HARP®: Home Affordable Refinance Program®
Updated January 2017
The Home Affordable Refinance Program® (HARP®) was announced by President Obama in March of 2009 and it has become one of the most popular refinance programs in the last couple of years for people all across America. The program is available through September 2017.
The HARP® 1.0 program had modest success due to loan-to-value restrictions and was modified to HARP® 2.0 in 2011 when it was announced that loan-to-values could be higher than 125%. Currently, there are multiple lenders that will do a HARP® refinance for “unlimited LTV” which means it doesn’t matter how far under water your home is, it will not be a determining factor in qualifying for the HARP® program.
Who Holds Your Mortgage?
In order to be eligible for the HARP® program, your loan must be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Both have tools on their websites to see if they own your loan. To see if either one holds your mortgage, you can check Fannie Mae. If they don’t have your mortgage there, then check Freddie Mac.
HARP® Refinance Rates
The HARP® refinance program rates are just like any other mortgage rate: changing frequently and different for each lender. The mortgage market moves up and down constantly and each lender will change their rates daily or even multiple times each day. Because of these moving rates, it is best to have all of your paperwork in order when calling different lenders and then doing the best job you can to shop multiple lenders to get the best rate and fee quote.
HARP® Refinance Quotes
Getting a quote for the HARP® refinance program is easy and you can start right here. Either call the lender hotline or fill out your information and one of our HARP® approved lenders will be happy to help you find out if you can qualify for HARP®. The single best thing you can do if you are interested in saving money is to shop multiple lenders. You might be surprised that on the same day many different lenders will have many different interest rates and even a .25% difference in rate can make a big difference in your monthly payment and overall interest that you pay over the life of the loan.
Start shopping now for your HARP® refinance and get a free quote here!
HARP® Refinance FAQs
What is the loan amount limit for a HARP® refinance?
HARP® refinances are going to be limited by whatever your loan limits are for conforming loans in your area. In most counties across America, the loan limits are $424,100 – but – many areas have conforming loan limits as high as $636,150. Ask your loan officer what the loan limit is in your area and that will be the maximum loan amount for a HARP® refinance in your area.
Is HARP® for investment properties as well?
Yes, you can refinance an investment property under the HARP® refinance program. You can do it for second homes, primary residences or investment properties.
Are condos eligible for HARP®?
Yes, you can refinance a condo under the HARP® program. Your condo must be “warrantable” which means that there are other rules that apply to your condo – so check with your loan officer whether or not your condo is warrantable and he can help you find out for sure. If your bank says that condos are not eligible for HARP®, call a different bank. Just because one bank can’t do them doesn’t mean another one can’t. HARP® allows for condos, so it is just a matter of finding the right bank.
Can I do HARP® if my 2nd mortgage isn’t backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?
Yes, you can still do HARP® if your second mortgage isn’t backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Under HARP®, second mortgages can’t be refinanced, but they can be consolidated into your first mortgage.
My mortgage is with Bank of America. Am I eligible for HARP®
Just because you make your mortgage payment to Bank of America doesn’t meant that they actually own your loan. There is a good chance that they are simply servicing your loan and that it is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Check with Fannie Mae first and then Freddie Mac to see if they back your loan – and if either Fannie or Freddie backs your loan, then you are eligible.
More information is added here all the time – be sure to check back often. In the meantime, get a free HARP® refinance quote from a great lender today!