Can HARP Help Me? (It’s Worth Finding Out!)
Feb 3, 2014
You may have heard about the government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) but for some reason you’re too underwater, make less money than you used to, have a second mortgage, or need to refinance a rental or second home you think you won’t qualify.
Meet Andre, Clementine, Paul, and Ruben. They didn’t think they’d qualify either. But they did…and thanks to HARP are now saving hundreds of dollars every month!
We’re Too Underwater
Andre purchased his three-bedroom condo in North Brunswick, NJ, in 2005. Seven years and two children later, he tried to sell the home but wasn’t able to. He contacted his mortgage company several times about refinancing, but was told he couldn’t qualify because he was too far underwater.
But in 2012, he got a different answer—yes! Because the HARP program no longer had a loan-to-value ratio cap (a term used by lenders to describe how much you owe compared to how much your home is worth). His refinance was quickly approved, and he now saves $387 a month.
My Income is Too Low
Clementine, an empty nester who’s lived in her Contra Costa County, California, home for 11 years, relied on a part-time job to pay her mortgage and other bills. She started to struggle after being forced to take unpaid leave over the holidays, costing her over $3,000 in lost wages.
She’d heard about HARP, but was reluctant to make the call. “I was earning less each year, so I didn’t think I’d qualify. And I didn’t want to hear the word ‘no.’ But I finally did call,” she says, “and I’m so glad I did.” By refinancing under HARP, Clementine now saves $596 every month.
We Have a Second Lien
Paul, employed in Southern California’s boating industry, and his wife Cherie (who is self-employed) bought their Moreno Valley, California, home in 2003. A few years later, the couple took out a second mortgage to remodel the home.
In 2008, Paul lost his job and he was unable to find employment. By 2012, with just Cherie’s income, they were just staying afloat. They called their mortgage company and found out they could refinance their first-lien mortgage with HARP even though they had a second mortgage. Refinancing under HARP saves them $305 a month.
It’s a Rental
Ruben, an Air Force officer, and his wife bought their four-bedroom ranch-style home in Sacramento, California, in 2007. Two years later, he was transferred to the East Coast but was unable to sell the Sacramento home. He eventually found a renter, but between what he owed on the mortgage and was able to collect for rent, he was losing about $1,000/month.
Ruben endured the financial drain for almost four years before calling his mortgage company to find out about refinancing. Fortunately, he called a HARP lender and found out he could refinance the rental property. Now instead of paying an extra $1,000 each month, he saves $763. He was so impressed, he used the same mortgage company to refinance the condo where he now lives to save an additional $160 a month.
Make the Call!
These homeowners thought they wouldn’t qualify…and some had been turned down in the past. But they made the call to their mortgage company, and got help. Take their advice and call your mortgage company today. And if they can’t help you with a HARP refinance, use our lender list to find a HARP lender in your area.
You have nothing to lose…and could save hundreds a month just like these homeowners.