Finance: Real Estate

The Refinance Plan that Banks Hope You Ignore

Nearly one million households are eligible for the government’s refinance plan, but most never ask … and time is running out!

Here’s the catch, the program is set to expire in 2016. So as the banks patiently wait for this to be over, the government is making a final push for eligible homeowners to take advantage. It takes only a few minutes to see if you qualify, and the good news is once you’re in, you’re in for good even after it expires.

What is HARP?

HARP is a special government program designed to help middle class homeowners like you take advantage of today’s rock-bottom rates, even if you are underwater on your loan. If your mortgage balance is less than $625,000 and you’ve continued to make your payments on time, you have a good chance of being eligible to reduce your monthly payment

Here's how it works...

Help for middle class homeowners

When the financial crisis hit, the government set up HARP to reward middle class homeowners who stuck it out and continued to make their monthly mortgage payments. The catch is that this program won’t last long, so if you want to lower your mortgage payments, now is the time to act!

Banks aren't happy

Think banks like HARP? No chance. Here’s why:

  1. They may lose your business. You’ve been paying your mortgage faithfully for years, even through the worst of times. But, it’s not a requirement to do your HARP loan through your current lender. In fact, you can find big savings by shopping around for the best rate.
  2. The average savings for most eligible households is $3,512 per year. There’s no way banks want to give up that type of money.

How to get started?

The best way to find the lowest rates is through a free website that compares available mortgage rates for consumers, and allows you to choose the best one. Sites such as Harp Refi Quotes offer consumers access to dozens of HARP lenders on its network. And if it turns out that you aren’t matched with a HARP lender, the site can connect you with a mortgage broker, attorney, or other service provider who may be able to assist you with your mortgage situation.