HARP 2.0 Loan FAQs
Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
HARP is the Refinancing Solution You Need
HARP has been expanded to help more homeowners qualify for refinancing their mortgage—even those with little or no equity. With HARP you may take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits even if the value of your home has declined and you owe more than your home is worth. The questions and answers below will help you better understand how this program works.
1. What is a HARP Loan?
HARP stands for the Home Affordable Refinance Program. It was introduced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Department of the Treasury in early 2009 as part of the federal government’s Making Home Affordable™ program. HARP provides eligible homeowners, who may not otherwise qualify for refinancing because of declining home values, the ability to refinance their mortgage into a lower interest rate and/or more stable mortgage product. The program was enhanced in 2011 to allow more eligible homeowners to refinance.
2. How do I qualify?
You may be eligible for HARP if you meet all of the following criteria:
• The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
• The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
• The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was
refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
• The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
• The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with a good payment history in the past 12 months.
3. What does it mean to “refinance” my mortgage?
When you refinance your mortgage, you are applying for a new mortgage, which replaces your current home loan.
4. What enhancements were made to HARP that may make me eligible now?
There were several changes to HARP, but the primary enhancement removed the limit on the amount that homeowners could be “underwater” (owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth). With that change, many homeowners who were not eligible will now qualify.
5. What if I have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)?
HARP allows you to replace your adjustable-rate mortgage to a more stable fixed-rate mortgage. Refinancing may provide you with a lower monthly payment and allow you to avoid the sometimes large payment increase that comes once your ARM’s initial rate ends as the rate may increase over time. The stability of a fixed monthly payment will give you security in knowing what your principal and interest payment will be every month.
6. Is HARP the only refinance program available?
HARP is one of several refinancing options available to eligible homeowners. But HARP is unique—it’s the only refinance program that enables eligible borrowers with little to no equity in their homes to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits.7. How can I find out whether my loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac? Only mortgages owned or guaranteed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are eligible for refinance under HARP. You can confirm that your mortgage is owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by checking the following Web sites:
7. How does the HARP refinance process work?
As your mortgage company, we already have most of the information we need on file and may help you refinance your home as quickly and easily as possible. Call us today at 424 225 2167 for help. One of our mortgage professionals will help you understand how refinancing could benefit you. If you agree that HARP is right for you, we’ll help you through every step of the process.
8. What if I have been turned down for refinancing before?
The guidelines for HARP may have changed since you last applied, so you may qualify.
9. Will I have to pay closing costs?
Maybe, but closing costs vary by state and size of your loan. Closing costs might be rolled into your new loan so you wouldn’t have to pay these costs out of pocket at closing. Check with us to learn more.
10. Is refinancing with HARP worth it?
On average, homeowners are saving over $220* per month on their mortgage payments. Act now to see if you can start saving! *Average actual monthly payment savings based on total 2013 Fannie Mae HARP mortgage volume. Your monthly savings may vary based on the specific terms of the loan selected, the interest rate, APR and other factors. All loans are subject to credit approval. Call us today at 424 225 2167 for help.
11. What if my income is low? Or my income has decreased?
In most cases, it does not matter. You still may qualify.
12. Do I need a new appraisal?
In most cases, no. With HARP, an appraisal is not generally required, so you save time and money.
13. If I owe more on my home than it’s worth, will I have to make a down payment before I can refinance?
No. You do not need to pay more money down on your mortgage in order to refinance with HARP.
14. Do I have to refinance for another 30 years?
No. Shorter loan terms (15-years and 20-years) may be available so you can start paying down your mortgage quicker and building equity faster
Call us today at 424 225 2167 for help. One of our mortgage professionals will help you get the best possible loan solution for your situation. We’ll be with you every step of the process and not hand you off to someone else.