Applying for a HARP Loan
To date, The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has helped more than 3.4 million homeowners lower their mortgage interest rates. This program was launched in 2009 to provide relief to borrowers who are up to date on their mortgage payments but have little-to-no equity in their homes. These homeowners commonly refer to their situation as being “underwater” because they owe as much or more than their homes are currently worth.
If you are one of the millions of homeowners whose outstanding mortgage balance is more than your home’s value – or your loan-to-value is 80 percent or greater, HARP can help. To qualify, your loan must have been initiated with a bank, a mortgage company or a credit union prior to May 31, 2009 and be owned or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the two largest government-sponsored enterprises.
You Can Save Thousands Per Year on Interest.
A joint study by the Columbia School of Business and the University of Chicago states that homeowners who have taken advantage of HARP have been able to save an average of $3,500 per year in mortgage interest. No minimum credit score is required and closing costs can even be bundled into the new loan – which means you won’t have to incur steep up-front costs to refinance.
New Rules Make it Easier to Qualify.
Program rules have been recently changed to facilitate a greater acceptance rate, which is good news to those who have been denied HARP loans in the past. Contact a HARP-approved lender such as Cliffco Mortgage today or check out the HARP website to find out more about these new eligibility requirements.
Beware of Scammers.
As with any financial endeavor, you must take precautions to protect yourself and your home against refinance scams. Avoid any company or representative who overpromises or guarantees to “save” your home or lower your mortgage. These scammers typically charge a fee and misrepresent their relationship with your lender. Remember: you should never be charged a fee for a consultation.
If changes in the economy and housing market have left you in danger of losing your home, you should apply for a HARP loan right away. This opportunity expires at the end of the year, and it is highly unlikely that you’ll find a similar one in its place.
To get started, contact HARP-approved lender Cliffco Mortgage Bankers at (516) 408-7300 to find out if you qualify and discover how much you can save.