Smart Quiz! Which Government Program Can Reduce Your Mortgage by $3,000?
You don’t have to be a senior to take advantage of the HARP program but seniors with limited income and limited equity in their home may find it particularly attractive. Anyone whose home may have declined in value since their purchase, may find that refinancing through HARP is their best and fastest method of lowering their mortgage costs.
1. The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) program allows you to refinance your mortgage for a lower monthly payment or lower interest rate. It is only available to homeowners who are up-to-date and current on payments, yet lack any real equity in their home. By refinancing through HARP, you could save thousands on the cost of your payments over the course of your loan’s duration.
2. HARP is only available to homeowners with a mortgage financed under either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Repeated delinquencies in the past 12 months will make you ineligible, as will having a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of less than 80 percent. If you fall under these guidelines, you will most likely qualify for refinancing.
3. You should be aware that each year’s adjusted HARP program is only available for a certain period. If you want to refinance this year, you must do so before the end of the calendar year (December 31st 2018). If you fail to apply in time, you may have the opportunity to refinance or apply next year, but it will be under a different program with different qualification requirements.
4. If your home has depreciated significantly, HARP may still approve you for refinancing. Prior LTV rates were set at 125 percent; this is no longer the case. The program now accepts people with homes at nearly any value as long as you can prove your ability to make reliable, on-time payments.
5. Changes to the HARP program over recent years have opened up eligibility significantly. If you were denied for refinancing in the past, you may wish to apply for the HARP program again this year. Many of the older risk fees and strict guidelines have been relaxed or entirely removed, meaning you could be approved this time.
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