If you recently took out a home loan and your deposit was smaller than 20 per cent, you probably had to pay lenders’ mortgage insurance.
Lenders’ mortgage insurance (LMI) can be paid as a lump sum upfront, like stamp duty, or it can be capitalised (incorporated) into your home loan. If you do capitalise it into your loan, you’ll end up paying this back over the life of the loan, plus interest. The cost can be quite sizeable.
So, what exactly is LMI and why would you need to pay it?
Put simply, lenders’ mortgage insurance protects your lender if you default on your home loan repayments. If, for example, you’re unable able to pay your home loan and your home is repossessed, LMI pays the lender any gap between what the property could be sold for and the amount still owing on the home loan.
The benefit of LMI is that it enables the lender to provide you with the home loan you need, even with a smaller deposit. Some people prefer this option, rather than waiting until they can save a larger deposit (i.e. typically 20% or more of the purchase price).
So if lenders’ mortgage insurance protects the lender, what protects you and your family if you unexpectedly find you can’t make your home loan repayments? Being made redundant or falling ill, for example, could see you out of work and could affect your income and ability to repay your home loan.
CommInsure’s loan protection insurance can help cover your Commonwealth Bank home loan repayments for up to a year if you become sick or involuntarily unemployed. It can pay a lump sum (up to $75,000) off your loan if you suffer a defined medical trauma such as cancer or a heart attack, and help repay your outstanding loan balance if you pass away up to your sum insured, to the maximum of $750,000.