FHA Mortgage Insurance Removal: Get Rid of FHA MIP

By: Tim Lucas Updated By: Ryan Tronier Reviewed By: Paul Centopani
September 25, 2023 - 16 min read

How do I cancel FHA mortgage insurance?

Despite what you may have heard, FHA mortgage insurance premium (MIP) is not always permanent.

Some homeowners can simply let their mortgage insurance fall off, but most will need to refinance out of it. Here’s everything you need to know about FHA MIP removal.

Check your FHA MIP removal eligibility. Start here

In this article (Skip to…)

When can you drop MIP on an FHA loan?

To eliminate the annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) on an FHA loan, you can either:

  • Wait for MIP to expire: If you put down at least 10% when you bought the home, your FHA MIP expires after 11 years
  • Refinance into a conventional loan: Replacing your FHA loan with a conventional loan eliminates the FHA’s MIP requirement. This is the only FHA MIP removal option if you put less than 10% down

The good news is that home values are rising nationwide. So many FHA homeowners have enough equity to refinance into a conventional loan and cancel mortgage insurance, even if they only bought a few years ago. You can check your FHA removal eligibility with a lender.

Keep in mind that these rules only apply to the MIP on an FHA loan. Mortgage insurance for a conventional loan is commonly referred to as PMI, or private mortgage insurance. Homeowners often confuse MIP and PMI, but cancellation rules differ vastly. Thankfully, PMI cancellation on a conventional loan is generally much more straightforward.

3 Ways to remove MIP from an FHA loan

It could be possible to eliminate your FHA mortgage insurance premium without refinancing. But only if you got your loan before 2013 or put at least 10% down when you bought the home. If your MIP won’t expire on its own, you will need to refinance out of your FHA loan to eliminate its MIP.

Here’s what you need to know about your MIP removal options.

1. Automatic FHA mortgage insurance removal

If you received your FHA loan before June 3, 2013, you were eligible for MIP cancellation after five years. But you must have 22% equity in the property, and you must have made all mortgage payments on time.

For homeowners with FHA loans issued on or after June 3, 2013, you must refinance into a conventional loan and have a current loan–to–value ratio of 80% or lower.

Loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is another way to measure your home equity. For example, if you owed $160,000 on your home that’s valued at $200,000, your LTV would be 80% because the loan balance ($160,000) is 80% of the home’s original value ($200,000).

An LTV of 80% means you have 20% home equity which should be enough to refinance into a conventional loan with no PMI.

2. Your down payment was 10% or more

If you got an FHA loan after June 3, 2013, then your MIP will go away after 11 years of on-time payments, provided you put at least 10% down. If you put less than 10% down, you’ll pay MIP until the loan is paid in full or refinance into another type of mortgage, such as a conventional loan.

3. Refinance to remove FHA MIP

Most FHA homeowners today have a loan with the following characteristics:

  • Opened on or after June 3, 2013
  • Less than 10% original down payment
  • 30–year loan

These FHA mortgage loans are not eligible for automatic mortgage insurance cancellation. So to stop paying mortgage insurance premiums, you’d need to refinance out of your FHA loan.

The good news is that there are no restrictions on refinancing out of FHA into a conventional loan with no PMI. Plus, there are never any prepayment penalties on FHA loans. So you can refinance any time you want.

“After sufficient equity has built up on your property, refinancing from an FHA or conventional loan to a new conventional loan would eliminate MIP or PMI payments,” says Wendy Stockwell, VP of operations support and product development at Embrace Home Loans. “This is possible as long as your LTV is at 80% or less.”

In other words, you will need about 20% home equity to refinance. To find your home equity, subtract your current mortgage balance from the value of your home.

You also need a credit score of at least 620 to refinance into a conventional loan with most loan servicers. The higher your credit score, the more you could save on your monthly mortgage payments.

Lastly, make sure your debt ratios are in line for qualifying for a standard conforming loan. The limits are typically higher when it comes to FHA loans.

Can you refinance to remove FHA MIP?

