Under the FHA program, the federal government "backs" the mortgage. In other words, if the borrower fails to pay the mortgage, and the house goes into foreclosure, the federal government will reimburse the bank for the loss and take possession of the house. Foreclosed homes that pass to the FHA are commonly called HUD homes.
Because of the federal "insurance," banks are more willing to offer financing to prospective home buyers who cannot obtain a loan with any other home mortgage.
The FHA mortgage insurance is not life insurance or a home protection plan; it's the extra cost applied to the loan to provide a funding program for banks with defaulted FHA home loans.
When purchasing a house with an FHA loan, every buyer pays a little premium. The additional fee may either be added to the loan amount or paid in cash at closing. The mortgage insurance premium, commonly known as upfront mortgage insurance, is this additional expense (UFMIP).
Following the lender's closing/settlement, the mortgage insurance funding fee is paid to the FHA/HUD. The upfront MIP must be submitted within 10 calendar days of the mortgage closing or distribution date, whichever comes first. Late upfront MIP payments result in penalties. The FHA gets the funds to purchase back the problematic loans from the lenders by accumulating financing fees from each loan.
Borrowers must pay an add-on premium with their mortgage payment in addition to the upfront mortgage insurance.
Monthly mortgage insurance, or MIP for short, is the expense.
How is FHA mortgage insurance calculated?
The FHA funding fee and monthly mortgage insurance have changed numerous times over the years. Currently, the upfront mortgage insurance is 1.75% of the loan amount.
Here's the math:
30-year FHA upfront mortgage insurance example
1. Sales price
2. Less down payment (3.5%)
3. Base mortgage =
4. Funding fee percentage
5. Funding fee cost
The base mortgage (line 3) and the funding fee cost (line 5) are added together for a final loan amount of $196,377.50. The principal and interest payment is calculated on the "base" mortgage and upfront cost.
FHA MIP calculation
The monthly mortgage insurance premium (MIP) has become more difficult with the April, 1, 2015 changes. The insurance percentage is determined by the "base" loan amount, down payment percentage and loan term (i.e. 30 or 15-years).
The first step in calculating the monthly MIP is to determine the loan amount and down payment percentage. If the loan amount is less than or equal to $625,000 (and a term of 30-years), and the down payment is equal to or less than 5%, use the cost factor on line 1.
Down payments greater than 5% and loan amounts less than $625,000 are based on a cost on line 2. Lines 3 and 4 should be self-explanatory.
Base Loan Amount
Down Payment Percentage
5% to 9.99% down payment
4.99% or less (3.5%) down payment
Less than, and equal to 5% down payment (≤ 95.00%)
Greater than 5% down payment (> 95.00%)
Using the example above:
30-year FHA monthly mortgage insurance example
Less down payment
Base mortgage =
Monthly MIP Percentage
Annual MIP Cost
Divided by 12 months
Fifteen-year loans are calculated in the same way, although the cost factor is lower.
Frequently Asked Questions About FHA mortgage Insurance
Q. Do all FHA loans have mortgage insurance?
A. Yes. It's the mortgage insurance premium that makes the program work. The mortgage insurance is required on all FHA loans.
You can use the FHA loan calculator to estimate the upfront funding fee and monthly MIP.
Q. Do I need FHA mortgage insurance?
A. You don't have a choice. It is required for the loan.
Q. How to get rid of mortgage insurance on an FHA loan?
A. On January 31, 2013 the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a change to the cancellation of the monthly mortgage insurance premium.
Whether you can eliminate the MIP depends on when your loan application was entered into the FHA computer.
Prior, to June 3, 2013, your monthly MIP will automatically cancel when you have 22% equity. For example, if the value of your home is $100,000 and the loan balance is $78,000 or less, you meet one of the conditions. Condition number two, the mortgage insurance has been paid for at least 5 years. For a 15-year loan originated earlier than June 3, 2013, the 78% loan balance must be met, however there is no 5-year requirement for payment.
After June 3, 2013, you are not able to remove the MIP if your mortgage had a term greater than 15-years (i.e. 30-years) and the down payment was less than 10%. For FHA loans with a down payment of 10% to 22%, the MIP can be canceled after 11 years.
If you do not meet one of the conditions above, the only way you can eliminate the MIP is through a mortgage refinance.