Loan Refinance

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Do you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and worry about how you are going to make your monthly mortgage payment once the interest rate resets? Did you finance your home with an interest-only loan? The Opportunity Loan may be able to help you.

The program The Opportunity Loan is a refinance program that provides an affordable 30-year, fixed-rate financing alternative to borrowers who are up-to-date with their payments and feel their current loan does not fit their financial circumstances. Borrowers need to have a good payment history.

Second mortgage option To assist families with closing costs, Opportunity Loan also offers a 20-year, fixed-rate second mortgage option at an amount up to four percent of the appraised value of the home. The second mortgage may be used for other similar financing charges such as payoff of the first mortgage, including late fees or attorney fees, prepayment penalties, or escrow accounts for real estate taxes and homeowners insurance.

Borrower education A minimum of four hours of HUD-approved counseling is required. Typically, this includes two hours during the initial interview, and an additional two hours of one-on-one counseling. Proof of education must be provided prior to closing. For a list of available counselors, visit OHFA also requires post-purchase counseling in the event a mortgage payment under the refinanced loan is 30 or more days late.

You may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses for appraisal, credit report or the up-front hazard insurance payment with proper documentation.

A full appraisal is required to determine the true current value of the home. Mortgage insurance is required for loans that have a greater than 80 percent loan-to-value ratio.

Am I eligible?

   * The borrower must be up-to-date with payments on current loan, and household income may not exceed 125 percent of the area median gross income of their county.  View refinance income limits

   * Generally, the borrower needs to have a timely mortgage payment history with their current servicer for the past 12 months.

   * The household must be owner occupied. Eligible properties include single-family detached housing, condominiums or townhouses. No two to four-unit properties or manufactured homes are currently permitted.

Is this program right for me? A participating lender will be happy to assist you in determining what home loan best fits your needs. Over 185 lending institutions throughout Ohio work with OHFA. Find a lender

While we strive to assist as many borrowers as possible, applicants must still qualify through lender underwriting guidelines. Any late payments on your current loan could directly affect your ability to qualify.

Additional resources Various local, state and federal organizations and agencies serve as a resource for affordable housing issues. If you find that you do not qualify for an Opportunity Loan, other options may be available to you through additional housing resources.

To help educate homebuyers and homeowners about today's mortgage options, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the Center for Responsible Lending have produced a series of consumer information brochures:

   * How to Avoid Foreclosure and Keep Your Home
   * How to Avoid Predatory Lending
   * Specialty (Nontraditional) Mortgages: What are the Risks and Advantages?
   * Traditional Mortgages: Understanding Your Options

NAR has also issued a brochure in partnership with HUD's Federal Housing Administration:

   * FHA Improvements Benefit You

You can find all the brochures on NAR's web site at

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