Getting a home equity line of credit is increasingly becoming popular for homeowners who need some extra spending money. It is also relatively easy to qualify for compared to other types of loans as long as what the homeowner owes is less than the equity built in the home.
The above are just some of the important things to know about getting a home equity line of credit. The following are a must read if you’re trying to finalize your decision about getting a HELOC.
Know Your Exact Equity
Because a HELOC lends you money against the value you already own in your home, you have to know what percentage of the home you already paid for. That value is your equity. To get that, you have to subtract what you still owe to the current value of your home. Divide the result by your home’s value and multiply by 100. The end result is your equity.
Example, your home is worth $300,000 and you still owe $210,000. Your equity is $90,000. $90,000/$300,000 is 0.30. Multiply that by 100 and you get 30% equity.
Find Out If You Are Eligible
A good credit score and a minimum 20% equity are usually the most common requirements. Your lending professional can also help you with this.
Understand Draw and Repayment Periods
Your HELOC has a draw period and a repayment period. The draw period is the span of time wherein you have access to the money and can be as long as 10 years. The repayment period is the span of time wherein you are expected to pay and can’t withdraw more money. This can last up to 20 years. Note that you are expected to pay the interest on the outstanding balance and the principal for both period.
Your Interest Will Be Variable
A HELOC will only charge you interest on amount withdrawn, no matter what full amount you have access to. This is why your interest will change by how much you withdraw along with other factors such as the prime rate. A HELOC’s interest is also lower by comparison to other types of credits or loans. Some lenders may also offer you a fixed rate.
Enjoy Spending Flexibility
A HELOC allows you to withdraw the amount you need when you need it (subject to terms and regulations). It gives you freedom similar to withdrawing from a savings account or using a credit card.
Use Your Equity in A Smart Way
Most people use a HELOC to invest on home improvement or for college funds. It can also be used to consolidate debt so you can save money in the long run. It can also be used to fund a dream wedding or a much deserved vacation.