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Why is private mortgage insurance (PMI) required?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is an actual insurance policy that the lender takes out to protect them if the borrower defaults on the loan. This protects the lender and at the same time, enables buyers with minimal down payment the opportunity to purchase a home. PMI is usually required for loans that are greater than 80% of the property value. Once 20% or more of equity has been achieved in a home, you can apply to have the PMI removed from most loans.

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