Using Your Salem Oregon Home Equity

Posted By David Whitton @ Sep 23rd 2011 4:14pm In: Financing and Refinancing Your Salem Home

Whether you have decided to make improvements to your Salem Oregon home or have just realized that your air conditioning system will soon need to be replaced, you need to find a source of funds to pay for these expenses. Obtaining extra money has never been easier for homeowners than it is today, thanks to two type of home equity lending offers which help make paying for both planned improvements and unexpected expenses a less stressful situation. Before you start shopping around, however, you should decide whether you want a closed-end second mortgage home equity loan (HEL) or a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

calculatorHome Equity Loan

A Home Equity Loan refers to a second mortgage that is structured in a very similar way to your first. With a HEL, you choose a fixed amount that you want to borrow, close on the loan, and receive a check for the amount you have chosen. You have regular monthly principal and interest payments that are structured over a period of years. Upon completion of those payments, your Salem Oregon home equity loan will be paid in full. If you decide later that you would like to draw additional funds, you will need to arrange for an additional loan with additional closing costs. HELs usually carry a fixed interest rate. HELs offer a straightforward plan for paying the money back.

Home Equity Line Of Credit

A HELOC (Home Equity Line Of Credit), on the other hand, is a line of credit from which you can withdraw money again and again. In many ways, a HELOC is just like a credit card, but the interest you pay is tax-deductible. You will close on a HELOC only one time, but if you decide after a few months that you need to withdraw additional money, you will be able to do so up to the value of the loan. HELOCs offer payment flexibility not available on HELs; you can make interest only payments for a number of years on a HELOC.

Consumers should consider several things before jumping into either financing option, experts say. That's because home equity lines of credit typically are a good deal for those who want a lower up-front rate and access to money at unpredictable times. However, home equity loans are better suited to those who need a specific amount of money and payment stability. Whichever you choose, be cautious about the amount that you borrow since both types of loans use your home as collateral. If you ever default on either type of loan, you put your Salem Oregon home at risk.

Consider, too, the time factor, the closing costs, and annual fees associated with each type. Generally the closing costs are about the same for the equity loan and the line of credit, and the application process for each takes approximately two weeks. Those who opt for the line of credit, however, will have to apply and pay closing costs only one time, and they are subject to lender credit reviews (usually based on your credit score) only every one to three years to keep the credit line open to them.

Credit line upkeep can still lead to annual maintenance fees similar to those charged by credit card issuers, and some borrowers will also be charged fees if they don't use the line for a long enough period of time. The rate benefit of lines of credit can help offset those costs. The credit line rate is often even lower for at least some period because stiff competition among lenders has spurred many to offer introductory teaser rates and other incentives. Check local rates in your neighborhood. Despite all the benefits of a line of credit, experts still advise people who need to make purchases of predetermined amounts to go with a home equity loan. That is in part because payments will be locked in at signing, rather than fluctuate along with the outstanding balance.

Consult with your loan officer and financial planner to decide whether a HEL closed-end second mortgage or a HELOC would best suit your needs. Examine all the costs associated with the loan and do some thorough comparison shopping. If you do your homework and review all the options available, you will be well on your way to finding the right equity loan for you.

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David & Dewey Whitton
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