If you have lived in your home for a number of years, then you have had time to have built up some equity in your home. By making regular payments on your mortgage, and having an increase in the value of your home over those years, the equity increases – especially if you have kept the house in good working order and appearance. Through a home equity line of credit you can get access to your equity and use it to fulfill some of your dreams. Here is how you can go about it.
Although there is more than one way to get access to your equity, a home equity line of credit, often referred to as a HELOC, may be your best option. One reason is that you have access to the money in equity, but you do not pay interest on it until you actually draw it out and use it. Initially, when you apply, you are given a credit limit that sets the amount of cash you can get. You are then given access to the money through a credit card or checking account.
A time limit is also set in which you can draw the cash out of the account. This means that you can only use the cash in your home equity line of credit for a limited time – which could be up to 11 years.
The interest that you are paying during the draw period is calculated on a daily basis (usually). The overall time length including both the draw period and the payment period are usually calculated on a 30-year time frame. As you draw money out, you are only paying the interest on the amount used.
A HELOC can work best for you if you have a number of projects that you have the money for, but do not know exactly how much you will need. You can use the money to take that vacation or cruise you have always wanted – to Bermuda, Alaska, Europe, or wherever, to make renovations or additions to your home, to pay for college, buy a car, debt consolidation, or to cover some medical expenses – you decide.
You do need to know about how repayment will take place. Some lenders will require a single balloon payment to be made for the whole amount at the end of the draw period. This will mean that you need to refinance it. Others will simply figure out how much cash you used and then calculate your payments for the payment period – which, in most cases, will fully amortize the home equity line of credit mortgage.
HELOC’s often have no closing costs. You do, however, need to find out about the margin that is a percentage of interest above the APR. It is permanent and could double your interest on the loan. Shop around for the best deals and compare the fees, interest rates, time for repayment, and other features. Then – enjoy your equity, and your dreams.
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