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The Home Equity Loan
By Dennis Estrada
The Home Equity Loan, which is another term for second mortgage, lets the borrowers to borrow up to ninety five percent of the home equity accumulated. The home equity loan also allows the borrower to spend on home improvements, debt consolidation, home renovations, vacation getaway, vehicles, investments, college tuitions, or other expenses.

The home equity composes of the appraised value minus amount owe. And, the borrower uses the home as collateral for the loan. The collateral serves as property to guarantee repayment of the loan. In case of default of payment on loan, the lender seizes the property. Most of the time, the loan will be repaid in shorter period of time between five to fifteen years. Rarely, the loan is repaid in thirty years.

For example, the home owner bought a three bedroom house for $300,000 with $30,000 down payment. So, the home owner borrows $270,000 ($300,000 - $30, 000). After ten years, the home owner pays off the principal by $42,000. He still owes $228,000. At the same time, the appraised value comes to $500,000. Using the amount owe and appraised value, he calculates the equity to $272,000 ($500,000 - $228, 000). Eventually, he can borrow up to ninety percent of $272,000.

Types of Home Equity Loan

First Rate loans give a single lump-sum payment to the borrower. And, he pays the loan on regular set of payment periods over time. The payment amount and interest rate stays the same thru out the life of the loan.

Variable Rate Loans, which is also called Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC), offers more flexible on payment. Some loans offer to pay interest only at earlier periods, and pay the principal gradually at later periods. Some loans offer discounted interest rate temporarily at the earlier periods. And, the interest rates fluctuate thru out the life of the loan. Next, this loan works like a credit card. The lender gives the borrower a credit limit. And, the borrower can use up to the credit limit. The main benefit is lower interest rate than normal credit cards.

Cost of Home Equity Loan

The costs are similar to acquire the first mortgage such as appraisal fee, application fee, and discount points. The appraisal fee is paid for the real estate appraiser to estimate the value of the property, while the application fee is paid upon application. The application fee may include property appraisal and credit report. As for the discount points, it is upfront fee to bring the mortgage payment.

There are also closing costs. The closing costs may include attorney, title search, mortgage preparation, and filing fees. Besides the closing costs, there are also recurring costs such as annual membership, and transaction fee. The annual


membership fee is paid for the privilege of line of credit, while the transaction fee is paid for each draw on line of credit.

Facts of Home Equity Loan

In a Variable Rate Loans, periodic cap, lifetime cap, index, and margin are important thing to be aware. The periodic cap tells the limit on interest changes. Next, the lifetime cap tells the limit on interest changes on the life of the loan. Another, the index tells how much to raise or lower the interest rate. Finally, the margin tells amount to be added to the index.

Like any mortgage, the loans have terms and conditions. The terms and conditions tells what happen to the property in case of default, how the repayment carries on the life of loan, what penalties puts into action on late payments, or so. The Federal Truth in Lending Act also protects the borrower. The Act ensures that the borrower is inform on terms and conditions, the fees is return on undecided transaction, the borrower allows for three days cancellation, and terms and condition remains the same on life of the loan.


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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.