What is HARP?
The Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, can offer a viable home refinancing option to homeowners who owe close to or more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. For homeowners who have been unable to qualify for a traditional mortgage refinance due to a decline in their home’s value, the HARP loan program may offer a solution. HARP allows eligible homeowners with little or no equity to refinance to lower interest rates and have more affordable payments.
Who Owns my Loan?
How do I know if I qualify?
Homeowners with existing mortgages that meet the following criteria may be eligible for the HARP loan program:
- The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
- The mortgage cannot have previously been 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 (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
How to Apply for A HARP Refinance
If you do qualify, the next step would be to submit an application through eLEND. The process will be very similar to that of a traditional refinance loan, but with much more flexible requirements when it comes to loan-to-value.
The loan-to-value ratio measures the amount of equity the homeowner has or will have in the property. Many refinance loans require at least 5 to 20% equity, but with HARP, homeowners may be able to qualify with zero or even negative equity (meaning that the loan amount is more than the current value of the property). Borrowers will still need to qualify based on credit history, income, and other factors.
HARP is set to expire on December 31, 2018.
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