If you're looking to get the best mortgage rates on your next home loan, then you'll want to understand a couple of key principles... 1st - Understand exactly what you're seeking. Are you looking for the lowest interest rate or Are you looking for the lowest mortgage payment? OR, Are you looking to pay the least about of interest on your mortgage? The answer of these questions can be vastly different. For example, if you're looking for the lowest interest rate or to pay the least amount of interest overall, then a shorter term mortgage option, such as a 15yr Fixed mortgage might be ...
When you're looking to purchase a new home, the first step is to review your credit and get Pre-Qualified. Having a Pre-Qualification Letter before you begin working with a Real Estate Agent is very important, and many Real Estate Agents will not work with a potential homebuyer until they've spoken to a Mortgage Loan Officer and been Pre-Qualified. When you are preparing to purchase a new home, this is what you can expect... 1. Review your credit - Even though you may have an online service that provides you with credit information or credit scores, these services are not the same as ...
Refinancing your mortgage can be one of the best financial decisions that a homeowner can make. There are a variety of reasons that you might consider refinancing, including: Lower Interest Rates Reduce Overall Interest Shorten Mortgage Term (ie. Go from a 30yr mortgage to a 15yr mortgage) Get a Fixed Interest Rate Home Equity - Take Cash Out When it comes to comparing your refinance options, you'll want go look very carefully at how your current loan's performance compares to the new options. Pay specific attention to where the true break even point is in the refinance and how much equity that you will have in ...
For Dallas Fort Worth homeowners that purchased a home using a FHA mortgage, refinancing via the FHA Streamline Refinance program is about to get much less expensive. FHA wants more homeowner’s to be able to refinance to a lower FHA Mortgage Payment. Because of this, they are putting in a new “tier” for FHA MI (mortgage insurance) for refinancing your FHA loan! ***Beginning June 11, 2012, the FHA implements a new policy for its mortgage insurance rates that will allow homeowners that haven’t been able to take advantage of lower interest rates to finally be able to refinance to a lower ...
Home Equity Loans or Cash Out Refinance (known as TX a6 mortgages) in Texas are quite different that in other states. If you're looking to refinance and take cash out (known as a Home Equity loan), then you'll want to understand some of the features that make Texas cashout loans unique. See below for more information. There are many reasons that a Texas homeowner might take a Home Equity or Cash Out Refinance: Home Improvement or Remodeling Debt Consolidation - Pay off High Interest Credit Cards Pay for College or Education Investing into Business Go on Dream Vacation Whatever the reason for your home equity loan, you'll want to ...
For homeowners or homebuyers in the Dallas Fort Worth area of Texas, there are many options for mortgage programs available, and Josh Campbell is set up to do almost all of them. Call or email today to learn about the different options and compare mortgage programs to determine which program is best for your situation. You can reach Josh at 972-904-3694 or email@example.com. Each of the following mortgage programs are unique and have different features and benefits. You'll want to make sure that you're working with an experienced loan officer that can talk you through the nuances of each program to ...
Josh Campbell has been a top rated Mortgage Loan Officer in the Dallas Fort Worth area of Texas since 2004. Josh is registered with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry - NMLS# 493535. He is currently sponsored by a FDIC insured bank, and therefore he can lend in All 50 States. Over the course of his mortgage career, Josh has helped thousands of homeowners achieve their goals by obtaining the best available mortgage solutions for their needs. Josh has worked with the nations largest homebuilders through Joint Venture partnerships. Josh has recruited and overseen teams of mortgage loan officers throughout his career in the ...
Applying for a new mortgage can be a very intimidating process for many homebuyers, but it is often even more so when you are a First Time Home Buyer. However, have no fear, the process can be easily navigated by working with an experienced Mortgage Loan Officer - call Josh Campbell at 972-904-3694 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today with questions about getting pre-qualified as a First Time Home Buyer. In the State of Texas, there are many programs for homebuyers looking to purchase their first home needing LOW or NO DOWN PAYMENT mortgage programs. The State of Texas offers a program First Time Home Buyers needing down payment assistance as ...
Current FHA, VA, Conventional, Jumbo and USDA Mortgage Rates in Dallas Fort Worth are at historical low levels – making this the best time in history to purchase a new home or refinance if you’re a DFW homeowner or homebuyer.
(These Rates are current as of today 11/07/2012 – keep in mind rates fluctuate with the market and are subject to change until locked)
Note, the above options are based on good credit scores on purchase loans. Total lender fees included in the APR are $656 to include processing and underwriting. (Currently, VA loans DO NOT have processing and underwriting fees). Third party fees not included in APR. Other rates and programs are available including loans with lower rates and lower closing costs – to get a FREE rate quote for your scenario, Click Here Now.
The rates and pricing in the scenarios above were based on a 200k loan amount for a purchase application with excellent credit. Down payment requirements vary based on the program. To get a personalized rate quote based on your specific situation, please contact us today or click here.
With mortgage interest rates being as low as they are, it has everyone asking questions about refinancing. Below are a few of the common questions that I field on a daily basis for folks in the the Dallas Fort Worth area and throughout Texas (and in all 50 states).
How low are Current Interest Rates?
(These Rates are current as of today 11/07/2012 – keep in mind rates fluctuate with the market and are subject to change until locked)
Note, the above options are based on good credit scores on refinance loans with no cash back at closing. Total lender fees included in the APR are $656 to include processing and underwriting. (Currently, VA loans DO NOT have processing and underwriting fees). Third party fees not included in APR. Other rates and programs are available including loans with lower rates and lower closing costs – to get a FREE rate quote for your scenario, Click Here Now.
