If you are looking to buy a home but are putting in less than a 20% down payment, you’ll likely be paying PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI is an insurance policy for the lender in case you stop making your monthly payments.
PMI is essentially an additional payment as part of your mortgage that acts as insurance for the lender of a mortgage if the borrower stops paying back their loan. You’ll only have PMI to pay if you put a down payment of less than 20% on your home.
You can request to have the PMI portion of your mortgage payment canceled once you’ve reached the 20% equity in your home, but the lender is not required to do so, making it that much more important to get to the 20% initially.
If you do need to pay PMI, your lender, not you, will choose the provider of the PMI. In most cases, you won’t know the provider as you make the payment directly to your lender, and they will pass the PMI portion along to the PMI provider.