Saturday, April 15, 2006

Home Equity Loan Comparison - Access Your Home's Equity Through A Second Mortgage Or Equity Loan

Home Equity Loan Comparison - Access Your Home's Equity Through A Second Mortgage Or Equity Loan
by: Carrie Reeder

You can access your home equity without the cost of refinancing with two financing options. A second mortgage will give you a lump sum check with a fixed or adjustable rate. A home equity line lets you tap into your equity when you want to. Both options allow you to write off interest on your taxes and avoid high financing costs.

Benefits Of A Second Mortgage
A second mortgage allows you to borrow up to 90% of your home’s value. The lender, which doesn’t have to be your primary mortgage lender, writes you one check. You can choose to pay off credit cards or make a major purchase.

Fees are none to minimal with a second mortgage. Rates are usually fixed and last 15 or more years. A 15 year loan lets you pay off the debt quicker, saving you cash on extended interest payments.

Benefits Of A Home Equity Line
A home equity line is like a secured credit card, only you are borrowing against your home’s equity. You can choose to borrow a lump sum or only as needed. Most lenders issue checks and a credit card.

Rates are adjustable and are based on when you borrow the money. You can choose to never use the equity, but just know it is there in case of an emergency.

One option for new homebuyers is to put down a large down payment, securing low rates, and then apply for a home equity line. It’s like a safety net, ensuring that you can still access your cash if needed.

Picking The Right Financing
Each type of home equity loan has its own advantages. A second mortgage offers secure fixed rates with small payments over a longer period. It makes sense for large projects, such as remodeling or paying off credit cards. A home equity line offers flexibility, better suited for smaller purchases.

With both types of programs, you still want to investigate lenders before applying. Be sure to look at financing companies other than your current mortgage lender. You want to find the lowest rates with the best terms by asking for quotes on both rates and fees. By investing a little bit of time, you will save yourself hundreds.

About The Author
Carrie Reeder is the owner of, an informational website about various types of loans.
View her recommended lenders for

Home Equity Loan Refinancing

Home Equity Loan Refinancing

by: Carrie Reeder
If you have lived in your home for more than two years, it has probably appreciated which means that you have built up equity. What is home equity? Home equity is the difference between the value of your home and the amount of all that you owe on your home. If your home has an appraised value of $200,000 and all of the outstanding liens against it total $150,000 then your home equity equals $50,000. Often times when a home has accumulated value, the homeowner decides to take some of that value out in cash. Sometimes the cash is used to pay off bills, for home improvements or for a child’s education. One of the best ways to tap the money available from your property is to refinance it with a home equity loan.

When considering a home equity loan, there are several steps you should take to ensure you choose the refinancing package that is right for you.
· The current market for home equity loan refinancing is crowded and very competitive. As a homeowner you probably receive solicitations for loans almost daily via the telephone or the mail or the Internet. Be wary of accepting any of these solicitations without thoroughly investigating them. The best course of action might be to initiate your own independent search for a financial institution or mortgage broker. Also be aware of the fact that a mortgage broker in any loan situation is not automatically working to get you the best deal. You are the person who should take responsibility for making sure that the final loan product is the one you need. The Better Business Bureau, the yellow pages, the Internet and references from friends are all good places to start your search for refinancing your loan.

· You will need a certified appraisal for the actual loan. However, it is wise to have an idea of the value of your home before you begin the process of refinancing. There are many online services that will give you an estimate of your home’s value. Many times home sales are listed in the newspaper. Watch these listings for homes in your neighborhood that are similar to yours in size and condition. Note their prices.

· Know your credit score. By law you are allowed one free credit report a year. The credit reporting agencies that supply the report generally will also offer your FICO score for a small additional fee. There are other factors that influence your ability to obtain a home equity loan but your credit report and FICO score are good places to start.
· Once you have identified several possible sources for refinancing your loan, have the lenders explain the different loan products they offer. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions and don’t be hypnotized by a low interest rate. A low interest rate alone is not sufficient reason to accept a loan proposal. Ask about the term of the loan and the closing costs. Make sure the lender explains any terms you may not fully understand such as points.