When does it make financial sense for us to refinance our mortgage?
There are a lot of well popularized rules of thumb such as “if your rate drops by a 1%”, but the simple answer is that it makes sense to refinance if you are planning to live in the home long enough to offset the cost of the refinance. For some folks, that’s 2 or 3 years, and some folks, they see the benefit from day one. Each situation is different, so it’s best do a true break even analysis to determine how your goals line up with the different benefits of refinance. Contact us today for a FREE Break Even Analysis for your specific situation along with a customized rate quote for a few different options.
How much are the closing costs on a mortgage refinance?
Anytime you close on a new mortgage, there are closing costs paid to the parties involved in fulfilling the transaction, such as processing, underwriting, appraisal, title, and recording fees. Closing costs vary from one transaction to another primarily based on property location and loan amount and type of loan. There are other factors that come into play as well, just be aware that costs can vary, but certain costs will remain the same regardless. For example, our office only charges $300 for underwriting and $325 for processing (unless it’s a VA loan, then we don’t charge these fees at all). In Texas, title policy fees are based on the loan amount and set by the Texas Department of Insurance, but in many cases come with a discounted premium if you’ve been issued a title policy on the same property within 7 years.
How are closing costs paid on a refinance?
Unlike on a purchase transaction, when you refinance your mortgage, most folks do not pay anything out of pocket (except for the appraisal if needed). Closing costs can be included in the new loan amount, paid by the lender using premium pricing (increasing the interest rate offered), or paid out of pocket.
Keep in mind, there is no such thing as a refinance that does not have costs. If the lender you are working with is offering you a “no closing cost loan”, you should as what the rate would be if you paid the lender, title, and recording costs out of pocket. Depending on how you long you plan on keeping the home, it might make more sense to go with the lower rate. You should be aware of all your options.
What if I have a FHA loan?
You might be eligible for a Streamline FHA Refinance program. This program has special features that make this a great choice for many FHA homeowners. Streamline FHA refinances do not require appraisals, and the process is streamlined to make for a quicker closing. Streamline FHA Refinances do not allow for closing costs to be included into the new loan amount, so you will either pay out of pocket or have your lender pay the costs with the interest rate selected.
What if I have a VA loan?
VA also has a streamlined refinance program called an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan or VA IRRRL program. This program is similar to that of the FHA streamline refinance, but it’s specific to homeowners that currently have a VA mortgage.
On VA loans, we do not charge the processing and underwriting fees. Contact us for a Rate Quote.
Do I have to refinance with my current loan servicer?
No, you can refinance your mortgage with any lender that offers the programs that you need. For example, we offer all types of mortgage refinance programs including FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional, Jumbo, Streamline, and HARP programs. Regardless of your current loan servicer, we are able to assist you with your refinance.
Excuse me, while I pick my chin up off the floor, but today has been an AMAZING rally for mortgage rates. As the dust settles on this spike in Mortgage Backed Security prices over he next couple days, this will make an incredible opportunity for homeowners in Dallas Fort Worth to lock into the lowest rates on Fixed programs such as FHA, Conventional, VA, and USDA – and even Jumbo mortgage programs.
Here is what happened -
“In an unprecedented step, the Fed’s policymaking panel launched another aggressive economic stimulus program today by saying it will buy $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities per month until the outlook for jobs improves – and as long as inflation remains contained.
The new purchases combined with the continuation of “Operation Twist” will increase the Fed’s buying appetite by about $85 billion per month through at least the end of the year. In the Fed’s first two rounds of economic stimulus, dubbed QE1 and QE2, the Fed had a buying appetite of around $100 billion per month.
The latest purchases build on the $2.3 trillion in Treasury debt obligations and mortgage-backed securities the Fed has already bought.
In an additional move, central bankers said they are not likely to raise their benchmark short-term interest rates from current rock-bottom lows until late 2014.
There is quite a party going on as the mortgage market is experiencing a “moon-shot” rally as I write. Stocks are rallying too — but Treasury debt prices remain soft.
There is absolutely no doubt the market is always right” – Larry Baer – Market Analyst in Dallas Texas
The lines are the chart represent the prices of Mortgage Backed Securities. Mortgage rates and prices are based on the trading of these securities, and when the prices go up, the rates go down. See the spike below in MBS prices this afternoon.
Mortgage Rates remain at historical low levels – leaving many homeowners with the question of “should I refinance my home now or wait and see if rates will go lower?” Some policy changes are on the horizon that will cause an increase in mortgage pricing that will be passed through to homeowners that are refinancing their mortgages to a new loan (and new homebuyers that are purchasing a home).
Bottom line is, the conventional mortgage pricing will be getting worse by approx 50 bps over the coming weeks due to this G-Fee increase. This means that apples to apples, homeowners will pay approximately half a point more in fees for the exact same rate they would get today without the half point.
