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If you put down less than 20% you may still have to pay mortgage insurance if you can't qualify for a conventional loan. If someone can only qualify for FHA due to their credit (just as an example) they will have to pay monthly mortgage insurance for at least 5 years because all 30 year fixed FHA loans require mortgage insurance, regardless of down payment. Conversely there are also loans out there that don't require mortgage insurance if you put down less than 20%. But they are very few and far between. One example would be a Homepath Mortgage.It's also possible to avoid monthly mortgage insurance on a conventional loan, even with less than 20% down, with lump-sum or lender paid MI. Paying a lump sum (often referred to as BPMI) would be paying a lump sum to the MI company at the time of closing and in return not having to pay monthly MI, it's all taken care of up front. There are different ways to structure this, some can have your lender kick in a portion (or even all) of the lump sum premium. Lender paid MI (LPMI) is where the entire lump sum premium is figured in to your interest rate.If you are looking at applying for a conventional loan with less than 20% down you do have options. I would talk to a competent, professional mortgage planner about your options in the beginning of the home buying process so you have the best strategy worked out going in...Sincerely,Greg
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