There are a number of significant advantages that come with homeownership, and one of the biggest advantages is the ability to take out a home equity loan. As homeowners pay off the mortgage, the amount of equity in the house increases. Homeowners can borrow against the equity in their house to fund other projects. For example, homeowners could borrow against home equity to complete a home renovation, pay medical expenses, or pay down student loans. The most common home equity loans include cash-out refinances, a traditional home equity loan, and a home equity line of credit. Which is the best option?
A Cash-Out Refinance
The first option is called a cash-out refinance. Essentially, homeowners are taking out a loan for an amount that is greater than the current mortgage. Then, homeowners will keep the difference in the two loan values for their personal use. Homeowners essentially refinance the existing mortgage and extract additional equity. There is only one mortgage payment, and any interest on the new loan is tax-deductible.
A Home Equity Loan
The next option is a traditional home equity loan. Homeowners borrow against the existing equity in the home, and homeowners create a second mortgage. There is a fixed interest rate on the second mortgage, and homeowners receive the money as a lump sum. It is not unusual for the interest rate on the second mortgage to be higher than the first mortgage. Then, they have to pay off the second mortgage just like the first mortgage.
Homeowners who are okay receiving the funds over time might be interested in a home equity line of credit, also known as a HELOC. The initial interest rate on a HELOC is often lower than the mortgage, but it can vary with time. Payments are often lower because homeowners only owe money if they actually use the line of credit. Interest is only charged on the outstanding balance.
Choose The Right Option
Homeowners need to understand the differences between these home equity loans to choose the best option for them. Some of them provide lump sums, some create multiple monthly payments, and some have more flexible payment terms. The features of each loan must be compared to the needs of the individual homeowner.