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Secured Home Equity Loans - Things You Should Know About Home Equity Loans

Written by: Carrie Reeder

Your Equity Is Your Security

Your home's equity is the basis for your home equity. You can choose to access it with a variety of loan terms. Refinancing with a cash out will lock in long term rates. A second mortgage pulls out part or all of your equity while keeping your original mortgage intact. This is nice if you have a low interest home loan. Finally, you can create a line of credit based on your equity. It acts much like a low interest credit card.

While loan terms affect your rates, so will your property's value. Using all of your equity will bump up your rates. Don't forget to factor in your home's appreciation when considering your property's value.

The PMI Factor

Private mortgage insurance may be required with some lenders, especially if you have a prime loan. If you have less than 20% equity in the home, then expect to pay premiums. But sub prime lenders don't require insurance. And in some cases, if you use a separate lender for your second mortgage, you won't have to get insurance either.

Interest Is Tax Deductible - Sometimes

Interest from a home equity loan is tax deductible in many cases, unlike other forms of credit. There are caps on your income and the property value. For example, you can't write off interest for a loan that exceeds your property's value. There are also limitations on what the loan can be used for in some cases. Before using this deduction, be sure to read the IRS regulations.

Home Equity Loan Rates Vary Between Lenders

As with every other type of credit, rates will vary between lenders. Each lender will rate your application differently. They will also have different procedures for determining rates.

To get the best deal, you have to rely on loan quotes to make your decision. By providing just the most basic information, you can get a general idea of closing costs and rates. Only if you are serious about a lender should you allow them to access your credit report.

Home equity loans can also be consolidated into one mortgage in the future. Make sure you don't have any early payment fees that would make this decision needlessly expensive.

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