Harp Refinance Basics

What is a HARP Refinance?

HARP stands for the Home Affordable Refinance Program.  It was created by the government in response to the housing crash to assist underwater homeowners take advantage of low market interest rates and refinance even though there was no equity in their home.

There are two types of HARP Refinance loans available:

DU Refi Plus – The Refinance of an existing Fannie Mae mortgage.

Freddie Mac Refi Relief – The Refinance of an existing Freddie Mac mortgage.

Under both programs, homeowners can refinance their current loan as long as the existing mortgage is owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and the mortgage was originated prior to June, 2009.  There is no LTV limit under HARP!  You can refinance even if the LTV is 200% or higher. The HARP program also offers a streamlined refinance process- with reduced documentation requirements and in some cases and appraisal is not required.

Am I Eligible For a HARP Refinance?

Below is a summary of the basic eligibility requirements needed to be met to qualify for a HARP Refinance loan:

  • The existing mortgage must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac

  • The existing mortgage must have been originated prior to June, 2009

  • There must be no late mortgage payments in the last 12 months

  • Minimum credit score of 580

  • No Cash-out permitted

  • There must be a benefit to the borrower:

    • Your monthly payment must improve

    • Or, you must be moving from an ARM or Interest Only Loan and into a

    • Fixed rate mortgage

What are the Benefits of a HARP Refinance?

  • Interest Rates are better than traditional refinances for borrowers with poor credit.

  • There is no minimum appraised value requirement.  Unlimited LTVs available.

  • There is no condo approval required for condo refinances.

  • All occupancy types are permitted:  Primary, Second Home, Investment Properties.

  • Reduced Documentation Requirements – simpler paperwork and loan approval.

  • An appraisal may not be required.

Additional Refinance Links

Refinance Basics
How Much Equity Do I Need To Refinance?
What Are The Costs To Refinance?
Should I Refinance My Home?  
Rate/Term - No Cash Out Refinance
Debt Consolidation Refinance
Cash Out Refinance
Overview Of The Refinance Process
Important Tips For A Successful Refinance Process  
Refinance Documentation Checklist
FHA Streamline Refinance
VA IRRRL & VA Cash Out Refiances
HARP Refinance
Refinance Calculator
Contact A Refinance Mortgage Expert