According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), more than 200,000 U.S. homeowners may be eligible to lower their mortgage payments by an average of $2,400 each year. Are you one of them?
Short for the Home Affordable Refinance Program, HARP was launched in March of 2009 by the FHFA. This government-sponsored program gives homeowners with little or no equity the opportunity to refinance into a more affordable mortgage, so long as the loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. In short, it aims to save underwater mortgages by offering today’s low rates without incurring new or additional mortgage insurance. Have more questions about HARP refinancing? We have answers.
What are the big requirements to qualify for HARP?
In order to be eligible for a HARP refinance:
- Your mortgage must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
- Your mortgage must have been originated on or before May 31, 2009.
- Your current loan-to-value ratio must exceed 80%.
- You must be current on your mortgage, with no 30-day+ late payment in the last six months and no more than one 30-day+ late payment in the last 12 months.
How do I know if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns my mortgage?
Simply visit the HARP.gov eligibility page and use the Loan Look-up Tool to help you find out if either owns it. After filling out basic information, you will get an immediate response.
How much can I save by refinancing with HARP?
As of the second quarter of 2016, the FHFA estimates that 242,512 borrowers could save an average of $2,400 a year with a HARP refinance. Since the program began in 2009, over 3.4 million homeowners in the U.S. have refinanced their homes through HARP. With a number that large, it’s safe to say HARP is helping Americans nationwide lower their mortgage payments.
Can I only refinance my primary residence under HARP?
No. HARP allows you to refinance an investment property, too. In fact, you can use HARP for primary homes, second homes, or investment properties.
What’s the loan limit for a HARP refinance?
HARP refinancing is limited to the conforming loan limits in your area. In most counties in the U.S., the loan limit is $417,000 though some areas have limits as high as $625,500. In 2017, those limits increase to $424,000 and $636,150, respectively.
Are HARP interest rates different from any other?
No. HARP refinance rates are just like any other mortgage rates. They vary depending on the lender and which loan product you choose. Keep in mind, you can refinance to and from a fixed rate or an adjustable rate mortgage.
When does HARP end?
The program is set to expire on December 31, 2018.
How do I apply for a HARP refinance?
You can start by heading here to learn more and then speak to a Home Loan Specialist to begin the HARP application process.
With millions of Americans already saving through HARP, why not see if you qualify?