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What is LMI – Lenders Mortgage Insurance

Posted by Tamara McDowell on February 6, 2010

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is a premium paid by you to insure your Lender against loss.

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) helps Australian homeowners enter the market earlier through allowing you to borrow a higher percentage of a property’s value.

For first home buyers, particularly those struggling to save a deposit but more than comfortable to meet their
mortgage repayments, it can be a key tool to break free of the rental trap.

Through financing a higher proportion of a property’s purchase price, lenders take on a higher level of risk should you fail to meet mortgage repayment, and the property needs to be repossessed and resold.

LMI is therefore payed by you to insure your lender against loss should this happen. It is important to be aware that
LMI only covers the lender if you default, not you.

The bigger the percentage of the property’s purchase price you have to borrow the greater the amount you’re likely to pay on insurance. So if your deposit is less than 20 per cent, and especially if you have no deposit at all, you will need to factor LMI into your home loan.

Remember that should you have the required 20 per cent deposit for a mortgage you will not need to pay LMI.
LMI is usually paid as a one-off lump sum at the time of settlement but it many cases it can also be added into the loan amount and paid off over the life of the loan – a term known as capitalising the LMI.

Speak with your broker to assess whether this option is right for you.

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