The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) was created in response to the housing crisis to help homeowners who are making their monthly mortgage payments and saw a decline in their property’s value. HARP is designed to transform your current mortgage into a better deal and help you build equity in your home faster.
Current vs. new lender
Once you determine that HARP is for you, your next step should be to talk to a lender. Your current lender may be the easiest first step, as the refinance process will be more streamlined. But not all lenders offer the program. You can find lenders offering HARP by using tools developed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Don’t worry if your current lender doesn’t offer HARP. Fortunately, you don’t need to use your current lender to take advantage of the program, and you can shop around to find a mortgage institution best suited for your needs. But if you have a preferred lender and don’t see that lender on the list, reach out anyway and ask!
If you’re unsuccessful, take another look at the list of participating lenders for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, then contact a lender you determine to be a good fit and ask to speak to a HARP specialist. Once you’ve found your lender, you’ll be guided through the process from start to finish.
Know what to ask
Also remember that some lenders may refer to HARP by other names. When you talk to them, mention that you are interested in refinancing your mortgage under the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) refinance program for homeowners who are up-to-date on their payments but are underwater — or owe more than their homes are worth.
You can also find these resources, eligibility requirements and more at HARP.gov.
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