Living on a fixed income can be quite limiting. You face challenges that hamper opportunities to enjoy life, create a better life for yourself, afford unexpected huge expenses such as medical emergencies and so on. The good news is, you’re sitting on a lot of money if you own your home or have built quite a sizable home equity. This is money that you can borrow to pay for expenses that can’t be covered by your savings or fixed income. Find out more about how you can make your home equity work for you below!
What is a Home Equity Loan?
Your home equity is the value that you own in your home. It is the difference between your home’s current market value and what you still owe. If your home is currently worth $700,000 and you still owe $35,000, then you have a whopping $665,000 home equity!
Although you may not be able to sell your home equity, you can certainly build on it over time. Because it is the value that you own, you can use it as collateral to take out a home equity loan such as a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit.
A home equity loan is a type of loan that uses the equity you’ve built up in your home as collateral. Because it is a secured loan, borrowers often enjoy lower interest rates and larger loan limits as compared to unsecured loans. Depending on the lender and the home equity loan option you choose, you may also enjoy flexible payment schemes.
What is a Second Mortgage?
A second mortgage is a home equity loan that you take on top of a primary mortgage. It comes with a set schedule of payment as well as penalties for inability to pay on time. Note that a second mortgage does not erase or nullify a primary mortgage but is another mortgage that you have to pay off. It can be better than other types of loans because the requirements are often lenient towards people with bad credit or those with low income. The money you borrow will be released as a lump sum which makes this type of home equity loan perfect for a one-time big expense such as funding a home renovation.
What is a HELOC?
A home equity line of credit gives you a line of credit with a set limit from which you can borrow as much or as little as you need. It also allows you to reborrow the money if you pay it back. Unlike a second mortgage, a HELOC often requires a reliable income and relatively good credit. A HELOC is best for recurrent significant expenses such as paying for college tuition or hospital treatments.
The best type of home equity loan for you largely depends on your financial needs and your means to pay. If you’re undecided whether to apply for a second mortgage or apply for a HELOC, contact us and we’ll be glad to discuss how to best use your home equity.