Do Reverse Mortgage Loans Require Mortgage Insurance?

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Do Reverse Mortgage Loans Require Mortgage Insurance?

An emergency cash infusion from a reverse mortgage might be used to pay for things like daily living expenditures, healthcare, and house maintenance. However, for some homes, reverse mortgages may be unaffordable due to a number of expenses.

The premium for lender-required mortgage insurance is one especially onerous cost (MIP).You will pay an initial MIP at closing as well as ongoing MIPs for the duration of the loan if you have a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM), which is guaranteed by the federal government.

Key Takeaways

  • Although they might provide much-needed income during retirement, reverse mortgages are often not the best option for homeowners due to their hefty fees.
  • The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and made available by FHA-approved lenders, is the most popular kind of reverse mortgage.
  • The initial mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for HECM loans is 2%, and the yearly MIP is 0.5% of the outstanding loan total.
  • Although HECM MIPs are pricey, they provide borrowers a number of crucial safeguards.
  • Reverse mortgage interest and fees may accumulate for a very long period before you or your estate repays the debt since they are open-ended.

What Is a Reverse Mortgage?

You may turn part of your home equity into cash with a reverse mortgage without having to sell your house. Instead of receiving a monthly payment from a lender, you get an advance on a portion of your home equity in the form of a lump sum, a fixed monthly payment, or a line of credit. Over the course of the loan, interest and fees accumulate; they become payable when you sell your house, vacate the property, or pass away.

  Nontraditional Mortgage Definition

You must be 62 years of age or older, have a significant amount of equity in your house, and use it as your primary residence in order to be eligible for a reverse mortgage. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved counseling session is required if you get a HECM, the most popular kind of reverse mortgage (HUD).Once the money has been granted, you may use it to pay for things like essential living expenditures, medical bills, home improvements, or even a new home if you have a HECM for Purchase loan.

What Is Mortgage Insurance?

When it comes to conventional mortgages (also known as forward mortgages), mortgage insurance protects the lender rather than the borrower in the event that the borrower misses payments, passes away, or is otherwise unable to fulfill the conditions of the loan.

MIPs and private mortgage insurance (PMI) are two different things. If your down payment is less than 20% of the home’s purchase price and you finance with a conventional mortgage loan, PMI is often necessary on a traditional mortgage. However, you’ll have to pay MIPs if your mortgage is backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Regardless of the size of your down payment, these include an upfront MIP equivalent to 1.75% of the base loan amount and yearly MIPs for at least 11 years.

All HECM reverse mortgages are subject to MIPs. Most proprietary reverse mortgages feature higher interest rates but don’t call for upfront or yearly MIPs.

Mortgage Insurance for Reverse Mortgages

The way mortgage insurance works for reverse mortgages is a little different. MIPs provide reverse mortgage borrowers numerous significant safeguards rather than only safeguarding the lender.

  Comparing Private Mortgage Insurance vs. Mortgage Insurance Premium

At closing, you pay an up-front 2% MIP based on the FHA’s maximum lending limit of $970,800 or the home’s appraised value, whichever is less. For example, if your home is valued at $250,000, the up-front MIP would be $5,000 ($250,000 × 0.02). You can pay it in cash or use the money from your loan.

After that, your lender charges annual MIPs equal to 0.5% of the loan’s outstanding balance. These premiums generally accrue over time, and you (or your estate) pay the amount once the loan is due.

How much does mortgage insurance cost?

If you have the most common type of reverse mortgage, a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM), your lender will charge you a 2% up-front mortgage insurance premium (MIP) based on your home’s appraised value, up to the $970,800 maximum lending limit set by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) (FHA).After that, an annual MIP kicks in, equal to 0.5% of your loan’s outstanding balance.

Can I avoid mortgage insurance on a reverse mortgage?

You can avoid paying MIPs by getting a proprietary reverse mortgage. However, the loan may cost more in the long run due to higher interest rates. On the other hand, you will owe up-front and annual MIPs if you have a HECM.

However, in return for paying those premiums, you get a number of significant safeguards. In particular, the loan profits are guaranteed (even if the lender goes out of business), and you or your estate won’t owe more when the loan is due and the property is sold than the house is worth.

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Do reverse mortgages have closing costs?

Reverse mortgages include closing expenses, just as conventional mortgages. For instance, if you get a HECM loan, you will typically cover the following costs:

  • MIPs—a 2% upfront MIP required at closing, as well as an ongoing MIP equal to 0.5% of the remaining mortgage amount.
  • Charges from third parties, such as those for the credit checks, title search, title insurance, surveys, inspections, recording costs, and appraisals
  • Origination fee: $2,500 or 2% of the first $200,000 of the value of your house plus 1% of everything after that, up to a maximum of $6,000, whichever is larger.
  • Service charge: up to $30 per month for loans with fixed or yearly modifying interest rates, and up to $35 per month for loans with monthly interest rate adjustments.
  • Interest, often at variable rates that might rise over time.

The Bottom Line

You must pay upfront fees and yearly MIPs for HECMs. Contrary to conventional private mortgage insurance, which protects the lender, reverse mortgage insurance is advantageous to the borrower.

If you decide a reverse mortgage is the appropriate choice for you, looking around and comparing loan prices might help you save money. The other loan charges, such as origination fees, closing costs, service fees, and interest rates, differ by lender even though lenders charge the same MIPs.

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