More homeowners now qualify for a HARP refinance
The Home Affordable Refinance Program was introduced a few years ago to help homeowners who were upside down on their mortgages take advantage of lower interest rates. However, few homeowners were able to take advantage of HARP because the qualifications were so stringent.
Since then the qualifying standards for a HARP loan have been made less stringent. Under the new changes, now referred to as HARP 2.0, the amount that a homeowner can be upside down. In some extreme cases it can be as much as 100% upside down.
What are the other requirements?
First, the loan still has to be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, one of the two major federal secondary mortgage corporations – a requirement that has not changed along with other standards.
Second, you must be current on your loan payments, with no late payments of 30 days or more within the previous six months – only one allowed in the previous year.