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Types of Home Equity Loans

What Are the Different Ways to Access the Equity in My Home?

Here are three ways you can use equity to borrow against the value of your property.

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    A Basic Home Equity Loan ~ Similar to a second mortgage, a standard home equity loan allows you to borrow in a traditional manner and the monthly payments and interest will also be fixed for the term of the loan. A fixed-rate of interest and a fixed term of payment are offered against your equity share in the property and the amount that you wish to borrow is transferred to you in one lump sum.

  2. HELOC or a Home Equity Line of Credit ~ A HELOC is a very good way to access the equity in your home, but not have to pay interest on the total amount available, if you do not wish to borrow the full amount at one time. Working for you in very much the same manner as a revolving credit account, a HELOC account will come with a checkbook or credit card that is issued just for this purpose.

    If it is determined that your home equity share is $30,000 you will be able to borrow whatever amount you wish, up to that amount, by simply writing a check or using the card. You will then only then be required to pay interest on the portion of the HELOC that you have actually taken out of the account. More often than not, your interest rate is pegged to the constant changes in rates and will fluctuate correspondingly for the full term of the loan.

    So, if, as we have suggested here, you are granted a $30,000 line of credit and you borrow $15,000 of it by using your checks or cards, and then repay $10,000, you will be left with a balance of $25,000 that is at your disposal. Once again, the rate of interest is constantly fluctuating and so do you payments.

  3. Cash-Out Refinancing ~ Although you end up using the equity in your home to get cash for whatever your needs may be, Cash-out refinancing is not, by definition, specifically a home equity loan.

    What you are doing is taking out a new loan through refinancing the old one. You request an amount that is higher than what you currently owe on your mortgage, up to the total value of the property, and then pay off the old loan with a portion of the new loan. The balance that remains is yours to do with as you please.

    The current value of your property is $200,000 and the mortgage is for $175,000 leaving you with $25,000 in equity. You borrow $190,000, satisfy your old loan with $175,000 and you pocket $20,000. It is best to do this if the current interest rates are now lower than when you took out the first mortgage. You will not only get the cash that you needed, but you are now paying a lower rate of interest than you were before, thus saving additional money in the long run.

    Refinancing does carry costs, as opposed to the other two options given above, so be sure that you examine what the costs will be and if the situation is going to work out in your favor overall. Only then should you reach a decision.

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