabling them to buy a home with less than a 20% down payment. Mortgage insurance is required on all loans with less than a 20% down payment and on FHA loans. You pay it monthly, and the premium is determined by the size of your down payment. Most lenders require two months’ premium be pre-paid at closing.
This insurance protects the lender in the event of default. Should you fail to make your payments and the lender forecloses, the mortgage insurance is paid to the lender to offset some of their losses.
Once your loan balance is paid down to less than 78% of property value, you can cancel your mortgage insurance.
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