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Home Equity Loans for College

Jan 4, 2008
Very few parents or students would argue that college costs are soaring these days. It is now more expensive than ever before to get a good education for your children. It is true that there are many types of student loans available, and even some government student loans and grants, but these often fall short of the needed funds for college. The additional money has to come from someplace and a home equity loan is one of those possible avenues for college cash.

Homeowners may have an advantage over those who do not own their home. In many cases a homeowner may have enough equity in the home to take out either a home equity loan or home equity line of credit. These types of loans can be used for just about any purpose, with college education financing being one of the most common. Depending on your circumstances, the interest that you pay on these types of loans can be tax deductible. However, always consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest for home loans as the law can vary.

Just how does one get these types of loans? That is a good question. Generally speaking, you begin by shopping for the best deals on home equity loans or lines of credit. Once you have narrowed down the search, you can apply to the lender. The amount of equity you have in the home will be the basis for the maximum amount that you can borrow.

In most cases, you will be limited to about 80 percent of the equity that you have in the home. You can find lenders who will go above that mark, but you may have to shop for them.

You will need two things when you talk to the lender. The first is an estimate of what the current value of the home is. You can often use receipts from the tax assessor's office for this purpose. The second thing you need to provide to the lender is the balance still owed on the home.

To get a sense of the amount of equity that you have in your home use this example. Assume your home is worth $100,000 and you still owe $50,000 on it. If the lender is allowing 80 percent of value, you would be looking at a maximum loan of around $30,000.

If you already have a second mortgage on your home, that will need to be accounted for as well. Of course, your past credit history will also be a factor.

Depending on your needs and circumstances, a home equity line of credit may work better for you. This type of loan allows you draw out money as you need it rather than take the money in one lump sum.

Even with home equity loans and lines of credit, homeowners should still pursue the other forms of college financing available to their children such as grants and scholarships. Every little bit helps with costs rising the way they are today.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at Home Equity Loan and Remortgages
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