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Need To Consolidate Your Debt? - Use A Home Equity Loan

Aug 18, 2007
When you have debts that need to be consolidated, one of the best ways may be to use a home equity loan. If you have lived in your home for some time, this could be an excellent way to get some debt relief, and possibly some extra money for a home project or renovation. Here is how you can get a home equity loan and consolidate those debts.

A home equity loan is generally considered as a second mortgage. It is available as either an adjustable rate mortgage or as a fixed rate mortgage. This means it can provide a good solution to your needs whether the economy is rising or falling. It will add another payment to your existing mortgage, though, so you will need to make sure you can afford this. The nice thing, though, is that it will simply replace your many payments that you have now and put them into one monthly bill.

The equity in your home is based on how long you have lived there and how much principal you have paid. After a while, this can turn out to be quite a bit of money. You should not borrow more than 80% of the total value of your home, however, including your first mortgage, or you will probably be required to get private mortgage insurance.

If you currently have a lot of debt, and with interest rates rising recently, you may not want to wait too long in order to secure a good rate. You definitely do not want to wait until your credit score is hurt any more. By getting a home equity loan, you should be able to lower your monthly payment considerably because the interest rate is lower than on most credit cards and other loans. The payback period on the loan can also extend to quite a number of years - possibly as many as 15.

When you are ready to apply for your home equity loan, it is also very important to make sure your credit score is as high as possible beforehand. Obtain a copy of it, and look it over for any mistakes that might have been entered on it. Two other things will also help you to get a better score - pay down some of that extra debt if you can before you apply, and lower your available credit. This means you may need to destroy a credit card or two that you are not using. Having too much of either of these can lower your overall score and cause you to have to pay more interest on your loan.

You can also get extra money out when you get a home equity loan. You can use the extra money for whatever you want, but some uses will be more helpful then others. For instance, if you use it for home renovations or additions, you benefit two ways. First, you will increase the value of your home, and second, you can take the money used for it off of your taxes - lowering your interest even more.

It is also important to shop around when you start considering getting a home equity loan. Many lenders offer them - but only a few have interest rates that are good. Remember that the interest rate you receive is often not what is advertised - especially if your credit is less than perfect.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for Rebuild.org, offering debt consolidation, or for UK residents who need to consolidate my debts and also debt consolidation loans
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