It has been generally accepted that Freddie and Fannie haven’t been charging enough to guarantee investors (the bond holders) a return of their money. Guarantee Fees (G-Fees) are “fees charged by mortgage-backed securities (MBS) providers, such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, to lenders for bundling, servicing, selling and reporting MBS to investors. The main component of the guarantee fee is charged to protect against credit-related losses in the mortgage portfolio (think of it like MBS insurance), but small sub-fees are also deducted to cover internal expenses for such services as”:
“The FHFA has directed both GSEs to increase guaranty fee pricing. In order to comply with this directive, Fannie Mae will increase the base guaranty fees (i) by 12 basis points for adjustable rate mortgage loans and fixed rate mortgage loans with amortization terms greater than 15 years, and (ii) by 6 basis points for fixed rate mortgage loans with amortization terms of 15 years or less. These increases are applicable to loans in MBS pools with issue dates on or after December 1, 2012, and will be added to guaranty fees in effect immediately prior to that. Fannie Mae will also make adjustments to pricing for loans committed on or after November 1, 2012, through its whole loan programs, including eCommittingTM, eCommitONETM, and the Servicing Execution ToolTM (SETTM).”
Due to the pending G-Fee increase, many lenders are beginning to pass through these increases as early as next week. Of course, they all do it slightly different so there will be some large differences between them for a while. Some, for example, will be worsening their 60 day price by 50 bps next week and then their 45 day price will be adjusted a few weeks later and so on.
If you’re self employed, you know that getting approved for a mortgage can be more challenging when it comes to documenting your income. However, rest assured that business owners in Dallas Texas are able qualify to buy homes and refinance homes just like regularly employed wage earners.
It’s important to work with an experienced loan officer that understands how to properly interpret and present your income documentation to the underwriter. When the income documents are not properly interpreted and presented, problems can arise. Email questions to email@example.com or Click Here to have an experienced loan officer call you today about getting qualified for a low rate.
There are many myths floating around when it comes to approving business owners mortgages. For example, Self Employed Borrowers DO NOT Require More Downpayment.
Things to Remember To Qualify for Most Loan Programs (There are a few exceptions, so call if you don’t fit all of the criteria)
Be Prepared with the Following Documentation Up Front to Properly Determine Income Before Proceeding to Avoid Surprises
If you’re a self employed business owner in the Dallas Fort Worth area of Texas (or anywhere in Texas or all 50 States), the most important thing to remember is to work with someone with experience in helping self employed borrowers. Contact Me Today with any Questions.
How do you go about comparing mortgage lenders in Dallas, TX? When it comes to mortgage options, the Dallas area has more mortgage lenders to choose from than many other areas – which makes it confusing for Dallas area homeowners and homebuyers to determine how to get the best deal on their next purchase or home refinance.
When it comes to shopping for your next mortgage, be prepared to…
Comparing Different Mortgage Programs -
This is important because different programs have different interest rates and fees charged. For example, FHA loans might have a lower rate, but because FHA charges up front mortgage insurance and monthly mortgage insurance, the overall cost of the loan might be more than a conventional mortgage program with a slightly higher interest rate.
Compare Interest Rates Offered -
Local Dallas mortgage lenders vary in their mortgage pricing for a variety of reasons. A small difference in mortgage rate can represent a large difference in overall interest over the life of the loan. Mortgage offices are businesses like any other, and depending on how the mortgage office is set up, it can impact the interest rate and pricing passed through to you the homeowner.
As an experienced Dallas mortgage loan officer, we’ve arranged the best possible mortgage office set up to give our clients to the lowest possible rates.
Compare Total Lender Fees Charged -
In addition to comparing interest rates, it’s equally critical to compare the total amount of lender fees being charged in association with the interest rate. Lender fees can vary widely from one mortgage lender to another. For the most part, there are fees charged by the lender for processing, underwriting, and closing the loan. However, some lenders do build in additional fees to pad their pocket and create additional profit margins – these fees are commonly referred to as “junk fees”. If the total lender fees exceed 1300, then you’re probably paying some “junk fees” or points.
As a comparison, clients that purchase or refinance with Josh Campbell can expect to pay less than $700 in total lender fees – ($300 for underwriting, $325 for processing, and 31.95 for courier and MERS fees). This is substantially lower than most Dallas area mortgage lenders charge.
Compare APR -
Many consumers are urged to compare APR when shopping lenders. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is a way to compare the costs of a loan. Although it’s not perfect, it gives you a nice standard for comparing the percentage costs on different loans.
Loans can be confusing. Lenders can quote a lot of different numbers that mean different things. In an order to reduce confusion, the US Government passed the Truth in Lending Act. One of the provisions of this act is that lenders quote APR to potential borrowers. APR allows you to evaluate the cost of the loan in terms of a percentage. If your loan has a 10% rate, you’ll pay $10 per $100 you borrow annually. All other things being equal, you simply want the loan with the lowest APR.
Unfortunately, all other things are not equal. APR can include more than just the interest cost of a loan. On a mortgage, APR might include Private Mortgage Insurance, processing fees, and discount points. There are other fees and charges that may or may not be included in a given APR quote. Therefore, you need to look closely at each and every APR.
You can’t simply rely on an APR quote to evaluate a loan. You need to look at each and every charge and expense related to your prospective loan in order to judge whether or not you’re getting a good deal.
Compare Lenders on the Same Day -
Because mortgage rates fluctuate with the market, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re comparing lenders on an even playing field. Mortgage rates are based on the trading of mortgage backed securities. On any given day, mortgage pricing fluctuates based on the movement of the markets, so if you’re comparing rates from two different lenders on two different days, you could end up assuming that one lender had a better priced deal – when in reality, it might have just been an improvement in the market.
