Assistance Programs for Refinancing or Buying a New House

In terms of refinancing or purchasing a new house, there has been a wider range of options compared to the past for consumers who have little or no equity in their homes or who have experienced some financial problems.

Homeowners had a few or no option in refinancing into a loan with a low interest rate after the fall of home prices during the middle of the year 2007. Moreover, homeowners who lost their homes had to wait for a long time to buy a new one.

However, throughout the previous couple of years, there has been a development of several government assistance programs. Also, in the private sector, programs that are intended to assist consumers who encountered financial difficulties are being offered by banks and credit unions.

According to the president of residential lending for Zions Bank, Kim Casaday, only a few people are aware of the available resources. In fact, a free counseling is being offered by Zions for Utahns in order to assist them in terms of homeownership. Options for homeownership can be checked in Zion’s website,

One of the major assistance programs is the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). It helps consumers get a lower mortgage rate, lower monthly payment or other kinds of assistance to avoid losing their homes.

Another assistance program is Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). It helps homeowners who are not late in their mortgage payments but are not able to refinance due to the fall of home prices.

On the other hand, Utah First Credit Union is offering a no-wait housing loan intended for those who are not eligible for conventional financing. Consumers can apply for loans with a maximum of $320,000, and they may apply immediately after their short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy. However, those who are qualified for the loans will be charged a higher interest rate and must have a 20 percent deposit.

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