A home equity loan is a type of loan in which the borrower uses the equity of his or her home as collateral. Home equity loans are often used to finance major expenses such as home repairs, medical bills, or college education. A home equity loan creates a lien against the borrower’s house and reduces actual home equity.
Most home equity loans require good to excellent credit history, reasonable loan-to-value and combined loan-to-value ratios. Home equity loans come in two types: closed end (traditionally just called a home-equity loan) and open end (aka a home-equity line of credit). Both are usually referred to as second mortgages, because they are secured against the value of the property, just like a traditional mortgage. Home equity loans and lines of credit are usually, but not always, for a shorter term than first mortgages. Home equity loan can be used as a person’s main mortgage in place of a traditional mortgage. However, one can not purchase a home using a home equity loan, one can only use a home equity loan to refinance.
Types of loan
Personal loans - You can get these loans at almost any bank. The good news is that you can usually spend the money however you like. You might go on vacation, buy a jet ski or get a new television. Personal loans are often unsecured and fairly easy to get if you have average credit history. The downside is that they are usually for small amounts, typically not going over $5,000, and the interest rates are higher than secured loans.
Cash advances - If you are in a pinch and need money quickly, cash advances from your credit card company or other payday loan institutions are an option. These loans are easy to get, but can have extremely high interest rates. They usually are only for small amounts: typically $1,000 or less. These loans should really only be considered when there are no other alternative ways to get money.
Student loans - These are great ways to help finance a college education. The most common loans are Stafford loans and Perkins loans. The interest rates are very reasonable, and you usually don't have to pay the loans back while you are a full-time college student. The downside is that these loans can add up to well over $100,000 in the course of four, six or eight years, leaving new graduates with huge debts as they embark on their new careers.
Mortgage loans - This is most likely the biggest loan you will ever get! If you are looking to purchase your first home or some form of real estate, this is likely the best option. These loans are secured by the house or property you are buying. That means if you don't make your payments in a timely manner, the bank or lender can take your house or property back! Mortgages help people get into homes that would otherwise take years to save for. They are often structured in 10-, 15- or 30-year terms, and the interest you pay is tax-deductible and fairly low compared to other loans.
Home loans - equity loans and lines of credit - Homeowners can borrow against equity they have in their house with these types of loans. The equity or loan amount would be the difference between the appraised value of your home and the amount you still owe on your mortgage. These loans are good for home additions, home improvements or debt consolidation. The interest rate is often tax deductible and also fairly low compared to other loans.