Are you feeling strapped for cash and unable to expense the high priority responsibilities in your life? In this month’s blog, we outline several convenient and accessible remedies for this common concern and how homeowners can determine which option is best for them based upon their individual circumstances.
Home Equity Loan
A home equity loan, also called a second mortgage, is a fixed or adjustable rate loan that is secured by the equity in your home. With a home equity loan you borrow a lump sum of money to be paid back monthly over a set time frame, much like your first mortgage. The process for a home equity loan is similar to a first mortgage except the closing costs are usually lower and, although the interest rate is higher on a home equity loan, the interest paid is tax deductible.
Refinancing is the replacement of an existing debt obligation with another debt obligation under different terms. With interest rates as low as they currently are, refinancing today can grant homeowners the opportunity to lower their monthly mortgage payment more than they could’ve imagined possible. When refinancing it’s crucial to lock in a low, fixed-rate loan rather than an adjustable rate loan to ensure the monthly payment will not increase over time.
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
A home equity line of credit is a line of credit backed by the equity of the home and gives homeowners a revolving credit line for that amount. With these loans you only have to pay interest on the money you actually withdraw, but should feel confident in being able to repay that entire balance by the time the repayment period expires as per the terms.
Which Option is Best for You?
Determining the best way to tap into your home equity depends mostly on what you want to do with the money. If you’re needing to pay off a major expense all at once such as a debt consolidation, college, or medical bills, then a home equity loan is most likely your best option. To qualify for this typically your credit must be in good standing, you must be able to document your income, and you will need to have your home appraised to determine its current market value.
Refinancing is optimal for those who have at least 20% equity in their home and are seeking lower monthly payments or shorter loan terms. The best time to refinance is when interest rates drop, credit scores improve, or when annual income significantly increases.
Those looking to use their equity to expense a prolonged activity such as a major home renovation or building a business will need cash more sporadically, meaning a HELOC would be most suitable. These loans can be very cost efficient as they have lower interest rates and are free of closing costs. HELOCs are typically granted to those who have at least 15%-20% equity in their home, are in good credit standing, and have a low debt-to-income ratio.
Tapping into your home’s equity can be confusing and tough to navigate, but with help from the right lenders can be the most rewarding and money savvy decision you’ve ever made! American Mortgage Resource is recognized as one of the top brokers in Massachusetts, with reliability and professionalism at the forefront of their values. Visit our website or contact the team directly at (617) 972-8588 to discover the best way for you to finally tap into your homes equity for good!