|Mortgage & Refinancing Information|
Home Equity Loans Can Provide Cash in a Hurry
Think About the Long Term. Estimate how long you expect to stay in your current house. Depending on the severity of your situation and the real estate market at the moment, you might even want to considering selling your home altogether and taking on a short term rental in your new locale. If you expect to stay in your current home for a few more years, the flexibility of a home equity loan may work for you.
How Much Cash Do You Need? A flexible home equity loan or line of credit may allow you to write checks for only the amount you need to get by. If you experienced a job loss, you can borrow against your equity in smaller chunks and repay your loan quickly once you get back on your feet. Opening a new loan with your local bank can also provide you with a critical source of cash that can help you make credit card payments on time, preserving your credit score.
Budget for Loan Expenses. Although a short-term home equity loan may carry a higher interest rate, you may be able to pay it back fairly quickly and avoid some of the long-term expenses it brings. Review your monthly budget to find a regular payment that you can live with. Experienced lenders can often customize home equity loans to fit just about any repayment scenario.
Watch for Hidden Penalties. Some unscrupulous lenders try to lock homeowners into loans that require stiff pre-payment penalties. Make sure your lender guarantees you that interest accrues only on the outstanding balance of your loan. Check your contract carefully to make sure that you can pay back the money you have borrowed on your own schedule.
Look for Bonus Perks. Many lenders are locked in heated competition for home equity loans. Along with the potential tax benefits that home loans provide, many banks and private companies have offered new customers added benefits. The days when banks gave away toasters are long past. Instead, some new loan accounts generate frequent flyer miles or access to free banking and investment services. Be sure to ask your prospective lender about any special bonuses that might break a tie with their competitors.
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