The 2014 Mortgage Insurance Report from WalletHub shows that having to pay mortgage insurance through the Federal Housing Administration versus private mortgage insurance costs borrowers as much as $12,000.
FHA mortgage insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2008. Private mortgage insurance was hard to come by in the years following the housing market collapse, as the companies that offer it incurred significant losses, with several even going bankrupt.
FHA loans therefore became the primary option for low-down-payment consumers, and their volume grew by more than 355% from 2007 to 2009.
However, in recent years, as the cost of FHA loans has increased significantly and the housing market has rebounded in many areas, private mortgage insurance has once again become a more viable and affordable option for many consumers.
A borrower now has to pay $17,398 in premiums during the first five years after the purchase of a median-price home ($212,100), compared to just $9,210 in 2008.
Many consumers with down payments below 20% can save $2,251 to $12,026 in just five years by choosing private mortgage insurance.
Unlike private mortgage insurance, FHA premiums continue to be assessed throughout the life of a loan, even if the loan to value ratio drops below 80%.
WalletHub also found that four of the largest private mortgage insurance companies charge the exact same amounts for the majority of their customers – that’s among Genworth, Radian, MGIC, and Essent.
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“Although some PMI companies will now insure 97% LTV loans, only 12% of banks offer conventional loans with such a low down payment,” the report says. “New mortgage guidelines are expected to significantly increase the availability of such offers.”