Government Refinance and Home Purchase Assistance

Information and Updates on Government Mortgage Programs

[Update — The Fed and Obama administration have been compressing mortgage interest rates for some time now. Due to those efforts and other market factors, mortgage rates and APR’s on most 15-30 year fixed government-backed mortgages have recently been coming in between 3.0 and 4.5%. But mortgage interest rates may be moving significantly higher soon so contact us today to learn more and get the process started.]

HOME PURCHASES

There are several government-backed home purchase programs designed to make it easier for Americans to buy a home. The goal of these programs is to allow for low down payments and to make it easier for people with less than perfect credit to qualify for a mortgage. With mortgage interest rates near historical lows and housing prices increasing across the country again, now is a terrific time to look into buying a home. Fill in the contact form on the right to learn more about the available government-backed purchase programs and to get pre-qualified for a home purchase loan.

HOME REFINANCES

For Homeowners Who Have Equity

There are several superb government-backed refinance programs for borrowers who have even a little equity in their homes and there are various good reasons to seek a refinance:

Contact one of our counselors to be pointed in the right direction on these options.

For Homeowners Who Are Underwater Or Upside Down On Their Mortgage(s)

There are several options for the millions of U.S. homeowners who owe more on their home than the property is currently worth. Here are a few:

1. FHA Streamline Refinance — If you are upside-down/underwater on your mortgage and currently have an FHA loan, refinancing to a better FHA mortgage through the FHA streamline program is an excellent option. Fill in the contact form on this page if you have an FHA loan and would like to learn more about the FHA-to-FHA streamline program.

2. HARP Refinances — With President Obama’s HARP program, qualified homeowners can refinance a conventional first mortgage which is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac no matter how underwater they are. (See here to find out if your conventional mortgage is backed by Fannie or Freddie.) As long as the current Fannie or Freddie loan was acquired prior to May of 2009 there should be no loan-to-value (LTV) limits. Further, while the HARP 1.0 program did not work well for people currently paying mortgage insurance (PMI), the changes in the HARP 2.0 program allow borrowers with PMI to participate. The HARP program does not allow second mortgages to be combined with first mortgages but will allow the first mortgage to be refinanced with the second mortgage remaining in place as is (called a subordination). See here for more on HARP 2.0 guidelines, features, and requirements. Contact us to learn more.

3. VA streamline (IRRRL) Program — For borrowers who have a VA loan now, the VA to VA streamline (also known as the IRRRL program) is a terrific, low cost way to significantly reduce payments and interest rates, even for borrowers who are underwater on their homes. If you have a VA loan contact us to learn more about the IRRRL program.

4. Loan Modification Programs — If you are unable to qualify for any other refinance program or if you are delinquent on your mortgage payments and are on the verge of foreclosing your best bet is often to seek a loan modification from your current lender. Loan modifications normally reduce mortgage payments by lowering interest rates or extending the loan period. Obama’s new “Home Affordable Modification Program” (HAMP) gives lenders incentive to modify troubled loans as well. See this page or contact us in the sidebar if you would like to discuss strategies for seeking a loan modification.

5. Principal Reduction Programs — It is possible to get a principal reduction in some rare cases. Contact us to be pointed in the right direction on that.

6. Other Alternatives — In some cases seeking bankruptcy protection is the best option for a family when it comes to saving their home and getting back on their feet financially. Contact us at this page to learn more about that process. Or see this page for ideas on dealing with credit card debts.

Be sure to bookmark this site and check back for the latest updates on government-backed efforts focused on alleviating the housing crisis in the US (see stories below). To contact us about your options just fill in the contact form in the sidebar.

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LATEST GOVT-RELATED MORTGAGE NEWS:

Filed under Government Home Purchase Programs, Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Until this week, borrowers needed at least a 5% down payment to purchase a home through a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac conventional loan program. As of this week a new 3% down program is rolling out. The new program will only apply to single family, primary residences, and as with all Fannie/Freddie loans, qualifying will require solid credit and income. Borrowers with credit troubles will probably still be best served by the FHA or VA purchase programs.

