Home Equity Loans - Do They Really Save You Cash?

By: Steven James

Home equity loans and lines of credit usually are repaid in a shorter period than first mortgages. Home equity loans are attractive to borrowers for a few main reasons:They typically have a lower interest rate (or APR)They are easier to qualify for if you have bad creditPayments on a home equity loan may be tax deductibleBorrowers can get relatively large loans with this type of loan.

Home equity loans have become popular for a number of reasons, including the escalation of property value during the 1980s and that many homeowners these days are remodeling their homes rather than selling them in today's sluggish real estate market, bankers and mortgage brokers noted. Many lenders set the credit limit on a home equity line by taking a percentage (say, 75 percent) of the home s appraised value and subtracting from that the balance owed on the existing mortgage. Lenders sometimes offer a temporarily discounted interest rate for home equity lines--a rate that is unusually low and may last for only an introductory period, such as 6 months. On the other hand, because the lender s risk is lower than for other forms of credit, as your home serves as collateral, annual percentage rates for home equity lines are .

Here is a brief list of possible fees that may apply to your home equity loan: Appraisal fees, originator fees, title fees, stamp duties, arrangement fees, closing fees, early pay-off and other costs are often included in loans. If your home has appreciated in value since you purchased it, or there is a substantial difference between the amount you still owe on your mortgage and the value of your home, a home equity loan may be a great way to unlock this money if you have a considerable expense to pay off. You of course do not want to sell your home just so you can touch the cash tied up in it and the home equity line of credit is the ideal way to do this without having being forced to sell.

When examining home equity line of credit options you should remember that and some will lend a higher percentage of the equity in your property than others. Some might even lend over and above the available equity in your house, so it's important to compare the different deals out there so you get the amount you need and repayments that you can afford. But when homes sell for less than the value of their mortgages and home equity loans ? a situation known as a short sale ? lenders with first liens must be compensated fully before holders of second or third liens get a dime. The law prohibits a homeowner from having more than one home equity loan at a time, although a homeowner may have secondary liens from other sources, such as a home improvement loan or a tax lien.

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