Essentials of Borrowing
How To Choose Your Home Equity Line Of Credit Loan
When it comes to getting the equity out of your home, one of the best tools available may be the home equity line of credit (HELOC). While not for everybody, it can provide you with the equity in your home, access to cash, and a way to choose how much money you use. Not every HELOC plan, however, is equal. Here are some things to look for when you start looking for your mortgage. Home equity loans are a great way to take advantage of the equity in your home. Since you are not paying interest on all of the money – only on what you use, it creates a handy way to use the equity - when and if you need it.
During the draw period, you have free access to the money. Before you sign the agreement for a HELOC, however, you need to know that it is basically a second mortgage. This means that it will add another payment each month and you need to know in advance how much it will be. You should be able to comfortably make the payment without it being difficult or creating too much of a financial strain. As a second mortgage, you will also have various closing costs and other fees added when you sign for the loan.
Among these, you will also usually find an appraisal fee, a surveyor's fee, originator fees, and more. Some of these may be waived, but you will need to know what each of the fees is for. Some lenders are now charging few fees – but you may need to look around. Monthly and annual fees may also apply - depending on the particular lender. You need to look carefully at each of the fees to make sure you understand exactly what each fee is for. The interest is also another thing that you should pay close attention to. Home equity lines of credit are most often adjustable rate mortgages which means that the payments are flexible and will frequently change. Find out how often the interest rate is calculated in order to get the best rates. It is not uncommon for the rates to be calculated on a daily basis, and sometimes it is on a monthly time frame. Many HELOC's also have what is called a margin, which is basically another interest above the interest rate (APR).
The thing about this is that you will usually not be told what the interest rate is - unless you ask about it. There could be quite a variation in the margin rates - so be sure you ask, and do not take it for granted that it will be low with that particular lender. You will also want to know how the home equity loan will be amortized. Some of these have balloon payments that are due at the end of the draw period. Your only option may be to refinance at that time. Oftentimes, though, your amortizing payments are set up at the end of the draw period, and you simply start paying till the loan is paid for. Check to see if you have the option to automatically renew your home equity line of credit, too, since some lenders will do that for you.
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