While many have heard of the Home Affordable Refinance Plan, or HARP as it’s commonly known, numerous homeowners aren’t aware of what it actually is and how it can help save them money. A surprising number of Americans haven’t taken advantage of this program which was extended by Congress until Sep 2017, and could reduce their monthly mortgage payments by up to $4,264 per year on average.

 

Banks don’t promote this program because they lose money. However, HARP can help homeowners who are struggling with high payments to pay off their mortgages faster and reduce the financial burden without losing their homes.

 

Who Needs HARP?

The HARP program is designed for homeowners who have little equity in their homes or those who owe more than the value of the properties. Other criteria to qualify for the program include being current on payments and the loan must be owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

 

HARP Bill

Click Here For the full bill text from Congress.GOV

congress-bill-cropped-2

 

First introduced in 2009 (and extended twice after that), HARP was developed to help homeowners who couldn’t afford the payments on their mortgages but had no option to refinance with other lenders. Since the original program, HARP has been updated to increase the number of eligible borrowers.
 

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What You Need to Know

The most important fact to remember about HARP is that it is currently set to expire on September 30, 2017. This may be the last year homeowners have the ability to obtain lower financing for their home. They may qualify for a lower interest rate, which reduces the monthly payments or a shorter term for the loan. They can also switch from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate loan.

 

People who applied in the past and were turned down may now qualify because of the changes to the program. Even though almost a million homeowners are eligible for HARP, many haven’t applied. This is a free program through the government, and it costs nothing to find out if a person qualifies.

 

The Benefits of HARP

The benefits of HARP are many. First, homeowners can qualify for lower mortgage rates. If they got their loan when rates were high, they could save as much as $250 per month or more. Second, homeowners can shop with different lenders, which helps them find the best rates and terms.

 

A side benefit of the HARP program is that many homeowners can pay off their mortgages in less time. They may also qualify for extra cash to pay off other debt or the kids’ college education, or they may have extra funds for home improvements to increase the value of their property.

 

With all of these benefits, it makes sense to apply for this program. Since banks don’t promote HARP, it’s not surprising that few homeowners know it exists or what it does. Anyone who wants to lower their monthly payments should check into the program with no commitment required. They might find the savings worth it, but the time remaining for HARP may be limited, so the time to act is now. Find out more by contacting us today.

 

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