HARP Hotline 866-661-0581

HARP Program Lenders

The HARP Refinance Plan

Most statistics have shown that by using the HARP program to refinance a home, underwater homeowners could end up saving around 3,000 dollars each year on their payments.

HARP is a refinance program that was instituted by the Obama administration in an effort to help responsible homeowners reduce interest rates, acquire fixed-rate mortgages, and get out of an underwater loan that could have huge negative equity.

It's essentially a bailout for homeowners, and one that has already helped millions. The program eliminates a huge number of barriers that made it hard to get good loans in the past, and has made it more possible than ever for homeowners to refinance their mortgage.


How To Refinance a Home With HARP

After the housing market collapsed in the late 2000s, millions of Americans found themselves struggling to keep above water. The HARP refinance program was created by the federal government as a way to help those homeowners keep their homes, get better loans, and stay afloat.

The biggest issue after the collapse was the fact that while interest rates were at record lows, most homeowners couldn't qualify for a refinance due to the fact that they owed more money on their mortgages than their homes were worth. Property values fell fast after the housing collapse, and it left a majority of homeowners with negative equity in their homes.

The HARP program was redesigned and now makes it much easier to qualify for a HARP loan. The negative equity issue has been removed and as long as a fixed rate loan is being issued there is no LTV cap in place any longer, making it easy to qualify for the loan. Other red tape has been removed too, and things like mortgage insurance transfers and appraisal requirements are now no longer an issue.

Additionally, homeowners can shop around for the right lender and compare rates and prices. It's possible to find the perfect loan without having to jump through hoops. With just a few simple steps you can determine if you qualify, make an application, and get a refinance loan that helps you in a big way. Most estimates put average annual savings at around 3,000 dollars, highlighting just how important it is to refinance.

If you're ready to learn more about HARP and take advantage of what it can offer, it's easier to do than you may think. Understanding just a few simple things can help you see how HARP 2.0 can help you stabilize your financial future by bringing your mortgage down to a more manageable level.


  • Video - Refinancing An Underwater Mortgage To A Shorter Term

    Many homeowners are curious about how much they can save by refinancing under the HARP program. According to Shaun Donovan (Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development) homeowners could save an average of $2,500 a year on their mortgage payments through the HARP refinance program.

    Under the HARP refinance program you can get 15, 20, or 30 year fixed rate loans. The administration is particularly interested in borrowers getting into the shorter term loans (15 & 20 years) and has made the traditional 30 year loan carry some additional fees to encourage borrowers to choose the shorter terms. The incredibly low interest rates available on 15 year loans right now and the administrations push to borrowers is an attempt to have homeowners start gaining equity in the homes they've been in for several years.

    So you might be wondering how a HARP refinance will lower your monthly payments. Or more specifically how a HARP refinance might benefit you. The answer is that the HARP refinance program was designed to help homeowners just like you get an opportunity to refinance their existing mortgage into a new one with better terms. Most of the homeowners who have not refinanced recently or who have not already taken advantage of the HARP refinance program have higher than market interest rates; meaning that by refinancing with under HARP you can get a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments on your mortgage.

    The HARP refinance program is also designed to help homeowners who have loans that have balloon payments, are interest only and not paying down the balance, or are only fixed for a short time period. Those that have these types of loans have an opportunity through the HARP program to refinance into a fixed rate mortgage.

    Homeowners who have these types of mortgages might not see much if any reduction in their monthly payments, but the amount if interest they are paying on their loan over the life of the loan will be greatly reduced by refinancing into a fixed rate mortgage. Using the HARP program to refinance into a more stable 15 or 30 year fixed rate loan helps homeowners avoid future rate and payment increases and could help put you in a stronger position financially.

  • VIDEO: Can I Refinance With No Appraisal?

    One big hurdle that usually stands in the way of getting a refinance loan is the appraisal. This is especially true now that the housing market has been weakened and many homeowners owe more on their homes than they're currently valued at. But that's exactly why the HARP program exists. With help from HARP, it's possible to get a loan without having to stress about the appraisal process.

    Basically, the HARP program is intended to help those who are responsible in their payments but who have found themselves with little or no equity. Your mortgage will need to be owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, but if it is then the odds are very good that you'll be able to refinance your loan and get a lower monthly payment, shorter loan term, or a more stable fixed rate loan.

