For homeowners who may be struggling to refinance through traditional channels, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) may be a valuable solution. If you owe more on your mortgage than your home is currently worth, or if you owe very close to the amount your home is worth, you may be eligible for HARP refinancing through eLEND. The HARP refinancing program was designed specifically for homeowners who are “underwater” in their home loans. In other words, homeowners who have been unable to qualify for a traditional refinance due to a drop in their home’s value, may still be able to refinance to today’s low mortgage rates through HARP.
There are certain requirements for HARP eligibility. Not all homeowners will qualify for HARP refinancing. Before you begin the application process, you should make sure you meet the following criteria:
- The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
- The mortgage must not have been previously refinanced under HARP unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March 2009 to May 2009.
- The current loan-to-value ratio (LTV) must be greater than 80 percent.
How to Apply
After you’ve made sure you meet the criteria listed above, you may apply for HARP refinancing by completing the application through eLEND. If you would like assistance, or if you’re not sure whether or not you meet the eligibility requirements, you can contact eLEND by calling 1-800-634-8616. If you are unsure about who owns or guarantees your home mortgage, you can use the free tools on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s websites.
The HARP application process is very similar to that of a traditional refinance loan. However, HARP refinance loans offer more flexibility when it comes to the applicant’s LTV ratio. Most refinance loans require between 5 and 20 precent equity, but with HARP homeowners may be able to qualify with zero equity or even negative equity.
Please note that even with lenient LTV requirements, HARP applicants will still need to display a good credit history, meet certain income requirements and provide documentation to support other factors that may determine approval. Speak with a mortgage banker with eLEND to learn more about HARP loan application requirements.
HARP is designed to help homeowners with little to no equity refinance at today’s low interest rates. But what if you have negative equity? Negative equity occurs when a borrower owes more on their mortgage than the home is currently worth. This is also known as being “underwater” in the mortgage. After the housing crash, many homeowners found themselves with negative equity, especially if they purchased their home during the market’s peak when prices were very high. With HARP refinancing, even homeowners with negative equity may still be able to qualify.
HARP is set to expire December 31, 2015. This gives you a little over two years to learn about and apply for refinancing through HARP. The program may be extended again, but there are no guarantees. If this is a program that you qualify for, and you feel that it would benefit you in your overall homeownership plan, don’t hesitate to call eLEND for a free mortgage rate quote and HARP refinancing consultation. Simply dial 1-800-634-8616 or submit your information through the online form on this site.
Thank you for considering eLEND for your HARP refinancing needs. We look forward to providing you with the personalized mortgage assistance you deserve!
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