How Your Credit Score Affects the PMI Premium
4 minute read
January 6, 2023


How your credit score affects your PMI rates

Most people are aware that their credit score affects their interest rate. But credit also helps determine monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI).

The difference in that premium from one credit score range to another can be significant. In fact, it can amount to tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

See if you’re eligible to buy a home.

How much your credit score will affect PMI: Examples

PMI quotes vary based on loan amount, down payment, loan type, and of course, payment. We’ll make some assumptions for our calculations.


  • Conventional Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac 30-year fixed
  • Loan amount: $300,000
  • 25-35% PMI coverage depending on down payment (meaning the PMI company will pay 25% to 35% of the loan to the lender in case of default)

We’re going to use a PMI premium rate chart from MGIC, one of the largest mortgage insurance companies. Note that lenders can use a variety of companies, and PMI rates change often. Rates shown here are for example purposes only.

PMI premium example: A 1% PMI premium on a $100,000 loan means you’d pay $1,000 per year or $83.33 per month in PMI.

Formula: (Mortgage amount X PMI factor) divided by 12 months

Let’s calculate the PMI premium for each credit score range and see how much credit scores impact PMI rates.

PMI rates by credit score – 3% down

The below assumes 3% down and 35% PMI coverage on a 30-year fixed conventional mortgage.

Loan amountScorePMI factorYearlyMonthly PMI

PMI rates by credit score – 5% down

The below assumes 5% down and 30% PMI coverage on a 30-year fixed conventional mortgage.

Loan amountScorePMI factorYearlyMonthly PMI

PMI rates by credit score – 10% down

The below assumes 10% down and 25% PMI coverage on a 30-year fixed conventional mortgage.

Loan amountScorePMI factorYearlyMonthly PMI

It’s easy to see how a good credit score and larger down payment can help your home buying goals.

  • Loans between $500-$10,000
  • 3 easy steps to apply
  • Can help when others can’t

Good credit makes a big difference

Someone with a 760 score and 5% down will pay about $216 less per month in PMI compared to someone with a 620. That’s real motivation to improve your credit score before you buy a home.

700 – 719 is considered to be a good credit score range to be in. But notice that the monthly premium is $162.50, which is more than twice the $79.17 per month that applies for a credit score of 760 or higher.

That’s how your credit score affects the PMI premium you will pay.

Do FHA mortgage insurance premiums change by credit score?

FHA mortgage insurance premiums do not rise or fall based on credit score. Rather, they are based on down payment and loan amount.

Most FHA buyers will pay a mortgage insurance factor of 0.85, meaning 0.85% of the loan amount per year. A $300,000 loan would require $2,550 per year equalling $212.50 per month.

That’s why those with fair or poor credit often end up with a lower overall monthly payment when they choose FHA over a conventional loan.

Compare FHA mortgage insurance of 0.85% to the conventional PMI of 1.33% with a 640 score and 5% down. On a $300,000 loan, FHA is better by about $120 per month.

  • Loans between $500-$10,000
  • 3 easy steps to apply
  • Can help when others can’t

What is PMI, anyway?

PMI is required on conventional mortgages where the borrower has less than 20% equity in the property. Expressed another way, it is required any time the mortgage on a property exceeds 80% of the property value.

Mortgage lenders will require PMI to reduce their risk on such loans. The general experience on mortgages is that the default rate increases as the borrower’s equity falls below 20%.

PMI is an insurance policy that pays the lender in the event that you default on the loan. They don’t pay the entire loan amount, but rather a certain percentage. Since lenders are generally able to recover much or most of the mortgage amount from the sale of the property, PMI covers only a relatively small percentage of the loan. The percentage can range between 6% and 35% of the loan amount.

PMI is collected as part of your monthly mortgage payment. You’ve probably heard the term “PITI,” which refers to Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance; PMI is in the insurance part of the payment.

Understand however that PMI is not homeowners insurance. That’s a type of coverage that you are also required to have; that ensures the property against physical damage.

Check your homebuying eligibility

Even if you don’t have 20% down, it’s still a good idea to consider buying a home.

Those who wait to have a 20% down payment often lose years of building home equity.

Check your homebuying eligibility now.

Our advise is based on experience in the mortgage industry and we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of owning a home. We may receive compensation from partner banks when you view mortgage rates listed on our website.

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