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Learning and Understanding Home Equity Loans Pros and Cons

As real estate values have gone through the roof lately, home equity loans have become fashionable once again, understanding the home equity loans pros and cons is a big advantage. Usually done through a bank, the home equity loan can be a traditional loan or a line of credit which is secured by the collateral of a piece of real estate. This collateral is typically a person's primary home, but it can also be an investment property or a second vacation home, as long as the homeowner has title to it and some level of equity in it. There are several pros and cons when dealing with home equity loans, and it is important for potential borrowers to consider all the facts before jumping in and applying for a loan of this type.

One of the main reasons that homeowners take out a home equity loan is to pay off existing debt with a loan of a lower interest rate. Getting rid of those high interest credit card bills sure can be an attractive thing to imagine, and a home equity loan has the power to make them all go away if the credit limit is high enough. But one problem that many people fall into is that they run their credit cards right back up buying more "stuff" after they use a loan to pay off the balances. So now, not only do they have the credit card bills again, but they have this new loan that they have to make monthly payments on as well, often for a term of fifteen or twenty years. This is one of the advantages of understanding the home equity loans pros and cons. Sure, we all want the nicest things in our house and to have all the luxuries in life, but living beyond one's means is a trap that can be easily fallen into when using a home equity loan to pay off existing debts. The behavior that caused the person to run up the credit card debt in the first place can often lead to even more debt, and sometimes, bankruptcy.

That being said, home equity loans can be a wonderful source of funds for the disciplined person who is looking to get out of debt and stay that way. As mentioned above, the interest rate on home equity loans is usually much lower than the typical credit card rate, so paying off these high interest lines of credit with a loan that carries a lower rate makes perfect sense as long as the cards are then cut up or stuck in a drawer, only to be brought out in the direst of emergencies. And another added benefit is that the interest paid on a home equity loan is usually tax deductible, which means that it reduces one's taxable income at the end of the year when filing federal income taxes with the IRS. So, this in effect reduces the interest rate even further below what the borrower was paying on the credit card balances.

Although home equity loans pros and cons may vary on an individual basis, this type of loan remains one of the most popular sources of borrowed funds in existence among Americans today. So, if you have equity in your home and are disciplined enough to use it wisely, a home equity loan may be the right solution for you.

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