Q: I've had a reduction in income and am wondering if I qualify for the HARP program? I keep hearing that the economy has recovered, but refinancing to a lower interest rate would sure help me meet my new budget.
A: Yes, HARP refinancing will be available to eligible homeowners until September, 30, 2017. Basic eligibility criteria include:
- Your existing mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
- Your mortgage must have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
- You have not refinanced a mortgage through HARP unless the mortgage refinanced was owned by Fannie Mae and refinanced between March and May of 2009.
- Your current loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is more than 80 percent. (Divide your mortgage balance by your home's current value to estimate your LTV.)
- Your mortgage payments are current and you have a good payment history for the past 12 months.
Please keep in mind that meeting all of the above requirements does not guarantee eligibility for HARP, as a HARP lender may verify employment, income and other information before a HARP refinance can be approved.
Not all mortgage lenders participate in HARP, and your lender might not offer the lowest interest rate available. It's worthwhile to request multiple refinancing quotes from several lenders experienced with the HARP program. LendingTree's network of lenders can provide more information about HARP eligibility and refinancing quotes.
If you're not eligible for a HARP refinance, you may qualify for a loan modification under the terms of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).