All Topics / General Property / A Beginner’s Guide to Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI)

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  • nfinity financials
    Join Date: 2021
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    Hey there! Are you considering buying a home but feel a bit overwhelmed with all the jargon? Let’s break down Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) in a way that’s super easy to understand. Imagine it as a sort of safety net, but for the bank! If you’re buying a house and your down payment is less than 20% of the home’s value, the bank calls this a riskier deal. So, they ask you to pay LMI which is like an insurance that covers them, not you, if things go south.

    Decoding How LMI Works

    Think of LMI as a complicated dance between the value of the property you want, how much you can pay upfront (your deposit), and the kind of loan you get. It’s a bit like a magic formula that banks use to figure out how risky your loan might be.

    Cost of LMI: What’s the Damage?

    How much you’ll pay for LMI can vary. It could be between 1% and 5% of your total loan amount, depending on how much of a deposit you’ve put down. No deposit? Expect to pay more. The bigger your deposit, especially if it’s over 20%, the less likely you’ll need to pay LMI at all.

    Paying LMI: Now or Later?

    You can pay LMI upfront or add it to your loan amount. Most people choose to roll it into their loan so they don’t have to pay a big amount all at once. But remember, this means you’ll pay interest on it over time.

    Why Pay LMI?

    Sure, LMI sounds like a bummer, but it’s not all bad. It could mean getting into your home sooner rather than later. It means you don’t need someone to back your loan (like a guarantor), and it lets you buy a home without waiting ages to save a big deposit.

    Skipping LMI: Yes, It’s Possible

    Guarantor Help: If a family member is willing to use their home as security, you might dodge the LMI bullet.
    Government Help: Programs like the Home Guarantee Scheme let you buy a home with a tiny deposit and no LMI.
    Bigger Deposit: Saving up to a 20% deposit could skip LMI and save you from extra charges.
    Special Discounts: Some lenders might offer you a break on LMI if you have a great credit score or meet other criteria.
    Professional Perks: Certain jobs (like doctors or lawyers) might get you a pass on LMI if you meet specific criteria.

    Who Gets a Pass on LMI?

    Special folks like doctors, pharmacists, and even accountants might get LMI waived. Banks see these jobs as stable and thus less risky.

    LMI and Refinancing: Keep It in Mind

    If you’re thinking about refinancing, you need at least 20% equity in your home to avoid LMI again. But if your equity is less, you might end up paying LMI with your new loan too.

    Thinking About Your Options

    Whether you pay LMI or wait to save a bigger deposit depends on your personal financial situation and the real estate market. Sometimes jumping in early and paying LMI makes sense if house prices are climbing fast.

    When Refinancing Makes Sense (or Doesn’t)

    Refinancing to a better loan might sound great, but if you don’t have enough equity, you could end up paying more in the long run because of LMI.

    Still Have Questions?

    If you’re stuck on how much of a deposit you need or if you can refinance and get rid of LMI, don’t worry.

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