It’s important to work with an educated loan officer that can help you understand the market to ensure that you’re taking advantage of markets at the most opportune time.
VA loans are a special loan program designed specifically for veterans, issued by approved lenders and guaranteed by the federal government. The VA Streamline Refinance is the most common loan type within the VA loan umbrella, and is officially known as an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) by the government.
The VA loan’s definitive characteristic is that veterans with qualifying credit and income can purchase a home with no money down, which makes buying a home extremely attractive for those who have served in the military. In addition, VA loans also offer feature flexible requirements, no private mortgage insurance (PMI), and very competitive interest rates.
In order to qualify for a VA Loan, a veteran must have served 181 days during peacetime, 90 days during war time, or 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard. You may also qualify as the spouse of a service member who was killed in the line of duty. Generally speaking, almost all active duty and/or honorably discharged service members are eligible for a VA purchase or streamline refinance loan.
The Interest Rate Reduction Loan allows you to refinance your current mortgage interest rate to a lower rate than you are currently paying. The Streamline loan is extremely popular because of its ease of use: once you have already been approved for your initial VA purchase loan, it is relatively simple to lower your interest rate and experience considerable savings. In most cases, a loan officer or lender with expertise in VA loans should be able to complete the loan within a month’s time in most cases.
VA refinance closing costs can be rolled into the cost of the loan, allowing veterans to refinance with no out-of-pocket expenses. Sometimes it is also possible for the lender to take the brunt of the cost in exchange for a higher interest rate on your loan.
In order to qualify for a VA Streamline, you must meet the following requirements:
A secondary VA refinance loan type is the VA Cash-Out refinance loan. The Cash-Out refinance allows borrowers to refinance their conventional or VA loan into a lower rate while also taking cash from the home’s value.
Functionally, the VA Cash-Out refinance loan replaces your existing mortgage instead of functioning like a home equity loan, which it is often confused for. A qualified borrower can refinance up to 100 percent of their home’s value in some cases.
The Cash-Out refinance loan is a loan type available in any form – whether USDA, FHA, or conventional. Veterans generally choose to use the VA Cash-Out over other loan types because the period to pay off the loan is extended, and also, generally comes with a lower interest rate.
Just like the VA Streamline Refinance loan, the home must be used as a principal dwelling by the owner. There is no set period of time that you must have owned your home, however, you must have sufficient equity to qualify for the loan.
Since you used your Certificate of Eligibility to get your first VA loan, it isn’t needed to qualify for a streamline refinance of your existing VA mortgage.
No, they do not. Although the VA offers an easy, straightforward process for veterans, the rates are set by the banks who buy and sell mortgages. Click here to get today’s VA mortgage rates.
No, you do not. In fact, it is encouraged that you shop around between various lenders, as each will offer various interest rates for you VA loan. All that matters is that the lender is VA-approved. Because so many lenders out there finance VA loans, it makes sense to shop around.
There is no requirement from the VA for another credit check or appraisal process, because you have already been approved for a loan. However, many lenders (especially if you swap them), require a credit check and appraisal to guarantee that you are still financially stable enough to pay for your mortgage and also, that the house’s market value is still higher than their maximum loan amount.
Not if you meet certain conditions. If you are going from a fixed mortgage to another fixed mortgage, the VA requires that your IRRRL be of a lower interest rate, but if you are moving from an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate mortgage, the VA will allow you to refinance to a higher interest rate. Click here to check today’s VA mortgage rates.
No, the HARP 2.0 program is not eligible for a VA loan. If you current mortgage is underwater, some lenders will be able to refinance your VA loan using the IRRRL. However, many lenders will not want to service your loan because they view it too risky to take on. To see if you qualify, get a free VA streamline quote today.
The VA Streamline Refinance is one of the best mortgage products available for consumers today. If you have an existing VA loan, get started immediately with a VA Streamline Refinance rate quote. Mortgage rates are low, so it’s a great time to take advantage of your veteran benefits.
Click here to get a rate quote and start your Streamline Refinance application today.
HARP 2 Refinance Program is available to U.S. homeowners. Click here to get a HARP refinance rate quote.
If you’re underwater on your conforming, conventional mortgage (backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac), you may be eligible to refinance without paying down principal and without having to pay mortgage insurance.
Here are the details of the government’s new HARP refinance program.
HARP was started in April 2009. It goes by several names. The government calls it HARP, as in Home Affordable Refinance Program.
The program is also known as the Making Home Affordable plan, the Obama Refi plan, DU Refi +, and Relief Refinance.
In order to be eligible for the HARP refinance program :
If you meet these two criteria, you may be HARP-eligible. If your mortgage is FHA, USDA or a jumbo mortgage, you are not HARP-eligible.
Yes, everything you are reading is accurate as of today, August 1, 2012. This post includes the latest changes as rolled out by the Federal Home Finance Agency on October 24, 2011, and as confirmed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on November 15, 2011. HARP 2.0 was formally released by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac March 17, 2012.
Yes, the names HARP and Making Home Affordable are interchangeable.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have “lookup” forms on their respective websites. Check Fannie Mae’s first because Fannie Mae’s market share is larger. If no match is found, then check Freddie Mac. Your loan must appear on one of these two sites to be eligible for HARP.
No. There is a series of criteria. Having your mortgage held by Fannie or Freddie is just a pre-qualifier.
