What Is a Streamline Refinance?

March 30, 2012 131 Comments »
What Is a Streamline Refinance?

streamline refinance

Mortgage Q&A: “What is a streamline refinance?”

While qualifying for a mortgage refinance is generally a lot harder than it has been in the past (now that lenders actually care how your mortgage performs), there are less cumbersome options available.

In fact, many lenders offer “streamlined” alternatives to existing borrowers to lower costs and make refinancing more accessible.

Plenty of banks out there have their own “streamline refinance” programs that come with looser credit scoring requirements, easier income and asset verification, and limited paperwork.

And in some cases, you don’t even need to order an appraisal. Put simply, a streamline refinance takes a lot of the legwork (and time) out of the process, and may increase your chances of approval.

However, streamline refinances also come with their own list of requirements, namely that the refinance has a “net tangible benefit.” In other words, it should help the homeowner, not just put money in the pocket of the loan originator.

This generally means that the mortgage rate should drop by an amount that will eclipse any related fees, and/or that the loan is converted from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage.

Streamline Refinance Guidelines

Here’s a condensed list of possible streamline refinance guidelines and rules:

  • Must be current on your existing mortgage
  • Refinance must clearly benefit the borrower
  • No cash out allowed
  • Limited income/asset verification
  • Minimal credit requirements
  • Less paperwork
  • Faster processing
  • Lower closing costs
  • No appraisal necessary

*Keep in mind that these guidelines can vary widely from bank to bank, and not every lender will offer a streamline refinance, or approve you if they do.

Also note that a streamline refinance can take just as long as a regular refinance. They aren’t necessarily faster, they’re just meant to be easier to qualify for.

FHA Streamline Refinance

  • Loan must be already be FHA-insured (aka an existing FHA loan)
  • The borrower must be current on payments (not delinquent)
  • The refinance must result in a tangible benefit (lower mortgage payment)
  • No cash can go to the borrower (in excess of $500 in incidental cash)

Perhaps one of the most popular and well-known streamline refinance options out there comes courtesy of the FHA. In fact, the FHA has permitted “streamline refinances” since the early 1980s, making them a pioneer of sorts in the business of expedited mortgages.

Of course, they’ve become much more popular lately thanks to the mortgage crisis, which has brought down home values tremendously.

An FHA streamline refinance makes it easy to refinance your mortgage to a lower mortgage rate without the need for an appraisal, many of which happen to come in low these days.

In fact, if an appraisal is conducted and it’s not favorable, the FHA will even allow lenders to ignore it and set it aside.

Additionally, because there is no credit scoring requirement and limited documentation requirements, most borrowers can qualify for an FHA streamline refinance quite effortlessly, even if they don’t have adequate income, assets, or employment.

These are known as “non-credit qualifying” streamline refis because the typical in-depth underwriting process is avoided.

It should be noted that while the FHA doesn’t require a credit report, the individual lender might as part of their own guidelines. Or they may just ask for a mortgage-only credit report.

The idea here is that a borrower with smaller monthly mortgage payments is a less risky borrower, which is good for the hard-hit FHA. So even if it sounds risky to give a homeowner a new mortgage with very little paperwork, they’re actually just being given a more affordable mortgage.

For example, if their existing payment is $2,000 per month and a streamline refi can get their payment down to $1,500 per month, chances are they’ll have an easier time making payments. Of course, it’s never a guarantee.

There are just a handful of simple requirements necessary for approval. As long as your existing mortgage is an FHA loan and in good standing (not delinquent), and the refinance will result in a lower monthly mortgage payment (or you’re converting your ARM to a FRM), you should be good to go.

You can even streamline a 203k loan to the standard 203b FHA loan program with some lenders.

There are cases when income will be verified and DTI ratios computed, but only if the refinance increases the mortgage payment by 20% or more, if a borrower is removed triggering the due-on-sale clause, or following a loan assumption.

In these scenarios, a streamline is still possible but it has to be “credit qualifying,” which is a bit more involved underwriting wise.

FHA Streamline Seasoning Requirements

Aside from the details discussed above, there are seasoning requirements that must also be met, including the following:

– you must have made at least six (6) payments on the FHA-insured mortgage before refinancing
– six (6) full months must have passed since the first payment due date of the original mortgage
– 210 days must have passed from the closing date of the original mortgage

If the loan is less than 12 months old, you aren’t allowed any mortgage lates. If it’s greater than 12 months, you are permitted no more than one 30-day late payment in the preceding 12 months. And the three most recent payments must have been timely.

Also note that no cash out can be taken out via a FHA streamline refinance. Only rate and term refinances work here.

However, you can get your hands on a no cost refinance, meaning you won’t necessarily need to pay out-of-pocket expenses, but you’ll be stuck with a higher interest rate in return.

This is common because the FHA doesn’t allow lenders to roll closing costs into the new mortgage amount on a streamline refinance without an appraisal. And most people gravitate to this program for that appraisal waiver.

To sum it up, because no appraisal is required, the FHA streamline refinance is an excellent option for those who are underwater on their mortgages, of which there are many.

Tip: President Obama recently lowered mortgage insurance premium costs on FHA Streamline Refinances to help more borrowers take advantage of the record low mortgage rates currently on offer.

VA Streamline Refinance

The FHA isn’t the only one offering streamline refinances. The VA also offers a streamlined “VA loan to VA loan” refinance, known as an “Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan,” or IRRRL for short.

Yes, that’s a lot of “R’s,” but a VA streamline refinance is easy to execute and can save you a lot of money now that mortgage rates are so low.

The same basic rules apply. Your refinance must result in a lower interest rate, or you must switch from an ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage, and no cash out is permitted.

The VA does not require an appraisal or a credit underwriting package, and you have the option of rolling the refinance costs into the new loan or opting for a no cost refinance.

Additionally, a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA is not required, making a refinance a snap compared to the usual process.

HARP Streamline Refinance

You may have also heard of HARP and HARP 2.0, a streamlined loan program that allows underwater homeowners to refinance their mortgage, no matter how high their loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is.

The same simple qualification requirements (or lack thereof) apply here, though your loan must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and must have been sold to the pair on or before May 31, 2009.

Additionally, your current LTV must be north of 80%, which isn’t a problem for most homeowners these days.

Finally, you must be current on your mortgage at the time of refinance, with no late payments in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the preceding 12 months.

Assuming you qualify, you should be able to get your hands on a much lower mortgage rate, even with an excessively high LTV, all with limited fees and closing costs.

Is Streamlining Your Refinance the Best Deal?

While a streamline refinance may be your easiest option, it may not be the best choice for you.

Whenever you’re in the market for a refinance, it’s wise to take the time to shop around.

That means looking beyond your current lender and/or loan type to see if there’s something better out there.

For example, it might be better to have a conventional loan instead of an FHA loan, even if that means going through the whole underwriting process as opposed to a streamline.

You may find a lower mortgage rate with a new lender that will justify a more involved qualification process.

