Ocean Mortgage Inc.

Tip of the Month/HARP

Tip Of The Month:  Help Your Credit Scores



To close a credit card account without negaitvely impacting your credit score (because having too little available credit can hurt your scores):

Calculate your Debt to Credit Ratio ("credit utilization"):  add up all of your balances on all of your cards and divide by the sum of all the limits on your credit cards. 

Make sure the debt to credit ratio is 30% or below.  If so, closing an account will not hurt your credit scores.

Do not dispute credit online for the following reason:  you have no documentation or paper trail for proof later on.  Always dispute in writing and give a specific reason the item is being reported incorrectly.  The three major credit bureaus only have "select fields" that they determine and may not pertain to the reason the item is reporting inaccurately.  And, always send "return receipt requested" to provide documentation you sent the request.


HARP Program Information

HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program and is the government's way of getting more homeowners into very low fixed rate mortgages to help the housing market stabilize and improve.  Below are the basic criteria for a loan to be eligible for the program.

The existing loan to be refinanced must have closed prior to 6/1/2009 and be owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  We can check with Fannie/Freddie through their website to see if your loan is eligible.  Your loan is most likely serviced by a large bank or servicing company, but may very well actually be owned or guaranteed by Fannie/Freddie.

The loan must not exceed the current maximum conforming limit for San Diego County of $546,250.

The new loan can only pay off the existing 1st mortgage, no consolidation of a 1st and 2nd/equity line is allowed nor is any cash out.

Any property type is allowed and any ownership/use type is allowed:  Single Family Residence, Condo, Units, Manufactured, Primary Residence, 2nd Home, Rental Property are all OK for the program.

Full income documentation is required, however, higher debt-to-income ratios, especially on primary residences, are acceptable.  HARP refinances on rental properties are more restrictive with regards to debt ratios.

Loan-To-Values are theoretically unlimited, however, most lenders are capping them at 125%.  Above 125% is available through a limited number of lenders we work with.

Interest Rates:  The rates on the HARP program are running .5% higher than for refinances where the borrower has 20%+ equity.  Given today's very low rates, HARP loans are also very attractively priced.

Mark Moore @ Ocean Mortgage


(858) 518-1728


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