· Let the lenders know they are competing for your refinancing business. Sometimes a lender will sweeten your deal if there is the possibility the it might be lost otherwise.
· Have all proposals submitted in writing. Take the time to compare them and always make sure you are comparing the same types of things. For instance, don’t just look at the bottom line number on the closing costs see what each lender is including in the closing costs.

· Be alert to potential scams. Don’t be intimidated by your refinancing lender into signing anything that isn’t absolutely true. Don’t sign anything that has blanks or that you haven’t read.
· Know your rights. There is generally a three day penalty free right to cancel when you refinance your loan. If something doesn’t seem correct to you, don’t shy from invoking that right.

Refinancing your loan in order to access your home equity can be a wise financial move. Your home, however, is probably the largest portion of your net worth so proceed with caution and knowledge.

About The AuthorCarrie Reeder is the owner of, an informational website about various types of loans. View her recommended lenders.

Financing With A Home Equity Loan

Financing With A Home Equity Loan

by: Joseph Kenny
If you have good credit, a homeowner, your mortgage is paid on time every month and you are thinking about borrowing money, the home equity route may be the way to go. What this allows is suppose your home is worth substantially more than your current mortgage, for example, your mortgage is for £100,000 but your home is worth £200,000, you will have an equity of £100,000 in the value of your home that you can borrow against.
A home equity loan can be used for many purposes:

-Paying off other debts;
-Taking a holiday;
-Paying for university;
The loan is secured over your home, and therefore, the interest rate will generally be lower than for other types of credit that may be available. This makes them a good option for paying off higher interest debts, so long as you don’t rack them up again, or taking on a larger project such as a house extension. It is often a good idea to use a home equity loan to renovate your house, as the house value increases as a result, and often by more than what you pay to renovate it. You can also receive a tax credit on the interest paid on the loan.

However, it must be remembered that such loans are not appropriate for everybody in every situation. They should generally only be used for large projects of long term needs. For smaller loans, it may be better to look at other options such as personal loans. The rate and terms, as with all loans, will vary depending on your payment history and the amount and length of the loan.

The loan can be offered as a lump sum or as a credit line. The lump sum gives you the whole amount of the loan all at once and interest is payable on it immediately. With a credit line, you only use the money as needed, up to an agreed maximum, and interest only accrues on the amount you use.

You should always carefully review your finances before taking on more debt, especially if it is to be secured on your home. Using your home as security means that if repayments aren’t made on the loan, you could lose your house. It is therefore important that you are comfortable with the amount you are borrowing. You should also look at the differences in costs between a lump sum and a line of credit and decide carefully which one better suits your needs.

About The AuthorJoseph Kenny writes for the loan comparison sites, and also The latest loans are reviewed in detail at the Loan Store.

Refinancing with a Home Equity Loan

Refinancing with a Home Equity Loan

by: Jennifer Hershey
If you have lived in your home for a reasonable amount of time, you may be considering refinancing.
Refinancing can be done in a few different ways. One of the most popular recently has been the home equity loan.

A home equity loan is a loan used to pay off your existing mortgage at a lower rate.
Also, when refinancing with a home equity loan, you have the option of liquidating some of the equity you have established in your home through monthly mortgage payments and appreciation.
Lets suppose you owe $125,000.00 on the mortgage to your home, but your home is worth $200,000.00. This means you have $75,000.00 worth of equity that you can liquidate.

Realistically, you could get a home equity loan for $150,000.00, pay off your existing mortgage, and have $25,000.00 left for home improvement, a new car, college tuition, etc.

Home equity loans also come in the form of a line of credit, better known as a home equity line of credit.
The difference between a home equity loan and line is that the line comes with a variable rate, which means it will adjust with the prime rate, so be careful when deciding.