As with any new mortgage program, there will probably be some growing pains in the initial weeks of the launch. But the good news for home buyers is qualifying for a Fannie/Freddie loan will now require less money up front.

If you are interested in purchasing a home, contact us today on our home purchase page.

Comments (0) Posted on Thursday, December 11th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Mortgage interest rates continue to slowly drift lower. Rates recently hit lows that haven’t been seen since May of 2013. That was the month the Fed announced it would begin tapering its quantitative easing program. While rates have not yet hit the lows we saw in 2012, this latest dip is welcome news to Americans looking to buy a home or refinance their mortgage. Rates have not moved quickly in recent months, but the general trend has been downward when they have moved. Contact us today to get more information on government mortgage programs.

Comments (0) Posted on Sunday, December 7th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

The FHA recently announced that there will be no changes to its maximum loan limits in 2015.

The maximum loan size for FHA loan varies county by county. In a counties deemed high cost the maximum FHA loan size on a single family home is $625,500. The maximum in a low cost county is $271,050. There are varying limits from county to county all across the United States. Contact us to learn more about the FHA loan limits in your county.

FHA loans are excellent loans for borrowers with less than stellar credit. The FHA is much more lenient on credit scores than most other loan types. The FHA is also popular as a home purchase loan because it only requires a 3.5% down payment. Further, the FHA allows for up to 85% cash out loans, so it has been popular in the past as a cash out loan option. Last, homeowners who already have an FHA loan may be eligible to reduce their interest rate through the FHA streamline program.

Contact us today to learn more about FHA loans or other government loan programs.

Comments (0) Posted on Sunday, December 7th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Mortgage interest rates hit new 18 month lows in October and have remained near those rates into November. Stocks have seen large swings up and down this Fall, but through it all mortgage interest rates have remained near record lows. It seems likely that rates will remain low for the next few weeks but there is no telling where rates will go in 2015. If you have been considering a refinance, contact us in the sidebar today to get an estimate on the savings. There is still time to refinance to a better, government-backed mortgage before the end of the year. If you are looking into purchasing a home, fill in the contact form on this page.

Comments (0) Posted on Saturday, November 15th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Worries about the the worldwide economy in recent weeks have sent investors rushing to the safe haven of U.S. treasury bonds. That movement of money has sent yields on treasury bonds to the lowest they have been since June of 2013. Movement in mortgage interest rates tend to roughly mirror the movement of the 10-year T-Note, so as the yields on the T-Note have been dropping, so have mortgage interest rates.

It’s looking like this Fall will be the best time in a long time to refinance a mortgage. If you have a mortgage interest rate that you would like to lower, contact us in the sidebar right away before rates move higher again.

Comments (0) Posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

September wasn’t a stellar month for mortgage interest rates. Rallies in the stock market pushed bond yields higher and mortgage interest rates mirrored that upward trend for most of September. But since stock prices and bond yields peaked in late September, both have been falling quickly over the last week or so. Mortgage interest rates have been dropping over the last week as well. Numerous factors, including an Ebola virus scare in the U.S. have been driving the downward trend.

While stocks falling isn’t good news for everyone, it is good news for anyone looking into a mortgage. Mortgage interest rates have gotten significantly better this week. That means now is an excellent time to look into a government-backed refinance or home purchase program. Contact us in the sidebar for information on a refinance, or if you are considering buying a home fill in the contact form on our home purchase page.

Comments (0) Posted on Wednesday, October 1st, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

There was an excellent article recently over at HousingWire.com that focused on a new study from The National Bureau of Economic Research. Here are some excerpts from that piece:

Approximately 20% of households for whom refinancing would be optimal are throwing over ten grand a year away due to their failure to take action.

“Despite the large stakes, anecdotal evidence suggests that many households may fail to refinance when they otherwise should. Failing to refinance is puzzling due to the large financial incentives involved. However, certain features of the refinance decision make failing to refinance consistent with recent work in behavioral economics,” the report said.

