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April 10, 2023

Common use of a HELOC

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a type of loan that allows homeowners to borrow money against the equity in their home. Equity is the difference between the current market value of the home and the outstanding mortgage balance.

With a HELOC, the lender provides a credit line based on the equity in the home, which can be used for various purposes, such as home renovations, debt consolidation, or other personal expenses. The borrower can draw on the credit line as needed, up to a pre-approved limit, and only pay interest on the amount borrowed.

HELOCs typically have a variable interest rate, which means the interest rate can fluctuate over time based on market conditions. The repayment terms of a HELOC can also vary, but usually, they require the borrower to make interest-only payments during the draw period, which is typically the first 5-10 years of the loan. After the draw period, the borrower must pay back the outstanding balance over a set repayment period, typically 10-20 years.

Let’s discuss some additional details about Home Equity Lines of Credit:

  1. Loan Amount: The amount that can be borrowed through a HELOC depends on the amount of equity in the home, the credit score of the borrower, and the lender's guidelines. Typically, the loan amount can range from $10,000 to $250,000, and the lender may offer up to 85-90% of the home's appraised value.

  1. Interest Rate: As mentioned earlier, HELOCs typically have a variable interest rate that is tied to a benchmark rate such as the prime rate. The interest rate can change over time based on market conditions, which means the monthly payment can vary as well. Some lenders may offer a fixed-rate option, but the interest rate is usually higher than the variable rate.

  1. Draw Period: The draw period is the time during which the borrower can withdraw funds from the HELOC. This period typically lasts 5 to 10 years, during which the borrower only needs to make interest payments on the amount borrowed. After the draw period ends, the borrower enters the repayment period and must start paying back the principal and interest over a set term.

  1. Repayment Period: The repayment period is the time during which the borrower must repay the outstanding balance on the HELOC. This period typically lasts 10 to 20 years, during which the borrower makes monthly payments that include both principal and interest.

  1. Fees: HELOCs may come with fees such as origination fees, appraisal fees, and annual fees. These fees can add to the cost of the loan, so it's important to compare the fees of different lenders.

  1. Risks: HELOCs can be risky because they use the borrower's home as collateral. If the borrower is unable to repay the loan, the lender can foreclose on the home. Also, if the value of the home decreases, the borrower may owe more on the loan than the home is worth.

Overall, HELOCs can be a useful option for homeowners who need access to funds for various purposes. However, it's important to understand the terms of the loan, including the interest rate, fees, and repayment schedule, and to use the funds responsibly.

If you have questions or may be curious about what you can qualify for today on your HELOC, give me a call for consultation!