Competitive interest rates, flexible qualifying and a low down-payment requirement of 3.5 percent make Federal Housing Administration loans attractive. FHA mortgage insurance premiums, or MIPs, protect lenders if borrowers default, but they also increase monthly payments. The FHA requires borrowers who financed 90 percent or more of their home's value on or after June 3, 2013 to pay the MIP for the life of the loan. Borrowers who took out their FHA loans before June 3, 2013 can automatically cancel the MIP if the loan meets certain conditions -- namely, a sufficient amount of equity.
Review pre-June 3, 2013 closing documents from your FHA purchase or refinance. A 30-year loan must be at least 60 months, or 5 years old, to qualify for MIP cancellation. There's no minimum time-period requirement for 15-year loans.
Review the FHA appraisal report to determine the home's appraised value when you took out the loan. You must meet the FHA's 78 percent loan-to-value requirement to qualify for cancellation; therefore, you must pay your loan balance down to 78 percent of this appraised value.
Call your FHA lender or loan servicing company and say you'd like to cancel the MIP. You don't actually have to request the removal because it's automatic and based on your FHA loan's set amortization schedule. However, mortgage specialist Brad Yzermans recommends calling the lender to make sure it's aware of the upcoming cancellation.