Home Equity Loans Spotlight

By: Joseph Kenny

Home equity loans are taken where the borrower uses the home as collateral. These loans may be useful for home repair, medical bills or even for education. Most home equity loans require good to excellent credit history. These come in two forms, closed end and open end.

Both of the above types are considered as second mortgages as they are secured against the value of the property just like any mortgages of traditional type. Home equity loans are usually (but not essentially) for a shorter term than first mortgages. In United States, Home equity loans interest can be deducted on one's personal income taxes.

Closed end loans

The borrower will receive a lump sum on sanction but cannot borrow further. The amount of money that can be borrowed are normally depends upon certain variables like appraisal value of the collateral, credit history of the borrower, income source of the borrower among others.

Normally, the borrower can take up to 100% of the appraised value of the home less any liens, although there are lenders that may go above 100% when doing over-equity loans. However, state law governs in this matter. Closed end loans have fixed rates normally and generally amortized for periods up to 15 years.

Some offer reduced amortization and at the end of the term a balloon payment becomes due. These larger payments may be avoided by paying minimum payment or by refinancing the loan.

Open end home equity loan

Revolving credit loan of this nature is also referred to as a home equity credit loan where the borrower has the option to choose when and how often to borrow against the equity in the property and the lender setting a initial limit to the credit line on the basis of some criteria as mentioned above for closed end home equity loans.

Similar to closed end equity loans, it is possible to borrow up to 100% of the value of the home less any lien. These line of credit are normally available up to 30 years at a variable interest rate. The minimum monthly payment may be as low as only the due interest rate and the interest rate is based on the prime rate plus a margin.

Fees

Following are the list of possible fees that may apply to home equity loan: Appraisal fees, originator fees, stamp duty, title fees, arrangement fees, closing fees, early pay-off, and other costs are added in loans. Surveyor and valuation fees may also apply to loans, but some may get waved. The survey and valuation costs can also be reduced provided the borrower provides his own licensed surveyor to inspect the property under consideration.

Title charges in secondary mortgages or equity loans are fees for renewing the title information. The borrower should read and ask questions about the fees being charged to make himself sure about the fees since all these loans have some sort of fees tagged

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