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Mortgage insurance (MI)
Mortgage insurance protects the lender against a loss if a borrower defaults on the loan. On conventional (non-government) loans, private mortgage insurance (PMI) is usually required if your loan amount is greater than 80% of the home's value. On government-backed FHA loans, mortgage insurance is usually required in the form of both an upfront premium, as well as a monthly premium. The amount of mortgage insurance paid on an FHA loan is dependent on the base loan amount, loan term and loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.