Sure, it can be a pain to refinance your mortgage, but the savings afforded each month and over your lifetime should definitely be worth your time.

Read more: When to refinance your mortgage.


  1. Michelle Fagan May 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm -

    Are you abe to streamline a PA FHA that is backed by a bond? We bought a new house last fall and kept our original townhome (owned for 7 years) to use as an investment property for our kids education down the road.

    We have a great tenant who will be in the townhome for another 15 months and we have not missed a mortgage payment. We received a letter 2 weeks ago from US Bank saying our townhome had to be our primary home for the life of the loan.

    We owe $75k on the property and after looking into other refinancing options, the streamline seems to be too good to be true. With other RBS institutions we were looking at $3k-$7k to close depending on how the appraisal goes.

    Any advice and help is greatly appreciated.

  2. Colin Robertson May 24, 2013 at 9:17 am -

    Hi Michelle,

    You may be able to execute an FHA streamline refinance on the townhouse (investment property), but only via the “Without an Appraisal” option, which comes with some limitations.

  3. Stephanie July 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm -

    Is there one particular bank or lender that specializes in streamline refinance loans, or does every bank do them? I want to use a bank that knows what they’re doing!

  4. Colin Robertson July 23, 2013 at 11:57 am -

    Lots of banks, lenders, and brokers offer streamline loans. However, there are certainly ones that specialize in them, so they may be better suited than say a big bank that primarily goes after purchase and/or traditional refinance business. Be sure to shop around, as you would for any other type of mortgage to find the right fit.

  5. Nicholas July 31, 2013 at 10:53 pm -

    The FHA streamline is a great deal for today’s underwater borrower – no appraisal and you get an amazing discount on your mortgage insurance premiums thanks to Obama. Can’t beat that.

  6. Terry GEbauer October 22, 2013 at 8:57 am -

    I currently have a conventional mortgage – Excellent Credit. I am interested in a Streamline loan. My last refinance was 1/25/2010. The rate is 5.375. I would love to refinance and skip the appraisal and all the additional costs. The date I last refinanced keeps coming up as a reason I cannot. Why,

  7. Colin Robertson October 22, 2013 at 9:58 am -


    HARP (the streamline refi program for conventional loans) is only available to those who took out their mortgage before June 1, 2009. This is the cutoff date, which some politicians have been trying to push forward to no avail (yet). Stay tuned, it could happen as they make a renewed push for HARP.

  8. Meghan L. January 24, 2014 at 9:32 am -

    I heard there’s going to be a streamline refinance program for non-Fannie Mae loans. Is this true or just more media hype?

  9. Colin Robertson January 26, 2014 at 10:20 pm -

    There has been talk of a streamline refi program for private mortgages, such as those not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, but thus far nothing has happened, and the longer we get away from the crisis (and the closer we get to a recovery), the less chance such a program will materialize. But there has been talk of one lately, so it’s still possible!

  10. Marian January 31, 2014 at 7:47 am -

    Can you do a streamline refinance after a loan modification? Or a regular refinance?

  11. Latesha February 5, 2014 at 9:05 am -

    Is there a streamline refinance program for non-conforming loans? My loan isn’t owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

  12. Colin Robertson February 5, 2014 at 10:11 am -


    Now that mortgage volume is down, lenders are getting a lot more flexible in allowing refinances after a loan mod. The only requirement in some cases is that you’ve been current on the loan for 24 months. Not sure they can streamline it though…

  13. Colin Robertson February 5, 2014 at 10:33 am -

    Obama has mentioned opening up HARP for non-Fannie/Freddie loans, but it hasn’t happened yet and might not ever come about. If you have a non-conforming loan, you might want to contact your lender/loan servicer for options, assuming you can’t obtain a traditional refinance. You might be able to execute an FHA short refinance if you’re underwater and current on your mortgage.


  14. Patricia Duffey May 22, 2014 at 9:17 am -

    Can I convert a conventional Freddie Mac loan to a FHA Streamline loan? I’m in GA, & my home is “underwater”. I’ve never been late or missed a payment since 4/99. I’ve had various loan re-fi’s with Wells Fargo (W.F.) I just want to lower my interest rate from 6.75% to the lowest rate possible. My payment is $864.00, & want to save money. It seems that there’s a program for everyone, but me. Please reply if you can help or advise me. Thnx

  15. Colin Robertson May 22, 2014 at 9:36 am -


    The first rule to streamline an FHA loan is that the existing mortgage to be refinanced must already be FHA-insured. If you have a conventional loan you should be able to qualify for a HARP refinance instead, which is offered to those with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans.

  16. Lyndie Callahan July 18, 2014 at 4:17 pm -

    I have been trying to get a streamline to lower my payments on my current FHA loan but was told by Bank of America I didn’t qualify because I didn’t remove my husband from the title when he died 2 years ago and I need to be on the title by myself for 6 months. I was wondering if this was true? The bank wants me to do a conventional loan instead. I would really like some advice please if you have time. Thank you.

  17. Colin Robertson July 18, 2014 at 6:17 pm -


    I believe your husband would have to be off title for six months and you’d have to show proof of making payments for six months. Though there might be an immediate option via a “credit qualifying streamline refinance” with the FHA. However, it does require verified income and a credit pull to determine if you can keep up with payments. You might also consider a broker who can give you a bunch of options at once to see what’s best for your situation. Big banks aren’t typically very savvy if anything is the least bit complicated.

  18. Eva Jimenez August 23, 2014 at 12:54 pm -

    What constitutes a Refi? How does it differ from a modification? It’s a Freddie/Fannie first mortgage, and I have a second on the property. The lender is doing a “modification” with reduced fixed rate instead of variable, plus lower payments, longer term and a reduced principal balance. The lender says is a “mod” but they want me to sign off on it. I say its a refi, they assured me it’s not. My concern is that the lender will not require an escrow account for either taxes or insurance, so my risk goes way up. Your thoughts?

  19. Colin Robertson August 25, 2014 at 8:50 am -


    A modification is just as it sounds, modifying the terms of your existing loan in some way, though the definition can get murky if the lender extends the term and changes the interest rate. A refinance means your existing mortgage is being paid off and replaced with a new mortgage. Not requiring an escrow account doesn’t mean it’s high risk…in fact, lower risk loans do not require escrows in many cases. If you want to escrow your taxes and insurance, you should have that option.

  20. libby K October 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm -

    My lender is telling me I can’t do a streamline refinance because the loan needs to be in the original borrowers names . My husbands will be removed an have someone to be a co – borrower with me . Everything I have read sounds like I should be able to do this . Can you help me ?

  21. Colin Robertson October 7, 2014 at 10:12 am -


    If you think you qualify based on what you’ve read, perhaps speaking to a different lender and/or a mortgage broker might be helpful. Generally, you need to prove the ability to make payments and/or show proof of making payments on the existing loan.

  22. Carmen January 8, 2015 at 11:04 am -

    How do you shop for a mortgage refinance? It seems that all the bankers I deal with want to pull my credit or want to stall before they give me any hard numbers.

