Conventional vs. high-ratio mortgages
A conventional mortgage equals no more than 80% of the appraised value or purchase price of the property, whichever is less. A high-ratio mortgage is usually for more than 80% of the appraised value or purchase price. It's often referred to as an NHA mortgage because it is granted under the provisions of the National Housing Act and must, by law, be insured through a mortgage insurance provider. The insurance premium as well as application, legal and property appraisal fees are paid by the borrower.