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Understanding Home Equity Loans and Credit Lines

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When looking for cash to cover a major expense such as home improvements, a child’s college education or high interest debt, some people consider tapping into the equity of their home. Home equity is the market value of your home, minus any mortgages outstanding. For example, if your home’s market value is three hundred thousand dollars and you have a mortgage of two hundred thousand dollars, your equity is one hundred thousand dollars.

Your home will be used as collateral to secure the financing. This is known as secured debt, and lenders tend to charge lower interest rates than with unsecured debt like credit cards. This makes home equity financing a more attractive source of funds.  But failure to pay the lender puts your home at risk. A lender will offer home equity financing in one of two ways, as a loan or a line of credit.

With a home equity loan, the lender advances you a fixed amount of money upfront. You repay the loan with monthly payments over a fixed term, or risk foreclosure on your property. A home equity line of credit, or HELOC is a revolving line of credit, with similar terms to a credit card. You have a credit limit and can borrow what you need, when you need it, and only pay off what you’ve borrowed.  A home equity loan or line of credit can be a good source of funds in the right situation, just remember that the loan is secured by your home and puts your home at risk.  To learn more, give us a call today. 

Mike Unterreiner

Financial Legacy Associates

(636) 777-4200

Wealth Management in Missouri

Check the background of this firm/advisor on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.