  23. Colin Robertson January 8, 2015 at 11:12 am -


    Unfortunately that’s how the industry operates, much like any other competitive product offered. The good news is that FICO considers credit inquiries within a certain period as just one credit hit. But you can still shop around without a credit report; just tell people your estimated credit score and all other pertinent details to get a reliable quote. There’s also Zillow’s marketplace, that allows for anonymous quotes, your local bank/credit union, and so on. There are many options but all require you to negotiate and be firm. Good luck!

  24. Manuel January 20, 2015 at 8:49 pm -

    I’m trying to streamline refinance. The lender sent me the GFE and it is showing settlement charges. The lender offer no-cost and I don’t understand how will pay that amount.

    I ask the lender and she stated that:
    “The charges all of those will be covered with a lender credit and will show as a $0 balance on the final documents. You should be able to see on the GFE the credit as well.”

    I don’t getter “lender credit” and how that can be no cost to me.?

  25. Colin Robertson January 21, 2015 at 11:54 am -


    Lenders will offer you a higher-than-market interest rate (say 4.5% versus 4%) and receive a credit in return. That credit is X amount of dollars and is used to offset or cover all your closing costs. So you effectively pay for the costs via a higher rate of interest.

  26. margaret g January 23, 2015 at 9:37 am -

    what they do not tell you is you will pay prepaid mpi again in amount of 3000. or more . why would you when i myself paid 5000. the first time. not worth it

  27. Kenneth February 9, 2015 at 5:26 pm -

    The problem with the fha streamline or any fha loan for that matter is that you now have to pay the pmi insurance for the life of the loan. Instead of it being cancelled after reaching the loan to value rate of 80%. So sure you can save 60$ a month on your mortgage but now you will be paying thousands & thousands more over the life of the loan. In my case the pmi is 600$ a month, I’m set to have it cancelled in 5 years, I will save 600$ a month for the following 25 years, this is not possible with the new changes in the fha.

  28. Colin Robertson February 11, 2015 at 3:23 pm -

    Good point Kenneth. I hope borrowers realize what they’re getting into down the road by saving money today…though not everyone actually holds their mortgage for more than a few years.

  29. rebecca February 22, 2015 at 10:43 am -

    Im working on streamlining my FHA loan. I reviewed the application with my lender yesterday and noticed the term said 30 years- we bought our house 18 months ago, shouldn’t the term reflect that? shouldn’t the term of the loan say 28 years? Also, its my understanding that FHA streamlining grants a 3.75% interest rate. is that the case? I just want to be sure that not only is our monthly payments going to decrease but that we’re still paying the same $ into the amount owed on the mortgage. How can i be sure? Thank you!

  30. Colin Robertson February 22, 2015 at 2:03 pm -


    The term starts over when you refinance. What some people do is make their old, higher monthly payment to pay down the mortgage faster at the new low interest rate. Rates fluctuate and can vary based on your specific loan scenario. Have the lender show you the math to ensure it’s actually saving you money both monthly and long-term.

  31. jessie March 18, 2015 at 6:43 pm -

    Hi,my lender offered two options which would you believe would be a more beneficial? One is to do a piggy back loan like we started several months ago. We do a first to 80% of appraisal and a 2nd for up to 10% of value or the difference you need. That eliminates mortgage insurance. But all borrowers need to have 700 FICO scores for the 2nd loan program. The other option is we can do a streamline. The streamline program requires no appraisal and no qualifying. We replace your existing FHA loan with a new one with the reduced mortgage insurance. It looks like in a streamline your payments will go down about $235/month.

  32. Cara March 26, 2015 at 5:45 pm -

    Hi Colin,

    I’m talking to my lender about an FHA Streamline, and they have included a $400 non-refundable application deposit AND a request for appraisal in the disclosure forms. Is this normal?

  33. Colin Robertson March 30, 2015 at 10:36 am -


    It’s pretty common for lenders to take an application fee/deposit, which usually goes toward the appraisal cost.

  34. neneth April 3, 2015 at 6:52 pm -

    I am interested in refinancing my FHA loan.I have a 30 year loan at 6%. I got my mortgage in 2007 and refinance once in 2010 , what is the best one applicable to my current loan. If I do that , will I go back to 30 years again?

  35. Adlemi April 3, 2015 at 11:16 pm -

    Hi Colin,i’m working on my FHA Streamline mortgage to lower my monthly payment, i have 134,973 to refinance, for 3.625 interst rate ,they are requiring me to have cash of 1786.02 when we close to cover for the upcoming property tax, is that how it supposed to be,pls. Advise thanks

  36. Colin Robertson April 4, 2015 at 12:09 am -


    It’s possible if taxes are due around the time of the refinance. Ask them for details to clear it up.

  37. Colin Robertson April 4, 2015 at 12:46 am -


    It depends on all your loan details…could even make sense to get away from the FHA to avoid pricey insurance for life of the loan. Shorter terms may be available.

  38. Adlemi April 5, 2015 at 12:59 am -

    Hi Colin, you think its better to refinance via streamline FHA with 3.625 APR,I’m on my 6th year of my 15 year mortgage,4.5 APR, The reason I want to refinance is to lower my monthly payment which I will by $400 if i refinance,what you think? Thanks

  39. Colin Robertson April 5, 2015 at 4:15 pm -


    It depends what your goal is…have you looked at conventional financing to avoid mortgage insurance? Or a 10-year fixed to avoid extending the loan term, assuming you want to pay off the loan? Lots of options to consider, but all personal preference.

  40. Adlemi April 5, 2015 at 4:52 pm -

    Colin, if i do conventional loan, my house needs appraisal, my house is in good shape except some rotten wood in my front house wood works moulding which im afraid it will affect the value of the house, i really dont want to pay off the loan ,just need less monthly mortgage payment

  41. Wendy April 15, 2015 at 5:46 pm -

    Colin,In 2012 I became a joint buyer with someone on an FHA loan of 220.000@ 3.7 %.We were going to be married but at the end of that year I was diagnosed with cancer and it tore the relationship apart.I left the home and he remained in the home and has continued to make payments on time it has now been three years.Now I want to purchase a home of my own but people are telling me I am not going to be able to do that until my name is removed from that FHA loan,I live in Arkansas.I really want to own my own place.Would we be able to streamline refinance and remove my name from the loan.He makes enough money to cover the loan payment with no problem.If not my next question is do i have any rights to moving on that property since my name is a joint buyer.I dont mean to kick him out I am referring to possible putting a manufactured home on the fifteen acres that comes with home.Please Help…


  42. Colin Robertson April 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm -

    Hi Wendy,

    It may be possible to get removed from that loan but he may need to prove that he can qualify for the loan on his own. Alternatively, you could look at non-FHA options for your new mortgage, though if you’re still on the hook for that FHA loan, it may hurt your chances based on a higher DTI and decreased affordability.

  43. kelton April 21, 2015 at 11:21 am -


    First of all I wanted to say thank you for taking your time and responding to our questions.

    My property is under FHA loan and recently I was getting in mail eligibility notices on refinancing. I called today and I was told that I should be qualified for streamline refinance within the next 10 days as long as my credit score is above 580 and that I haven’t missed any payment.
    I asked the agent that what are the refinancing costs and I was told that there isn’t any cost. Too good to be true right? If there aren’t any fees how do banks make the money with streamline refinancing?

  44. Colin Robertson April 21, 2015 at 12:35 pm -


    By no costs they mean no out-of-pocket costs to the borrower. Fees are still paid via the interest rate, but over time as opposed to at closing. Also note that mortgage insurance may be in place for the entire loan term if it isn’t already.

  45. Theresa April 28, 2015 at 10:28 pm -

    hello, i currently have a fha loan and i’d like to refi and pull money out. i don’t want to have an appraisal, because the house needs fixing. However, the money i pull out will be used to fix up the home. can you recommend a loan that fits my options. Thank you!

  46. Colin Robertson April 29, 2015 at 10:18 am -


    If work needs to be done on the home, you might want to look into the FHA 203k loan, which allows renovation costs to be included in the new mortgage.

  47. micki May 5, 2015 at 4:59 pm -

    Colin, I have a FHA loan at 4.25% with and my PMI is 180$ a month. My mortgage company contacted me and said they will take me to 3.85% lower my PMI to 100$ and will streamline my loan for the same number of months that I owe now and that they will pay all closing costs. Only issue is interest missed on the one month payment that will be skipped will be added to the loan which is about 1100$. Is this to good to be true?

  48. Colin Robertson May 5, 2015 at 7:06 pm -


    That’s exactly the point of the streamline refi…to lower payments and save you money with little hassle. Talk to them about timing the refinance to avoid extra interest expense.

  49. Carolyn May 6, 2015 at 6:50 am -

    I have been trying to get a streamline refinance with no success… According to the information I read a Streamline Refinance does not require an income verification, does not require a credit check , and does not require an appraisal ……all of the lenders I have talked to are requiring income and credit verification…..

  50. Colin Robertson May 6, 2015 at 9:32 am -


    Did you ask why they are requiring it? The FHA generally doesn’t require such verification, but many individual lenders do to ensure their loans don’t default.

  51. sonya May 14, 2015 at 4:33 am -

    We just got offered the streamline through our lender, but it’s only going to save us $60 of the $160 we pay in PMI and the same 4.25 rate. I’m wondering if we should take it, or just hold out for better savings and rates?

  52. Colin Robertson May 14, 2015 at 8:21 am -


    Depends what your goal is…also look at total interest across both loans and fact that MI may be intact for life if it’s FHA.

  53. sonya May 15, 2015 at 7:37 am -

    Thanks Colin…We bought the home in Oct 2014, but we don’t love the home….just the location, so I’m thinking we should stay 2 yrs and move the house to purchase another home in the same area. That’s why I’m hesitant to “redo” the loan for such a small savings.

    I believe the PMI will be on the loan until we reach 20% equity in the home…I don’t think we will reach that before we are ready to sell though.

    I don’t want to do something that will put us in a bad position to sell when we are ready.

  54. Karin May 20, 2015 at 3:32 pm -

    We have a primary loan with a bank and a piggyback with a different lender. We’ve had the loans for ten years and have never refinanced. Now we’d like to do a refi that wraps both into one loan, and we’ll bring money to the table to get us to 80/20. If we do a streamline loan with our bank, will they let us wrap in the second mortgage?

  55. Colin Robertson May 20, 2015 at 4:24 pm -


    If you’re referring to an FHA streamline, the second mortgage has to be re-subordinated. Check out HUD 4155.1 3.C.3.b and HUD 4155.1 3.C.2.f. for more information.

  56. Damaris May 29, 2015 at 10:00 am -

    Thank you, Colin, for wonderful advice on mortgages. My lender called and offered to give me a reduced interest, 3.7% from 4.7% and a 25-year loan. We have owned our house for 7 years come July, 2015. He said it will allow us to pay off the house sooner and save us money. Will I have to continue paying PMI for the life of the loan? Right now I’m interested in the lender ridding me of the PMI based on the 80/20 ratio? Is this a good deal or should I stay with my current loan? Thanks

  57. Colin Robertson May 29, 2015 at 5:06 pm -


    You do need to watch out for PMI for the life of the loan…perhaps refinancing to a conventional loan instead and dropping PMI entirely might save you more money.

  58. Idalia June 28, 2015 at 9:26 pm -

    Our 1st mortgage through Southbridge Savings bank in Massachusetts is an ARM, which is at ~2.25% right now. It adjusts every 3yrs and can only only go adjust by 2%. We also have a second mortgage thru Sallie Mae that has a fixed rate of over 10%. We’ve tried to modify and refinance with the each of the banks, but both declined us. We have always been up to date with our payments. Do we have any other options to be able to refinance and get a fixed rate that would include both loans so that we would only have 1 payment?

  59. Colin Robertson June 29, 2015 at 8:43 am -


    You could try a traditional refinance where you just consolidate both loans into one new loan. Just make sure the new blended rate is favorable to the existing setup.

  60. Thelma July 6, 2015 at 4:53 pm -

    My husband had called our mortgage company Greentree for a FHA streamline refi. We pay 1530. For our mortgage payment and pay 200. Toward our principal each month. As per his conversation with the mortgage agent… He was told we could get a 3.99 for a 15 year FHA streamline refi. And save 60.00 a month with what we’re paying now. And the closing would be 2800 that we could add to the loan. As of now…we have a 30 year FHA loan at 5.875 and if we continue doing the 200.00 toward our principal …. The mortgage agent said we would pay our house paid off in 15 years and 11 months. My husband said the mortgage guy said over all we would save around 20,000 and pay our home off 11 months early…. Can you please help me see if this is something we should do… We are current and no late payments…and have a lot of equity in our home….guess over 200.000… I can’t always prove my income because I am self employed..So would it be wise to streamline refi FHA or just keep doing what we’re doing? Your Advice would be appreciated…..thanks Colin.

  61. Colin Robertson July 7, 2015 at 11:55 am -


    It depends on your goals, what you can afford, and what you’d like to pay toward the mortgage each month. Keep in mind you may also have to pay mortgage insurance on the new loan for 11 years. Best to do a side-by-side comparison to see ALL costs before you proceed.

  62. Scott July 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm -


    With increases in property taxes and home insurance, and a lower monthly net income, my current monthly payment is becomming hard to make. I get tons of refi/streamline offers promising to save monthly and would love to save as much as possible. I was wondering what suggestions you have because i dont seem to qualify for the refis that help and the ones i do qualify dont make sense or really lower monthly payments to the point it makes sense.

    loan details:
    origin- 10-31-11
    amt- 200k
    apr- 30yr fixed 3.875 FHA
    owe- 185k

    I currently have a MIP of somewhere around 175/month. If an appraisal were to be done, I found 7 comp homes in the area that have sold for 250k in the last 6 months, and i would say conservatively if an appraisal was done it would come in at least 235k.

