At least one place is advertising that “The President Waives Refinance Requirement” as a way to get people to be interested in refinancing. But did the President really waive a refinance requirement that means anything to someone who currently has a VA loan?
The program that the ad refers to is the Home Affordable Refinance Program or as people normally call it “HARP”. Sometimes people also call this the “Obama Refinance Plan” because the President has been seen quite a bit on television talking about getting people to refinance even though their home may be under water.
HARP Refinance Waives Refinance Requirements
The main idea of the HARP refinance has been to get who are under water to refinance their house and take advantage of lower interest rates. The first version of HARP was then expanded by relaxing the guidelines to allow even more people refinance and now millions have benefitted from HARP 1.0 and HARP 2.0 programs. Currently, there are rumors of HARP 3.0, but nothing has been made official as of late April 2013. It was recently announced that HARP would be extended until 2015.
The main requirement that the President has “waived” (keep in mind, the lenders are the ones who have actually waived a requirement, not the President) is that you can refinance regardless of what your loan-to-value is.
But here is the catch – in order to be eligible for the HARP refinance program, your loan must be owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. And if you have a VA loan, you are not eligible for the HARP program.
In order to be eligible for HARP 2.0, you must first have your loan owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. First, check with Freddie Mac to see about your potential eligibility for HARP here. Then check with Fannie Mae to see about your potential eligibility for HARP here.
If you have a VA or FHA loan, you are not currently eligible for the HARP to refinance program , but there are other programs that will let you refinance that are very similar to HARP called the FHA or VA streamline refinance programs.
The VA Streamline Refinance: A Good Alternative To HARP
If you have a VA loan and have made your payments on time in the last 12 months, chances are you are eligible for the VA streamline refinance. The VA streamline is a great program in that some lenders will let you refinance without an appraisal or minimum credit score – and so just like the HARP program, your loan to value doesn’t really matter. The other good news about the VA streamline program is that it isn’t a program that is planned to “go away” in the future – it has been here for years and will likely be here for years to come.
The simplest way to find out if you are eligible for the VA streamline is to fill out your information right here and speak with a lender who can possibly help you with getting a VA streamline refinance done and get you qualified for the program. Finding out if you can qualify for a VA streamline is free, only takes a few minutes and can potentially save you thousands over the life of your mortgage. If The President has waived off the refi requirements for the HARP program and everyone is talking about it – just think how lucky you are if you have a VA loan because the VA streamline program does the same thing and will for years to come! Get started by seeing if you are eligible and get a free quote from a VA approved lender now.