Find a recent mortgage statement and write “Fannie Mae” or “Freddie Mac” on it — whichever group backs your home loan — so you don’t forget. Give that information to your lender when you apply for your HARP refinance. Click here for a HARP rate quote.
It’s possible that your mortgage is backed by Wells Fargo, but the more likely answer is that Wells Fargo is just your mortgage servicer; the bank that collects your payments. Wells Fargo backs very few of its own loans. Most loans for which payments are sent to Wells Fargo are backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Double-check with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before assuming Wells Fargo backs your loan.
Bank of America does back some of its own loans, but the more likely answer is that Bank of America is your mortgage servicer; the bank that collects your monthly mortgage payments. Bank of America backs very few of its own loans. For most loans for which payments are sent to Bank of America, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are the actual loan-backers. Double-check with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make sure Bank of America doesn’t hold your loan.
There is a chance that Chase backs your loan, but what’s more likely is that Chase is just your mortgage servicer; the bank that collects your payments each month. Chase backs very few of its own loans. For most loans for which payments are sent to Chase, you’ll find that Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are the actual loan-backers. Double-check with Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s websites to make sure your loan is not held by Chase.
Some lenders won’t do HARP at all. That’s just their policy. However, with HARP 2, you can use any HARP-participation lender to get your refinance done. This is a major change from the original HARP program. The government is trying to get as many people access to the program as possible. Get a HARP rate quote here.
Cenlar is a mortgage servicer. It does not offer new mortgages — even for HARP. However, that has no bearing on your ability to get a HARP refinance. You can work with any participating lender in the country so reach out to your favorite bank and get started from there. You can also use this form to get a rate quote to see your options.
Seterus is a mortgage servicer. It does not offer new mortgages — even for HARP. However, that has no bearing on your ability to get a HARP refinance. You can work with any participating lender in the country so reach out to your favorite bank and get started from there. You can also use this form to get a rate quote to see your options.
If neither Fannie nor Freddie has record of your mortgage, your loan is not HARP-eligible. However, you may still be eligible for a “regular” refinance to lower rates. Use this form to get a rate quote to see your options. Or, if your mortgage is insured by the FHA, use the FHA Streamline Refinance program. The FHA Streamline Refinance helps underwater homeowners, too.
No, HARP 2.0 is not meant for jumbo mortgages. It’s for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac only. There is talk of a HARP 3 program. HARP 3 would likely include loan types not covered by today’s program guidelines. You can read more about HARP 3.
No, HARP 2.0 is not meant for Alt-A mortgages. It’s for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac only. There is talk of a HARP 3 program. HARP 3 would likely include loan types not covered by today’s program guidelines. You can read more about HARP 3.
If your current mortgage is interest only, you may be able to use HARP. If your interest only mortgage is a conforming loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you should be HARP-eligible. Otherwise, your loan may be an Alt-A or sub-prime mortgage in which case you will not be HARP 2-eligible. There is talk of a HARP 3 program. HARP 3 would likely include loan types not covered by today’s program guidelines. You can read more about HARP 3.
HARP 3 is the next iteration of HARP. It’s currently in talks in Congress. There is no expectation for when, or if, it will be passed. HARP 3 is rumored to include all of the loan types and borrowers who are specifically excluded from HARP 2. You can read more about HARP 3.
Yes, for the most part, the program is the same with Fannie Mae as with Freddie Mac. There are some small differences, but they affect just a tiny, tiny portion of the general population. For everyone else, the guidelines work the same.
Yes, you should always shop HARP mortgage rates because they vary so widely from bank-to-bank. You may save a lot of money just by getting a second opinion. Click here to get a HARP rate quote.
No. You must be current on your mortgage to refinance via HARP.
If you’ve been turned down for HARP but believe that you’re eligible, apply with a different bank and see what happens. Different banks are using different variations of the program. The edits are subtle, but they’re enough to cause some people to get denied who should otherwise have been approved. If you’ve been turned down for HARP 2.0, use this form to get a rate quote from a different bank.
Different banks are using different variations of the program. The edits are subtle, but they’re enough to cause some people to get denied who should otherwise have been approved. If you’ve been turned down for HARP 2.0, just try with a different bank. Get a rate quote here.
Different banks are using different variations of the program. The edits are subtle, but they’re enough to cause some people to get denied who should otherwise have been approved. If you’ve been turned down for HARP 2.0, just try with a different bank. Get a rate quote here.
Mortgage rates for the HARP mortgage program are the same as for a “traditional” refinance. There is no “premium” for using the HARP program.
Yes, you should shop for the lowest HARP mortgage rates. HARP mortgage rates vary from bank-to-bank and so do closing costs. Talk to at least 2 banks so you can know you’re getting a fair deal. Click here for a HARP rate quote.
No. The Home Affordable Refinance Program is not designed to delay, or stop, foreclosures. It’s meant to give homeowners who are current on their mortgages, and who have lost home equity, a chance to refinance at today’s low mortgage rates.
First, your home loan must be paid on-time for the prior 6 months, and at least 11 of the most recent 12 months. Second, your mortgage must have been sold to Fannie or Freddie prior to June 1, 2009. And, third, you may not have used the program before — only one HARP refinance per mortgage is allowed.
Yes, you can use HARP even if you’re not “underwater”.
No, you cannot use HARP unless you have less than 20% equity in your home.
No. You can only use the HARP mortgage program one time per home. If you used HARP 1, you cannot use HARP 2.0.
