Updated December 2017
HARP® stands for the Home Affordable Refinance Program®. This program is a federally backed mortgage refinance designed to help homeowners refinance their homes at today’s historically low rates. HARP® refinances have helped nearly 3.5 million households per the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Its success earned the program a few extensions over the recent years—most recently, and finally through December 31, 2018.
The HARP® program is unique in that borrowers who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth can now get new low rates via HARP® refinance. This program is designed to help homeowners get back into financial stability with their mortgages. Most homeowners in the HARP® program were able to reduce their monthly mortgage payments at a lower interest rate after the refinance.
HARP® Loans Still Exist?
The original HARP® program created in 2009 was set to expire in 2012. However, due to the success and demand for the program, the deadline has been extended a few times along with program enhancement announcements. The 2018 deadline is expected to be final. This gives you more than a year to take advantage of a HARP® refinance. The program can be used to shorten your loan term in order to build home equity faster or it can be used to create a new longer-term mortgage with a low fixed interest rate.
Do I qualify for HARP®?
To be eligible to refinance via HARP®, you must meet the following requirements, including but not limited to:
- Your mortgage is current. You are on time with your mortgage payments and have not missed a single payment within the last 6 months. No more than one late payment is allowed within the last 12 months.
- Your property is a primary residence, a second home, or an investment property. Condos may be eligible.
- Your loan closed on or before 31 May 2009. You can check your mortgage note date using the following look-up tools.
- Your mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Use these lookup tools for Fannie or Freddie.
- Your loan-to-value ratio is higher than 80%. You can calculate your LTV by dividing the money you owe on your home by the value of the home.
HARP® refinances can be done through someone other than your current servicer. So, if your current bank does not offer HARP® loans, or does not offer competitive interest rates—don’t give up. There are many lenders available to help you use the HARP® program to save you money on your mortgage.
Indeed, being denied of a HARP® loan once does not mean you can’t apply again. The program has been enhanced over the years to accommodate as many homeowners who may be eligible to refinance their underwater mortgages at a lower cost.
HARP® refinance information has been updated for 2017. Get qualified for the HARP® refinance program before it expires by the end of 2018. Free quotes are accessible here at mortgage.info.