Making Home Affordable Program

by Ben
(Columbia, Maryland USA)

Ask Kate: Making Home Affordable Program - Can I choose my own lender and get a competitive rate for my refinance? Dear Kate, Is is true I can do a HARP refinance - Home Affordable Refinance Program - with a new lender? I thought I had to stay with my current mortgage lender.


My current lender wants to charge a higher rate (0.5% higher) than their conforming rate published on their website since my LTV has decreased but still within HARP guidelines. I thought HARP was put in place to allow folks current on their mortgage to refinance at current rates not at higher than market rates.

Kate Answers: Making Home Affordable Program - Can I choose my own lender and get a competitive rate for my refinance?

Hi Ben, Confusing isn't it? Let's go straight to the source and cut through misinformation. Here is a quote from the HARP website regarding your right to choose a lender to implement a HARP refinance:

Q: How do I apply for a refinance under HARP?

A: You should call your mortgage lender and ask for a Home Affordable Refinance application. The number is on your monthly mortgage bill or coupon book.

Alternately, you may apply through a lender approved to do business with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Nearly all major banks and mortgage brokers have this approval.

Regarding your question about home loan rates and terms, the HARP website asks and answers:

Q: What are the interest rate and other terms of a refinance under HARP?

A: 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.

Ben, here are two terms not allowed to vary - HARP refis cannot have balloon payments or prepayment penalties.

At the bottom of this page, you will notice that I have linked to my answers pertaining to additional questions about the Making Home Affordable Program. Don't miss out on the straight scoop! And as always, write me back with more questions.

Please also take a moment to bookmark Making Home Affordable Program to your favorites so you can easily return in the future. Come back and visit often, Ben. Help me spread the word by sharing my website with your friends. Remember, all of my information is free!

Best Wishes,



Finally! Straight Scoop on HARP and Other Refinance Matters

Problems with HARP and Mortgage Refinancing - I am trying to refinance and really have no clue to what I am doing.

Who determines my HARP closing costs and interest rate - Do I have to shop my refinance?

Making Home Affordable Refinance Program - Can I refinance my second home using HARP?

Home Affordable Refinance Program - Should I wait for a new revision to the HARP program?

HARP Refinance Made Impossible By Subordination Agreement

What can you do when your mortgage approval hiccups? I don't have to convince you that mortgage approval can be tricky.

Return from Making Home Affordable Program to Get-Your-Best-Mortgage-Rate

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

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