Home mortgage insurance is coverage that protects your lender should you default, or fail to make payments, on your home loan. This insurance also helps lower the down payment for your new home. Traditionally, a down payment should be about 20% of the home price. Home buyers who can’t afford this kind of down payment sometimes opt to use home mortgage insurance. With this insurance, you can put down as little as 3-5%.

However, there are a few facts you should consider about home mortgage insurance before making a decision.

Home mortgage insurance can be costly. It adds to your mortgage payment, after all. Sure, home mortgage insurance helps you get a home more quickly than you’d be able to if you weren’t able to make the traditional down payment of 20%, but if you are able to put down enough money avoiding the insurance makes more sense. You may also want to consider saving money until you can afford a good down payment.

Home mortgage insurance is sometimes tax-deductible. That may not appeal to you now, since you’ll still be paying extra money throughout the year, but your increased tax return (or decreased tax payment) could change your mind. If you absolutely need home mortgage insurance, talk with the particular company you’re considering to find out if your payments can be deducted. You may want to choose one that does offer tax-deductible home mortgage insurance.

Check with a mortgage advisor about ways to avoid home mortgage insurance. You may be eligible for special kinds of home loans that actually pay the home mortgage insurance payments for you. Of course, this will make your mortgage rates slightly higher, but it may balance out if the increased rates aren’t any higher than the home mortgage insurance payments.

In the end, you should always avoid additional costs or take steps to make them as low and rewarding as possible.