    Saving 175/month by losing my MIP would be a huge relief and more savings would be even better, My lender says i dont meet the 5year seasoning required to drop MIP, and going conventional i couldnt come up with a large enough down payment to make that up either.

    Please help.

  63. Colin Robertson July 15, 2015 at 11:30 am -


    If you went conventional and used a value of $235k (your conservative estimate) your LTV would be less than 80%. Around 79%, so you wouldn’t need to bring in any cash to lower your outstanding loan amount. The question is how low is the conventional interest rate and when does the MI drop off the FHA loan. Do the math and maybe talk to some conventional lenders to see if you can really get that LTV below 80%. Good luck!

  64. Elana July 17, 2015 at 9:18 am -

    Hi Colin,

    I am currently going through a divorce and need to refi my mortgage to get my husband off the note.
    My current lender, who is in another state, is offering around the same rate as a mortgage broker in town that I can deal with.
    Is there any benefit to keeping my loan with the current lender, such as extra paperwork, fees, paying out taxes? I’m wondering if I keep the loan with the same lender if I will have to pay out the taxes that would be owed at closing or will they roll that over. Also, can I ask them to guarantee me a certain rate if my credit scores turn out to be as high as I think they are?

  65. Lucy July 20, 2015 at 1:29 pm -

    Hi Colin,
    Thank you for your article. We have an FHA at 5.25 and we purchased our home 5 years ago and we’re currently about $5,000 under water. I’d like to look into the FHA streamline refi. Is it wiser to try to work with current lender or to shop around?
    Thank you.

  66. Colin Robertson July 20, 2015 at 3:19 pm -


    Not necessarily if you can get the loan done for less money elsewhere and at a lower interest rate. It’s generally always smart to shop around to find the best deal.

  67. Colin Robertson July 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm -


    You can compare costs/rate of both…not sure the current lender will offer many more benefits over another aside from familiarity and perhaps help with your escrow account, but if you like them and the pricing is right, that might be beneficial to YOU and enough to go with them again.

  68. Regina C July 28, 2015 at 9:22 am -

    I purchased my home in June 2010. It is an FHA loan at 5.25%. My current PMI is about $90 a month. I am looking into a streamline refinance. It looks like the PMI will be about $145 a month, with a 4.5% rate and I would save about $200 per month on the loan. Do you think it would be worth doing the streamline? Reading through other questions it looks like my current PMI will eventually drop off but if I refi it is on forever. Ironically the $200 in savings was the initial mortgage amount in 2010 but our property taxes keep increasing each year.

  69. Colin Robertson August 2, 2015 at 12:29 pm -


    Yes, mortgage insurance on FHA loans stays for the life of the loan in many cases, so if you’re planning to keep the loan for a while it might greatly reduce the benefit for a refi…do the math to see how it impacts your refinance.

  70. Irene August 19, 2015 at 8:01 am -

    I “qualify” for HARP. The state (California) is offering funds if we qualify. (Which they are making nearly impossible). They put up these videos then make you jump through hoops. Really a waste of time. Can knock off up to 100 if approved. If I get this done then do a regular refi. My payments would be a comfortable amount. I started paper on a Harp refi but they won’t give me the current value on it. So…state program, harp refi, or streamline?
    Adjustable rate 3,4 then 4.75 every year
    Owe 325k
    Value 293k
    My uncle is on the loan not the deed.
    My husband is on the deed not the loan.

  71. Andi August 26, 2015 at 12:12 pm -

    We recently tried to get approved for a streamline loan. We did not get approved. This company did not approve us because there was difficulties with his self-employment status. Even though we have taxes to prove otherwise. We want to try again. Do you have any advice going into this for us a second time?

  72. Colin Robertson August 26, 2015 at 3:18 pm -


    If you have taxes to prove otherwise why aren’t they approving it? And will you be able to convince the next lender differently?

  73. Robin September 2, 2015 at 7:05 pm -

    Thank you for your article. It is the most clearly presented. We obtained a USDA loan in 2012 for 3.5% on 30 year fixed and are now being solicited for refi. None advertise rates at or below 3.5%. Would the reduction in MIP be enough to offset a slightly higher interest rate?

  74. Colin Robertson September 8, 2015 at 9:33 am -


    Depends how much cheaper the MI is relative to the cost of the refinance, along with the fact that the loan restarts when you refi and thus more interest is paid over time unless you sell before maturation.

  75. Alene Stewart September 19, 2015 at 6:07 pm -

    I’m in need of help.
    I have an FHA mortgage and have been trying to sell. I have been qualified to get a conventional mortgage with keeping this house to rent. Problem is, I pay close to 6% interest and have no equity in this house. I wouldn’t be able to rent this house for what I pay in mortgage cost. I’ve asked about refinancing and was told I wouldn’t be able to do that and wouldn’t want to if I’m trying to sell, anyway. Is a streamline mortgage an option? Or available for me?

  76. Colin Robertson September 22, 2015 at 12:06 pm -


    You can inquire with a lender to see if you’re eligible for a streamline refi, but as others mentioned, refinancing and selling don’t really mix. You might want to determine if you really want to keep the existing home and at what payment (if you can refinance) it would make sense to do so.

  77. Joni September 24, 2015 at 8:17 am -

    Thank you for sharing your mortgage wisdom through blogging! Can I apply for a SECOND streamline? My condo was refi’d in 2014 and a streamline was completed in February of 2015. In the process my insurance was dropped out of the escrow account and now I have to pay it out of pocket. My interest is up to 4.6 and my approximate balance is $167,000 for a 30 yr FRM. My FICO has taken a hit due to a high debt ratio – around 640ish. I’ve read through the posts and haven’t seen anyone asking about more than one streamline. Thank you ;)

  78. Joe September 28, 2015 at 11:18 am -

    My girlfriend has a Freddie Mac secured loan through a big bank, for a condo that she bought in 2007. Her and her than husband did a HARP in June of 2012 and she now has an interest rate of 3.75. She recently divorced and is required to remove her ex-husbands name from the mortgage and condo. He provides zero financial support and she raises her daughter as a single mom. She applied to have his name removed to the big bank and was denied because her debt to income was 39% and they said Freddie required 36%. So she paid off all her debt, except her leased car. She applied a second time and they denied her again because her ratio was 30% and they wanted 25%. She has a 790 credit score and has been paying 100% of the mortgage for the last 3 years on her own. Will the no appraisal streamline refinance work for her? Maybe apply to a different bank? All help is appreciated. Thanks, Joe

  79. Colin Robertson September 28, 2015 at 12:45 pm -


    At least 210 days must have passed from the closing date of the prior mortgage, six full months must have passed since the first payment due date of the existing mortgage, and six payments must have been made. And the lender will need to determine that there is a Net Tangible Benefit (NTB) to refinancing again by ensuring the new mortgage meets the net tangible benefit test, meaning the payment must drop by 5% or product switch from ARM to fixed. http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=4155-1_6_secC.pdf

  80. Colin Robertson October 1, 2015 at 10:58 am -


    Might try a broker (who can dig into the details and shop around) if individual banks are giving her the runaround.

