HARP: Dispelling the Myths
We've helped 1.1 million families refinance through HARP
Myth #1: I've had my loan for seven years and with HARP I'd have to start all over again with a 30-year mortgage.
Fact: Freddie Mac allows you to refinance into fixed-rate mortgages with terms anywhere from 10 years to 30 years. Check with your lender to see if they offer shorter terms and ask about refinancing into a 23 year or any other term mortgage.
Myth #2: The offers I receive in the mail to help me refinance through HARP are most likely scams.
Fact: Many borrowers have become wary of the multiple solicitations they receive to refinance their mortgage. Legitimate offers often have specific information identifying your current mortgage, including the loan number your mortgage servicer uses with your mortgage – which is printed on your statement. For example, Freddie Mac has developed an information sheet that lenders can use in their solicitations to help explain some of the benefits HARP has to offer. Lenders may use this or something similar when reaching out to you.
If you are unsure if an offer is legitimate, we recommend you call your lender before responding to third-party companies that advertise themselves as "mortgage experts" or "foreclosure specialists" to apply for a HARP loan. If you do discover that an offer is fraudulent, report it immediately by calling 888-995-HOPE.
Myth #3: I owe more than 105% of the value of my home, so I'm not eligible for HARP.
Fact: HARP has continually been enhanced since the program was first introduced in 2009. HARP now allows borrowers who owe significantly more than their house is worth to refinance and take advantage of today's historically lower interest rates. Reach out to your lender today to get started!
Myth #4: I can’t refinance because my property is not my primary residence.
Fact: In addition to primary residences, HARP allows you to refinance even if your property is an investment property or second home.
Myth #5: My lender doesn't offer HARP, so I can't refinance through the program.
Fact: If your existing lender does not offer HARP, there are other lenders that you can contact. We encourage you to review our list of additional participating HARP lenders to find a lender in your area that can discuss your options and eligibility with you.
Myth #6: HARP is only for homeowners who are behind on their payments and in danger of foreclosure.
Fact: HARP is a refinance program, intended specifically for homeowners who are current on their mortgage but underwater and unable to refinance through a traditional refinance. If you owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth and meet the eligibility criteria, HARP may help you obtain a more affordable and sustainable payment.
Steps to Get Started with HARP
Making A Difference
Homeowners who refinanced through HARP during the first quarter of 2013 will save an average of $4,300 in interest payments during the first 12 months – that's about $358 a month!