How to avoid paying LMI

Published by MFAA

Lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) is required when the value of a loan is more than 80 per cent of a property’s purchase price or property valuation if refinancing. In very basic terms, a lender considers a loan to carry a higher risk if the loan-to-valuation-ratio (LVR) is above 80 per cent and LMI is payable. Here’s how you can avoid paying the costly premium.

Save for a higher deposit

The purpose of LMI is to protect lenders should the borrower fail to make loan repayments when the LVR exceeds 80 per cent. When the loan amount is more than 80 per cent of the value of the property being mortgaged, the risk to the lender of not recouping their costs, should the borrower default, is increased. A higher deposit means a smaller loan amount and therefore a lower LVR thereby reducing the lender’s risk. A loan of 80% or less of the property’s value is the key to avoiding paying LMI.

Get a guarantor

If you don’t have the financial capacity to meet a 20 per cent deposit but still want to avoid LMI, you do have the option of getting a guarantor for your loan. A close relative, such as a parent, sibling or perhaps a grandparent, may be eligible to act as a guarantor and they use the equity in their property to help you secure yours and keep your total loan below 80%. In some instances, having a guarantor on your loan may mean that you won’t need a deposit at all.

A little insider knowledge from an MFAA accredited finance broker may go a long way in helping you to find a loan that won’t require you to fork out for LMI.