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Home Equity Loans-Lower Rates, Smaller Payments, A Better Option

Oct 20, 2007
Home equity loans are sometimes used for consolidating consumer debt or covering a large expense such as a wedding, college expenses, or home repairs to your existing home. Home equity loans are great in that they use the collateral already invested in your home to secure the loan, allowing you to get a better rate out of the deal and make smaller payments than you would to a credit card or even on a personal loan. Home equity loans are desirable to borrowers because they oftentimes have a lower interest rate, they are easier to qualify for even if you have bad credit and your monthly payments on a home equity loan may be tax deductible.

In the past, home equity loans were more often than not used for home upgrades that would raise the value of your home. Nevertheless, these loans have become a feasible option for large, non-home improvement related purchases or even for consolidating outstanding debts into one monthly payment at an affordable interest rate. Even as home equity loans are a great means to release extra cash which is tied up in your home, borrowers must be fully aware that they are using their home as collateral. If a situation arises and their loan requirements aren't met, they could lose their house.

Lenders consider several factors such as your credit history, ability to repay the loan, and your homes equity (noted above) when deciding how much money to lend. Although the chances of your approving for an equity loan may increase, you're not going to get a complete pass on the "process". Lenders will still have to review the credit history of potential borrowers to settle on their credit worthiness. Lenders will still have to review the credit history of potential borrowers to settle on their credit worthiness. Lenders will still have to review the credit history of potential borrowers to settle on their credit worthiness.

So how much can you get? The amount of your loan is tied to the equity in your home with is simply determined by subtracting the amount owed on the home from the current market value. Equity loans enable homeowners to borrow money against their home's calculated value. The "equity" merely refers to the cash value that has grown in your house because you have been making your monthly payments over time.

Equity loans, secured by real estate, are normally deemed safer by lenders. Because of this your interest rates are likely lower than credit card rates or even consumer loans. Additionally, regardless of the rate, the interest on debt secured by the mortgage or lien on your personal residence is commonly tax-deductible. Please consult your accountant for more detailed information. Home equity loans are, essentially, fixed rate home loans that enable you to take advantage of the money you've already invested in your home to finance larger debts at a lower interest rate than most revolving credit options. Home equity lending, often referred to as a second mortgage or borrowing against your existing home, can open up a lot of avenues as a funding source for a current homeowner..

When all is said and done, home equity loans are a great option if you are confident in your ability to pay them off. Because they normally have a lower interest rate, are less difficult to qualify for (even with poor credit) and the interest may be tax deductible, home equity loans are a great alternative for homeowners. Like anything else however, buyer beware. Less reputable lenders frequently target people in vulnerable circumstances with troubled credit by suggesting what appears to be an easy solution. Hidden fees and confusing rate calculations can make a bad situation get worse.
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