A Home Equity Loan Versus A HELOC


A Home Equity Loan VS HELOCIf you are looking for a quick source of cash, you may have been told that you can tap into the equity in your home. If you have at least 20 percent equity in your home, you can borrow against that equity at a relatively low interest rate for a quick source of funding. You might be deciding whether to apply for a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit, which is usually shortened to HELOC. 

Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan is a loan that you will receive based on the equity you have in your home. It is often termed a second mortgage, and it comes with a fixed interest rate. This could make it more predictable when compared to a HELOC, which has a variable interest rate. A home equity loan will also provide you with a lump sum, so it could be a great option if you know exactly how much money you need to borrow when you apply for the loan. In general, you should be able to borrow up to 80 or 90 percent of the equity in your home. 


A home equity line of credit is a type of credit that allows you to borrow against the equity in your house up to a certain limit. In general, a lender should allow you to borrow up to 80 percent of the equity you have in your home, but it may vary depending on your financial situation. The lender should give you a certain amount of time within which you are allowed to withdraw money against the equity in your home. This is usually several years. Then, there will be a repayment period, within which you need to pay back the interest and the principal. This period could last 20 years. With this option, you can withdraw money, make monthly payments on it, and then withdraw more money if you need it. 

Decide Which Is Right For You

These are just two of the many options available, so consider reaching out to a professional who can help you decide which one is right for your needs. 


What Do You Need To Know About Home Improvement Loans?


What Do You Need To Know About Home Improvement Loans?Do you want to make some improvements to your house? Home improvements are a great way to make your home more functional, and can also add value to your home. At the same time, performing a home improvement project can be expensive, and that is where a home improvement loan can be helpful. What do you need to know about them?

The Eligibility Requirements

First, just like applying for a mortgage, there are eligibility criteria that you need to meet. The criteria can vary from lender to lender, so you need to talk to your lender to figure out what their requirements are. Some of the requirements include your income, assets, age, credit score, and equity in your home. Keep in mind that whether you are salaried or self-employed can also impact whether you can qualify for a home improvement loan.

The Loan Amount

You should also think about the total amount of money you have to borrow. Usually, you are given a maximum amount of money you are allowed to borrow based on many of the factors listed above. In general, your loan amount cannot exceed a specific loan-to-value (LTV) ratio based on the equity in your home. If you have a specific amount of money you have to borrow to complete your home improvement project, you should talk about this with the lender.

The Interest Rate

It is not unusual for the interest rate on a home improvement loan to be slightly higher than a typical mortgage. On the other hand, there are options where you can collateralize the home improvement loan to get a better interest rate. You may want to talk with the lender about your options to make sure you get as low of an interest rate as possible. It could save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Talk About Your Options With A Lender

In the end, these are just a few of the most important points you need to keep in mind if you are interested in taking out a home improvement loan. There are plenty of options available, so be sure to review the benefits and drawbacks of each option with your lender.

Which Home Equity Loan Is The Best Option?


Which Home Equity Loan Is The Best Option?There are a number of significant advantages that come with homeownership, and one of the biggest advantages is the ability to take out a home equity loan. As homeowners pay off the mortgage, the amount of equity in the house increases. Homeowners can borrow against the equity in their house to fund other projects. For example, homeowners could borrow against home equity to complete a home renovation, pay medical expenses, or pay down student loans. The most common home equity loans include cash-out refinances, a traditional home equity loan, and a home equity line of credit. Which is the best option? 

A Cash-Out Refinance

The first option is called a cash-out refinance. Essentially, homeowners are taking out a loan for an amount that is greater than the current mortgage. Then, homeowners will keep the difference in the two loan values for their personal use. Homeowners essentially refinance the existing mortgage and extract additional equity. There is only one mortgage payment, and any interest on the new loan is tax-deductible. 

A Home Equity Loan

The next option is a traditional home equity loan. Homeowners borrow against the existing equity in the home, and homeowners create a second mortgage. There is a fixed interest rate on the second mortgage, and homeowners receive the money as a lump sum. It is not unusual for the interest rate on the second mortgage to be higher than the first mortgage.  Then, they have to pay off the second mortgage just like the first mortgage. 


Homeowners who are okay receiving the funds over time might be interested in a home equity line of credit, also known as a HELOC. The initial interest rate on a HELOC is often lower than the mortgage, but it can vary with time. Payments are often lower because homeowners only owe money if they actually use the line of credit. Interest is only charged on the outstanding balance.

Choose The Right Option

Homeowners need to understand the differences between these home equity loans to choose the best option for them. Some of them provide lump sums, some create multiple monthly payments, and some have more flexible payment terms. The features of each loan must be compared to the needs of the individual homeowner.


Equity Loan and HELOC vs. Reverse Mortgage – What’s the Difference?


Equity Loan and HELOC vs. Reverse Mortgage - What's the Difference?There are times in our lives when the idea of freeing up cash becomes desirable or necessary. Near retirement, this is a common consideration. The typical financial tool that many retirees want to know about is a reverse mortgage, but it’s not the only equity tool available.

Equity Loan

The equity loan, or second mortgage, is essentially an additional fixed interest loan attached to the home. However, unlike the first mortgage which was used to buy the home, the second mortgage can be used for other purposes such as putting in a pool, redesigning the home to make it more accessible, or to pay for a dream vacation. This kind of loan can be set up for a long pay period which reduces its monthly financial impact. The fact that it is attached to the home can result in a very low interest rate for the borrower. However, to qualify, one does have to have the income or assets to pay it back, which may be challenging for those on a fixed income.


The Home Equity Line of Credit, or HELOC, is similar to the equity loan, but it is not a fixed loan amount. Instead, the HELOC works more like a credit card. The homeowner makes charges against the line of credit, develops a balance and then pays it off. The homeowner retains the ability to borrow against it again, as needed. Much like the equity loan, the HELOC is attached to the home for collateral, which can result in a lower interest rate, but the borrower is not under obligation to the entire loan value at once. The HELOC can result in a lower monthly payment and can be used multiple times. Most HELOCs have a variable interest rate. 

Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage is an option for borrowers age 62 or older who have a sizable amount of equity in their home. This loan takes equity out of an owned home and converts it into cash for the borrower. A key benefit, compared to other tools, is that there is no monthly payment. Many times, the reverse mortgage loan is used to pay off an existing mortgage to eliminate that monthly payment as well. The homeowner is able to stay in their home and is not obligated for repayment until the home is no longer the primary residence or he or she passes away. The loan principal and accruing interest are paid back at the end of the loan life with a balloon payment or by transferring over the home itself to satisfy the debt. The loan is never more than the value of the home at the time of origination, so in most cases the home value will have risen and is more than enough to repay the loan. Many seniors have found the reverse mortgage to be a powerful way to boost monthly cash flow in their lives and make their later years more comfortable.

The home equity loan, HELOC and the reverse mortgage are three equity borrowing tools that can effectively give a homeowner greater cash flexibility. Each have varied requirements and benefits as well as certain risks to be aware of. Contact your trusted mortgage professional who can answer your questions and help you determine the very best option for you.