Press Release: Private Mortgage Insurers Helped Over 1 Million Low Down Payment Borrowers In 2022, Majority Were First-Time Buyers

May 25, 2023

Industry supported nearly $402 billion in mortgage originations – nearly 97% were for home purchases

WASHINGTON — U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI) today announced the industry helped over 1 million low down payment borrowers secure mortgage financing in 2022, according to data from the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). Approximately 97% of these mortgages were new purchases and first-time homebuyers represented nearly 62% of purchasers with private MI. In addition, the industry supported nearly $402 billion in mortgage originations in 2022, according to public filings. This resulted in over $1.5 trillion in outstanding mortgages with active private MI coverage at the end of 2022, underscoring the industry’s critical role in serving as the first layer of protection against credit risk in the GSE-backed conventional mortgage market.

“At a time when affordability is a paramount issue, conventional loans backed by private MI continued to make the dream of homeownership a reality for 1 million first-time, low- to moderate-income and minority borrowers,” said Seth Appleton, President of USMI. “The fact that the majority of borrowers with private MI were first-time buyers underscores the great benefits they receive from the availability of low down payment mortgages backed by private capital.”

In 2022, the private MI market also served a large number of low- to moderate-income borrowers. Nearly 35% of those that purchased or refinanced a mortgage with private MI had annual incomes below $75,000, and the average loan amount with MI was approximately $341,716, according to GSE data. The MI industry has enabled approximately 38 million people to access affordable, low down payment mortgages in its 66-year history.

Appleton recently discussed the private MI market with USMI Chairman Adolfo Marzol, who has held senior roles at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae, and Essent Group. In the interview, Marzol noted that “the MI industry has continued to be a source of financial strength in the markets, providing uninterrupted access to mortgage credit without any special interventions or actions during the sudden heightened stress we have been witnessing in other sectors of financial services. The same was true during the extraordinary financial stress that hit during the onset of COVID. MI remained available and affordable at all times.”

A key element of the industry’s ability to scale up during times of economic stress is due to its evolution to a “buy, manage, and distribute” model when it comes to risk. From 2015 through 2022, the private MI industry issued 51 insurance linked notes through the capital markets, transferring more than $20.8 billion of risk exposure on nearly $2.2 trillion of notional mortgages and completed 42 quota-share and excess of loss reinsurance transactions, ceding $47 billion of additional risk to the traditional reinsurance market. In total, nearly $68 billion of risk was transferred since 2015, providing the private MI industry additional capacity to support new borrowers.

Marzol explained, “[t]hese transactions have proven to be a durable and cost-effective source of support for the private MI industry. And the ability to use MI-linked note transactions to procure reinsurance through the capital markets has been invaluable, increasing the capacity of our industry to serve borrowers in need of low down payment financing.”

At the end of 2022, the private MI industry held nearly $11 billion of eligible assets in excess of the GSEs’ Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements (PMIERs) capital requirements, which represented a 172% sufficiency ratio. This furthered the private MI industry’s ability to support lenders and borrowers over the past year.


U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI) is dedicated to a housing finance system backed by private capital that enables access to housing finance for borrowers while protecting taxpayers. Mortgage insurance offers an effective way to make mortgage credit available to more people. USMI is ready to help build the future of homeownership. Learn more at