Mortgage Relief Options for 2021

Written by Posted On Monday, 05 April 2021 06:35

If you are in need of refinancing your loan due to hardship from current economic issues Fannie Mae’s HIRO program or Freddie Mac’s Enhanced Relief Refinance are still available options that are helping homeowners refinance with little to no equity built up in their properties.  

Here is what you need to know about qualifying for these programs 

HIRO: The High-LTV Refinance Option 

This is a program option offered by mortgage giant Fannie Mae. It allows homeowners with no equity or those who are underwater (owe more on the mortgage than the property is currently worth) on their loan with no maximum Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio.  

There is one major catch: the homeowner has to be currently paying a loan that is owned by Fannie Mae. If you are curious if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae you can look up that information on the Fannie Mae website at or a mortgage broker can help you to obtain that information.  

Other Qualifying Factors for HIRO include:  

  • The loan to value ratio needs to be at or above 97.01 percent for a single-family home  
  • The loan was originated on or after October 1, 2017 
  • You have paid your mortgage payments on time for a substantial amount of time 
  • There is no more than one late payment in the last year and no late payments in the last six months 
  • There is a clear and obvious reason for needing a refinance this could include lowering payments, lowering the life of the loan (loan term), or obtaining a safer fixed rate instead of continuing to pay an adjustable-rate 

More: A New Perspective on the Mortgage Process

FMERR: Freddie Mac Enhanced Relief Refinance 

This is mortgage giant Freddie Mac’s version of HIRO or a high-LTV program. This program was originally supposed to expire in September of 2019 but has been extended for homeowners whose current mortgage is backed by Freddie Mac. You can check if your loan is a Freddie Mac loan at, or with the help of a mortgage broker." - Park City Realtors® Alex LaCouture and Katie Noble  

Related: 4 Tips on Finding a Good Mortgage Broker

Qualifiers for FMERR include:  

  • A loan-to-value ratio of 97.01 percent or higher for a single-family home that is a primary residence 
  • A loan origination of November 1, 2018, or after 
  • The homeowner has held the loan for at least 15 months 
  • There are no late mortgage payments on the current loan in the last 6 months and no more than one late payment in the last year. 


This program is available to refinance current fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. This program is not limited to single-family home properties or only to primary residences. Homeowners with multi-unit homes or second properties can qualify with more specified eligibility requirements.  

If your loan is not backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae there are other options in place available to help with refinancing a home to help your mortgage stay affordable. Other programs include Stimulus Programs under the CARES act and Streamline refinance programs such as the VA Streamline Refinance.  

Related Advice from Experts:

New Mortgage Qualifying Requirement for Small Businesses

How Old is Too Old to Get a Mortgage?

5 Things All Home Buyers Should Check for Themselves


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