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What are home equity loans and how can they be used?

Many homeowners know what they owe on their mortgage, but they aren't aware how that may be a huge benefit to them when they need money. A home equity loan, also known as a second mortgage, is a type of financing that can give you access to funds when you need them for home renovations, student loans or other large investments.

Just like you take out a loan to buy a house, a home equity loan or line of credit is secured using your home as collateral. Because your property is involved, you have to consider the implications of borrowing a large lump sum of cash before you agree to any arrangement. This ensures that you'll have access to money you need without becoming overwhelmed by expensive monthly repayments.

What is the Difference Between a Home Equity Loan and Line of Credit?

A loan is taken out against your home, and the lender can seize your property if you default. When you borrow it, you agree to repay the amount you borrowed per month over a set period of time. The rate is set at the time of the agreement, so you have to be sure that you can afford not only the principal balance but any interest you incur as well.

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is still a loan, but rather than receiving a large sum upfront, you gain access to a set amount of money that you can borrow when you need it. This limit is determined by your home's equity, which is the difference between how much you owe on your mortgage and how much you've paid off.

Another factor you will need to consider here is if your home is a manufactured home on a leased lot it may not have the same equity as a traditional home on a permanent foundation. 

Which Is Better?

If you're looking to make a large investment and have good equity, then a loan might be right for you. As long as you are able to manage the fixed payments and interest rates, then you can budget ahead of time and make sure that this choice is workable with your budget. You have more open-ended options with an HELOC, which may be ideal for someone who doesn't need a lot of money upfront or has less equity to access right away. The term of the credit agreement will determine how much money you can access and for how long. Minimum payments and your usage will also influence how long the HELOC remains open.

Both are beneficial, but each one works differently. The variable interest rate of a line of credit can make it more expensive as the minimum payment is subject to changing without prior notice. You may also have a harder time getting approved for a line of credit as your credit score plays a greater impact in approval. You can learn everything you need to know about home equity line of credit in this online guide, including how to utilize paid interest for tax deductions to gain the maximum value.


Why Should I Use Home Equity?

The part of your home that you own can be a valuable financial asset. You can use it to pay off your own student debt, finance your child's college degree, pay off a car, medical bills or other debts. This is also an excellent way to build wealth and secure greater financial security, including saving for retirement. More often than not, equity loans and lines of credit are designed for large-scale expenses, so you should consider both their upfront value as well as the impact they'll have on your finances in the years to come.


What Are Four Benefits Of A Home Equity Loan?

Home equity loans have a lot of benefits if you use them correctly and for the right reason. They shouldn't be looked at simply as a way to tap your personal piggybank but if you need money, a loan against your existing home equity is among the best options out there in the marketplace.

-You have a better chance of qualifying for the loan

With a home equity loan, the homeowner will have a improved chance of qualifying because the collateral is their own property. Banks see this as lower risk because you are essentially borrowing against money that you already have.

-You can borrow a lump sum of cash

A home equity loan gives the homeowner access to all of the money they need in one payment, without having to take out multiple loans or refinance. This means that you won't have multiple interest rates and fees!

-The interest rates are lower than those on most other types of loans or credit cards, which means less money out of pocket

It's important to note that the interest rates on a home equity loan are much lower than those of other types of loans or credit cards. The reason for this is that on the spectrum of different financial options to secure money, a home equity loan is closer to a mortgage. This means less money out of pocket in order to make your monthly loan payments!

- Your property is used as collateral, so there are less risks involved than if you were to take out an unsecured loan.

If you take out a home equity loan, your property will be used as collateral for the money borrowed. This means that if you are unable to make payments because of unemployment or loss of income, then there is less risk involved in taking out this type of loan than with an unsecured one.


What are Some Good Uses For Home Equity Loans?

It is your money and you can spend it however you want. However, you worked hard for the equity stored in your home and it is important not to squander it. For instance, you should avoid using this money for frivolous things such as dining out at fancy restaurants or living beyond what your income can support. However, when used in ways that can improve your life, a home equity loan can be a fabulous option to improve your life and ultimately generate wealth.

- Paying off high interest credit cards, school loans and car payments

A home equity loan can be used to consolidate your debt at one low monthly payment with a lower interest rate than what you're currently paying on your other debts. It's also worth noting that when it comes time for retirement, the IRS will not consider any portion of these funds as taxable income because they are borrowed against a tax-deferred asset (your house) rather than drawing them from taxable investments such as stocks and bonds.

- Renovating your kitchen or bathroom to add value to your home but other upgrades are even better

A home equity loan can be used to add value to your home by modernizing and upgrading your kitchen or bathroom. This will make those areas more enjoyable for you with new appliances and other upgrades. However, things such as adding hardware flooring are among the highest ROI home remodeling options - offering as much as a 100% ROI compared to 50-60% for kitchens and bathrooms.

When it comes time to sell your house at some point in the future, these investments will be nice to have because not only will they add direct value - but your home will sell faster too.

- Purchasing an investment property, such as a rental home in order to help fund retirement funds.

Maybe you are looking to get a lake house to have for family vacations or you just simply want to buy an investment to lease or rent to others. Borrowing money through a home equity loan is a great way to get the money needed for your down payment as well as any repairs, renovations, and upgrades to make that new property a good investment.

- Funding college tuition for your children, grandchildren or other family members.

The money you borrow through a home equity loan can be used to pay for the college tuition of your children, grandchildren or other family members. A few important things to keep in mind are that they must have their own credit report and that this type will not qualify them for financial aid.

All of these are excellent uses for money that you can borrow from yourself with the help of a home equity loan! When it comes down to it, if you're not going to use your house as collateral then what's stopping you?