The refinancing process is straightforward. All you need to do is apply with a mortgage lender. Let your loan officer know you want to refinance into a conventional loan and cancel FHA MIP. Be sure to add closing costs to your existing loan balance if you wish to avoid paying them out of pocket.

Check your FHA MIP removal eligibility. Start here

From there, the lender will check your eligibility for a no-PMI conventional loan. This involves:

  • A new home appraisal to check the current value of your home
  • A full review of your credit score and credit history
  • Verification of your income and employment

Provided you qualify for conventional financing, your lender will help you through the rest of the application and approval process.

Once your refinance closes, your existing FHA loan is replaced with the new conventional loan. And, you no longer have to pay any mortgage insurance. As a bonus, you might also get a lower interest rate via the refinance process, provided your personal finances are strong enough to qualify for a better rate.

Can you lower your FHA mortgage insurance premiums?

Not everyone is eligible for a conventional refinance, and that’s ok. There may be a way to lower your FHA mortgage insurance cost even if you can’t remove it altogether.

Check your FHA MIP removal eligibility. Start here

You may have a higher rate of MIP than what is available today because these rates have decreased since 2015. The most recent FHA MIP cut of 30 basis points took effect on March 20, 2023.

Here is a history of FHA MIP rates charged by the Federal Housing Administration:

  • Prior to January 2008: 0.50% annual MIP
  • October 2008: 0.55% annual MIP
  • April 2010: 0.55% annual MIP
  • October 2010: 0.90% annual MIP
  • April 2011: 1.15% annual MIP
  • April 2012: 1.25% annual MIP
  • April 2013: 1.35% annual MIP
  • January 2015: 0.85% annual MIP
  • March 2023: 0.55% annual MIP

If you received a loan in January 2015, you could refinance into today’s lower FHA MIP and save $300 per year for every $100,000 borrowed. Plus, you may save even more by getting a lower mortgage rate.

Keep in mind, though, that your new FHA loan’s MIP will become non–cancelable. That’s because your new loan will originate after June 2013, when FHA MIP rules changed.

Reduced upfront and monthly MIP for certain refinancing homeowners

If you got your FHA loan prior to May 31, 2009, you can receive lower MIP rates via an FHA Streamline Refinance. And your original upfront cost may be credited toward your new upfront cost.

Eligible candidates receive an annual MIP of 0.55% (standard is 0.85%) and a reduced upfront MIP of 0.01% (standard is 1.75%). That’s a savings of $3,480 upfront and $50 per month on a $200,000 loan. However, you’ll need a perfect payment history for the past three months to qualify.

How does FHA mortgage insurance work?

FHA mortgage insurance is an additional cost that borrowers must pay when taking out a mortgage loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

This insurance policy protects lenders from the risk of default and foreclosure, making FHA loans less risky for lenders and often more accessible for borrowers.

When you opt for an FHA loan, you’re required to pay for this mortgage insurance, which consists of two main components: the upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) and the annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP).

Upfront mortgage insurance premium

UFMIP is a one-time fee that you’ll need to pay when you close on your home. This fee is typically 1.75% of your total loan amount.

For instance, if you’re entering the real estate market with a $200,000 loan, you’d be looking at a UFMIP of $3,500. This can either be paid in cash at closing or rolled into your mortgage, adding to the base loan amount. If you choose to roll it into your loan, it will slightly increase your monthly mortgage payments.

Keep in mind that if you later decide to refinance from an FHA loan to a conventional loan, this upfront fee is not refundable. Although you may be entitled to a partial FHA MIP refund if refinancing into another FHA loan within three years.

Annual mortgage insurance premium

MIP is an ongoing cost that you’ll pay over the life of the loan. This premium is calculated based on your base loan amount, mortgage term, and loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.

Unlike the UFMIP, the annual premium is divided into 12 monthly payments and added to your regular mortgage payment. This means you’ll be paying a little extra each month as part of your mortgage payment.

This monthly mortgage insurance premium is mandatory, regardless of your down payment amount or the size of your loan.

How much does FHA MIP cost?

