The government will stop accepting applications for a HARP home loan in September 2017, which means you only have several months to take advantage of the program. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will start offering the Streamline Refinance program as an alternative.
The government estimates that about 600,000 more homeowners are due to benefit from HARP. If you believe you are one of them, but you have never taken the time to investigate your options because you think HARP is “too good to be true”, this might be your last chance. Find out how you can apply for a HARP loan successfully.
Determine the age of your mortgage
Check your closing documents to determine the age of your mortgage. Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. agrees that if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac securitized your mortgage on or before May 31, 2009, you may be eligible to apply for a HARP home loan.
Get backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
Either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must own your loan. If you are not sure, use the web-based services offered by each organization, which allow you to look up your mortgage in their databases. If your mortgage is not listed, you won’t be able to apply for a HARP loan.
Find a lender that offers insurance
The general rule is if your mortgage has existing insurance, refinancing must provide the same level of coverage. Some lenders will reject an application because of lender-paid mortgage insurance, but not all lenders will. If your application does not go through, shop around for a lender that will provide insurance.
Make sure you’re on time with your payments
HARP is designed for homeowners who continue to be up-to-date with their payments. Make sure you have made payments no later than 30 days after the due date in the last six months, and that you only have one late payment in the last 12 months.
HARP works just like a regular mortgage. You will have to provide financial statements, insurance papers, and other relevant documents. All of these will be checked against your credit report, of course, so make sure all the information you provide are accurate and true.