The home equity credit line can also be re-tapped once it has been partially paid off, or paid off in full, which makes for much convenience.
Before deciding on how you want to go about doing your refinancing, be sure to educate yourself as much as possible about the mortgage industry.

Also, shop around for the best rate and program that fits your needs and budget. The mortgage industry is a competitive one, so let them fight for your business. Good luck.

About The AuthorJennifer Hershey has more than twenty years of experience in the Mortgage Industry as a loan officer. She is the owner of, a mortgage resource site devoted to making mortgage terms and products easy to understand.

Shopping Home Equity Loan Rates

Shopping Home Equity Loan Rates

by: Jennifer Hershey
If you have been in your home for a number of years and you have established some equity, you may be considering liquidating some of that equity. A great way to do this would be to go with a Home Equity Loan.
A home equity loan allows for you to borrow off of the equity you have established in your home through appreciation and monthly mortgage payments without having to touch your first mortgage.

This is why a home equity loan can also be known as a second mortgage. But before you go and start signing applications, shop around so you can find the best home equity loan rate out there.
There are two types of home equity loans on the market that you have to choose from. The first one is your standard home equity loan with a fixed rate, which of course, is based on prime. This loan you receive in a lump sum and begin to make monthly payments upon it immediately.

The second type of loan is the home equity credit line. This one, as its name implies comes in the form of a line of credit. The home equity line of credit has a rate that is variable, which means it will fluctuate with the prime rate. Many of them come with introductory rates for the first five or six months.

Once approved for a home equity line of credit, you will not receive it in the form of a lump sum. Instead you will receive it in the form of a check book giving you easy access to draw upon it in the amount you would like at your convenience. Once you do draw upon it, you will have to begin paying it back on a monthly basis. Normally in the form of interest only for the first ten years.

Suppose you were to receive a home equity line of credit in the amount of $25,000.00. If you only wanted to borrow $6000.00, than all you would have to do is write out one of the check’s the lender sent you and deposit it into your checking account. Your payment would than be based on the $6000.00 you borrowed from your line.
Keep in mind, home equity credit lines do come with a rate that is variable, and that rate is based on prime. So, if the prime rate goes up, the rate on your home equity credit line will go up as well.
On the other hand, if the prime rate goes down, than the rate on your home equity credit line will go down.
Mortgage companies are very competitive, so whichever home equity loan you decide to go with, it would be in your best interest to shop around so that you may compare rates.

After allowing for a few loan officers to assess your situation and offer you a rate and product, base your decision on the rate and product that best fits your needs and budget.

About The AuthorJennifer Hershey has more than twenty years of experience in the Mortgage Industry as a loan officer. She is the owner of, a mortgage resource site devoted to making mortgage terms and products easy to understand.

Home Equity Loans: Abusive Lending And How To Avoid It

Home Equity Loans: Abusive Lending And How To Avoid It

by: Dan Johnson
Home Equity loans were initially designed to allow individuals who had not yet paid off the full amount of their home, the ability to borrow against what portion of the home they had paid for. So for example, a couple who had been making monthly payments for many years on their 30 year lease, could use the money they had already put into their home as collateral when they needed a loan to send their child to college. So, while the initial intent of the loan is regarded by some as noble, in practice it has served as a free-for-all for unscrupulous lenders and other scam artists.

Explaining Sub-Prime Lending

Home Equity Loans fall into a broad category known as sub-prime lending. Unlike prime lending, which is heavily regulated and offered to those living in good neighborhoods with fair to good credit, sub-prime lenders target those in bad neighborhoods with worse credit ratings. Because they offer loans to individuals who otherwise might have difficulty finding a loan, they were and are able to justify to the government the need to have greater free reign when it comes to setting the interest rates and finance charges associated with their loans.
This window, combined with the deep pockets of Home Equity Loan firms able to grease the campaigns of politicians, has prevented the industry from coming under the heavy scrutiny and regulation of prime lending. Consequently, what is seen in this industry is widely varying interest rates, and charges that are completely disproportionate with the risk incurred by the lending institution.

