Home Equity Loans

Another Way to Consolidate Your Debt

Home equity loans offer families another option when considering how to consolidate their debt, or bring their debt payment down each month. People use these loans for a variety of reasons: to pay off credit card debt, to finance college, or to pay for medical bills. 

The one thing to realize is, a home equity loan is based on the value you have in your home. Your home is used as collateral for the loan, so you must own a home to consider this option. this is called a second mortgage Remember, in this article we are talking primarily about loans, not lines of credit. They are two different things. 

Is  this option right for you and your family? Consider the following: 

1. The starting interest rate is generally very low, but often rises after a period of time. If the rate on your loan starts out at 3 or 4%, check and see how long the rate stays this low. The variable interest rates are more common with a line of credit than with a loan, but be sure to get and read all the details before you sign on the bottom line. 

2. Always remember you are using your home as collateral. In other words, if something bad happens that you cannot make payments on the loan, you could potentially lose your home. 

3. There are fees associated with this type of loan or line of credit. These may include an application fee, a lawyer’s fee, a title search, and an appraisal fee. Be sure you see what fees are involved before you make your final decision.

When we remortgaged our home we had a walloping $12,000 fee to pay to get more money. This is just bad decision making.

When you get a home equity loan, you are going to be paying a larger mortgage. Yes, you can pay down your credit cards, but don't continue to create more debt. 

You may wonder then, what are the advantages of getting a home equity loan?First, it allows you to borrow a large amount of money at one time (potentially up to the entire amount of equity you have in your home). 

If you have a lot of credit cards at high interest rates to pay off, and you can get a fixed rate loan at 4%, this would be a wonderful option to consider. 

Also, there are tax advantages. You would have to see your accountant or tax preparer for the exact details, but often you are able to deduct the interest payments on your loans from your taxes. 

Other things people use these loans for include: 

  • Remodeling 
  • Going back to college 
  • Dental or medical bills 
  • Buying a new car 

Living debt free means borrowing as little as possible, however, sometimes it is best to consolidate and get a lower interest rate. This can save thousands of dollars in interest payments. 

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