What you need to know about Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Line of Credit

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What you need to know about Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Line of Credit

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Equity can be used to finance your home if you are the owner of it. Each American homeowner holds an average of $216,000 equity. This can provide funding for home improvements and educational expenses.

It’s crucial to fully understand how your home equity works before you borrow against it. Also, it’s important to remember that your home is being borrowed against. You want to make sure that the loan serves a purpose that is meaningful to you. You can then determine whether a home Equity Loan, a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), and other products are right for you.

What is home equity?

Home equity refers to the part of your home that you aren’t obligated to repay to a lender. The home equity can be calculated by subtracting the mortgage or mortgages you owe from the value of your home. Consider, for example, that your home’s market value is $200,000. If your mortgage balance equals $120,000, then your equity in your home is $200,000 – $120,000 = $80,000

When you make a downpayment for a house, you begin to build equity. A higher downpayment will give you more equity. As you make your mortgage payments, equity continues to grow. To increase equity quicker, you can make additional payment towards your mortgage principal. If your property’s value rises or the realty market in your area is hot, your equity may grow.

Equity can be used as collateral to lend money. Borrowing against equity to borrow money is usually less costly than an unsecured loan or placing purchases on a card.

Home equity loans

Home equity loans are one way to tap your home’s equity. You can borrow as much as you want, depending on your income and credit score. The maximum amount you can borrow is typically limited to 85% equity. You receive the money as a lump sum and then make monthly payments over a specified period until you pay it back. The loan is secured by the home so that the lender has legal rights to the property in the event you default on your repayments. Home equity loans typically have fixed interest rates.

A fixed-rate loan has the same interest rates for the entire loan term, while a variable-rate loan’s interest rate will fluctuate over time. A fixed rate loan is best for those who like predictability. Variable rate loans can offer short-term financing at a lower interest rate and may be more suitable for those who prefer predictability.

Comparison of a home equity refinance loan and a cash out refinance

A cash-out refinance is a type of loan where you borrow more than the amount on your current mortgage. You repay the mortgage with the loan and receive the rest in cash. You make monthly payments to the mortgage.

A cash-out refinance might be better than a home equity mortgage if you are looking to change your mortgage terms, such as to lower the interest rate or increase the term. You might consider taking out a home equity mortgage instead if you do not qualify for a refinance that offers better terms or would like to reduce your upfront costs.

Home equity lines credit

A HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) is a line credit that’s secured with your home. The credit limit you are given is capped and you can borrow again if the limit isn’t exceeded. HELOCs usually have a draw period. This allows you to borrow money and pay interest. You might have to repay the entire amount you borrowed after the draw period ends. However, you can choose to pay it off gradually over a repayment period.

You can access funds from your HELOC by using a credit card or checks provided by your lender. HELOCs can often have variable interest rates. This means that the cost to borrow with a HELOC could rise or fall over time.

Choose between a HELOC and a home equity mortgage

HELOCs and Home Equity Loans are both similar in that you can borrow against your home equity. You will need to submit information about your income and your mortgage in order to apply for either of these loans. However, borrowers may use them for different purposes.

A home equity loan is a way to get cash in a lump sum. It’s ideal for those who need it to finance a single purchase. Imagine you are buying new kitchen appliances. A home equity loan can be used to finance all the appliances you choose, regardless of how much you spend. This will allow you to budget for the fixed monthly payments that will be required to repay the loan.

The HELOC is flexible because it can be used multiple times throughout the draw period. This is advantageous if you need to finance ongoing expenses or aren’t sure how much cash to spend. You might pay a contractor first to remodel your garage. Then, buy new cabinets and hire a painter. The HELOC allows you to borrow exactly what is needed at each step so you don’t have to calculate all the costs.

Find out more about personal finance topics

You can find out more information about home equity loans, home equity credit lines and other personal finance topics by visiting the Learning Center on TD Bank’s website.

We hope this helps. We do not intend to give legal, tax or investment advice. Our content does NOT indicate that a particular TD Bank product is right for you. You can speak with a qualified professional to get advice tailored to your specific circumstances.