How to Protect Yourself
For the investor interested in taking on a Home Equity Loan, there are a few measures which can be taken to radically diminish the chances of being taken advantage of. The first precautionary step is to request a copy of the loan a full week before you sign it. The lending institution is required by law, to provide you with a copy of the loan many days in advance of you signing it. It is a rather simple task to ask for the loan, and the lending institutions response often reveals much about the quality and legality of the loan. If the lending institution says, that either the loan paperwork is not yet ready, or otherwise fails to produce the paperwork inside of a week prior to the signing, you should walk on the loan.

The catch-22, and consequently the reason why Home Equity Lenders are able to take such advantage of borrowers, is that often they are facing foreclosure and desperately need the loan. While your need may be very real, signing a sub-standard loan will ultimately put you in far worse shape than you ever were before.
Recognizing the Hidden Charges

The second, and potentially most important technique to prevent predatory lending, is to demand that all loan costs not be rolled into the APR, but be listed and paid by you up front. What predatory lenders do to entice individuals into taking a loan, is to soak up the equity in a home and offer you a small kickback on the side. So, taking the example of our couple above, let us imagine that they have $50,000 in equity in their $100,000 home and have a fixed mortgage rate of $650 a month.

They then go to a Home Equity Lender who tells them that upon signing the loan they will get $20,000 in cash and their new interest rate will be $580 per month. What they do not tell the borrower is that they have also cashed out the other $30,000 dollars in equity and paid it to themselves in "refinancing fees." In addition, the new mortgage they receive may either be variable, meaning that as interest rates climb so will their new payment, or be back loaded, meaning that by the end of the loan the payments may reach $1,200 a month.

Can Home Equity Loans be useful? Yes, but only under ideal circumstances. By and large, they are a product designed by unethical lending companies to take advantage of those desperate for a little cash now. If you plan on applying for a Home Equity Loan, it is vital that you take the two steps outlined above as well as have an experienced independent third party go over the loan and its convoluted terms with you.

About The AuthorDan Johnson enjoys writing about home equity loans. Visit to learn more.

How to Gather Equity Loan Information

How to Gather Equity Loan Information

by: Talbert Williams
Loans of all sorts often have limited amounts for borrowing. Most lenders calculate your earnings when applying for loans. The lender will consider various details, including repayments, acceptance, and so on before offering you a loan. Few lenders factor the loans by multiplying 3.25 times the gross salary of a single borrower. If you are joining with another party, then the calculations change, since two parties are applying for the loan.
The lender will also consider equity, meaning that the lender will determine the amount he is willing to loan you against the equity of the home.

This is a sort of promise that property will remain consistent with the loan amount. The lenders will factor in various costs, including stamp duty charges. Depends on the price of the home purchased, but for the most part you will pay a percentage of the entire balance of the property worth.
The lender will also factor in surveyor fees, arrangement fees, legal charges, title, and other charges when considering a loan. The arrangement fees are “administration costs” that will cover the lenders wages. Premiums, additional fees, and prepaid coverage ensure the home may also be attached to the loan.

The lender will also expect you to pay title fees, deposit fees, valuation fees, surveyors fees, solicitor fees, and so on upfront if you are giving the loan. There are ways to avoid some of these expenses; therefore, reading about equity loans online could provide you a wealth of information to help you save money. Various loans are available online and the equity loans have a wealth of information to lead you to low rates and low mortgage payments. Additionally, make sure that you have compared a significant amount of loan rates and fees before you actually accept a lender’s offer.

About The AuthorTalbert Williams offers debt consolidation referrals and advice. For more information, articles, news, tools and valuable resources on debt solutions, visit this site: