🏠 Refinance Your Home with HARP Loan Refi Program
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on HARP loan refi, where we help you understand everything you need to know about the Home Affordable Refinance Program. Whether you are a homeowner struggling with your underwater mortgage or someone looking for better ways to save on your monthly payments, our guide provides the complete information about HARP loan refi that you need to make informed decisions.
📝 Introduction: Understanding HARP Loan Refi Program
Homeowners who took out their mortgage prior to the housing crisis in 2008 may still be stuck with high-interest rates and monthly payments that burden them financially. The Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP loan refi is a federal government initiative that was designed to help homeowners refinance their homes to more affordable payment terms, even if they owe more than their homes are worth. The program is one of the ways government is trying to help struggling families get out from under crippling mortgage debt.
In this section, we will cover the basics of HARP loan refi program, its eligibility requirements, its history, and how it differs from other refinance options.
1. What is HARP loan refi?
HARP loan refi is a government-backed program aimed at helping homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage refinance their homes. The program is intended to help people who are unable to refinance their homes through traditional means, such as a cash-out refinance or a home equity loan, because they have little or no equity in their homes.
2. What are the eligibility requirements for HARP loan refi?
To be eligible for HARP loan refi, you must meet several eligibility criteria, including:
Owe more than what your home is worth
You should owe more on your current mortgage than your home is currently worth or have negative equity.
Current on your mortgage payments
You should be current on your mortgage payments and should not have missed any payment in the past 12 months.
Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Loan
Your mortgage should be backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and the loan should have been issued before June 2009.
No prior HARP refinance
You must not have previously refinanced your mortgage through HARP.
3. What are the benefits of HARP loan refi?
The Home Affordable Refinance Program offers several benefits, including:
- It allows homeowners to refinance even if they owe more than their homes are worth.
- It provides homeowners with the opportunity to get lower interest rates, which can help reduce monthly payments and save them money in the long run.
- It eliminates the need for an appraisal or home inspection.
- It does not require you to purchase mortgage insurance.
4. Who qualifies for HARP loan refi?
HARP loan refi is available to borrowers who meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the program. Borrowers must have a mortgage that is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, must be current on their mortgage payments, and must meet other specific criteria to be eligible for the program.
5. What is the difference between HARP loan refi and other mortgage refinance options?
HARP loan refi is different from other mortgage refinance options because it allows homeowners to refinance their homes without having to worry about their equity. Other refinance options, such as conventional and FHA refinance, requires homeowners to have some equity in their homes before they can refinance. HARP loan refi is exclusively available to homeowners with negative equity in their homes.
6. When did HARP loan refi begin, and when is it set to expire?
The Home Affordable Refinance Program was launched by the federal government in March 2009, as part of the Making Home Affordable initiative. The program was set to expire on December 31, 2018, but it was later extended until December 31, 2020.
7. How to apply for HARP loan refi?
To apply for HARP loan refi, you need to contact your current mortgage lender or any other participating lender who offers HARP refinancing. You will need to provide them with your current loan information, including your loan balance, interest rate, and monthly payment, as well as proof of income and employment.
💡 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can I still refinance my mortgage through HARP loan refi after the program expires?
No, you cannot refinance your mortgage through HARP loan refi after the program expires. The program was created as a temporary solution to help homeowners who were struggling with their mortgage payments during the housing crisis. However, there are still other options available for homeowners who are looking to refinance their homes.
2. How much does it cost to refinance my mortgage through HARP loan refi?
The cost of refinancing your mortgage through HARP loan refi is typically between 2% and 4% of your loan amount. The exact cost will depend on your specific situation, such as your credit score, loan amount, and interest rate.
3. What happens if I miss a mortgage payment while refinancing through HARP loan refi?
If you miss a mortgage payment while refinancing through HARP loan refi, it could impact your eligibility for the program. You need to be current on your mortgage payments to qualify for the program. If you miss a payment, you should contact your lender immediately to discuss your options.
4. Can I use HARP loan refi to refinance a rental property?
No, HARP loan refi is only available for primary residences. You cannot use the program to refinance a rental property or a second home.
5. How long does it take to refinance my mortgage through HARP loan refi?
The time it takes to refinance your mortgage through HARP loan refi can vary depending on your situation, lender, and other factors. On average, the process can take between 30 and 45 days.
6. Can I qualify for HARP loan refi if I have a second mortgage?
Yes, you can still qualify for HARP loan refi even if you have a second mortgage. However, you need to contact your second mortgage lender to discuss how the refinancing may affect your second mortgage.
7. Does HARP loan refi affect my credit score?
Refinancing your mortgage through HARP loan refi should not have a significant impact on your credit score. However, if you miss any payments, it could negatively impact your score.
8. Can I refinance multiple times through HARP loan refi?
No, you cannot refinance your mortgage multiple times through HARP loan refi. The program is only available to homeowners who have not previously refinanced through the program.
9. Can I change my loan terms when refinancing through HARP loan refi?
Yes, you can change your loan terms when refinancing through HARP loan refi. You can shorten or lengthen your loan term, and you can also switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed-rate mortgage.
10. What happens to my escrow account when refinancing through HARP loan refi?
Your escrow account will typically transfer over to your new loan when refinancing through HARP loan refi. You may also receive a refund for any money that remains in your old escrow account.
11. Can I roll closing costs into my new loan when refinancing through HARP loan refi?
Yes, you can roll closing costs into your new loan when refinancing through HARP loan refi. However, this will increase your loan amount and your monthly payments.
12. What happens to my mortgage insurance when refinancing through HARP loan refi?
If you currently have mortgage insurance, you may be able to consolidate it into your new loan when refinancing through HARP loan refi. However, you cannot use HARP loan refi to purchase mortgage insurance.
13. How much can I save by refinancing my mortgage through HARP loan refi?
The amount you can save by refinancing your mortgage through HARP loan refi will depend on your specific situation, such as your current interest rate, loan balance, and monthly payments. However, on average, homeowners who refinance through the program save about $200 per month on their mortgage payments.
🤝 Conclusion: Take Action Now and Refinance with HARP Loan Refi
If you are a homeowner who is struggling with an underwater mortgage or looking for ways to save on your monthly payments, HARP loan refi may be the right choice for you. With its flexible terms, low interest rates, and government-backed guarantee, the program offers homeowners a chance to refinance their homes and get back on track financially.
So don’t wait any longer, take action now, and contact your lender or any other participating lender to learn more about HARP loan refi and how it can help you save money on your mortgage payments.
The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or professional advice. It is always best to consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions about your mortgage. The author and the publisher of this article do not assume any liability for any loss or damage caused by the use of this information.