The Roberts family was never comfortable with the idea of piling on a lot of debt.
From the time Greg and Susan got married, they worked hard to avoid high interest loans, credit cards and student loan debt. They even purchased their first used car with cash in-hand, saving them a pricey trip to the dealership.
Their debtless aspirations soon faded, however, when the apartment they were renting became much too small to accommodate a new surprise – Susan was pregnant.
“I didn’t know what we were going to do,” Susan told us. “At first we were determined to find a bargain home that we could ask the owner to finance, but with all of the new homes and easy loans on the market at the time, that just wasn’t in the cards.”
Greg and Susan soon realized that some things in life are very difficult to accomplish without borrowing money, and purchasing a home was one of them. They began working with a realtor that found them the perfect little two-story home – guaranteed to increase in value, according to the realtor.
Unfortunately, their realtor was wrong.
Over the next two years, the Roberts soon found themselves in the same boat as millions of other Americans, struggling to make their mortgage payments following the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
The Roberts were having a tough time keeping up with rising monthly mortgage payments on Greg’s modest income, and both parents were worried about what would happen to their new family if they failed to make a payment.
Finally, after months of looking, Greg found a little-known method to paying down his mortgage.
It was the method that saved the family home.
The Roberts family stumbled onto the federal government’s Home Affordable Refinance Plan (HARP).
The HARP program was established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in 2009 to keep homeowners in their homes by refinancing their mortgage loans to obtain lower interest payments.
And lower interest payments mean lower monthly payments.
So how did HARP work for the Roberts family, and how can you find out if you are qualified?
Simple. Just check out the eligibility page at www.harp.gov to find out if your home qualifies for refinancing. Some of the basic requirements are:
These are just some of the qualifiers for refinancing your home through the federal government’s HARP program.
Families that refinanced last year through the HARP program have been found to save an average of around $320 per month on their monthly mortgage payments, according to Freddie Mac.
The savings were enough to keep the Roberts in their first home. And like their twin baby boys – that surprise turned out to be quite a welcome one.