PMI, or I should say MIP, FHA required mortgage insurance premium may be slightly less monthly if you put a little more down 50 bps vs 55 bps annualy. If you put 10% sown on a 15 year term you don't have any monthly ins. A 15 year term loan with FHA always has a monthly premium less than half of the 30 yr term loan, even when you put less than10% down. The 30 year loan however has up front and monthly even if you put 50% down. Your Mortgage person will generally recommend and FHA for other reasons when you have a large downpayment. It may be because of a lower credit score or lack of stability of employment, or 100% monies being gifted funds. You can also avoid PMI altogether with a conventional loan if you qualify, and can put at least 10.1% down. Piggy back loans ( 1st and 2nds combined) still exist. You need to shop for it. I am still writing them myself but many lenders have stopped. Be persistant. REMEMBER come April 5th the UFMIP (up front mortgage insurance premium) on FHA goes up to 2.25% from 1.75% presently, on purchases. If possible get your applications in prior to March 30th. Your lender has to obtain the FHA case number prior to April 5th to avoid the higher premium.