Why HARP Refinancing (Still) Makes Sense
Slowly but surely, interest rates have ticked upward. As of mid-August, a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.4%, up from 3.91% in mid-July, according to Freddie Mac.
Even so, millions of underwater borrowers (who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth) should still consider refinancing, advises Robert Koller, a director of Credit Risk Management for Fannie Mae’s Single Family Business. “Depending on their current interest rate and type of loan, underwater homeowners could save hundreds of dollars a month by refinancing with the government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP),” he notes.
Introduced in 2009, HARP underwent significant changes in 2011, enabling more underwater homeowners to refinance and use the HARP lender of their choice. Since its inception, the program has helped more than 2.6 million borrowers with loans owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), during the first five months of 2013, more than 485,000 homeowners refinanced with HARP. Of those, 19% had a loan-to-value ratio greater than 125%.
Take our 30-second HARP quiz to see if you might qualify!
And if your mortgage company does not offer HARP, use our searchable list of HARP lenders to find one in your area—any participating HARP lender can refinance eligible loans. But don’t wait—HARP expires December 31, 2015.