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Home Equity Loans

When you own a home, it is quite possible that you are going to need financing for something else down the road – be it a new car or a debt consolidation or another expense.  Lucky for you, you have a financial source right over your head!  Home equity loans can help provide you the money you need for other expenses.  Here is some information to help you figure out what home equity loans are all about.

You can save money in the long run by taking time to inform yourself on the loan process and the terms associated with it.  It will be easier for you to compare lenders and know that you are getting the best rates and offers when you are able to understand all of the fine print.

Start by understanding some of the terms that are bound to come up during your home equity loan research. Collateral is property that you use as a guarantee to the lender that they will get their money back.  If you default on the loan, the lender has a legal claim to that property to resell it to recoup their losses.  With home equity loans, your house is your collateral.  Equity is the difference between what your home is worth should you sell it and how much you still owe on the mortgage.  For instance, if your home is worth $200,000 and you owe $150,000 to the mortgage company, the equity would be $50,000.  With home equity loans, you can take that money out as a second mortgage and use it to take care of other expenses.  These loans are often scheduled to be repaid back over a shorter amount of time than your first mortgage.

Knowing the difference between home equity loans and home equity lines of credit is also helpful. A home equity loan is a one-time total amount received that is paid off over a set amount of time with set payments each month.  You can only take the money out once.  Home equity lines of credit are different in that they work more like a credit card, where you can borrow a set amount of money up to the life of the loan as you need it.  As you pay off the amount borrowed you can take it out again, same as you would with a credit card.

When shopping for home equity loans you will want to do some research to find the loan that is best for you.  Shopping online is often an easy way to do this, and there are distinct advantages to you. One of the first things to look into when investigating loans is the interest rate and the repayment options and loan terms.  By shopping online, you have the advantage of looking into several lenders simultaneously to find the best deal, lowest interest rates, and most flexible repayment options.  Applying online is often easier since it can be done from home at the time of day that works best for you, instead of having to deal with inconvenient bank hours.  Paperwork may also be less since lenders have streamlined the process.

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