No. All homes — regardless of how far underwater they are — are eligible for the HARP program. Click here for a HARP rate quote.
Yes, you can use HARP even if you’re really far underwater on your mortgage. There is no loan-to-value restriction under the HARP mortgage program so long as your new mortgage is a fixed rate loan with a term of 30 years or fewer. If you use HARP to refinance into an adjustable-rate mortgage, your loan-to-value is capped at 105%.
No, if you use an ARM for HARP 2.0, you are limited to 105% loan-to-value. Only fixed rate loans get the unlimited LTV treatment.
Not all banks are honoring the HARP 2.0 mortgage guidelines as they are written and one common “edit” is to change the maximum allowable LTV. You may want to get a HARP rate quote from another bank — one that won’t restrict your loan size. Click here for a HARP rate quote.
Not all banks are honoring the HARP 2.0 mortgage guidelines as they are written and one common “edit” is to change the maximum allowable LTV. You may want to get a HARP rate quote from another bank — one that won’t restrict your loan size.
Sort of. Although your home’s value doesn’t matter for the HARP mortgage program, lenders will run what’s called an “automated valuation model” (AVM) on your home. If the value meets reliability standards, no physical appraisal will be required. However, your lender may choose to commission a physical appraisal anyway — just to make sure your home is “standing”.
No, the HARP mortgage program is administered through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHA Streamline Refinances are performed through the FHA. The programs have similarities, however.
No, you cannot use the HARP 2.0 program for an FHA loan. If your current mortgage is backed by the FHA, and your home is underwater, use the FHA Streamline Refinance program. Click here to read about the FHA Streamline Refinance program.
No, you cannot use the HARP 2.0 program for a USDA loan. If your current mortgage is backed by the USDA, and your home is underwater, use the USDA’s Refinance program.Click here to get USDA mortgage rates.
No, you cannot use the HARP 2.0 program for a VA loan. If your current mortgage is backed by the VA, and your home is underwater, use the VA’s IRRRL program. Click here to get VA mortgage rates.
No, you can do a HARP refinance with any participating mortgage lender.
Yes. With the Home Affordable Refinance Program, you can refinance with any participating HARP lender. Click here for a HARP rate quote.
No, that’s not true. Or, at least it shouldn’t be. There are very few instances in which a HARP applicant will be precluded from shopping for the best rate. It’s doubtful that your situation is one of them.
Yes, with HARP, you can work with any participating lender in the country. Click here for a HARP rate quote.
Except in rare cases, no. With HARP, you can work with any participating lender in the country. And there are a lot of them.
No, you won’t need to pay mortgage insurance. If your current loan doesn’t require PMI, your new loan won’t require it, either.
No, your private mortgage insurance payments will not increase. However, the “transfer” of your mortgage insurance policy may require an extra step. Remind your lender that you’re paying PMI to help the refinance process move more smoothly.
No, it’s not true. You can refinance via HARP 2.0 even if your current mortgage has private mortgage insurance.
The new HARP program is exactly that — new. There are new rules and guidelines and not every bank is up-to-speed on what’s going on. If you’re hearing that you can’t refinance your current mortgage because it has PMI on it, that’s a signal that you’re working with sub-optimal loan officer. You may want to shop around. Click here for a HARP rate quote.
Yes, you can refinance your mortgage via HARP 2.0 if your current loan has lender-paid mortgage insurance (LPMI). It’s your loan officer’s responsibility to make sure that your new mortgage carries, at minimum, the same amount of coverage.
Don’t worry about it. Your loan officer will know what to do. Just make sure you disclose that your mortgage has LPMI so the bank knows what to do. Otherwise, your loan could be delayed in processing. Click here to get a HARP rate quote.
To find out if your mortgage has lender-paid mortgage insurance (LPMI), locate your loan paperwork from closing. There should be a clear disclosure that states that your mortgage features LPMI, and the terms should be clearly labeled for you.
If there is no LPMI disclosure, first check if your first mortgage’s loan-to-value exceeded 80% at the time of closing. If it did, look to see if you are paying monthly mortgage insurance. If you are not paying monthly PMI, you’re likely carrying LPMI.
With HARP, regardless of whether you have borrower-paid mortgage insurance (BPMI) or lender-paid mortgage insurance (LPMI), a refinance is possible. The key is that the new loan has mortgage insurance coverage at least equal to the mortgage insurance coverage on your current mortgage.
If your lender tells you that you can’t have a HARP 2.0 loan because you have mortgage insurance, find a new lender. There are plenty that of banks that can — and want to — help you. Click here for a HARP rate quote.
HARP refinances are limited to your area’s conforming loan limits. In most cities, the conforming loan limit is $417,000. However, there are some cities in which conforming loan limits are as high at $625,500. You can lookup your area’s conforming loan limits by clicking here.
No, the HARP mortgage program doesn’t allow cash out refinance. Only rate-and-term refinances are allowable.
Yes, you can refinance an second/vacation property with HARP, even if the home was once your primary residence. The loan must meet typical program eligibility standards.
Yes, you can refinance an investment/rental property with HARP, even if the home was once your primary residence. You can refinance a home on which you’re an “accidental landlord”. The loan must meet typical program eligibility standards.
Yes, you can use the HARP Refinance program for your former residence — even if there’s a renter there now.
There is no specific timeframe for which you’re required to stay in your home if you use HARP 2.0. Just like any other mortgage, if you plan to stay in your home post-closing, it’s your primary residence. If you plan to turn it into a rental, it’s an investment property. Click here to see today’s HARP mortgage rates.