NBER stated borrowers are road blocked for three distinct reasons:

-It is difficult for borrowers to calculate the financial benefit to refinancing due to the very limited experience borrowers have with the complexities of transactions of this type.
-The benefits of refinancing are not immediate, but rather accrue over time.
-There is high amount of up-front costs, both financial and non-financial, that households must pay in order to complete a refinance, including a re-evaluation of their financial position and the value of their home.

“All of these features provide a psychological basis for why some households may fail to take up large savings,” NBER said.

The upshot is that millions of Americans who would benefit from a refinance to a better mortgage are still waiting on the sidelines. Contact us in the sidebar today to look into your government-backed refinance options.

Comments (0) Posted on Sunday, September 14th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

As we have discussed in the past, mortgage interest rates tend to roughly trend with the yield on the 10 year T-Note. In recent days, yields on the 10 year T-Note hit new 12 month lows. That is good news on mortgage interest rates.

As global turmoil continues to spook investors, money has been flowing into safer investments like U.S. treasury bonds. Like all market trends, this one won’t last forever; but in the short run, now is a good time to look into a refinance or a home purchase. Contact us in the form in the sidebar of this page for refinance help. To get info on home purchase programs just fill in the contact for on our home purchase page.

Comments (0) Posted on Sunday, August 17th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Escalating armed conflicts Israel and Ukraine has been spooking global investors over the last few weeks. When investors get spooked they generally start moving funds into safe investments like U.S. treasuries. That compresses the yields on treasuries which in turn lowers mortgage interest rates. While we haven’t yet seen a big drop in mortgage interest rates, we are seeing the rates staying at 12 month lows and the recent headlines have been creating even more downward pressure on rates.

The upshot is that now is a terrific time to look into buying a home or refinancing to a lower rate. If you are looking into a refinance, contact us in the sidebar. For home purchase inquiries, contact us on our home purchase page.

Comments (0) Posted on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014


Filed under Government Home Purchase Programs

The USDA rural development program is a popular home purchase program. The primary appeal of the program is that it requires no down payment. In addition, borrowers who get a USDA RD loan avoid the expensive monthly mortgage insurance associated with FHA loans. One of the primary limitations to the program is that only homes that are in designated rural areas are eligible.

On October 1, 2014, the eligibility maps for the USDA rural housing program will change. See the USDA eligibility maps at the USDA RD site. Click on the “Single Family Housing” link in the sidebar and follow the instructions to get to the maps. Densely populated areas are not eligible but a surprisingly high number of suburbs are eligible for USDA RD program.

Contact us at our home purchase page to get more information on the USDA RD program.

Comments (0) Posted on Monday, August 11th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Just over a year ago, in May of 2013, mortgage interest rates made a sudden upward jump on news that the Fed was planning on tapering its stimulus program. Since then mortgage interest rates have drifted back downward again. Rates on 15 and 30 year fixed mortgage are lower now than they were last summer and that is making refinances and home purchases extremely attractive again.

If you would like to lower the interest rate and payments on your current mortgage, contact us in the form in sidebar. Or if you are looking into buying a home, contact us on our home purchase page

Comments (0) Posted on Monday, July 7th, 2014


Filed under Government Home Purchase Programs

Over the last couple of years rent prices have been rising rapidly across the United States. Low vacancy rates have allowed landlords to hike rates at 2-3% per year. At the same time, mortgage interest rates have dropped over the last few months. In addition, home values have been steadily increasing again after the bottom fell out of the housing market in 2007-2008.

All of these factors add up to make purchasing and owning a home increasingly attractive to many Americans. In many areas of the country, mortgage payments are the same or lower than rent costs. And with home values steadily increasing, owning a home can mean owning an appreciating asset that can often be sold at a profit down the road rather than simply pouring money into rent.

If you have considered buying a home, contact us at our home purchase page today. Our counselors can point you in the right direction regarding available government-backed home purchase programs.

Comments (0) Posted on Monday, June 16th, 2014