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Real Estate News

July 30, 2012

HARP Eligibility: What You Want To Know


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Shop around

Just because everybody doesn't qualify for HARP doesn't mean that you have to settle for a higher-than-normal interest rate. Getting a HARP refinance quote is really as simple as getting any type of refinance quote; it is in your best interest to shop multiple lenders and get a Good Faith Estimate from each one. HARP interest rates (just like any other refinance program rates) will vary from lender to lender, and you might be surprised at how much money you can save just by shopping around a little bit. Here is a great place to start.

What if you get turned down?

Once you have discovered that your mortgage is HARP-eligible and you have selected a lender to work with, don't be alarmed if a lender turns you down somewhere along the line. The HARP guidelines will vary from lender to lender regarding things such as loan-to-value ratio, credit scores and mortgage insurance rules. If one lender turns you down, talk to another one.

I have seen multiple people complete a HARP refinance after being told "no" by multiple lenders, with the most common reason for being turned down related to how far underwater their current mortgage is. In states like Arizona, Florida, Nevada and parts of California, it is not unheard of for someone to owe more than twice as much on their mortgage as their home is worth - and they will still be eligible for HARP according to the program guidelines (although some lenders might not go higher than 125 percent).

Lenders are actively helping homeowners refinance into record low rates with HARP, and if you are a homeowner who has been unable to refinance because you owe more on your mortgage than your house is worth, HARP was designed to help you.

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