Chicago Home Equity Loans

By: Dave Badge

Chicago home equity loans are the type of loans where the borrower uses the equity in his Chicago home as collateral. You can lose the home and be forced to move out if you don't repay the debt. Such loans are often used by families in need of financing help to make major home repairs, pay medical bills or college tuitions. Chicago home equity loans create a lien against the borrower's house. Equity is the difference between how much the home is worth and how much you owe on the mortgage (or mortgages, if you have more than one on the property). Such loans require an excellent credit score and reasonable loan-to-value ratios. An individual can apply for an equity loan, no matter the type of home he has. It can be a condo, house, apartment, or townhouse.

The maximum amount that you can borrow through a home equity loan depends on your credit score, monthly income, and the appraised value of the collateral, among others. It is possible to borrow up to 100% of the appraised value of the home. can be of two types, closed- and open-end. Closed-end home equity loans generally have fixed rates and can be amortized for periods usually up to 15 years. The open-end loans, also known as HELOC (home equity line of credit) loans, are at a variable interest rate, but here the borrower chooses when and how often to borrow against the equity of the property, with the lender setting an initial limit to the credit line.

But when comparing the two, keep in mind that you cannot simply compare the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for a loan with the APR for a home equity loan because the APRs are figured differently. The APR for a regular loan takes into account the interest rate charged plus points and other finance charges. The APR for a home equity line is based on the periodic interest rate alone. It does not include points or other charges.

Here are the steps you should follow when considering a home equity loan in Chicago:

1) Check your options - home equity loans are not the only method of financing. Remember, if you decide to get a home equity loan and can't make the payments, the lender may foreclose and you would lose your home.

2) Do the research - if you are keen on getting such a loan, then talk with several lenders, including at least one bank or credit union in your community. Compare their offers. Comparing loan plans can help you get a better deal. Beware of loan terms and conditions that may mean higher costs for you. Keep in mind the following parameters:
-Can you afford the interest rate and monthly payments?
-The period of the loan, or how long you have to pay it back
-Check the penalties for late or missed payments

3) Double check - think twice before signing the contract. Have an attorney review the loan papers and make sure the terms are the same ones you agreed on.

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