Essentials of Borrowing
Secured Home Equity Loans
Secured home equity loans rates are at their most competitive level for many a year in the UK. With the increase in home prices over the last 10 years or so, positive home equity has become a major player when it comes to personal finance. Today, home equity of between £100,000 and £200,000 is not unusual, especially amongst home buyers who purchased property when prices were at their lowest in 1995 / 1996. Secured home equity loan rates vary between loan providers. On average, current home equity loan rates are between 6% to 9%, however if you apply for a home equity loan with your existing home loan provider, you may be able to secure additional borrowing on home equity at better rates. Additionally, if you have paid off your first mortgage and then want to borrow against the equity in your home - which could be the full value of your home if you have no other loan secured against it - then you will have an increased chance of obtaining preferential rates on the loan.
Why the difference in secured home equity loan rates? Secured home equity loan rates are generally determined by the risk that the lender is taking. If a home owner is still paying off their first mortgage, a home equity loan will be seen as a second-charge on the property. This means that should the home owner default on repayments to the point that the property is repossessed, the lender of the first mortgage will claim back funds first before the lender of the second-charge equity home loan gets a look in. When a home is repossessed it is normally sold at auction by a representative of the first loan company in order to recoup the loan extended to the original home owner. Homes at auction can be sold substantially under their market value, depending upon the amount of loan that is outstanding against the first mortgage.
It is therefore possible that a home at auction may not fully recapture the total amount of debt outstanding on it, leaving the lender of the second-charge home equity loan in a position of not fully recovering the equity loan. Given this potential scenario a home equity loan is a bigger risk for a lender to take, and therefore incurs higher repayment rates than a first mortgage loan. From the borrower's perspective though, a home equity loan provides great value as there are very few other loan products available on the market that offer rates as competitive as secured home equity loans. A secured home equity loan is one of the cheapest ways to secure additional borrowing when you already have a mortgage.
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