Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP): FAQs

The Home Affordable Refinance Program is a government program that was designed to help homeowners that are at risk of foreclosure. This program has helped many people avoid foreclosure and get a more affordable mortgage payment. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the Home Affordable Refinance Program. 

Will Refinancing Lower the Amount I Owe on the Loan?

Refinancing with this program is not going to lower the amount of money that you owe on your loan. Instead, the objective of this program is to make your mortgage payment more affordable. This is going to happen by lowering the interest rate for extending the term of the loan. You are still going to have the same principle balance on your mortgage.

How Do I Know If My Loan Is Owned or Guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

If you want to know if your loan is guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you should be able to ask your lender. They will be able to tell you if your loan is associated with either one of these entities. You can also contact Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac through a toll-free hotline. You will be able to access their database and tell if you are working with them on your loan.

Can I Qualify If I Owe More Than My Home Is Worth?

Many people wonder whether they can still purchase date in this program if they owe more money than their home is currently worth. In some cases, you can still qualify for this program. The amount that you refinance has to be 125 percent or less than the value of the home in order to qualify. In order to know the true value of your home, you are going to have to have an appraisal done which will happen after you apply for the refinance program.

Can I Get Cash out?

With many refinance programs, you can take cash out and use it to pay for other things. With the Home Affordable Refinance Program, you are not going to be able to do this. This program is only designed to lower your payment and make it more affordable. You are not going to be able to take out any cash or change your loan balance.

Can I Qualify If I Am Delinquent on My Mortgage?

If you are delinquent on your current mortgage, you are not going to be able to qualify for the Home Affordable Refinance Program. You have to be in good standing with your lender and be up to date on all of your mortgage payments if you want to qualify.

How Will I Know If This Will Help Me?

The Home Affordable Refinance Program is not going to be the best option for every single person. If you want to know if this program is actually going to help you in the long run, your lender is going to be able to give you a good-faith estimate. They will be able to show you details as to how your payment could change and whether it would be helpful to you in the long run.