What the FHFA’s RefiNow Program Means for You
The FHFA revealed RefiNow, its new Refinancing product for low-income borrowers. But how does it work and who qualifies?
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted a new refinance option for loans to borrowers with incomes at or below 80% of area median income and you may be eligible to take advantage of this program. If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under this refinance option.
With this refi loan option lenders must ensure you save at least $50 per month on your mortgage payments and drop your interest rate by 50 basis points. In practice, this means if you qualify for this new refi option, your existing rate would go down 0.5% (e.g., 4% rate would be knocked down to 3.5%).
If you are ineligible for an appraisal waiver, you could receive a credit worth up to $500 for an appraisal.
The announcement also came with a rollback of the Adverse Market Refinance Fee for borrowers with a balance less than or equal to $300,000.
Between RefiNow’s features and the adverse market refinance fee rollback, the FHFA predicts this could save between homeowners $100 to $250 per month.
How Do I Qualify?
People looking to take advantage of the program must meet the following requirements:
- Have a mortgage through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following websites:
- Your income is 80% or less of your area’s median income
- You are current on payments for the last six months
- You have no more than one missed payment in the last 12 months
- You mortgage cannot have an LTV ratio higher than 97% and a DTI lower than 65%
- Minimum FICO of 620
The introduction of RefiNow is a gamechanger for those who were afraid their income prevented them from taking advantage of the recent refinance rush. Provided you qualify, this new refi option could help you save for the things that matter.