Home Affordable Refinance Program

Home Affordable Refinance Program

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a federal program designed to help homeowners refinance into a lower rate. You can qualify for the refinance program even if you have little equity or you are underwater on your mortgage.

As long as you are not behind on your mortgage payments, you can be eligible for a HARP refinance -- even if your home is worth less than you owe.

This popular program is sometimes called the Obama Mortgage or Obama Refinance Program, as it was made into law by the Obama Administration in 2009.

Home Affordable Refinance Program

HARP Eligibility

If you hope to refinance your mortgage into a lower rate through the HARP program, you need to meet these eligibility requirements:

  • You must be current on your mortgage. This is defined as no 30-day or greater late payments in the last six months, and no more than one 30+ day late payment in the last year.
  • Your mortgage must be owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  • Your loan must have been originated on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The property you want to refinance must be either our primary residence or a 1-unit second home, or a 1-4 unit investment property.
  • You have a current loan-to-value ratio of more than 80%.
Home Affordable Refinance

Benefits of the HARP Refinance

There are many benefits to a HARP refinance. You can qualify for the program even if you have a second mortgage or you are underwater. The program does not have a maximum loan-to-value ratio, and you will not need to pay for mortgage insurance unless you already have PMI on your mortgage.


Homeowners with a large mortgage with a rate well above current rates (such as 6-8%) experience the greatest benefit from the program.

HARP Closing Costs

A HARP refinance loan does come with closing costs which can be financed into your new mortgage with limits. If you have a Fannie Mae loan, you can only roll 4% of our original balance in closing costs into the new loan. With Freddie Mac loans, you can add up to $5,000 or 5% to your new balance. Any closing costs that exceed these caps must be paid out of pocket.

Applying for a HARP Loan

It is not necessary to use your original lender to refinance your mortgage through the HARP program. Most mortgage servicers participate in the program, but keep in mind that closing costs and rates will vary by lender, so it is important to compare refinance quotes.

Refinance Your Mortgage

Get Started On Your HARP Loan Today!