Have you heard friends talk about doing a HARP refinance? Maybe you read in the paper how the federal government is encouraging homeowners to take advantage of the HARP program. If you’re still unsure what HARP is and if you’re eligible, you’re not alone.
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency there are as many as 2 million borrowers paying interest rates as high as 7% who are HARP eligible. If you think you’re one of them, below are 3 key tips to help determine your eligibility.
First, your loan had to close on or before May 31, 2009 and must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. An easy way to determine who holds your current mortgage is to go to the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac website and utilize their look-up tool.
Second, your current mortgage cannot have been refinanced using the HARP program before.
Third, your loan to value needs to exceed 80% of the value of your home. For example, if you have a mortgage balance of $200,000 and your house appraises for $215,000 the loan to value would be 93%. It’s important to note there are few LTV restrictions under the HARP program. This means if you owe more on your home than it would appraise for, you would still be eligible to refinance.
Although rates are still historically low, they have been slowly rising over the last several months and are expected to continue to go up. Now would be a good time to consider taking advantage of the HARP program if you haven’t already. If you follow the above steps to confirm your eligibility, you’ll want to contact a mortgage representative to help you begin the refinance process.
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