large family smiling at camera around birthday cake

Our 65th anniversary isn’t just about us

It’s about dependability, and about our customers who trusted us to pay claims through more than 6 decades of financial cycles — those who partnered with us to achieve their business goals. It’s also about celebrating the 13.5 million people who were able to achieve homeownership much sooner than they dreamed possible.

Scroll to stroll down memory lane while we commemorate MGIC’s legacy as the original private mortgage insurance company.
timeline showing evolution of mgic logos through the years

The birth of a better way – and an entire industry

In the late 1950s, the national population was growing with the Baby Boom, and everyone expected to have a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. But before the garage and the car came a home. The average cost of a home was $20,000 and the average yearly income was $4,545. Saving up for the required 20% down payment on a home was very difficult since it equaled almost a full year’s salary!

illustration of turkey, car, house, cash, and home loans with increasing costs over time

Max Karl, MGIC Founder, stands over model buildings and houses
Our founder, Max Karl, was a real estate attorney in Milwaukee, WI, who saw how people struggled to save for a down payment. He also knew the risks lenders faced in lending money to potential homebuyers. He was frustrated with the process of closing loans with 100% government guarantees.

So, he came up with a better way: Have a private company insure only the top portion of a mortgage, rather than 100% of the loan. It would be an easier and less costly way to provide low-down-payment financing to borrowers with less than a 20% down payment. Mr. Karl took his idea to a group of investors, many of whom were Savings & Loan executives. This group, along with his family and friends (even his barber!) contributed $250,000 in capital, and he founded Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation, or MGIC, in 1957. It was the invention of modern private mortgage insurance.

65 years later, we're still here, working with mortgage lenders and helping people afford homes with low-down-payment loans. Yet, we have evolved along with our customers’ needs and expectations. Today, we’re taking a fresh look at how we can attain our broader business goals, increase our agility, ensure quality in the evaluation of risk, and create new efficiencies to improve our customers’ overall experience for the next 65 years.

Then and now: MGIC through the years

Get to know us better

  • Our leadership

    The leaders at MGIC are forward thinkers who pave the way for our shared success. Each brings a wealth of expertise and a dedication to our mission.

  • The Max Karl legacy

    Max Karl, the founder of mortgage insurance, wore thick glasses, convinced his barber to invest in him, and invented an entire industry.

  • The MGIC difference

    What MGIC does makes a difference. In addition to competitive rates and a drive to do what's right, we offer invaluable resources to help grow your business.

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