Great Refinancing News: HARP Extended Until 2017

Great Refinancing News: HARP Extended Until 2017

*Note: The HARP program was recently extended again to go until December 31st, 2018.*


Home ownership is a reality for quite a few Americans, but a dream for many others. To help that dream come true, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that it will extend its Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) until September 30, 2017. This program strives to assist those home owners who are underwater with their homes, or almost underwater, to refinance their mortgages.

Originally, HARP was suppharp-2017-resizedosed to end on December 31 2016, and in its place, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were going to launch a new refinance program geared towards those borrowers with high loan-to-value ratios. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-backed entities that offer financial products to lower and middle-income households with the aim of increasing the opportunity of affordable home ownership. You can learn more about home purchase and refinance products that are available for eligible borrowers by contacting Shamrock Financial.

However, because this project will not be available until the end of 2017, FHFA realized that they needed to create a transition period so that eligible borrowers would still have a refinancing option available to them. This is the reason for the extension of HARP until December 31 2016.

This is not the first time that HARP has been extended. It was launched back in 2009 to offer financial relief to borrowers by lowering their monthly payments. It was first slated set to expire on December 31, 2013. But in June 2014, the housing market was still recovering, so it was announced that HARP would be extended to December 31, 2016.

Offering a realistic opportunity for higher loan-to-value borrowers to embrace the potential for refinancing their mortgage is a great way to assist those people who are financially responsible. These borrowers can take advantage of lower interest rates, which will not only make their mortgages more affordable, but will also help them gain even better control over their monthly budgets. This encourages a stronger consumer and more stable economy.

To be eligible for the upcoming refinancing program, you need to meet certain requirements, including:

  • You cannot have missed any mortgage payments within the past six months, and no more than a single payment over the past 12 months.
  • You must have a documented source of reliable income.
  • You have to be receiving a benefit from refinancing either through a lower monthly payment, a lower interest rate, a reduced amortization term, or a different loan product, such as moving from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate one.

Also note that borrowers will not need to have a minimum credit score, will not need a home appraisal, plus there will not be either a maximum debt-to-income ratio or loan-to-value ratio for the upcoming refinancing product.

The move from HARP to the new refinance program signals a shift towards more affordable and sustainable mortgages for the long-term. This is great news for borrowers who can take advantage of better market conditions and more favorable financial products.

Note that if you have a current HARP loan, then you will only be eligible for the new program after you have refinanced out of your existing HARP loan using a conventional or standard refinancing product. However, the new program will not have any eligibility end date, plus you will be allowed to use it one or more times to refinance your mortgage.

If you are looking for more information about HARP, the upcoming refinancing product, or about mortgages in general, contact the professionals at Shamrock Financial. Their friendly and expert advice will put you on the right track to financial security and home ownership.

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