HARP Guidelines

The Home Affordable Refinance Program, or more commonly known as HARP, was implemented under the Obama Administration, by the Federal Housing Agency along with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help stabilize the U.S. Housing Market.  Its primary goal is  to help struggling homeowners to lower their monthly payments by refinancing at lower rates.  The HARP guidelines have been loosended to allow undewater borrowers to refinance into a better rate.  If you are wondering if you qualify for HARP refinancing, you’ll ultimately need to work with a qualified mortgage professional as HARP loans go through traditional lending channels, and a broker can compare rates from different lenders based on your situation, but the key guidelines are as follows:

  • You must have a loan-to-value (LTV) above 80%  (LTV loan limits are eliminated under HARP 2.0)
  • Your home loan must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or prior to May 31, 2009. You can check their links to see if yours qualifies.
  • To qualify for the HARP loan program, you must be current on your mortgage payments, have had no late payment in the past six months, nor more than one late payment in the last 12 months.
  • Homeowners should consult a mortgage professional that has specialty with HARP refinancing opportunities.  Brokers typically will offer loans from multiple sources allowing you to find the best terms from several household banks and lenders.  Some lenders have their own restrictions, and some lenders will impose restrictions or fees above the program limits.  HARP loans are not made directly between a homeowner and Fannie/Freddie but through qualified licensed mortgage brokers as with any mortgage.
  • The HARP Program will last until December 31st, 2013
  • Talk to a HARP broker about your unique aspects


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