What is Fannie Mae Refinow Program?

A man holding a sign that says, “refinance your mortgage”Are you a homeowner considering refinancing your mortgage but feeling overwhelmed by the process? Enter the Fannie Mae Refinow Program, a unique and innovative initiative designed to streamline and simplify the refinancing experience for homeowners.

This program has been causing quite a stir in the real estate world, promising to offer relief to those seeking more affordable mortgage payments or looking to tap into their home equity.

So, what exactly is the Fannie Mae Refinow Program, and how can it benefit you? Let's dive into this game-changing program that’s making waves in the housing market.

What is the RefiNow Program?

RefiNow is a mortgage refinancing option from Fannie Mae, one of the nation's largest housing finance agencies. It provides an easier path to refinancing for creditworthy borrowers whose incomes are at or below their area median.

Key features include:

  • No maximum loan-to-value ratio
  • Option to include closing costs in the loan amount
  • There is no minimum credit score requirement.
  • Available for both single-family homes and condos
  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratios up to 65%

RefiNow opens refinancing to homeowners who may not otherwise qualify by removing barriers like home equity and credit score requirements. This allows them to take advantage of lower interest rates and reduce their monthly mortgage payments.

Who Can Qualify for a RefiNow Loan?

To qualify for a RefiNow mortgage refinance, borrowers must meet specific eligibility criteria:

  • Income at or below the area median income limit
  • No missed mortgage payments in the past six months
  • Existing loans owned or securitized by Fannie Mae
  • At least 12 months of seasoning on the current mortgage
  • Mortgage payments reduced with refinancing

The program is intended to help creditworthy low- to moderate-income households reduce their housing costs. Fannie Mae provides an online lookup tool to determine eligibility for your current mortgage.

The refinance mortgage must provide the following benefits:

  • The monthly payment must be lowered by at least $50.00.
  • There must be at least a 5% reduction in the new interest rate.
  • If an appraisal is obtained, a $500 credit will be issued at closing.
  • An automated underwriting process must approve the refinancing.
    Automated underwriting is computer software that assists lenders in determining whether or not to accept an application.

With the exclusions listed below, condo, co-op, and PUD developments do not need a project review.

  • Confirm that the project is not a condo or co-op hotel, a motel, a houseboat, a timeshare, or a project with segmented ownership.
  • Confirm that you have enough property and flood insurance.

Standard mortgage insurance is needed on all loans with a loan-to-value ratio above 80%. Monthly mortgage insurance is required if the equity is less than 20%.

Benefits of Refinancing with RefiNow

The primary benefits of refinancing an eligible mortgage through the RefiNow program include:

  • Lower interest rates to reduce monthly payments
  • Including closing costs in the new loan amount
  • There is no home equity requirement.
  • Flexible credit score guidelines
  • Streamlined application process

This can result in hundreds of dollars in monthly savings for eligible homeowners. Closing costs can also be wrapped into the new loan balance.

Do You Qualify for a Refinance Mortgage?

Step 1: Only homeowners whose existing mortgage is held by Fannie Mae are eligible for the RefiNow mortgage. You may utilize the lookup tool to see if Fannie Mae owns your mortgage.

Step 2: Refinow is only available to borrowers whose income is 100% of the area median income (AMI) or less. This program is not available to Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. Only low- and moderate-income homeowners are eligible for the RefiNow mortgage. Does your gross annual income meet the 80% threshold? Use the Fannie Mae income lookup tool to see if you meet the income guidelines.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

While it expands access, RefiNow does come with some limitations:

  • Limited to Fannie Mae-owned loans
  • Some mortgage insurance restrictions
  • Additional interest and costs from closing costs
  • Variable savings amounts based on rate spread

Homeowners must weigh savings against extra costs by wrapping closing costs into the refinanced loan amount. The program is also only available for existing Fannie Mae loans.

Is Refinow the Right Choice?

RefiNow provides an excellent opportunity to refinance and lower housing costs for low- to moderate-income households with Fannie Mae mortgages. However, it is essential to calculate your potential savings and evaluate other refinance options. Speaking with a loan officer can help determine if RefiNow is the most beneficial program for your financial situation.

Exploring New Refinance Options for Lower-Income Borrowers

With programs like Refi Possible from Freddie Mac and RefiNow from Fannie Mae, lower-income borrowers may have new refinance options if Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae own their existing mortgage. To qualify, the lender must verify homeownership and income requirements set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

Lenders can use the loan lookup tool to see if borrowers with credit scores as low as 500 and a debt-to-income ratio up to 65% qualify to refinance and lower their mortgage interest rate. If borrowers have not missed a payment in the past 12 months and the home appraises for the new refinance amount set by the FHFA, they may benefit from these new refinance options tailored for lower-income borrowers.


In conclusion, the Fannie Mae RefiNow program is an important initiative designed to help low-income homeowners refinance their mortgages and reduce their monthly payments.

By offering simpler eligibility requirements and lower costs, the program aims to make refinancing more accessible to those who may have been previously excluded. The expansion of this program has the potential to provide substantial relief to many homeowners struggling with high mortgage payments.

As more eligible homeowners become aware of the benefits of the RefiNow program, it can play a crucial role in stabilizing housing stability and financial security for individuals and families.

We encourage eligible homeowners to explore this opportunity and take advantage of the assistance provided by Fannie Mae's RefiNow program.

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Refinow: Expanding Refinance Eligibility for Qualifying Homeowners