September 12th, 2015
If you’re looking for home refinancing options, you may have had difficulty in the past – especially if you owe more than your home’s value on your mortgage. Getting refinancing consumes much of your home equity, which is in short supply for people who already have a mortgage.
But with the government’s extension of the HARP Program, you can now refinance your home with a variety of lenders – even if you owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth. This ‘HARP 2.0’ is a great way for responsible borrowers to find mortgage relief.
But how does the program work, and who’s eligible for it? Here’s what you need to know.
HARP: Affordable Refinancing For Low-Equity Borrowers
HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, is a government initiative that was created in 2011. The program is designed to help homeowners who owe mortgages worth more than their home equity – so-called “underwater” homeowners. Under the original HARP program, homeowners with little or no home equity could refinance their home and benefit from lower interest rates – something that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
HARP 2.0, an updated program, was released in 2012. HARP 2.0 is different from the original program in two critical ways. First, it allows borrowers who have mortgage insurance to refinance their homes. Second, it absolves lenders of any responsibility for fraud on previous loans (which removes barriers to issuing new loans).
Do You Qualify? Eligibility Requirements For The HARP 2.0 Program
HARP 2.0 lists several criteria that applicants must meet in order to be eligible for refinancing.
In order for you to be eligible for HARP 2.0, your mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. If you signed your mortgage with another provider, it must have been sold to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae either on or before May 31, 2009. You must also have no previous refinances under HARP.
(Exception: Fannie Mae loans refinanced under HARP between March 2009 and May 2009 are still eligible for HARP 2.0).
You need to be able to prove your income, employment history, credit history, and assets. Some lenders will require a minimum credit score to qualify for HARP 2.0, although this may not be the case in all instances.
Are you underwater on your mortgage? If you qualify for HARP 2.0, you could refinance your home at a lower interest rate and get the relief you need. Contact your trusted mortgage expert to learn more about how HARP 2.0 can make your mortgage more affordable.