Many people currently have an FHA loan are wondering just what exactly the new HARP® refinance program is all about. The HARP® refinance is also sometimes called the Obama Refinance Plan because it is the one that you see President Obama on the news talking about where the administration is making it easier for people all across America to refinance their homes even if they are under water. Just recently it made the news (again) because it was announced that the HARP® refinance plan was extended until at least 2015.
So is a HARP® refinance possible if you have an FHA loan?
A HARP® refinance is only available if you have a loan that is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If you aren’t sure if your loan is owned by Fannie or Freddie, you first need to look up your loan. If it isn’t listed, it means that your loan isn’t owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. Here is where you can check Fannie Mae. If they don’t have your mortgage there, then check Freddie Mac.
So the bad news is that if you currently have an FHA loan, it is not owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and thus isn’t available for a HARP® refinance. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a HARP® like program available for FHA loans – there is!
FHA HARP® Refinance: AKA FHA Streamline
The FHA streamline refinance has many of the same features as a HARP® refinance – in fact, they are similar enough that some people say that the reason HARP® didn’t include FHA loans is because the FHA streamline was already in place and so HARP® wasn’t really needed for people who have FHA loans. With the FHA streamline program, many lenders don’t require a minimum credit score, an appraisal or an inspection on the property.
What this means is that if you are currently in an FHA loan and interested in the HARP® refinance because you saw it on TV or saw President Obama talking about it, you really want to do an FHA streamline, not a HARP®. You will not qualify for HARP®. But the FHA streamline will still help you in the exact same way that HARP® helps people who are eligible!
FHA Streamline Refinance: Get The Best Deal
Getting the best deal on either the HARP® or the FHA streamline program is important – and the way to get the best deal is to shop multiple lenders. Getting a free HARP® or FHA streamline quote is easy – start here and you will be matched with a great lender who can help you get your program figured out and help you start saving money on your mortgage today. Get your free quote here right now.Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates»