Essentials of Borrowing
Hunting For The Best Home Equity Loan
There is no doubt about the fact that a home equity loan offers several key advantages. However there are also a multitude of home equity loan lenders out in the market today. What is the best way to choose the home equity loan that’s best for you? Essential criteria If you are a first time borrower of a home equity loan it is imperative that you have a checklist of essential questions that you need to ask each and every lender. The answers to these questions will provide a valuable reference to base your comparisons on. •What’s the interest rate? Knowing this is crucial. The interest rate will determine the monthly payment you will need to make.
You also need to know if the interest rate is of a fixed or adjustable nature. Fixed rate implies that the monthly payments will remain constant, while an adjustable rate implies that rates will fluctuate depending on market conditions. •In adjustable rate, when will rates change? If your interest rate on the home equity loan is of the adjustable variety, you need to know three things: when the rate is going to change (that is under what conditions), how frequently will the rate change and what’s the average percentage by which the adjustable rate will change. •What is the Annual Percentage Rate or APR? The APR on the home equity loan will determine the yearly payment you will need to make towards this. •How much do I need to pay in points? Usually points are closely related to the interest rate on a home equity loan.
The higher the payment in terms of points, the lower is the interest rate. •What are the applicable fees? There are various types of fees included in a home equity loan such as appraisal fee, broker fee, document preparation fee, funding or lender fee, application or loan processing fee, underwriting or origination fee, etc. Knowing the applicable fees can help you know what to expect in the monthly statements of the home equity loan. Plus it will also help manage and plan your finances better. •What’s the duration of payment? The time period within which you need to pay off your home equity loan will determine to a large extent the state of your current finances. Having a longer duration means that you can space out the installments better and thus save more. •Is there a balloon payment? Many times a home equity loan will require you to only make payment towards the interest every month. Then at the end of the loan payment duration, the entire principal amount will need to be paid by you in full. This is also known as balloon payment and can significantly eat into your expenses when it comes. To avoid this, it’s best to ask the home equity loan lender if such a condition exists.
This will allow you to be prepared for a financial crisis later on.
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