What Does HARP Do?
The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is designed specifically to help borrowers who may be ineligible for traditional refinancing due to a loss of home value or because they have little or no equity. Like other refinancing options, with HARP you receive a completely new mortgage with new terms, interest rates and monthly payments. The new loan completely replaces your current mortgage and may lower your payment or move you into a more stable loan product, which could help improve your monthly financial situation.
Since the downturn of the housing market, over 10 million homeowners now owe more on their homes than what they are worth. Obtaining a HARP loan may not improve your equity position but it may help you obtain a monthly payment you can afford, and may result in one or more of the following:
– A reduction in your interest rate and or your monthly principal and interest mortgage payment.
– A fixed-rate mortgage in place of an adjustable-rate, interest-only, or balloon/reset mortgage.
– A reduction in the term of your mortgage (e.g., from 30 years to 15 years).
If your loan is owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, there are two options available to help you make your mortgage payments more affordable:
1. Refinance your existing mortgage through your existing lender, or
2. Refinance your loan through another different participating lender.
Not every lender, including your existing lender is participating in HARP. Not only that, every lender has different eligibility requirements and charges different loan fees and interest rates.
Shopping for a HARP loan is no different than shopping for any mortgage…compare costs and fees to get the best loan.
Even if you’ve been turned down by one lender, don’t be afraid to try another. Although HARP does have a few basic requirements, lenders participating in the program have different eligibility requirements that may allow you to qualify with a different lender.
General Eligibility Requirements
You may be eligible for HARP through your existing lender or a different participating lender if you meet the following requirements:
– Your mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae
– Your mortgage must have been sold to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae on or before May 31, 2009
– Your current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%
– Must be current on your mortgage, with no late payments in the last six months and no more than one in the past 12 months
Check your eligibility below: