HARP Refinance Loans

Once a homeowner has paid their mortgage for a year or more, they may have the option to refinance. Through this process, they replace their current mortgage with a new mortgage, allowing them to take advantage of lower interest rates or switch to a more suitable type of loan. However, if the homeowner still owns little equity in their property, they might have trouble obtaining a refinance loan.

To help these homeowners, the federal government created HARP, or the Home Affordable Refinance Program. Through this program, such people could apply for refinance loans despite possessing little equity in their homes. If this describes you, then J.G. Wentworth -- an approved HARP lender -- can assist you with its streamlined application processes and exceptional customer service. Our home loan experts will walk you through every step. Soon enough, you, too, may enjoy lower interest rates, shorter loan terms, and low closing costs.

What is a HARP refinance loan?

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) implemented the Home Affordable Refinance Program in March of 2009. After the bursting of the United States housing bubble in late 2008, many homeowners were dismayed to see the value of their homes plummet below the balance of their mortgages, leaving them with little to no equity. If these homeowners were to then apply for a traditional refinance loan, they would need private mortgage insurance, which in most cases would nullify the benefits of refinancing.

How is HARP refinance different from regular refinancing?

In general, it is much easier to qualify for a HARP loan than for a traditional refinance loan. These loans also offer some distinctive advantages to those who qualify, especially as various improvements have been made to the program since its inception.

  • Reduced paperwork - Approved HARP lenders like J.G. Wentworth now need to file less paperwork than ever before to verify income and qualify borrowers. This makes our already streamlined application process faster than ever.
  • Lower fees - Some risk-based fees that borrowers needed to pay when refinancing have been reduced.
  • Zero underwater limits - No matter how low your home’s value has fallen, you may still qualify for HARP refinance. Before additional updates were made to the program, the loan-to-value limit was set at 125%.
  • Forgo underwriting and appraisals - Most homeowners applying for a HARP loan do not need to have their loan underwritten or get an appraisal, making the refinance process even easier.

How can a HARP refinance loan help me?

With the assistance of a HARP loan, you can achieve a number of financial goals relating to your home mortgage.

  • Switch to a different type of mortgage - When you refinance, you often have the opportunity to switch from a fixed-rate mortgage to an adjustable-rate mortgage, and vice versa. Your J.G. Wentworth home loan specialist can help you compare your options.
  • Lower your monthly payment - If it proves beneficial for your finances in the long run, you could potentially lower your payments by extending the term of your mortgage.
  • Reduce your interest rate - You may qualify for a loan with a lower interest rate due to changes in the housing market or improvements to your credit score. Switching to a different loan option can also reduce the amount you pay in interest each month.
  • Build equity faster - When you refinance, you have the chance to actually increase the amount you pay every month towards the principal of your mortgage, allowing you to pay it off faster.
  • Lower closing costs - Many that apply for a HARP loan can skip the appraisals or underwriting necessary in the traditional refinance process, ultimately saving money in fees.

Am I Eligible for HARP Refinancing?

To qualify for a HARP loan, you will need to meet a certain set of requirements. One of our J.G. Wentworth home loan experts can help you with determining whether or not you meet these qualifications. If you were declined for a HARP loan in the past, you might now qualify due to expansions in the program’s requirements. If this is an option you’re considering, you should note that the deadline to apply for a HARP loan is December 31, 2018.

  • Your current loan-to-value ratio, or LTV, must exceed 80%.
  • Your loan must be from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
  • Your loan must have originated on May 31, 2009 or earlier.
  • You must be current on your mortgage, with no late payments exceeding 30 days in the last six months and no more than one such late payment in the past twelve months.
  • Your house must be your primary residence, a 1 to 4-unit investment property, or a 1-unit second home.

Contact a Home Loan Expert Today

If you would like to learn more about HARP loans and the refinance process, contact one of our home loan specialists or browse our mortgage FAQs. At J.G. Wentworth, we’re proud to offer award-winning customer service. Our dedication to customer satisfaction is reflected in our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

To begin the HARP refinance process, get a rate quote today. 

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How do I get started?

J.G. Wentworth offers a wide variety of loan programs with low rates and no points and no hidden fees.  To get started, you can call us or let us contact you by completing a short form.  You can also get a rate quote in seconds with no personal information required. We look forward to working with you.