MIP costs vary depending on a number of factors, including your mortgage term and down payment amount. Lower monthly mortgage insurance premiums are typically associated with shorter terms and larger down payments.

Check your FHA MIP removal eligibility. Start here

  • FHA UMIP is 1.75% of the base loan amount. For example, if you have a $200,000 loan, the UFMIP would be $3,500. This can either be paid in cash at closing or rolled into the loan amount.
  • MIP: Variable depending on loan size, term, and LTV ratio, but can range from 0.45% to 1.05% of the loan amount, divided into 12 monthly payments and added to your regular mortgage payments.

Below is the full breakdown of the current MIP cost for FHA mortgages with terms of over 15 years.

Original Loan AmountLoan to Value RatioAnnual MIP
$726,200 or less≤ 90%0.50%
$726,200 or less>90% and ≤ 95%0.50%
$726,200 or less>95%0.55%

Although nobody wants to pay MIP, it is a critical aspect of the FHA loan program. It helps lenders offer loans to those with lower credit scores or first-time home buyers who might not qualify for other types of mortgages.

How long does FHA MIP last?

Most current FHA loans fall into two categories. Those with case numbers issued before June 3, 2013, and applications made on or after that date. Your FHA MIP removal will depend on this deadline because that’s when FHA rules changed.

Check your FHA MIP removal eligibility. Start here

FHA loans for which you completed an application on or after June 3, 2013:

Modern FHA loans have simplified their MIP schedule. The size of your down payment determines whether MIP will expire.

Loan TermOriginal Down PaymentMIP Duration
All loan termsLess than 10%Life of loan
All loan termsMore than 10%11 years

FHA loans for which you completed an application before June 3, 2013:

These older FHA loans use a more elaborate MIP schedule.

Loan TermOriginal Down PaymentMIP Duration
20, 25, 30 yearsLess than 10%78% LTV after 5 years
20, 25, 30 years10-22%78% LTV after 5 years
20, 25, 30 yearsMore than 22%5 years
15 yearsLess than 10%78% LTV
15 years10-22%78% LTV
15 yearsMore than 22%No MIP

FAQ: FHA Mortgage Insurance

What is FHA MIP?

FHA MIP is the mortgage insurance program for FHA loans. It includes an upfront charge equal to 1.75 percent of the loan amount, as well as a monthly premium included in your mortgage payment. This insurance coverage protects FHA lenders, allowing them to offer competitive rates on FHA loans even when the borrower makes a small down payment and has only average credit.

Can you get rid of MIP on an FHA loan without refinancing?

It could be possible to eliminate your FHA mortgage insurance premium without refinancing. But only if you got your loan before 2013 or put at least 10% down when you bought the home. If your MIP won’t expire on its own, you will need to refinance out of your FHA loan to eliminate its MIP.

Does FHA require PMI without 20 percent down?

PMI (private mortgage insurance) is required on conventional loans with less than 20 percent down of the home’s purchase price. But the rules are different for home buyers using an FHA loan. All FHA loans require mortgage insurance premium (MIP), regardless of down payment size. So you will have to pay FHA mortgage insurance even if you put down 20 percent or more.

Can PMI be removed from FHA loans?

Mortgage insurance (PMI) is removed from conventional mortgages once the loan reaches a 78 percent loan–to–value ratio. But removing FHA mortgage insurance is a different story. Depending on your down payment, and when you first took out the loan, FHA MIP usually lasts 11 years or the life of the loan. MIP will not fall off automatically. To remove it, you’ll have to refinance into a conventional loan once you have enough equity.

How do I get rid of FHA mortgage insurance?

If your FHA loan originated before June 3, 2013, you might be eligible to get rid of mortgage insurance. Those older FHA loans are eligible for MIP elimination when the loan balance reaches 78 percent LTV or lower. If your FHA loan originated on or after June 3, 2013, you are not eligible for FHA mortgage insurance cancellation. However, if you’ve built at least 20 percent equity in the home, you can get rid of MIP by refinancing into a conventional loan with no PMI. Veterans could also look into VA loan options.

