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Refinance Your Home Under the HARP Program

If you want to refinance, but may not qualify for a traditional refinancing loan due to the current value of your home, then the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, could be an appropriate option for you.

The HARP program is a federally funded program designed to help homeowners in need. With the extension of the program through the end of 2015, eligible homeowners now have additional time to apply for a refinance.

Benefits of the HARP Refinance Program

Refinancing your mortgage through the HARP program can provide positive benefits that may help you stabilize your financial situation. The benefits can include:

The exact benefits will depend on your finances and goals, but a HARP refinance may change your current mortgage to something that is more appropriate for your needs.

HARP Eligibility Guidelines

The Home Affordable Refinance Program has eligibility guidelines that determine whether you qualify for a refinance loan.

  • You must be current on your existing mortgage payments and have a good payment history over the last 12 months, with no late payments in the last 6 months
  • Your current mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
  • The HARP refinance must provide clear benefit to you as the borrower - for example, by obtaining a lower interest rate, locking in a fixed-rate loan or reducing the term of the loan
  • You must have enough income to cover the monthly payments
Your new loan amount must be at least 81 percent of the current value of your home

How to Apply for a HARP Mortgage Loan

When you are ready to apply for a HARP mortgage, getting documentation together before starting the application process will save time. The appropriate documentation will include:

  • Your pay stubs for the last three to six months
  • Your tax returns for the last two to three years
  • Your most recent bank statement
  • A “hardship letter” written by you that explains your current financial situation

You can also provide details about your current mortgage, the value of your home and any other debts that you currently owe. All of these considerations work to determine your eligibility for a HARP mortgage loan.

Interested in learning more? A U.S. Bank mortgage loan originator can answer your questions about the Home Affordable Refinance Program and determine whether you’re eligible to apply.

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