Harp Closing Costs and Interest Rate

by Cassie from Georgia

Ask Kate: Who determines HARP closing costs and interest rate?
Hello Kate, We are getting ready to refinance and are waiting on the GFE (good faith estimate) from my current mortgage lender.


We are (and have always been) current on our mortgage and are using the HARP program to refinance because the values have dropped drastically in our neighborhood. Our goal is to lower our monthly house payments with a better interest rate.

Here are my questions about the HARP closing costs and interest rate...

Should I have to pay closing costs and if so should they be less or more than a regular refinance?

How do I find out what mortgage rate to expect with great credit?

I know I could shop the loan but would really like to use our current lender so thought there might be a way to check the rate he gives us on the GFE without having to "shop the loan". Thanks for your help! ***zzz-link-harp-announcement.shtml***

Kate Answers: Who determines HARP closing costs and interest rate?

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Hi Cassie, HARP closing costs and interest rate are not set by the government. In fact here is what the Making Home Affordable website says:

"The rate will be based on market rates in effect at the time of the refinance and any associated points and fees quoted by your lender. Interest rates may vary across lenders and over time as market rates adjust. The refinanced loans must have no prepayment penalties or balloon payments."

How to Shop Your HARP Mortgage Closing Costs

Even though the Making Home Affordable Program is intended to get the housing market back on track, your HARP closing costs and interest rate needs to shopped just as you would any refinance.

But hey you're in luck! Let's take a look at my Mortgage Turbo Tips. You'll be glad to discover they're packed with powerful help regarding closing costs, locking interest rates, mortgage pre approval and more tips for shopping your refinance.

In addition, by visiting Refinancing FAQs you'll discover solutions based on inquiries from other homeowners pursuing refinancing.

Cassie, please come back and visit often. Help me spread the word by sharing my website with your friends. Remember, all of my information is free!

Best wishes,


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Investor with Mortgage Foreclosure on Rental
by: Anonymous

I had a rental property two-and-a-half years ago in Nevada that finally was sold through foreclosure on 4/31/2012. The bank would not work with us saying we owed too much.

Now my bank Wells Fargo is saying we qualify for the harp program because we have paid our mortgage on another property on time. Can we get a harp loan even though we foreclosed on a rental property with a different bank?

Hi Investor, Kate here. Well, not to throw a bucket of cold water on the anticipation of affordable monthly payments, but I am wondering if you've received notification that your underwater mortgage is eligible to be considered for the HARP 2 Refinancing Plan because it is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It could be that the in-depth loan approval process is still pending.

But hopefully, the HARP 2 refinance of your personal residence will sail right through to loan approval because actual guidelines say there is no specified waiting period after a foreclosure. (However traditional underwriting guidelines still apply.)

You can read more about HARP 2 refinance guidelines here.

Best wishes for your HARP approval, Kate

Underwater Mortgage Refinance
by: Anonymous

How much should my refinance mortgage interest rate be above the market rate if my loan balance is more than the value of my home?

Thanks for your quick reply.

Answer from Kate: Mortgage interest rates are determined by individual qualifications. The best answer is to compare mortgage compare rates and closing costs from several lenders.

Think this is easier said than done? Follow my links to help I have written just for this very reason...

1. How to understand and Compare Mortgage Closing Costs.

1. How to shop for and Compare Mortgage Lenders.

3. An easy to read, up-to-date chart of current fixed and adjustable rates at Compare Fixed and Adjustable Mortgage Rates.

Best wishes in your pursuit of affordable monthly house payments, Kate

Click here to add your own comment.

You can also ask Kate about your mortgage at Refinancing Advice The Nuts and Bolts.

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