Mortgage insurer Essent Guaranty entered the private MI market at a time when players in the space were still reeling from a housing market crash.

Fast-forward three years, and the mortgage insurer is now rated as ‘investment grade’ with insurance financial strength ratings of BBB+ from Standard & Poor’s and a ‘Baa3’ rating with a positive outlook from Moody’s. S&P also classified the firm as stable.

"We are pleased with these initial financial strength ratings of Essent Guaranty assigned by S&P and Moody's," said Mark Casale, president and CEO of Essent.

"These ratings reflect our strong private capital base and the high credit quality and profitability of our mortgage insurance portfolio. They also provide additional transparency and independent assessment for counter-parties relying on our financial strength and the value of our mortgage insurance." 

Essent, like other mortgage insurers, is prepping to have a role in the future mortgage finance space, although the extent of that role is still somewhat unclear.

Essent wrote $4.3 billion in new insurance during 1Q of 2013 and had $17.4 billion in force as of March 2013.