What is FHA Mortgage Insurance and How Does it Work?


What is FHA Mortgage Insurance

and How Does it Work?


     Mortgage Insurance remains a hot topic for potential Borrowers, current Borrowers, and professionals alike.  And of great interest, no matter which type of mortgage program it's utilized in ... Conventional or FHA (Federal Housing Administration).

     While I've written in the past about Mortgage Insurance as it relates to Conventional financing, I now want to focus on its counterpart within FHA Loans ... which is mandatoryguaranteed, and government issued (not Privately backed by Corporations).  (See past posts, "Understanding Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI: The Pros and Cons" and "How to "Replace" Mortgage Insurance"

     Since FHA Loans are government insured, it should come as no surprise that the Mortgage Insurance required with their use is also government-issued and regulated.  Or that its cost is directly related to the performance (repayment) of Borrowers' FHA Loans.

     As a result, over the last 7 to 8 years, there have been many revisions to the cost for FHA Mortgage Insurance.  Revisions driven by great losses (foreclosures) suffered throughout the Housing Crisis, especially in the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Guaranty Fund throughout 2008 and 2009.

     The costs of Annual/Monthly Mortgage Insurance, as well as the upfront charges, have changed almost as often as the manual scoreboard at the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field this year.  (Yep! A shameless plug and shout-out. Go Cubs!)

      More Valuable Mortgage Insurance Info!


     Here's a little insight into FHA's two (2) types of Mortgage Insurance payment ... and how costs are currently figured on each: 


     1.  UPFRONT Mortgage Insurance:  As of the writing of this article (9/29/2016), costs are at 1.75% of the Loan Amount.  This cost is financeable.  In other words, the cost is added to the Base Loan Amount, in most cases.     


        Example using a Base Loan Amount of $200,000:

$200,000 (Base Loan Amount)  
Cost of:  $3,500 
     As a result, the Borrower can increase their Loan Amount to $203,500
     2.  PAID Monthly Mortgage Insurance Premium (a/k/a MIP):  Most FHA Loans are issued with Loan-to-Values greater than 95% (3.5% Down Payment is typical on Chicagoland-area FHA Loans).  In these cases, Borrowers are paying 0.85% X the Loan Amount.
       Using the same Base Loan Amount as above, the equation for Paid Monthly Mortgage Insurance would be: 
$200,000 (Base Loan Amount)  
by 12 (months)
Cost of:  $144.15/month
     As with most Mortgage info and programs, there are a few asterisks or conditions to note and understand:
    • If the Borrower makes a Down Payment of more than 5%: Mortgage Insurance costs drop to .80% ... or $135.67/month.  (Utilizing the same scenario as above)
    • The above rates apply to 30-year term loans
    • Costs come down considerably on FHA Loans with 15-year terms  
    • They also drop when Down Payments of 10% or more are made
     As of this writing (9/29/2016):  Mortgage Insurance is in place for the entire term of the Loan on ALL 30-year loans with less than 10% Down Payment.  
     Loans with 10% Down Payment or more will be allowed to eliminate monthly-paid Mortgage Insurance after 11 years.  (This has not always been the case.  Discussions about this remain ongoing, so stay tuned ... and remain in contact with me for updated info.)
     After viewing the above, do you understand why I say that Mortgage Insurance remains a topic of interest ... and perhaps a bit of confusion?  The constant changes dictate it so.
     So the best advice I can provide, if considering the purchase of a Chicagoland home or the refinance of one where Mortgage Insurance may come into play?  Talk to me as soon as you decide you hope to buy.
     That way you get the facts as they pertain to your personal financial scenario, your financing options ... and the most current, up-to-date information regarding Mortgage Insurance ...  


     * Hoping to Buy or Refinance a Home in New Lenox or elsewhere in the Chicagoland area? Contact me! I'll put my 40+ years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
       I can be easily found at:


Gene Mundt

Mortgage Originator - nmls #216987 - IL Lic. 031.0006220 - WI Licensed

American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.

nmls #175656

Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell/Text: 708.921.6331
eFax: 815.524.2281


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Gene Mundt

 Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987    

                                 IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI License #216987                                                                                                    

NMLS #175656


Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator,  40+ years of #mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  #Conventional, #FHA, #VA, #Jumbo, #USDA, and Portfolio Loans in #Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The #Lincoln-Way Area, #Will County, (#New Lenox, #Frankfort, #Mokena, #Manhattan, #Joliet, #Shorewood, #Crest Hill, #Plainfield, #Bolingbrook, #Romeoville, #Naperville, #Wilmington, #Peotone, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of Chicago, #Cook County, and elsewhere within IL and Wisconsin. 


Your Referrals & Testimonials are Always Greatly Appreciated! 




Good afternoon Gene. Now that I understand, all I have to do is give a buyer your number! Enjoy your day

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 4 years ago

Gene you did a great job explaining the FHA MI and Upfront Mortgage Insurance, and keeping it simple

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 4 years ago

Gene this is an excellent explanation of FHA mortgage insurance. It can be so confusing to buyers. Great job!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) over 4 years ago


Very informative post on FHA mortgage Insurance . . . .  and big help to sales professional doing FHA mortgages.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 4 years ago


Congratulations on being recognized with a feature an informative post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 4 years ago

Gene, You have masterfully explained mortgage insurance.  The examples you outline make it easy to understand ... at least for me.  Thank you.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 4 years ago

Great blog post on FHA mortgages George. I have heard that in the 1960's these were very popular. I wonder why they fell out of favor?

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) over 4 years ago

hmmm, didn't know you drop it after 11 years with 10% down on FHA.  

I continue to advocate for save 20% down to young people.  Of course even my own daughter didn't.  

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 4 years ago

Great explanation and the reason why I am proud to be a Veteran and use VA loans to purchase my homes. 

Posted by Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage, Keller Williams Land Luxury Division Specialist (Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona) over 4 years ago


Great explanation of mortgage insurance. If there is one hot button item with many buyers...it's PMI.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 4 years ago

Hi Gene

You did a masterful job of explaining Mortgage Insurance for FHA loans - everything any buyer should know.

Have a terrific weekend!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 4 years ago

For those that have to know...this be the posting and the source to go to

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 4 years ago

The MIP associated with an FHA Loan is a factor that is constanly changing (over a 35+ yr real estate career) and needs to be reviewed on a regular basis ! Thanks for the update !

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) over 4 years ago

More buyers need to learning about this issue.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) over 4 years ago

Hi Gene - That's a great rundown of how FHA mortgage insurance works - I've bookmarked it to have available for future clients. Thanks!

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 4 years ago

Great details on FHA MI, Gene.  Nice shout out, too --- I'm hoping we get a Theo Epstein themed Cubs-RedSox October battle!  And if not, at least hockey season is here : )

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) over 4 years ago

Thanks Gene.  Great information for those considering FHA loans.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 4 years ago

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