    One of the biggest concerns homeowners have when trying to refinance is what their home will be appraised at. But the new HARP guidelines state that appraisals are no longer required. That means that your home's overall value won't play as much of a role in the approval process as it once did. In fact, the primary focus of most eligibility guidelines with HARP loans will actually be how responsible you are. Those who are current on their mortgage and have no late payments within the last six months - and only one late payment within the last 12 months - will be eligible for this loan.

    The loan to value ceiling has been eliminated, too. This means that you no longer have to fall below the 125% cap that was once in place. Today, a huge majority of Americans have found themselves with property values that have fallen well below that level and as a result were previously unable to meet the basic requirements of the HARP program. This is no longer the case. The new, revamped program has become easier for millions of Americans to qualify for and access.

    Another big question that homeowners regularly ask is what kind of effect their loan balance has on qualification for a HARP loan. The answer is that it depends largely on where you live. Each county has its own set of conforming limits - limits put in place that determine the maximum loan amount a government agency can guarantee. Loans that exceed the conforming limits will be ineligible in these cases. However, homeowners will have the option to make a cash payment at the time of closing to bring the balance down to the conforming limit level. This lets them qualify for the refinance through HARP.

    To find out more about conforming limits in your area, you can visit www.fanniemae.com or speak to your current mortgage lender to get an idea of conforming limits where you are and where your current loan sits at the moment. While some experts think that the conforming limit will be modified in the future, the only current option is to deal with the rules as they stand now.

    In short, as long as you meet the conforming limit guidelines and have been current on your mortgage payments there is a strong chance that you'll qualify for a HARP loan. Thanks to the redesign, it's easier than it has been in the past to qualify and get the kind of help you need.

    Appraisals matter very little with new HARP loans. While some lenders may require an appraisal to take place, there are no requirements in terms of the HARP stipulations. If you're finding that a specific lender is requiring you to have an appraisal and you don't want to continue forward, remember that HARP allows you to shop around and compare different lenders and what they offer. One may require an appraisal, it may be a formality to another, and yet another may not ask for an appraisal at all. If you're struggling with an underwater mortgage, you do have options. One of the best ones is certainly a HARP loan, and you owe it to yourself to find out whether or not you meet the basic qualifications for one. It could make your financial situation improve dramatically and give you the loan you need for stability.

  • VIDEO: Benefits Of The Obama Refinance Plan

    There are plenty of different reasons to refinance a home, and the benefits of refinancing are only further highlighted when one uses the HARP program to do so. Also called the Obama Refinance Plan, HARP is a federal program that offers some very real advantages to those who use it for their home refinance. If you're trying to decide whether or not the HARP program is right for you, be sure to think about the following benefits it offers.

    One of the biggest advantages of using HARP is that you aren't tied to your current lender. This means that you can spend some time comparing different options and finding the best possible lender for your situation. It lets you get better loans, better terms, and better results and the fact that you can choose your lender is a big benefit of HARP.

    You'll also be able to refinance your home even if you have a second mortgage or a home equity line. A number of other refinance options won't let you do this, but with HARP you can actually get a better loan even when you have a second loan in place. You may find that you'll have to re-subordinate the loan in order to close the refinance loan, but officials have already said that the majority of lenders out there have agreed to re-subordinate loans in cases of a HARP refinance - something they aren't as willing to do for traditional loans.

    HARP loans also make it easier for homeowners dealing with negative equity to get a refinance loan. A big issue for many homeowners has been the fact that when the housing market went south, so did their property values. Suddenly, borrowers found that they owed more on their mortgage than their home was valued at. This made it almost impossible to refinance, even though interest rates were at rock-bottom levels. With HARP, the negative equity issue isn't a problem. Homeowners who have made their payments on time are able to refinance and enjoy these lower rates.

    A HARP loan will move you to a more stable type of loan. Homeowners with balloon payments, interest only payments, and adjustable rate mortgages have been in the worst situation of all, often making payments that only apply to the interest rate or facing monthly payments that change without warning. HARP loans are designed to put a borrower into a more stable loan structure with fixed rates. In most cases monthly payments are lower and won't change.

    Also, HARP loans regularly focus on moving to a shorter loan term. Moving from a 30 year to a 20 year loan will often bring down a payment, but even when payments stay the same the results are much better since the loan balance will begin to be paid down quickly. With 30 year loans it can be more than 10 years before the loan balance begins to really drop. With 20 year loans it begins to drop significantly after just 7 years on average. This means you'll be able to make more of a difference in your loan payment.

