You pay your bills on time—but you’re simply ready to take advantage of lower interest rates and remove the pressure of each bill cycle.
A HARP refinance offers you the ability to lower your mortgage payment, even if you have limited equity.
With a HARP refinance, you can take advantage of historically low interest rates, and start saving money in your monthly budget.
Traditional refinancing doesn’t allow homeowners who have limited equity in their home to refinance, but if you have a proven record of making mortgage payments on time, and your mortgage is guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac you could be eligible for a HARP refinance.
What is a HARP Refinance?
HARP, which stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program is a government program designed to give homeowners the opportunity to refinance their mortgage, even with little to no equity established. As long as the homeowner is current on their mortgage payments, and meet additional requirements, they could qualify for a HARP refinance and start saving money on their monthly mortgage. No minimum credit score is required for HARP refinancing.
Benefits of a HARP Refinance
Savings Through a Lower Interest Rate
One of the most attractive benefits of a HARP refinance is the lower interest rate you can access. With some of the lowest interest rates available for mortgages, you can take advantage of all that a HARP refinance has to offer, even if you don’t hold much equity in your home. A lower interest rate through a HARP refinance can save you thousands of dollars each year, and take some of the load off your monthly bills.
No Appraisal or Underwriting Required
If you want to undergo a smooth refinance process, a HARP refinance is a great option. Because an appraisal is typically not required, and the loan doesn’t have to be underwritten, the HARP refinance process is relatively fast compared to most refinancing options.
No Minimum Credit Score Required for a HARP Refinance
HARP refinances do not have a minimum credit score requirement. This opens up the opportunity for thousands of homeowners to refinance their home to a lower interest rate. Homeowners must be up-to-date on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the last six months, but your credit score history doesn’t affect your ability to qualify for for a HARP refinance.
Lower Closing Costs on HARP Refinances
With a HARP refinance, you can expect to pay less for closing costs. Frequently, the closing costs can be bundled into the loan, so you have zero to few upfront costs and can pay for the closing costs over the course of the refinance.
HARP Refinance FAQs
Can I refinance my property with a HARP refinance even if it isn’t my primary residence?
Yes, HARP refinances are available for properties that are an investment property or a second home (in addition to primary residences). Condominiums are also allowed to be refinanced under HARP.
What loan terms are available through a HARP refinance?
HARP refinances are through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans, which allow refinances to last anywhere between 10–30 years. The lender you work with for your HARP refinance will lay out all of your options when it comes to the length of your new mortgage.
Is there an expiration date to HARP refinances being offered?
Yes—HARP refinancing options have steadily been extended over the past several years, and they are currently set to expire on September 30, 2017. If you are interested in a HARP refinance, be sure to start it before September 30, 2017!
What are the qualifications for a HARP refinance?
If you are interested in a HARP refinance, keep these requirements in mind to know if you have the ability to qualify:
- Your mortgage is a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loan
- The mortgage must have begun on or before May 31, 2009
- Your LTV ratio needs to be over 80%
- You are current on your mortgage payments. No late payments over 30 days can have occurred in the past six months, and only one late payment is allowed in the past 12 months.
What’s the difference between a traditional refinance and a HARP refinance?
A traditional refinance will feel similar to when you purchased your home. You’ll work with the lender to go through the standard financial background checks. A traditional refinance will include a property appraisal, closing costs, and other typical loan fees. However, with a HARP refinance, most of those obligatory refinance steps are removed, making the overall process much more streamlined. Unlike a traditional refinance, a HARP refinance allows for an unlimited LTV ratio—it can exceed 125%!
Have a question or want to talk with a lender?