03/12/2019: How Hard is Your Home Working for You?

Did you know that the difference between the value of your home and any outstanding amount you owe on a mortgage can be used to finance your other goals or projects? Yes, you can use the equity you have already paid into your home as a separate loan called a home equity loan. That’s cash for you to use any way you’d like.

Normally, you take a home equity out for a shorter term – say 5 to 15 years – and although the amounts are less than a mortgage, you can still get a fixed-rate albeit under different terms.

While there are as many ways to use a home equity loan as there are home owners who use them, here are a few of the most common ways:

 

Renovate your Home

Using the equity in your home to expand or remodel it can improve the value of your investment, driving a future resell price much higher. As an added bonus, if you’ve grown weary of hearing your significant other complain about an outdated kitchen or lack of a (wo)man cave, the upgrades can also contribute to peace in your home.

 

Consolidate Debt

Consumer credit card debt in the United States is now more than $1 trillion. The average household has just over $4,000 in credit card balances with interest rates on that debt hovering around 17 percent.* If you, like many Americans, are struggling with credit card debt, a home equity loan can bundle that debt into one monthly payment with a much lower interest rate, creating life-changing financial improvements.

 

Pay for tuition

If you have equity in your home, you can use that cash towards college or education tuition (your own or someone else’s). Here again, home equity loans can have lower interest rates than traditional loans through traditional lending institutions. A home equity loan also allows you to spread out payments over longer periods of time to lower the monthly payment, helping to fit paying for education into your budget.

 

Travel

Travelling to exotic locations or gathering far-flung friends and family together are some of the greatest joys for many. Although you’d love to take the trip of a lifetime, coming up with the full payment of the vacation upfront could be cost prohibitive. Using the equity in your home could help you spread out the payments allowing you to travel to that dream destination or host that one-in-a-lifetime reunion!

 

Refinance

If you have significant equity in your home or took out your mortgage when rates were higher, you could benefit from refinancing using a home equity loan. If you plan to sell your home in the next few years and can afford the payments, the shorter term can help you pay off the principal faster or change your payment to better match your financial situation.

 

More Flexible Options: Home Equity Lines of Credit

What if you’re not sure how much you’ll need to take out? Or what if you don’t need the money all at once? A home equity line of credit is another, similar option with more flexibility. While there are variable rates for this loan (which means the rates go up and down with market trends), you pull the money as you need it. First, you get approved for a certain dollar amount based on the equity you have into your home, and then you write checks or transfer the money as you need it. It’s more flexible and there when you need it on a revolving basis.

 

What Next?

Home equities and home equity lines of credit can unlock countless potentials by using the equity you’ve already created in your home. Standard Bank offices all have a home loan specialist available to help you choose the path to bring your dreams into reality and live your best life. They are there to help mitigate any confusion and answer all questions so you feel comfortable making the best decisions for you and your needs.

Ready to get started? Take our One-Minute Home Equity Loan Test. Then, you may call your local office and ask for their home loan specialist or start the application process by applying on our secure website. Even after you apply online, a loan specialist will continue to work one-on-one with you to confirm options and answer questions before proceeding with the loan approval process.

 

*Data taken from www.cnbc.com/2019/02/21/consumer-debt-hits-4-trillion.html and is accurate as of 2/21/2019.

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