    These benefits make it easy to understand why the Obama Refinance Program is such a good idea for those struggling with an underwater mortgage. It's important to note that even if you were previously denied a HARP loan, you may qualify now. In late 2011 the requirements for a HARP loan were modified and it's now much easier to qualify - a fact that is proven by the huge number of homeowners who are now taking advantage of what this program has to offer them. If you need to refinance, there are few options that offer everything the HARP program can.

  • Video: The Best Mortgage Refinance Program For The Economy

    Owning a home is a huge part of the American dream, but when you're on the verge of losing your home that dream can become a nightmare. Stress, worry, and financial hardship can make each day difficult to get through. And while the economy has recovered a bit there is still no question that the job market isn't what it could be. Neither is the housing market, and today home values are still low. Many Americans are now dealing with mortgage payments they can barely afford because of balloon payments or adjustable interest rates. Refinancing is an option, but in many cases refinancing isn't possible because their home values have fallen to the point that they can't be approved for a traditional refinance loan - their mortgage amount is greater than their home value.

    For these homeowners, HARP can help. HARP is a type of federally designed program that makes it possible to take out a loan that will put them back on stable ground again. HARP is actually designed for homeowners with no equity, and if your Loan to Value ratio is too good, you can't even qualify. LTV levels must be over 80% to qualify, but there is no LTV cap. This means that negative equity won't have any impact on your chances of taking out a HARP loan.

    There are plenty of other benefits, too. You'll be able to get lower interest rates, for one. This will drop your monthly payments in many instances. You will likely get a shorter loan term, and moving from a 30 to a 20 or even 15 year loan may make it much easier to pay off your loan balance and start building equity. And since HARP loans are fixed interest loans, there's no more worry about what this month's mortgage will be.

    Not only does HARP help homeowners, but it helps the economy in general. By reducing the number of foreclosures, HARP has taken a huge amount of burden off the banks that make these home loans. This means that it's now possible for them to issue new loans and avoid having too many foreclosed properties in their account.

    HARP has helped over 1 million homeowners already, putting them back above water and in a better financial situation. It can help your stress, help your finances, and help the entire economy. If you're struggling with negative equity or other mortgage related issues, finding out more about a HARP loan could be just what you need.

  • Refinancing With Private Mortgage Insurance

    There are plenty of different hurdles that may stand in your way when you try to refinance your home loan, and it can be frustrating to encounter them - especially when you're dealing with a mortgage that features negative equity, balloon payments, or some other issue. Many problems may hinder your application, but one that is very common is that of private mortgage insurance.

    Private mortgage insurance usually occurs when conforming loans have a Loan to Value Ratio of more than 80%. This situation means that there is an increased risk of foreclosure the lenders are facing. The private insurance helps offset some of these risks and is usually required of a homeowner.

    There are a couple of types of private mortgage insurance situations that a homeowner may have in place. The first is simply a process in which the lender removes private mortgage insurance once that the equity in the loan grows. Once the loan to value ratio reaches 78%, private insurance becomes a moot point and may actually lower monthly payments. The other situation is when a lender paid private mortgage situation is in place. Figuring out which option is in place in your mortgage can be difficult, but talking to a mortgage professional will usually give you the answers you need.

    Understanding private mortgage insurance is one thing, but another issue is the fact that some lenders out there are still telling borrowers that since they have private mortgage insurance they can't qualify for the HARP refinance program. This is an outright falsehood, and the fact is that HARP loans are absolutely compatible with private mortgage insurance. While some lenders simply aren't up to date on the current laws and regulations, others may be lying to you in order to keep you from getting a better loan through the HARP program. Either way, you're probably better off finding a more honest and knowledgeable loan professional.

    There are a couple of basic guidelines that will be in place when getting a HARP mortgage while private mortgage insurance is in place. For starters, the new HARP loan will need to have the same level of insurance coverage as the original loan. There is a certificate transfer process in place that will move the private mortgage insurance coverage over, or a new policy may even be taken out in some cases. It may sound complicated, but a good loan professional can easily help you sort out the specifics and take care of the process for you.

    Simply put, refinancing through the HARP program is very possible even if you have private mortgage insurance, and you shouldn't feel as though your insurance situation is something that is holding you back from getting a good refinance loan. HARP can help you get a fixed rate, lower payments, and a shorter loan term and it's well worth looking into. Private mortgage insurance isn't the hurdle that some would have you believe, and with the right lending professional on your side it's an issue that will barely even qualify as a speed bump on the road to the loan you deserve.