Friday, March 27, 2009

What home equity debt is

home equity loan


A home equity loan or line of credit allows you to borrow money, using your home's equity as collateral.

Wait. Don't click to another page. If the above paragraph seems like gibberish, you have surfed to the right place. We will explain what home equity is, what collateral is, how these loans and lines of credit work, why people use them, and what pitfalls to avoid.

First, some definitions:

Collateral is property that you pledge as a guarantee that you will repay a debt. If you don't repay the debt, the lender can take your collateral and sell it to get its money back. With a home equity loan or line of credit, you pledge your home as collateral. You can lose the home and be forced to move out if you don't repay the debt.

Equity is the difference between how much the home is worth and how much you owe on the mortgage (or mortgages, if you have

A home equity loan (or line of credit) is a second mortgage that lets you turn equity into cash, allowing you to spend it on home improvements, debt consolidation, college education or other expenses.

Equity loans, lines of credit defined ...
There are two types of home equity debt: home equity loans and home equity lines of credit, also known as HELOCs. Both are sometimes referred to as second mortgages, because they are secured by your property, just like the original, or primary, mortgage.
Home equity loans and lines of credit usually are repaid in a shorter period than first mortgages. Most commonly, mortgages are set up to be repaid over 30 years. Equity loans and lines of credit often have a repayment period of 15 years, although it might be as short as five and as long as 30 years.

Home Equity Assessment To Know How Much You Can Borrow

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You surely have heard about home equity loans (those loans that use the remaining value of your property to secure additional funds). But, do you know how to assess your home equity? This is an important issue as it will let you know whether you can count on your available equity for expenses, investments or other purposes or not and also how much money you can obtain out of your home if you decide to refinance your mortgage.

The Calculation Of Home Equity

calculationHome Equity Assessment To Know How Much You Can BorrowThe mathematical calculation needed to obtain the resulting available equity on your home is quite simple: to the actual value of your property, you need to subtract the amount of remaining debt on your mortgage. But though it is a mere subtraction, the complexity for those who are not familiar with real estate resides on the securing of the figures needed to perform the calculation.

Common mistakes are for example the use of the purchase price instead of the current value, or the matching of the debt already paid on your mortgage with the amount of available equity regardless of the facts that interests are included and that the property’s value may have increased also. Therefore, it is important to know where to obtain the information you need.

Basically, the property needs to be appraised by a real estate agent. Many agents are willing to appraise your property for free but you can easily obtain a quite accurate figure by inquiring about recent purchase prices of similar properties on the neighborhood. And as regards to the remaining debt on your mortgage loan, you can ask your lender about this figure at any time and they are obliged to provide you with the information. You just need to ask for it.

With the above information at hand you can easily subtract both figures and obtain the amount of home equity available for requesting a loan. Each lender will require this info to provide you with a loan quote and prequalifying your for a loan. Thus, if you know beforehand which lender you want to apply to, you can leave all the trouble of assessing your available equity to them.

125% Financing Is Feasible?

You may have heard about 125% financing. This implies that your mortgage and the home equity loan combined add up to 125% of your property’s value. How can this be done? Imagine that you take a secured equity loan till 100% is reached and you add up another 25% unsecured. The interest rate of the last one will be higher. But if you combine both loans into a single loan you can obtain a lower rate and the lender gets to secure the remaining amount once you have cancelled sufficient installments or once the value of the property reaches the amount of outstanding debt.

These loans however are not easy to qualify for because till the value of the property raises or the debt drops, a significant amount of debt remains unprotected. Therefore, you should expect approval only for those with fair to perfect credit. If your credit is below average, chances are that you will get declined.

About the author:
Amanda Hash is an expert financial consultant who specializes in Personal Consolidation and Unsecured Loans Bad.

By visiting

you'll learn how to get approved and recover your credit.

What is Home Equity

Home equity is the amount of money you have already paid against the value of your home. A simple formula for determining your home equity is to subtract the amount of the mortgage balance from the current fair market value of your home. In other words, your equity increases as your mortgage balance decreases. If your home has been appraised for $200,000.00 and you owe $125,000.00 on your mortgage, your equity is $75,000.00.

Actually, there is a bit more to it. For example, consider the fact that many homeowners have liens or second mortgages on their homes. These amounts must also be subtracted from the appraised value to determine home equity accurately.

Many people put their established equity to work for them. They borrow against it and use the money for improvements to the home, for college tuition for their children, or for things like investments in business ventures such as purchasing additional property.

This is typically done through a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. A home equity loan is a secured loan based on the amount of equity you have in your home. You may be able to borrow almost the full amount of your equity, but remember your home is the collateral for such a loan. This type of financing should be considered carefully, and the homeowner must read all the fine print and discuss all fees before securing such a loan.

A home equity line of credit is usually about 75% of the appraised value of the home minus the balance due on the current mortgage as well as any other liens. A home equity line of credit can be used at any time for any purpose, but there are several fees associated with a home equity line of credit. Choose a lender that offers competitive rates and does not eat up a large chunk of your loan with assorted fees.

It is a good idea to seek financial advice from a professional before securing a home equity loan or line of credit, since you could lose your home if you fail to repay the amount borrowed --including applicable fees and interest-- as promised.