You ask, we answer... what is LMI?

Updated 22/02/2024
You ask, we answer... what is LMI?

Time to read : 2 Minutes

What is LMI?

You ask is our regular feature where we take common questions Australians are searching for and give a simple, clear answer.

Today's question is about what a bank or lender means when they talk about lenders mortgage insurance or LMI.

And, no, sorry, it's not insurance for you. It's for the bank – to protect them against you defaulting on your loan.

Here's one answer.

Going deeper:

  • When you buy a property with less than a 20% deposit you will need to pay lenders mortgage insurance.

  • This isn't great, the bank is essentially saying that you are a risky borrower. It also means that you are going to have to pay more to purchase your property.

  • The LMI on a $1M home, if you only have a 100K deposit (or 10%) will be around $20K. Yep, that's a lot.

  • It is a one-off payment expected at the start of your loan, and can be bundled in with your home loan.

Be aware: There are home loans that you can get with very small deposits, but if you do this your LMI will increase in proportion. For example if you get a $1M home and have $50K deposit (or 5%), your LMI could be $50K. Ouch!

The information contained on this web page is of general nature only and has been prepared without taking into consideration your objectives, needs and financial situation. You should check with a financial professional before making any decisions.