Potential mortgage borrowers with debt-to-income ratios in the 45%-range and FICO scores as low as 700 can now obtain mortgage insurance through Genworth Financial (GNW).

The insurance company is tweaking its pricing and underwriting guidelines to allow more borrowers with conventional mortgages to qualify for insurance.

Richmond, Va.-based Genworth said the new pricing changes will take effect May 14. The changes are expected to cut monthly premium rates for borrowers and lender-paid insurance on mortgages with LTV ratios of 95% and under.

Borrowers with credit scores under 760 will now be eligible for new, reduced mortgage insurance rates, the firm said. There will be no change in premiums on insurance for mortgages with LTVs above 95%.

The new pricing schedule will allow the firm to accept mortgages with a minimum FICO of 700 for loans with debt-to-income levels of 41% to 45%. In addition, the plan will end distinctions between retail and third-party lender originations, while increasing cash-out refinancing eligibility for condos.

These pricing and guideline adjustments will make it easier for our lender partners to offer affordable mortgage insurance coverage to more borrowers and position USMI to compete in our targeted market segments, while maintaining a disciplined risk management approach that ensures we still can provide a close review of factors that really drive risk," said Rohit Gupta, president and CEO of the U.S. mortgage insurance unit of Genworth.

kpanchuk@housingwire.com