  81. Melvin Duran October 6, 2015 at 11:08 am -


    I curently have an FHA loan with Wells Fargo Bank at 6%, I no longer pay PMI. The value of the property is between 130,000-140,000 and the loan balance is $86400. I had a 30 day late on February 2015 so they are telling me that I have to wait until March of next year to apply. I don’t mind waiting until March, but can you please give me some advice as to which would be the best loan for me so I can refinance, FHA Streamline OR HARP refinance, etc..

  82. Colin Robertson October 7, 2015 at 11:18 am -


    HARP is for high-LTV loans and those that are underwater. Sounds like you have some decent equity there so you may actually benefit from a conventional refinance (not FHA) to avoid PMI altogether, assuming you can qualify. Be sure to explore all options.

  83. Melvin Duran October 7, 2015 at 1:05 pm -


    Thanks for your response. I just talked to a WellsFargo representative and he gave me the quotes below for a Streamline Refinance. I think it’s kind of high but I am going to explore more options.

    He said I have 17 years left on my current loan at 6%$915, new loan will be for 15 years -2 at a fix rate of 4.425% apr 5.1480 and new payment will go up $30, so new payment will be between $945-950, and i have to bring $1500 at closing. What do you think about this #’s?

    Since I have enough equity in the house I am thinking that a conventional loan will be best, but since my credit score at the moment it’s below 600 I don’t think I will qualify but I guess I just need to talk to a very experience loan officer and see what my best option will be. I am also working in making my credit better and a lot of negative items have already been removed in the last month and there will be 5 other items removed from now till January 2016. I am just afraid that if I wait till January to have my credit report pull to see if the score has gone up that it will be too late cause interest rates might go up

    Best Regards,

  84. Colin Robertson October 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm -


    If you get your credit score back up conventional options should be available. That might be the best path, even if you have to wait a bit to refinance. As you said, explore more options and work on your scores.

  85. Nina December 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm -

    Hi Colin please help. I bought a house w my boyfriend and we closed 5/2009 on our FHA loan. 2 months later he bailed on me and left, filed for a chapter 7 bankruptcy the next year of 2/2010. I found out about his plans and had him sign a quitclaim deed to be removed from the home per Bank of America. His bankruptcy was approved and BofA never fought him at all. Fast forward. I have made every single payments since the first note and never have I been late with the bank either. I heard about the streamline and wanted to def take advantage of that. I do not intend to stay in this house for 30 years so it works for me to have a lower payment and to do a Streamline because of the no employment, appraisal and credit check. So, I check with HUD.GOV.com as well as went to our local HUD office because I was concerned about how to remove his name from the loan since we were not married, divorce or deceased situation. I was provided the link and as well as told that as long as I have proof showing payments have been made by myself and my husband(been married now) that I can go forward with the refinancing. I contacted BofA and they wanted to steer away from the streamline and just go conventional even tho I told them what I wanted to do but that advised that I had to be married and now divorced or a widow in order to remove my ex boyfriend from the mortgage. I advised of the information that is provided by the government as well as speaking directly with HUD and that I qualify 100% to do a streamline and that’s per the handbook the lenders must follow for my FHA loan. He tells me that BofA has overlays and they don’t have to follow that policy. Is that true? I need help and can’t believe this.

  86. Colin Robertson December 15, 2015 at 6:54 pm -


    Credit qualifying is generally required if removing a borrower from the loan because they’ll need to know you qualify for the loan on your own, without that person’s income. While you’re at it you may also want to consider other loan options to ensure an FHA loan is still the best deal for you. If you can qualify for other loans a conventional one could be cheaper…especially if you can avoid mortgage insurance. And you don’t necessarily need to use BofA. You can shop around with different banks/brokers to find the best deal.

  87. rex a December 31, 2015 at 8:57 am -

    Currently, I have a FHA loan. I’ve had it since 2008. My current rate is 5 7/8. My credit score is not that good ( probably between 630 to 650 ). My income is very little but my mortgage payments have been very good for the past year and a half. Can I get a HARP streamline?

  88. Colin Robertson December 31, 2015 at 10:56 am -


    The only way to know for sure is to speak with some lender that offer HARP loans. They’ll run all your numbers to determine eligibility. Good luck.

  89. Bitti February 15, 2016 at 9:53 am -


    I currently have an FHA loan (30yr fix) at 5.25% and pay PMI. My current balance is $235K. I’m on year 8 of the 30 year and am being offered an FHA streamline (20 yr fix) from my bank. There are 3 options,
    – one with the higher rate of 4.2% with no costs (it’s rolled into the higher rate)
    – another at 3.37% (3.849 APR) with average closing cost of $2900 and a rebate of $638
    – Finally a third at 3.25 (3.796 APR) with average closing cost of $2900 plus points at $839.

    I’m considering option 2 as I would prefer to reduce my interest rate but am able to pay up front. Ultimately I would like a conventional loan with no PMI but I do not have 20% equity and fear my home which was purchased for $260K (balance is $235K) may not appraise at 20%+. Should I do the FHA streamline to reduce my interest and then refinance to a conventional when either my property values increase or I pay down enough principle to get to 20%+ equity?

    Not sure what I should do.

  90. Colin Robertson February 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm -


    If you plan on refinancing again in the near future, you may want to opt for the no cost (out of pocket) route with the slightly higher rate since you won’t actually benefit from the lower rate for very long if you refinance again shortly.

  91. Ruth February 24, 2016 at 6:18 pm -

    How can banks afford to do no cost streamline refinances? Our Good Faith Estimate indicates $10k in closing costs but we only have to pay 2 months homeowners insurance and 2 months taxes. Are banks being reimbursed by the government? Or what is the incentive to give borrowers a break for free?

  92. Colin Robertson February 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm -


    It’s pretty simple – they charge folks a higher interest rate.

  93. Durrell March 9, 2016 at 11:09 am -

    Hello, I was just offered a fha streamline loan from my original lender. I currently have a 4.5% rate. They say they can do 3.5% streamline. loan originated 7months ago. I have 720+ credit score. Should I go conventional or fha streamline?My current mortgage is $1040 a month which pretty high to me. $148k is remaining balance. What should I do?? thanks

  94. omar diaz March 16, 2016 at 6:07 am -

    So hello to all….I have a question that i just want some opinions on….I purchased my home 8 months ago for 196k FHA @4.25% interest rate….I currently owe 194k…..Now i am being offered streamline @3.375%…This streamline will bring my loan amount up to 201-202k according to my GFE….Is this a good deal?, Its more than what i originally paid…My realtor tells me that i would be paying less interest and all but all i see is how long will it take to get back to 194k!….I just feel like I would be going backwards but he tells me NO…What do you guys think?