It’s possible that the call center representative to whom you’re speaking is neither knowledgeable about HARP, nor the actual mortgage underwriting process. This post is researched and cross-referenced against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, and publicly-available reports from the FHFA.
Yes, condominiums can be financed on the HARP refinance program. Warrantability standards still apply.
That’s not true. Condominiums can be financed on the HARP refinance program. If your current lender is unable or unwilling to help, remember that you can take your HARP loan to any participating bank in the country. Other banks may know what to do with condos. Click here for a HARP rate quote.
No, you cannot consolidate multiple mortgages with the HARP refinance program. It’s for first liens only. All subordinate/junior liens must be resubordinated to the new first mortgage.
HARP 2.0 is meant for first liens only. Second liens are meant to subordinate. You’ll get to replace your first mortgage and your second mortgage will remain as-is. Just be sure to mention your second mortgage at the time of application so your lender knows to order the subordination for you.
With the HARP refinance program, second liens are meant to subordinate. Second lien holders know this, however, not all second lien holders will agree to it. This is against the spirit of the program, but second lien holders are within their rights to deny the refinance.
No, it doesn’t matter if your second mortgage isn’t backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Second mortgages are ignored as part of HARP. They can’t be refinanced, and they can’t be consolidated. Second mortgages are a non-factor in HARP 2.0.
Yes, if you have an 80/10/10 mortgage, you can use HARP so long as you meet the program’s basic eligibility requirements. You cannot combine your two mortgages, however. Nor can you take cash out.
Yes, if you have an 80/20 mortgage, you can use HARP so long as you meet the program’s basic eligibility requirements. You cannot combine your two mortgages, however. Nor can you take cash out.
If your current bank is not setup for HARP, find a new lender. HARP is available through any participating bank (and there are a lot of them). Click here for a HARP rate quote.
Yes, mortgage balances can be increased to cover closing costs in addition to other monies due at closing such as escrow reserves, accrued daily interest, and a small amount of cash. In no cases may loan sizes exceed the local conforming loan limits, however.
Yes, you do not need to be employed to use the HARP mortgage program. Applicants do not need to be “requalified” unless their new principal + interest payment increases by more than 20%. If the new payment increases by less than 20%, or falls, there is no requalification necessary.
The HARP refinance program has no maximum income limits. You cannot “earn too much” to qualify. Click here to get a HARP rate quote.
No, there are no income restrictions for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). A similar-sounding program, though — Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)does have income limitations. Many people confuse the two.
No. HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program. HAMP stands for Home Affordable Modification Program. Both programs are supported by the Making Home Affordable initiative, but that’s about where the similarities end.
If you’ve used the HAMP program with your current lender to modify your mortgage, you may not be HARP-eligible. It depends on the terms of your modification. Ask your current servicer if you’re HARP-eligible. Or, if you’d like, you can click here to get a HARP rate quote.
Yes. With HARP, a borrower on the mortgage can be removed via a refinance so long as that person is also removed from the deed; and has no ownership interest in the home. Click here for a HARP rate quote.
Yes, HARP mortgages use loan-level pricing adjustments, but LLPAs are dramatically reduced on a HARP refinance and, in some cases, waived entirely. For example, there are no LLPAs for fixed-rare HARP refinances with terms of 20 years or fewer. For all other loans, loan-level pricing adjustments are capped at 0.75 points.
No, there are no LLPAs for 15-year fixed rate mortgage via the HARP Refinance program.
No, there is no minimum credit score requirement with the HARP mortgage program, per se. However, you must qualify for the mortgage based on traditional underwriting standards.
No, you can do a HARP refinance with any participating lender you want. Click here for a HARP rate quote.
No, it’s not true. You are allowed to do a HARP refinance with any HARP-participating lender.
Yes, it’s always a good idea to shop for the best combination of mortgage rates and loan fees. However, be sure to shop with reputable lenders that have experience underwriting and approving HARP mortgages. HARP 2.0 is a new refinance program and not many banks have expertise with them. You don’t want to have your loan approval fall apart because your lender failed to underwrite to HARP mortgage standards.
The HARP program is just like any other mortgage — you’ll want to shop around for the best rates and service. However, because HARP is a “specialty loan”, you may want to limit your shopping with reputable lenders that know how to specifically handle HARP loans. Click here to see HARP mortgage rates.
Closing costs for HARP refinances should be no different than for any other mortgage. You may pay points, you may pay closing costs, you may pay neither. How your mortgage rate and loan fees are structured is between you and your loan officer. You can even opt for a zero-cost HARP refinance. Ask your loan officer about it.
“DU Refi Plus” is the brand name Fannie Mae assigned to its particular flavor of the HARP mortgage program. “DU” stands for Desktop Underwriter. It’s a software program that simulates mortgage underwriting. “Refi Plus” is a gimmicky-sounding term that could have been anything. The name has been trademarked, however.
“Relief Refinance” is the Freddie Mac equivalent of DU Refi+.
EA-II (pronounced : Ee Ay Two) is an automated mortgage approval code. It stands for Expanded Approval (Level II) and means that the loan meets the program’s eligibility standards, but that the file’s combined risk is too high to be approved. Some lenders will accept EA-II findings for a HARP loan. Many more will not.
