If you’re “upside-down” on a mortgage owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac — you owe more than the value of your home — but you make your monthly payments on time, you may be able to lower your payment and interest rate by refinancing with HARP.
Unlike many traditional refinance products, HARP mortgages are designed for borrowers with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios equal to or greater than 80 percent. LTV is calculated by dividing the balance of a mortgage by the home’s value.
The HARP refinance program is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2018. So if you’re interested in exploring whether it’s right for you, the most convenient way to get started, usually, is through your existing lender. But if your lender doesn’t offer it (or you just want a change), you can choose a new participating lender.
NerdWallet picked some of the best approved HARP lenders in a variety of categories so you can quickly determine which one is right for you.
Best overall HARP Lenders
These HARP-approved lenders operate nationwide, offer digital applications and make it easy to get one-on-one support from a loan officer.
- Is the largest FHA lender in the nation
- A full complement of mortgage products for buying and refinancing
- Offers a technology-friendly loan process
- Quicken Loans review
- Offers a full menu of fixed and adjustable home loans and refinancing
- Finds state bond programs for first-time home buyers and income-limited households
- Has community-based loan officers all over the country
- Flagstar Bank review
Best non-bank HARP lenders
If a big bank or online company just isn’t for you, consider these nontraditional lenders that strive to make home loans easy and accessible.
- A “Lifetime Guarantee” refinance program offers special benefits for repeat customers
- A rate comparison page offers head-to-head shopping with competitors
- Technology upgrades are enhancing the customer experience
- loanDepot review
- Caters to minority and low-income borrowers
- Offers loans for manufactured housing
- Helps borrowers find state-sponsored down payment assistance and grant programs
- New American Funding review
Best online HARP lenders
The digital tools, like online document submission and application tracking, offered by these lenders will help you jump-start the mortgage process.
- Provides full online service, including a mobile app, for application and loan tracking
- Automated salary and other financial detail verification cuts time and effort of the process
- Gives a loan decision in minutes
- Rocket Mortgage review
Best traditional HARP lenders
Use these widely recognized lenders if you prefer the comfort that comes from decades of experience.
- Offers options for starting the refinance process in a branch, in person or online
- Services all 50 states, with offices in 22 states
- Provides fixed, adjustable, jumbo, FHA, VA and Home Affordable Refinance Program loans
- Chase Mortgage review
- One of the largest banks in the world
- Offers a robust website and mobile app
- You can create an account to upload documents, download loan disclosures, e-sign and more
- Bank of America review
Best HARP lenders if you want to work with a human
Visit the physical locations offered by these lenders if you want face-to-face contact with your mortgage professional.
- Offers customer service in its physical locations, online, via chat and by phone
- Website offers educational material, supports streamlined loan process
- Embraces FHA-backed home loans
- SunTrust Mortgage review
- A large-scale lender with a full menu of home loan products
- Average loan close time: 30-60 days
- Available in all 50 states
- CitiMortgage review
Best HARP refinance lenders: summary
- Quicken Loans: Overall
- Flagstar Bank: Overall
- Loan Depot: Non-bank lender
- New American Funding: Non-bank lender
- Rocket Mortgage: Online experience
- PNC Mortgage: Online experience
- Chase: Traditional lender
- Bank of America: Traditional lender
- SunTrust: Human touch
- CitiMortgage: Human touch