  95. Colin Robertson March 16, 2016 at 9:58 am -


    It depends on your own goal, but you generally don’t want to add to your loan balance unless you’re pulling cash out for some reason. As you mentioned, it’ll take time to get back to square one, though the payoff would accelerate over time thanks to the lower rate. Perhaps gather some other quotes where the loan balance doesn’t increase and the interest rate is maybe slightly higher than 3.375% to see what that will do for you.

  96. Colin Robertson March 16, 2016 at 10:32 am -


    The mortgage insurance on an FHA loan might drive up the overall payment even if the interest rate is low so it needs to be compared to a conventional loan without MI to see what’s best. Also consider closing costs.

  97. Henry N. March 29, 2016 at 8:38 am -

    We purchased our home about 6 months ago on a regular FHA loan. I’m interested in the FHA Streamline for the lower interest, provided there’s no closing cost. If we move forward, will there be a seasoning time before we can refi to a conventional loan and rid of the PMI?

  98. Deliska April 4, 2016 at 4:59 am -

    My husband and I are in a 10 year interest only loan with BOA on a house we bought in 2007. Loan had been under countrywide until Boa bought them out. We owe $290k and home is only work about 240k. The interest is 6% and because it’s not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac we have not been able to refinance. We are current on loan never missed a payment and have good credit scores. Payment increases by $600 in 2017. Help me please. What options do I have. Do I qualify for a streamline loan.

  99. Colin Robertson April 4, 2016 at 6:50 pm -


    Are you sure it’s not backed by Fannie/Freddie? If it is indeed not, have you spoken to BofA about a loan modification?

  100. Colin Robertson April 4, 2016 at 6:59 pm -


    You want to refinance twice? Why not just refi to conventional now?

  101. Deliska April 5, 2016 at 3:44 am -

    We are 100% sure that we are not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Applied for home loan modification but hard to prove hardship as husband and I have decent salaries and no missed loan payments. Want to get reduced loan rate and not be forced to short sell. Do I qualify for streamline mortgage.

  102. Colin Robertson April 6, 2016 at 9:55 am -

    Doesn’t sound like it…unless your loan is backed by FHA/VA, which it doesn’t appear to be. Might have to work with BofA and their proprietary loan modification program.

  103. Elisa Henley April 7, 2016 at 12:59 pm -

    I have a question about a FHA streamline refinance. About a year ago, our mortgage lender told us that when the loan reaches 78%, the PMI would end (refinanced in 2013, original FHA loan in 2011, home purchased in 2007). Also that they would use the original purchase price of the home. From our calculations, the PMI would end this year, about in month 10. The loan was sold, and talking with new lenders, they are saying that it has to be 78% and 5 years, plus the value is based on the FHA documents. I know that PMI is now lifetime, but is the 5 years based on original FHA or refinance date, and what is the home value based on?

  104. maria April 12, 2016 at 10:17 am -

    Hi Colin,

    Need your help. Was looking to refinance our 30 year mtg. to 20 years. It is not an FHA . Wells Fargo owns the loan. They are offering a streamline Harp refinance with an interest rate of 4.125. We currently have a 5.25 interest rate. I was told that there are no closing cost, income verification that all they need is utility bill and bank statement. I have looked into other lenders for a regular refinance and could get an interest rate of 3.37 but closing cost are between 8 and ten thousand dollars. Can you share your thoughts please. Thank You

  105. Colin Robertson April 18, 2016 at 10:30 am -


    You might be able to go with a lender outside Wells Fargo and get a slightly higher rate than those 3.375% quotes with no closing costs…say something in between like 3.75% where they pay your closing costs. You can always shop around and see.

  106. Colin Robertson April 18, 2016 at 12:09 pm -


    MIP is tied to the new loan…maybe you can drop it altogether by refinancing to a conforming loan instead?

  107. maria May 4, 2016 at 11:22 am -

    Hi Colin,

    Do you think it is more beneficial to go with HARP as opposed to a conventional 20 year mtg. Is it true what I am told it is less paper work with HARP?

    So sorry but one last question-when the lender sets up a new escrow that is tacked on to your mortgage correct? Which will increase your mortgage amount. If I stay with original lender they wouldn’t have to set up a new escrow, which would keep my mortgage the same. I am offered 3.62% with Quicken vs 4.125% with Wells Fargo. Quicken will tack an additional 5,000-7,000 on my existing mtg. for escrow. Thanks so much!!

  108. Colin Robertson May 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm -


    HARP could be less paperwork-heavy, but I don’t know if a little extra work should be the deciding factor. As far as impounds (escrows) go, if you don’t have them now and will in the future, you’ll have a mortgage payment consisting of principal/interest AND taxes and insurance every month. So that can obviously increase your payment, though it’s not “extra,” it’s just paid monthly instead of once or twice annually. That $5000-$7,000 is likely prepaids at closing for insurance and taxes. You can also ask if they’ll waive escrows so you can pay taxes/insurance yourself…there might be a small fee at closing to do this.

  109. maria May 5, 2016 at 10:05 am -

    Hello Again,

    I don’t know if I said this right or not. Is it worth quicken taking my taxes and insurance and putting it on my refinance. It would make my mortgage go from 178,000 to 185,000. The interest with quicken is 3.62% With Wells escrow is already in place so mortgage would stay the same with higher interest. of 4.125%. We just want to know if it makes more sense to go with the lower rate. We agree with opinion of the paperwork. That isn’t the deciding factor. Besides Taxes and Ins. is there any other fees that would be tacked on to the Harp refi. I need info asap before rates go up. They are waiting our decision.

    Thank you so much for being there to help people like us!!


  110. Colin Robertson May 5, 2016 at 10:16 am -


    If you add taxes/insurance to your loan balance you’ll pay interest on those items for the life of the loan and the monthly payment will be higher because it’s a larger loan amount. But it still could be cheaper than the Well’s rate of 4.125%. Do you not want to pay taxes and insurance out of your own pocket? You need to weigh the pros/cons of financing those items vs. paying them out of pocket.

  111. maria May 9, 2016 at 6:58 am -

    Hi Colin,

    We have always had our taxes and ins. included in our mtg. thought it would be easier that way. Not have to worry about more bills. Maybe we need to rethink that. I like a lower interest rate. Will let you know what we do. Thanks for shedding more light on this.

  112. Colin Robertson May 9, 2016 at 8:37 am -


    You actually get a lower rate (or less fees) if you include taxes/insurance in your payment, so that shouldn’t be a problem in making your decision.

  113. maria May 11, 2016 at 10:16 am -


    Thought this process would be easier. I am usually on top of my game. Just when we make up our minds another lender calls and tells me why I should refi with them and then try to convince me the other lenders don’t have our best interest at heart. Of course Wells is telling me they don’t sell the loan, it’s a streamline. I was told that its foolish to tack the taxes and ins. onto the loan. I told them that they are making the same money by charging a higher interest rate. All we want is to refi. and lower our payment. I am so sorry for the drama but as you can see the lenders don’t care at least you are able to sift through and give others advice. So many thanks.

