You don't have to be completely "underwater" on your mortgage to be eligible for the Government's Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). It's one of the most beneficial government refinance
programs available. However, you'll still need to check to see if you qualify. To check your HARP eligibility, see if you meet the following five qualifications.
Requirement #1 - Are you current on your payments?
In order to qualify for HARP, you need to be current on your mortgage. You cannot have any 30-day-plus late payments in the last six months. In addition you can have no more than one late payment in the last 12 months.
Basically, the government wants to make sure that you have the means to pay for your home. And any slow or late payment in the past 12 months is a good indication of financial instability.
If you don't meet this requirement, simply figure out a plan over the next 12 months to make sure that you're paying on time, and then you can start the HARP refinance process.
Requirement #2 - How are you using your property?
For HARP eligibility, the government wants to ensure they're primarily helping homeowners who are wanting to refinance their primary residence. However, a one-unit second home or a one-to-four unit investment property may still qualify for HARP.
If your planning to refinance a home that's not your primary residence, it's best to speak with a lender directly about your specific HARP refinancing requirements.
Requirement #3 - Who owns your loan?
Your mortgage loan needs to be owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. Don't worry, most loans are owned by one of these two government agencies.
To find out who owns your current loan, you can use the mortgage look up tool
Requirement #4 - When was your mortgage originated?
If your loan was originated on or before May 31, 2009 you are eligible for HARP. Basically, the Government isn't interested in bailing out anyone who purchased a home after the mortgage crisis.
To find out the date of your loan origination you can use the look up tool
to find when your mortgage was originated.
Requirement #5 - What is your current loan-to-value?
To qualify for harp your current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
To calculate your loan to value, simply take your home's current loan balance and divide it by your home's current value
For example, on a $200,000 home, to qualify for Harp, the homeowner must owe at least $160,000 on their mortgage ($160,000 / $200,000 = 0.80 or 80%).
I Meet the HARP Eligibility Requirements... now what?
Great! Your well on your way to refinancing with one of the most beneficial Government homeowner plans. Click here to start the HARP Refinancing Process