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Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP): Fannie Mae #monthly #mortgage #calculator

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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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2. Help to Buy: equity loans

Equity loans are open to both first-time buyers and home movers on new-build homes in England with a purchase price up to £600,000.

You won’t be able to sub-let your home if you use this scheme. It must also be your only property.

How it works

Equity loan fees

You won’t be charged loan fees for the first 5 years of owning your home.

In the sixth year, you’ll be charged a fee of 1.75% of the loan’s value. After this, the fee will increase every year. The increase is worked out by using the Retail Prices Index plus 1%.

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Fees don’t count towards paying back the equity loan.

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Contact the Help to Buy agent in the area where you want to live if you’d like to buy a home with an equity loan.

You must buy your home from a registered Help to Buy builder. Your Help to Buy agent should have a list of registered builders for you to choose from.

Selling your home and paying back the loan

You must pay back the loan after 25 years or when you sell your home – whichever is earliest. How much you pay back will depend on the market value at that time.

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No Fee Refinance

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We provide a unique program for borrowers to refinance with no fees from mortgage lenders and 3rd party companies involved in the loan transaction. BD Nationwide provides several options to refinance with no lender fees. If you can get a 3.25% fixed rate on a thirty-year loan with a no cost refinance mortgage, you should because this is the only time in the last sixty years in which this was possible. We offer discounted loans to qualified applicants in all 50 states. If you have good credit and meet the program requirements there is no reason why you shouldn’t qualify for a great no fee refinance. Having the opportunity to refinance with no lender fees or costs certainly can empower the borrower. We suggest that when you shop for loans online to compare the rates, terms and costs of a mortgage before making a commitment. Compare quotes by reviewing disclosures that include the “Good Faith Estimate” and the Federal Truth in Lending Statement as well.

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Click To See Today’s Rates

Posted October 20, 2015

As Seen On

Harp Refinance Program Making Home Affordable

Editor’s Note: This information is accurate and current as of today, November 18, 2015. This HARP loan post reflects the current standards for HARP 2.0, and contains information about HARP 3.

What Is The HARP Loan?

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a U.S. government-backed mortgage program for homeowners whose homes have lost value since purchase. The HARP program was first launched in early-2009 as part of the Making Home Affordable initiative.

Since its inception, HARP has helped more than 3.3 million U.S. homeowners refinance to today’s low mortgage rates.

The government revamped HARP in 2011 to help reach an even broader set of U.S. homeowners. Dubbed “HARP 2.0”, the program’s new guidelines made qualifying for the program more simple and, for many, waived the need for a home appraisal as part of a refinance.

The eligibility requirements of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) are relaxed as compared to a traditional refinance.

Homeowners using the HARP program must have a mortgage currently backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and that mortgage must have started no later than May 31, 2009.

The majority of U.S. mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Note that your loan may have been securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac even though you send your mortgage payments to a specific mortgage lender. Homeowners whose mortgages pre-date May 31, 2009 are likely to be HARP-eligible.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program is available in all 50 states, and in the District of Columbia. Closing times are quick and mortgage rates are low.

The government will not accept new HARP applications after December 31, 2016.

HARP Becomes HARP 2.0 (And Maybe HARP 3)

The Home Affordable Refinance Program launched in March 2009 as part of the government’s broader Making Home Affordable program. Home values had been falling at the time and so were current mortgage rates .

Additionally, the economy was entering recession.

The government devised HARP as a way to help U.S. homeowners and the U.S. economy.

By helping homeowners to get access to lower mortgage rates, the “Obama Refi” meant to save homeowners $3,000 annually; money which could be then spent on goods and services to propel the economy ahead.

As mortgage rates fell, though, those estimates were proved low.

For many households, annual savings were greater than three thousand dollars per year. That is, for household which were actually HARP-eligible.

HARP had been touted as a program which could help up to 7 million U.S. households. However, after the program’s first three years, HARP had failed to reach even one  million people.

This is when the government embarked on a major HARP overhaul and, in late-2011, HARP 2.0 was re-released  with two major changes.

HARP’s first major change was to allow loans with unlimited loan-to-value (LTV) .

Prior to HARP 2, refinance loans had been limited to 125% loan-to-value. After its release, homeowners in hard-hit states such as California, Florida, and Arizona were able to get access to the Home Affordable Refinance Program.

HARP 2 also expanded the number of lenders with which a homeowner could refinance, making it easier for homeowners to comparison shop for low, competitive rates.

HARP 2 was a hit.

Within 12 months, a second million loans had closed and, because mortgage rates were dropping to multi-year lows, the typical HARP household was now saving upwards of 30% annually.

Today, HARP closings are slowing.

2015’s second quarter saw the fewest closed HARP loans since the program first launched which may suggest that the program is reaching its useful end.

However, earlier this year, the government extended the Home Affordable Refinance Program’s expiration date by one year which, some believe, may be a precursor to a third iteration of the HARP refinance program.

HARP 3 could help homeowners whose loans are outside the program’s current scope.

Potential HARP 3 changes could include a waiver for non-Fannie Mae and non-Freddie Mac mortgage; a change in the program start date to 2010 or 2011; and an allowance to “re-HARP” an existing HARP loan.

There’s no timetable for a passage of HARP 3. It may never come to pass at all.

HARP Loan Eligibility Requirements

For homeowners meeting HARP loan program’s eligibility requirements, getting approved for a HARP loan is relatively straight-forward.

Paperwork requirements are often less than with a traditional mortgage refinance and, in many cases, home appraisals are not required.

To qualify for HARP, homeowners must be able to answer “yes” to the following three questions :

  1. Does your home have less than 20% equity?
  2. Have you paid your mortgage on-time for the last 6 months?
  3. Did your loan start on, or before, May 31, 2009?

The fourth requirement is that your current mortgage must be secured by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which many loans are.

Because there is no loan-to-value restriction on a HARP loan, home appraisals are rarely required with HARP but there are other program notes worth knowing, too.

As one example, you can use HARP to refinance a mortgage when your home has a second mortgage, too. However, HARP will not allow you to combine the two mortgages on your approval; or, take cash-out at the time of closing.

HARP is for first mortgages only.

Another program note is that HARP can be used on loans with existing private mortgage insurance (PMI).

HARP allows for all types of private mortgage insurance including borrower-paid mortgage insurance (BPMI), lender-paid mortgage insurance (LPMI), and single-premium mortgage insurance.

Your mortgage insurance coverage will neither increase nor decrease via the Home Affordable Refinance Program.

Lastly, don’t be discouraged if your first HARP loan application gets declined. It makes sense to apply again. This is because U.S. lenders rarely offer HARP to consumers in the exact way the program’s provided.

Many enforce additional qualification standards on HARP mortgage applicants, a underwriting process known as an “investor overlay “.

Some lenders will enforce a minimum FICO score for applicants; others may require additional income verifications. Therefore, if at first your loan is declined, it can be wise to apply again.

Homeowners wishing to use the HARP loan program should plan to act quickly, though. The program will cease to be available after December 31, 2016 .

What Are Today’s Mortgage Rates?

For U.S. homeowners whose homes have lost value since purchase, the government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program is an excellent way to capitalize on low mortgage rates today. The typical HARP homeowner saves much more than $3,000 annually.

Get today’s live mortgage rates now. Rates are available with no social security number required to get started and all quotes come with instant access to your “mortgage credit scores”.

The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.

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