Do you have a home mortgage and have been thinking about refinancing? Is your home “underwater”, which means you owe as much or more than your home is currently worth?
If so, then the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) may be the perfect choice for you to refinance your home mortgage, decrease your monthly mortgage payments, and save you a considerable amount of money each year.
HARP has helped more than 3 million homeowners reduce their mortgage payments since 2009. Those who decide to refinance with a HARP home mortgage save around $2,400 each year on average. HARP can be a great way to help with your monthly budget.
There were some significant changes to the HARP guidelines since 2011. Prior to the 2011 revisions, underwater homeowners with a mortgage balance of more than 25% of their home value were not eligible for the program. The revisions removed this limit which allowed the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to extend its reach.
The 2011 revisions also removed the requirement for underwriting and appraisals, as well as decreased the fees for those seeking to refinance into loans with shorter terms.
In order for a homeowner to be eligible for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), the following requirements must be met:
(NOTE: if you have an FHA, USDA, or VA loan, you don’t meet the HARP guidelines and requirements for refinancing under this program.)
HARP refinance guidelines require a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of more than 80%. The loan-to-value ratio is very important for those looking to take advantage of HARP. Use the following equation to check whether your loan-to-value ratio allows you to meet that criterion of the HARP guidelines:
LTV = Outstanding balance on your existing loan compared to your home’s current value
For example, if the outstanding balance on your existing loan is $150,000 and your current home value is $140,000, then your LTV is 107%, which meets the Home Affordable Refinance Program eligibility requirements.
If you meet the HARP refinance guideline requirements and you are looking to refinance your underwater home mortgage but you cannot find a reasonable arrangement from a private lender, you may find the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) as the best option for your needs. Call us about starting the HARP qualification process and we will assist you every step of the way.