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Your Home Equity Can Work for You


"Use your home's equity to pay off your debt. It's easy and simple, no closing costs!" Every time I turn on the television, commercials bombard me telling me to take out a home equity line of credit. People are using their dream homes to pay for even bigger dreams, like a "debt free" lifestyle and college educations for their children. Despite the ease in securing these seemingly beneficial lines of credit, many CPA's and financial planners are cautioning homeowners to gain a full understanding of how these lending options work before they turn their homes into a source of money.

There are two options in using your equity to secure funding: a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. Most lenders will let a homeowner borrow up to 80% of existing equity based on the amount owed on the first mortgage and the appreciated value of the home. Unlike other forms of nondeductible consumer debt, loans less than $100,000 or less that use a home as collateral may have a tax deduction available for interest paid.

A home equity loan is most usually used for large purchases, such as financing a major home improvement project, starting a business, purchasing a luxury item or consolidating high-interest credit card debt. There are advantages to securing lending for these purposes, but these types of loans are better suited to those who don't foresee future borrowing needs.

Home equity loans are basically second mortgages, which provide you with money that is repayable over a fixed term from five to 15 years. These loans can feature locked-in rates and monthly payments that remain the same.

Home equity lines of credit are ideal for use as emergency money. They can be used for irregular or unanticipated expenses like medical deductibles and automobile repairs. These lines are often used by higher income families who don't qualify for college financial aid to pay for their children's college educations. When faced with using a home equity line of credit or savings to pay off credit card debt, it is advised to use the savings to pay of the debt and the line of credit for future emergencies.

With home equity lines of credit, you are approved for a certain amount of money, a credit limit. You can borrow any amount of money during the life of your line of credit up to your credit limit. You may be given a check or a debit card that can be used at almost all retailers. Home equity lines of credit are usually variable-rate loans.

Using the equity in your home is not a flip decision. Think about it seriously. If you are doing this to consolidate high-interest rate credit cards, it will only work if you do not accumulate any new debt. If you keep using the cards, you are only digging a further pit of debt.

Your credit card company cannot foreclose on your home, but your home equity loan lender can. You are placing your home at risk with every mortgage placed on it. It is necessary that you shop for the best rates and terms available. Talk to different lenders and be aware of introductory rates. Read all paperwork carefully before you sign it.

Using your home equity can benefit you in many ways, but always display caution. It is still debt

Martin Lukac, California mortgage Lender(http://www.martinlukac.com), provides mortgage financing for purchase,refinance,bad credit and more. Request a free quote or ask a question.


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