Rates are still as low as they have been in history, allowing for extraordinarily easy payments for millions of people. But for many people, entrance into this interest rate nirvana can be as difficult as getting through St. Peter’s gate.
There are two main reasons why people have trouble refinancing. One group cannot qualify because of tight underwriting. In many cases, credit is poor or jobs have been lost. Loose guideline loans of the past are no longer available to help these borrowers.
But there is another group of borrowers, with great jobs and wonderful credit, who still cannot get mortgages because they were unfortunate enough to move into neighborhoods that declined sharply in value or bought at the peak. Now their loans are underwater. A couple of years ago, the Obama administration started the HARP program to help these people. HARP loans have interest rates as competitive as normal loans. HARP Loans are defined as fixed rate loans that are either conforming (417,000 dollars) or high balance (625,000 dollars) that were 1) funded before June 2009 and 2) are currently owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. To see if your loan qualifies you can go here to check: