HARP Programs Ends in 2018 – Are You Eligible?

BY The Lenders Network

harp loans

3 minute read

Editor’s note: The HARP program has been discontinued as of 2018 

HARP stands for The Home Affordable Refinance Program, which is a refinance program that helps homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage.

HARP helps homeowners refinance who are current on their mortgage but have a mortgage balance greater than the current market value of their home.

If you’re underwater on your mortgage and want to refinance you better hurry. HARP is scheduled to be discontinued at the end of 2018.

On August 17, 2017, it was announced that the HARP program will be extended through December 31st, 2018. At which point the Streamline Refinance Program will replace HARP.

Rate Search: Check Current Refinance Rates

What is HARP?

HARP was created to help homeowners whose home value decreased causing them to be underwater on their mortgage. It is the only type of mortgage refinance you can do while being underwater on your loan.

With HARP homeowners who own more than their home is worth can refinance and take advantage of lower interest rates and get a lower monthly mortgage payment.

Who Qualifies for HARP?

In order to qualify for HARP you will need to have a mortgage loan that is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If you have an FHA loan, VA loan, or any other type of Government backed loan you cannot refinance using the HARP program.

Lenders are looking for borrowers with solid income and employment history as well as good credit (680 or higher) with a good track record of paying their bills on time.

HARP requirements

  • Loan must be owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae
  • Sold to Fannie or Freddie on or before May 31, 2009
  • No 30 day late payments within the past 6 months
  • No more than 1 30 day late payment within the last 12 months
  • Only for primary residence, no investment properties
  • A loan-to-value ratio (LTV ratio) of 80% or higher
  • No maximum LTV limit
  • Cannot have refinanced with HARP in the past. HARP can only be used one time

Owner vs. Servicer of Your Mortgage

In order to be eligible for HARP your mortgage loan should be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The majority of mortgages are owned by Fannie or Freddie, they own about 90% of all conventional mortgage loans.

There is a difference between who you make your payments to each month and who owns your mortgage. You may make your payments to Nationstar mortgage but Freddie or Fannie own it.

You can lookup your loan to see if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns your mortgage at the links below.



Pros and Cons of HARP Loans


  • Lower monthly mortgage payments
  • No on-site home appraisal
  • Favorable loan terms


  • High credit score requirements
  • Must be on time on your mortgage payments
  • Only available if you have a loan owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae

Am I Eligible for HARP?

Do you meet these basic eligibility requirements:

  • Current on your mortgage, with no more than one 30 day late payment in the past 12 months, and no late payments in the past 6 months.
  • Your mortgage is on your primary residence HARP is not available for investment properties.
  • Mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
  • Loan was originated on or before May 31, 2009.
  • Loan-to-value ratio (LTV ratio) must be greater than 80%.