Time running out to use popular home refinance option

Stretching Your Dollar
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It would be difficult for interest rates to go any lower than they currently are. The average 30-year fixed rate is just over 3.4%.

And the 15-year rate is an astounding 2.7% average. Some lenders have even lower rates. Most experts didn’t think rates would get this low.

But there’s a problem for millions of Americans: they can’t qualify to refinance their homes.

“I was interested in lowering my interest rate. The problem was the amount of equity I had in my house and previous employment history,” said Frederick Moore, HARP loan customer.

Moore lives in Indianapolis off Keystone Avenue. He wanted to take advantage of low interest rates to refinance, but a conventional loan was difficult for him to get. That's when he heard about HARP, which stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program.

John Corbin is the regional president of Huntington Bank. He told FOX59 that the HARP program makes it much easier to get a loan because it's designed to help those who have little or no equity in their homes.

“That's exactly right, and it's good for the consumer to always have the lowest rate and the lowest payment as well. And it's good for the industry as well. So we want to open that opportunity for them,” said Corbin.

The federal government backs the program. It only takes a few weeks to process the lean, but you should act quickly because HARP ends Dec. 31.

Moore’s HARP loan is already saving him about $300 a month because of the much lower interest rate.

“It was a very big saving of almost $300 a month. I had an interest rate of almost seven percent. And then they actually split it in half, so it worked out quite well for me,” said Moore.

HARP was worked out for many. Huntington Bank alone has closed more than 35,000 loans, worth close to $5 billion. All banks offer HARP, and there are not that many qualifications.

“Borrowers have to be in good standing with their existing bank today in terms of payment. The loan would also need to be a federally banked program through Fanny Mae or Freddie Mac,” said Corbin.

To qualify for a HARP loan, it would be wise to start the process no later than November if you’re interested. Learn more about the program here.

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