Updated January 2018
Many people who own a home have seen on the news something about the Home Affordable Refinance Program® and are wondering if they can qualify. When people visit Harp® Eligible website, they may be surprised at how many can qualify for the HARP® refinance program and save money on their mortgage. They may also be in for another pleasant surprise: the program has been extended through 2018!
Launched in March 2009, the Home Affordable Refinance Program® has since become one of the most popular refinance programs in America. As of 2017, nearly 3.5 million households have refinanced through the program.
HARP® 1.0 initially only provided modest success because of the restrictive loan-to-value ratios. HARP® 2.0 enhancements made in 2011 allowed loan-to-values to exceed 125%, and opened the door for millions of homeowners to participate and save. In 2018, the LTV ratio for the program must be greater than 80%.
More importantly, there are now HARP® lenders who are willing to do refinances with unlimited LTVs, with no concern for how far underwater a borrower might be. It goes to show that LTV is not a determining factor in qualifying for a refinance under the program.
Currently, the HARP® refinance program has been extended to December 31, 2018.
The HARP® program is set to expire at the end of 2018
With time ticking for homeowners to take advantage of historically low rates, don’t wait until the last minute to see if you are eligible to save money via HARP®.
Mortgage rates have remained low for most of the year, but could rise at any time – and rising rates means a missed opportunity to save money.
HARP® Refinance Interest Rates
HARP® refinance rates are just like any other mortgage rate: they change frequently and can be different for each lender. Mortgage rates move up and down constantly and each lender will change their rates daily or even multiple times each day. Because of these changing rates, it is best to have all of your paperwork in order when checking your eligibility for the program. And just because you may not be eligible for the HARP® program, it doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for other government-sponsored refinance programs if you have an FHA or VA loan.
President Waived Refi Requirements?
With the HARP® refinance program, the President has worked with banks to eliminate some of the traditional refinance requirements. One of the biggest requirements that many lenders have waived is something called the loan-to-value percentage. Traditional conventional refinance programs have strict loan-to-value requirements, but under HARP®, many lenders have waived these requirements. This means if you currently owe more on your mortgage than your house is worth, it is still possible to qualify for this program.
How Much Could You Save?
According to statistics from the FHFA and the White House – the average family can save approximately $2,400 per year by refinancing at today’s low rates. Since the HARP® program was announced, nearly 3.5 million homeowners have taken advantage of the program, and the average homeowner has dropped their mortgage interest rates by 1.66%. The program has saved Americans nearly $35 million in unnecessary mortgage interest.
Check Your Eligibility
The easiest way to check your eligibility is to use a free site such as HARPEligible.com where you can be matched with up to four HARP® approved lenders that can verify your information and help determine exactly what you could be eligible for. Sites like HARPEligible.com are free to consumers and can be used to quickly determine exactly how much money you could be saving each month. Since the program is currently scheduled to expire soon and if you are eligible for the program, it may take a month or so to actually get your new mortgage payment amount – time isn’t something you really can afford to waste right now.