    One more thing First Niagara has offered a 20 yr at 3.50% I think that is a good rate.


  114. maria May 11, 2016 at 4:13 pm -

    Rates seem to be going down. I was just offered a 3.375 apr 3.39. I forgot to tell you we have 17 years left on my current mtg. so we will be adding on 3 more.

  115. jerry May 21, 2016 at 6:13 am -

    I was behind on my mortgage, for two years. the company i have my mortgage with, finally refinanced the mortgage after years of request. I was making payments, but just enough to stay in the house, so they where reported late..I have been on time for 3mos, but the interest rate is 11.7%. I owe 76,000 on the home and last appraised price was 160,000. My credit score is 580 is there someone out there that can help me get a better rate, my note is 923.00. Wow, i know its bad

  116. Colin Robertson May 23, 2016 at 8:39 am -


    They refinanced your rate to 11.7%, or from 11.7%?

  117. Holley May 24, 2016 at 2:11 pm -

    Hi, Colin! Any suggestions for someone like myself who purchased in 2006 @100% with 2 loans (80% & 20%) interest only, the large one variable and the small one fixed, but at a high rate. I’m now underwater and my payment goes up almost $500 starting in June. It is NOT a Fannie-Mae or Freddy-Mac loan, so HARP is useless to me. I’m SO FRUSTRATED as I have been searching for an alternative for about a year, including asking my current mortgage company to modify my loan by rolling them both into one at a fixed reasonable rate (Deutsche on both loans). I just found out that because I am NOT delinquent on my payments, they will not help me. Is there anyone out there that actually rewards “good customers”? I am ideal, established, great credit, and I’ve already made my payments to them on time for the last 10 years! I would think I would be the type of customer they would want to help & keep! The only problem is that I’m underwater. I heard that HARP 3.0 would have been perfect for me, but it never came to fruition unfortunately.

    Thank you!

  118. Colin Robertson May 25, 2016 at 12:50 pm -


    Good for you for actually sticking with your loans through all the turmoil the past several years. Unfortunately it’s tough to get any help if your loan isn’t owned by Fannie/Freddie and you’re a good borrower. So Deutsche doesn’t have a proprietary loan mod for you? Are you sure you’re still underwater with prices up so much in the past few years? It might be possible to bring some cash to the table (cash-in) while trying to do a standard refinance.

  119. Aamir June 15, 2016 at 5:21 am -

    Can streamline refinance be done on a traditional loan ? I mean the loan that doesn’t fall under the categories listed above (FHA, VA, HARP etc ).

  120. Colin Robertson June 24, 2016 at 3:42 pm -


    A lender may say there is a streamline option, but it might just be unique to that lender as a marketing tactic. Or perhaps the FHA short refinance program.

  121. Pat July 2, 2016 at 1:21 pm -

    I was turned down for a streamline refinancing with my current lender because I had a secured FHA loan in 2008. I might had been late a couple of times on payments before 2008. Why should that affect me in 2016? My home has never been near a foreclosure.

  122. Colin Robertson July 6, 2016 at 7:38 am -


    Are you sure lates are the problem? If it’s been eight years those marks might be off your credit report.

  123. maria July 8, 2016 at 5:49 am -


    I think something happened to my question yesterday. I will ask again. Waited to refinance. I have a rate of 3.25% on a cash out refi. with $800.00 lender credits. Can you share your thoughts.

    Thanks Maria

  124. Nico July 12, 2016 at 1:27 pm -


    I need your help!! I am trying to refinance my house and I’m not sure which option to choose. I bought my house in 2010 with USDA loan for 30 years at 6.25%, no pmi. I have never refinanced. Yesterday I called my mortgage company and they told me that I have 18.5 years left on my mortgage. My goal is to pay off this house as fast as I can, but still KEEP LOWER PAYMENT MONTHLY. These are the options to choose:

    1. FHA 20 years will save me $136/month but still have to pay PMI for the life of the loan.

    2. USDA 30 years will save me $496/m but still have to pay PMI.

    Not sure what to choose? Please help me with your input! Does USDA do 15 years?

    Thank you!

  125. Colin Robertson July 12, 2016 at 6:19 pm -


    Have you explored a conventional loan? Maybe you’ve got 20%+ equity now where you can avoid PMI entirely and truly, and go with a 15-year fixed to pay it down ASAP. Rates are closer to 3% so even with the shorter term the monthly payment might not be much higher than what you’re currently paying.

  126. Rose August 23, 2016 at 5:39 pm -

    Hello Colin, I have a FHA Loan , closed 12/2016 at 3.75%
    I have received several offers for a streamline refi at 3.25,
    With no. Closing costs, skip 2 payments, lower the overall monthly payment by $60. Is this all a scam? There will be a new escrow acct. started also, with the first skipped payment basically going toward the new escrow, and I would get reimbursed the prior balance from the original escrow. Is this sound legit
    Thank you for your help

  127. Colin Robertson August 24, 2016 at 6:56 am -


    It sounds like a standard streamline refi where you can get a lower rate without having to pay closing costs out of pocket. And skipping payments on refi is normal too, though they aren’t really skipped, just delayed.

  128. rose August 30, 2016 at 7:24 am -

    Hello again Colin.

    I just signed the application for doing a streamline refinance, zero out of pocket. There were loan costs that I don’t believe should be there. Is my initial MIP to be credited towards my new MIP on the new loan? I closed on 12-2015, no lates. Can they keep the refund and apply it towards their closing costs? Also a credit report charge? I have good credit, but I thought that wasn’t a factor in the streamline refi. I didn’t sign a few docs because they didn’t look correct to me.

  129. Kari September 8, 2016 at 11:39 am -

    Hi Colin – Looking for some help. Have a currently VA loan. 13 months ago we filed for chapter 13 – payments all on time, and nothing late on our current mortgage. We want to refi with the lower rates, and primarily because our home was a new build, and taxes were $900 a year, and now will go up to $5000 annually – as you can imagined will create a HUGE shortage in our escrow account – causing our currently payment of $1331 to increase to approximately $2000.00 No way can we afford this. Do you happen to know any lenders that allow a streamline VA refi without pulling credit? I’m above, but my husband is not – I am the Veteran. But because of his (577 and our current lender requires 580) they won’t do it… Please help. I’d hate to lose my home simply because of the escrow. If we start fresh, we’d be about $1600 (which is what we originally have budgeted). Thank you!

  130. Paul August 8, 2017 at 9:30 am -


    I have an FHA mortgage which I am current on. However, there have been two occasions where I became behind on my loan, but all were caught up. This was due to disability and loss of income for a certain period of time. I am now on SSDI with a lowered income and pending an appeal of my private disability policy that was cut off. My credit has gone sour because of my loss of income. I purchased my home at the beginning of January 2015. It was my understanding that the FHA mortgage insurance amount was lowered at the end of May 2015. Is there any way for me to get a Flex mortgage modification on my loan to lower my payments to help me out?

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