Although lenders have been obligated (for loans closed after July '99) to cancel Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) at the point the loan balance goes below 78% of the price of purchase, they do not have to cancel PMI automatically if the equity is more than 22%. (There are some loans that are not included -like certain "high risk' loans.) But if your equity reaches 20% (no matter what the original price was), you have the right to cancel your PMI (for a mortgage that past July 1999).
Familiarize yourself with your mortgage statements to keep a running total of principal payments. Also stay aware of what other homes are being sold for in your neighborhood. You are paying mostly interest if your mortgage loan closed fewer than 5 years ago, so your principal most likely hasn't gone down much.
As soon as your equity has reached the required twenty percent, you are close to stopping your PMI payments, once and for all. Call your lending institution to request cancellation of PMI. Your lender will require documentation that your equity is high enough. Most lenders ask for a state certified appraisal documented on the form: URAR-1004 (Uniform Residential Appraisal Report) to verify your equity and eligibility for PMI cancellation.
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