EA-II (pronounced : Ee Ay Three) is an automated mortgage approval code. It stands for Expanded Approval (Level III) and means that the loan meets the program’s eligibility standards, but that the file’s combined risk is too high to be approved. Some lenders will accept EA-III findings for a HARP loan. Many more will not.
Different banks are using different variations of the HARP 2.0 program. The edits are subtle, but they’re enough to cause some people to get denied who should otherwise have been approved. If you’ve been turned down for HARP, just try with a different bank. Get a rate quote here.
Yes, if you have a 40-year mortgage, you can use HARP. You must make sure that you mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, though, and that you meet all other eligibility requirements.
Not every bank is participating in the HARP 2.0 program. If you’ve been told that your bank can’t or won’t help you, just try with a different bank. There are many banks that are participating in the program. Get a rate quote here.
If you are HARP-eligible, you must close on your mortgage prior to January 1, 2014 — 517 days from now.
Use this form to get a rate quote. If the rate looks good, you can accept it. There is no fee for applying.
When you’re ready to see mortgage rates, click here for a free HARP rate quote.
Lastly, don’t forget! The Home Affordable Refinance Program is not meant to save a home from foreclosure. It’s meant to give underwater homeowners a chance to refinance without paying PMI. If you need foreclosure help, call your current loan servicer immediately.
With Dallas Fort Worth area mortgage rates at record breaking low levels, Texas homeowners are encouraged to compare 30 year and 15 year Fixed Rate Refinance options. More and more Texas homeowners are considering taking advantage of historic low refinance rates by switching to shorter term loans. 15 year fixed rate mortgage payments have never been this affordable in history.
While 30 year fixed rates are also at historic low levels and allow homeowners to increase monthly cash flow into the household, 15 year fixed rate refinances allow homeowners to build equity in the home much faster.
Take a look at the comparison below. You can see the current homeowner that purchased their home just two years ago at a great 30 year fixed rate of 4.75 is able to drop their interest rate to 3.625% on a 30 year option or 3% on a 15 year option. On the 30 year fixed rate option, if the homeowner continues to make the same payment as their making on their current loan, they’ll save over $60,000 in interest and payoff the loan 4.5 years faster. Even if the homeowner opts to increase the balance of the new loan and roll in the closing costs to avoid having any out of pocket expenses, they will have approximately $7,000 more equity in their home in just 5 short years – making the same payment that they are making right now!!
Now, if this homeowner has the budget to pay a little more per month, then they can really take advantage of low interest rates on a 15 year fixed refinance. This scenario would save this homeowner over $111,000 in interest total and give them over $35,000 more equity in just 5 years. With this kind of savings, you can see why more and more Dallas Fort Worth homeowners are switching to 15 year fixed rate refinances!!
**These rates were based off current pricing (7/26/2012) of someone with excellent credit scores (over 740 fico scores) on a Conventional 200k loan amount with 20% equity. Rates do fluctuate daily and change from one scenario to another, so to get a FREE rate quote, complete the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org today! Lender fees do vary from lender to lender, so make sure to select a lender with low refinance fees. These scenarios were based off of no rate buydown, discount points, origination points, or junk fees – total lender origination charges under $700.
Based on the current interest rates at the time this was written, homebuyers in the Dallas, TX area are able to purchase a new home for less per month than EVER before!! Current FHA and VA 30 year Fixed interest rates are available as low as 3.25%. This would put a 200k loan amount payment at only $870 per month including principal and interest – when you include the taxes, insurance, and FHA mortgage insurance, you’re total payment would be only $1646 per month (see the estimated breakdown below). To put this into perspective, this is $330 less per month than someone financing the same amount just a few short years ago at 6 percent. In this scenario, this homebuyer is able to purchase $55,000 more in home for the same principal and interest payment.
Example of Transaction Summary
Purchase Price of $204000
Total Loan Amount of $200,000
Total Monthly Payment $1646
So, this all sounds good, but how much does this cost? Each program has different down payment requirements. The most common mortgage programs such as FHA has a minimum of 3.5% down, while Conventional mortgage programs require 3%-5% down. Some mortgage programs such as VA (mortgages for Veterans) and USDA mortgages allow for ZERO down payment – 100% financing.
Closing Costs will vary from lender to lender. The average lender origination fees in Texas in 2011 were over $1900 – not including title, recording, other 3rd party items and prepaid items such as first years insurance premium and escrow account setup. HOWEVER, some Dallas lenders do have much lower fees – Click Here to See an Example of Low Fees and Breakdown on a new home purchase Transaction.
You’ll want to plan on having another 5-6k to cover the closing costs and prepaid items required to close on a new home. You can negotiate that the seller contribute part of all of this amount at closing. FHA will allow up to 6% of the sales price towards closing costs – VA will allow up to 4% – Conventional will allow up to 3% (unless you’re putting down more).
Also, some lenders rates are so LOW that they also give you a “lender credit” to cover costs to close on the home. For example, this example based on current market rates at 3.25% would have a lender credit of over $1700. That is more than enough to cover all the lender fees and some of the title and third party fees.
If you’re in the Dallas area, the time to purchase a new home has never been more optimal!! You can purchase a home with a lower monthly payment and interest rate than ever before. With 30 year fixed rates at 3.25% currently, you can’t rent a home for less per month. Down payment and closing costs will vary from one program and lender to the next, but there are local Dallas lenders with exceptionally low lender and origination fees. Contact us today with questions about buying a home in the Dallas area by completing the short form below.