HARP Eligibility was created as a way for homeowners that may be underwater on their homes the opportunity to connect with lenders that can assist in refinancing for lower interest rates and better monthly payments. Introduced in March 2009, HARP enables borrowers with little or no equity to refinance into more affordable mortgages without new or additional mortgage insurance. HARP targets borrowers with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios equal to or greater than 80 percent and who have limited delinquencies over the 12 months prior to refinancing.*
Through HARP, you can get a lower interest rate (which means less out-of-pocket costs each month), get a shorter loan term, or change from an adjustable to fixed-rate mortgage. There's no minimum credit score needed, either. And now that HARP guidelines are simpler, even people who were formerly turned down may now be eligible for HARP refinancing.*
If you are current on your mortgage; have a mortgage that is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and owe as much or more than your home is currently worth, you may be eligible for HARP refinancing. That can mean significant savings by:
Borrowers will now be able to refinance regardless of how far their homes have fallen in value. Previous loan-to-value limits were set at 125 percent.
Most homeowners will not have to get an appraisal or have their loan underwritten, making their refinance process smoother and faster.
Certain risk-based fees for borrowers who refinance into shorter-term loans have been reduced.
Lenders now need less paperwork for income verification, and have the option of qualifying a borrower by documenting that the borrower has at least 12 months of mortgage payments in reserve.
The end date to get a HARP refinance is December 31, 2018.