How Do Home Equity Loans Work?

Home equity loan or second mortgage allows you to treat the equity you have in your home for money. The sounds pretty straightforward, but it really is. You’ll be able to borrow up to 80% of their homes equity – but we don’t recommend doing that. Working with one of our Canada mortgage brokers we’ll help you understand your options, and here were going to explain both the benefits and disadvantages of this kind. From understanding the difference between fixed-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit, you’ll learn the ins and outs of home equity loans work.

What is equity?

You’re going to first need to figure out how much equity you hold in your home. If you just got a first mortgage and only paid a 20% down payment, you only have 20% equity in your home (minus any interest from the first mortgage you took out).

You’re going to want to wait awhile before you start looking into a home equity loan if you’re in this boat. If you’d like to figure out how much equity you have, take the most recently appraised value of your home and subtract how much you owe your lenders or any liens on your house – et voila, you’ll know how much equity you have in your home.

What kinds of the home equity loans are there?

There are two main kinds of home equity loans that you can take out on your home. These fixed rate home equity loans, also known as second mortgages, and a home equity line of credit or HELOC. Each of these has its benefits and drawbacks, so you’ll want to be careful about which one you take out on your own home. One of our Canada mortgage brokers can help you find out which one is best for you.

What is a fixed-rate loan?

A fixed rate loan, or second mortgage, allows you to keep the same interest rate and terms over the life of your loan. These are the most desirable for borrowers because you don’t have to worry about your interest rate floating up and down with the prime – a big concern with HELOCs and variable rate mortgages. You’ll get this in one big lump sum that you use to pay off bills or complete a project.

What is a home equity line of credit?

A home equity line of credit is a kind of home equity loan that allows you to borrow against the interest on your home like a credit card; you can pay it off and borrow again as many times as you need over the life of your loan. This means you can open the line of credit and never use it until you need it – unlike a fixed rate loan or second mortgage.

Always borrow carefully

Before you borrow, speak to one of our Toronto mortgage brokers. We’ll be able to help you figure out if this is the right way for you to go.