Are there lenders that specialize in FHA-to-conventional refinances?

Any lender that offers conventional loans by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can help you cancel your FHA MIP via a refinance. Any FHA-approved lender can help you reduce your payments via an FHA Streamline Refinance loan. Shop around for the best rates. While most loan servicers in the U.S. offer conventional and FHA loans, each one will offer different rates for them.

Can you take cash out when you do a mortgage insurance elimination refi?

A cash-out refinance can provide funds for anything from paying off credit card debt to home improvements. Conventional cash-out loans allow you to take up to 80 percent of your home’s value. If that’s more than your existing balance, you get to keep the extra cash and avoid PMI. There is also an FHA cash-out refinance. It allows loans up to 80 percent of your property value. However, you will still pay FHA mortgage insurance. So it’s best to consider the conventional version first.

How can I get rid of PMI without 20 percent down?

If you currently pay PMI or MIP mortgage insurance, you can get rid of it by refinancing once your home reaches 20 percent equity. If you’re shopping for a new home loan, look for options that allow no PMI even without 20 percent down. These include piggyback loans, lender–paid mortgage insurance, or a specialized mortgage program that doesn’t require PMI.

How is mortgage insurance (MIP) calculated by FHA?

Almost all FHA borrowers pay the same mortgage insurance rates. That includes an upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) equal to 1.75 percent of the loan amount and an annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) equal to 0.55 percent of the loan amount. Though it’s charged annually, this premium gets divided into 12 monthly mortgage insurance payments added to your mortgage payment. On a loan balance of $200,000, MIP would add $91.66 a month to your mortgage payment.

Does FHA mortgage insurance go down each year?

FHA mortgage insurance rates do not go down each year. But your premium payments do. That’s because mortgage insurance payments are calculated based on your loan amount. So as your loan balance goes down each year, the dollar amount you pay for mortgage insurance is reduced as well.

Can FHA mortgage insurance increase?

FHA can increase mortgage insurance at any time. But your existing MIP will not go up. As long as you stick with your original FHA loan (and don’t refinance into a new FHA mortgage), you’ll continue to pay your original mortgage insurance rate for as long as your MIP is due.

Is paying PMI or MIP worth it?

Having mortgage insurance is often worth it. That’s because FHA loans with MIP let you buy a home with a much smaller down payment than you could otherwise. FHA loans are also extra lenient about credit. So if you don’t qualify for a mortgage without MIP, it might be best to bite the bullet and pay mortgage insurance for a few years. You’ll start building equity sooner. And you could refinance into a conventional loan with no PMI once you have 20 percent equity.

How do I remove FHA mortgage insurance?

The best way to get rid of FHA mortgage insurance is to refinance into a conventional loan or a government-backed loan, such as a VA loan or a USDA loan.

So contact a lender to get a refinance rate quote. Mortgage quotes come with an eligibility check and potentially an estimate of the home’s appraised value.

Get a quote and get started canceling your FHA MIP today.

Time to make a move? Let us find the right mortgage for you

Tim Lucas
Authored By: Tim Lucas
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Tim Lucas spent 11 years in the mortgage industry before moving into the world of digital media. He's helped thousands of families buy and refinance real estate at banks and mortgage companies and now continues that mission through industry-leading content. Tim has been featured in national publications such as Time, U.S. News and World Report, MSN, Scotsman Guide, and more.
Ryan Tronier
Updated By: Ryan Tronier
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Ryan Tronier is a personal finance writer and editor. His work has been published on NBC, ABC, USATODAY, Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, and more. Ryan is the former managing editor of the finance website Sapling, as well as the former personal finance editor at Slickdeals.
Paul Centopani
Reviewed By: Paul Centopani
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Paul Centopani is a writer and editor who started covering the lending and housing markets in 2018. Previous to joining The Mortgage Reports, he was a reporter for National Mortgage News. Paul grew up in Connecticut, graduated from Binghamton University and now lives in Chicago after a decade in New York and the D.C. area.