More than 3.4 million Americans have refinanced through HARP and pay an average of $2,148 less a year. But some misconceptions about HARP still remain. Do you know the whole truth?
Short for the Home Affordable Refinance Program, HARP was launched in 2009 by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. 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).
So let’s clear the air. There are many misconceptions about it, but the truth is HARP is an opportunity for many homeowners to lower their monthly payments. Here are the top 5 biggest myths about HARP:
Myth #1: Applying for HARP requires a lot of time and paperwork.
Fact: Applying for HARP is a streamlined experience. Many homeowners won’t even need their W2 form, pay stubs, or written employment and asset verifications.
Myth #2: I can only apply for HARP if I’m underwater on my mortgage.
Fact: Homeowners who have limited, no, or even negative equity (underwater) may be eligible. The only way to find out is to apply!
Myth #3: I won’t be able to apply if I don’t have a perfect payment history or have already been turned down for the program.
Fact: A perfect payment history is not required, so HARP could still be right for you. Qualifying is simpler than ever, and many homeowners who were denied before may now be eligible.
Myth #4: HARP can only be used to refinance a primary residence with one mortgage.
Fact: HARP can actually be used to refinance many types of homes (including a second or vacation home). If you have a second mortgage on your residence, you may still qualify. Just let us know the details of your second mortgage.
Myth #5: Refinancing with HARP won’t lower my mortgage payments that much.
Truth: Refinancing with HARP can help homeowners reduce their mortgages by as much as $200 each month. That could mean an extra $2,400 in your pocket each year for things like groceries, car insurance, even a big screen TV.
With millions of Americans having already taken advantage of HARP, why not see if you qualify? HARP won’t last forever.
HARP expired on 12/31/2018