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Home Equity Loan Information - How to use One Wisely

Written by: John Ross

Using a home equity loan to get out of debt or make improvements to your home is usually a smart move. You have earned the equity, so it only makes sense that you put it to good use. Usually this type of loan offers a lower interest rate than credit cards or traditional loans, so it is a wise move for many circumstances. Perhaps one of the smartest uses of a home equity loan is for home improvements. You can take a $10,000 dollar loan, put it towards a new kitchen, and then turn around and sell your home for a profit. There are a few tips to getting the most out of your home equity loan. Use your head and ask questions, and you should have no trouble making the right decision.

First, you need to do your homework. We cannot stress this enough! The more you know about the process and your lender, the better prepared you will be come closing time. Get quotes from several lenders, which will give you a bargaining chip when it comes time to secure a loan. If you have found other lenders that can offer you a better deal, use that to your advantage. Always get it in writing.

Second, understand what the market is doing at the moment. Research the current interest rates available as well as the government prime rate. This will help give you a picture of where the economy is headed. Understanding the value of your neighborhood will also come into play during the process. For instance, if a golf course or park is in the process of being built, you may find that the value of your home will skyrocket once the feature is in place. Consider waiting until the construction is complete, to get top dollar for your home.

Lastly, know where you are going in the next 10 years. Sure, you may be able to swing the second mortgage now, but where will you be in 10 years. While nothing is ever certain, there are a few life altering events that could drastically change your finances. These include:

1. A spouse changing jobs or deciding to quit working to stay home with children

2. A spouse or child attending college

3. The birth or adoption of a child

4. Illness or death in the family

So make sure to discuss your current situation with your friends and loved ones. If you plan on having another child or moving to one income, you may be better off waiting for a while. On the same note, if you or your spouse will graduate college or receive a promotion, you can probably go ahead with the loan.

When the time comes to decide on a loan product, do not get pressured into signing something that you don't understand. Even if the lender says that the document is "standard" read through it cover to cover before signing. The final piece of advice for you would be to not take more than you need. Let's say that you have about $5,000 in home repairs that need to be done. Even if the lender says that you can borrow $30,000 dollars, you shouldn't do it. Borrow only what you need. That way, you can be sure to repay the loan in a timely fashion. Put any excess money into a savings or money market, so that you have a cushion should another emergency arise. John Ross is a freelance author, providing tips and ideas relating to home equity loans. You can find more of his articles at: home equity loan company, online home equity loans, and fixed rate home equity loan. The Loanchbox is a user friendly website designed to teach the basics behind home equity loans.

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