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Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)

The government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has been expanded to help more homeowners qualify for refinancing their mortgage. Even those with little or no equity available may take advantage of low interest rates, and other refinancing benefits.

“Whether you’re looking to refinance a property you live in, or an investment property, find out if you qualify for this amazing program.”

What is HARP?

HARP is unique—it’s the only refinance program that enables eligible borrowers with little to no equity in their homes to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits. There have been several changes to HARP, but the primary enhancement removed the limit on the amount that homeowners could be “underwater” (owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth). With that change, many homeowners who were not eligible will now qualify. Program ends December 31, 2016.

HARP may be an option if:

  • You have had a good payment history for the past 12 months. That means having no late payments in the last 6 months and no more than one 30-day late payment from 6 to 12 months ago.
  • Your home is your primary residence, 2nd home or investment property.
  • Your home value has decreased.
  • You have limited equity or your first mortgage exceeds the current market value of the home (i.e. your loan-to-value ratio must be 80% to be eligible).
  • Your loan is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Check the Fannie Mae Loan Lookup tool.
  • Your loan was closed on or before May 31, 2009 (this date can be found using the loan lookup results).

Take the HARP Quiz to see if you may qualify. For more information about HARP eligibility and requirements, go to or visit the Fannie Mae Loan Lookup tool.

Top reasons to refinance with HARP

  • Lower your monthly payment
  • Reduce your interest rate
  • Get a fixed-rate mortgage that won’t change over time
  • Build equity faster—shorter term options may be available
  • Save time and money with usually no appraisal required

Next steps

Gather your financial information —Make sure you have your basic financial and loan information on hand when you call your mortgage company. You’ll need:

  • your mortgage statements, including information on a second mortgage (if applicable);
  • your other monthly debt payments (e.g. car or student loans, credit card payments); and
  • your income details (paystubs and income tax returns).

It’s important to act quickly. As soon as you think you may have trouble making your mortgage payments or you think you want to refinance, contact your mortgage company to see if you are eligible for this option. If you need further assistance (before or after contacting your mortgage company), contact a Housing Counselor. Homeowners with a Fannie Mae-owned loan should contact one of our Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Network partners. English and Spanish advisors are available, and all services offered by the Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Network are FREE.

Frequently asked questions about the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)

HARP is the Refinancing Solution You Need

1. What is HARP?

HARP stands for the Home Affordable Refinance Program. It was introduced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Department of the Treasury in early 2009 as part of the federal government’s Making Home Affordable™ program. HARP provides eligible homeowners, who may not otherwise qualify for refinancing because of declining home values, the ability to refinance their mortgage into a lower interest rate and/or more stable mortgage product. The program was enhanced in 2011 to allow more eligible homeowners to refinance.

2. What does it mean to “refinance” my mortgage?

3. What enhancements were made to HARP that may make me eligible now?

4. What if I have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)?

5. Is HARP the only refinance program available?

6. How can I find out whether my loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

7. How does the HARP refinance process work?

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