Posts in Home Equity
HELOCs and Credit Scores: What You Need to Know

A home equity line of credit, otherwise known as a HELOC, is a revolving line of credit that’s secured by the equity in your home. While you might know that HELOCs can be a good way to pay off recurring expenses without taking on high-interest credit card debt, you might not know that they can also affect your credit score. Here’s what you need to know about HELOCs and credit scores.

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What is a Growing Equity Loan?

A growing equity loan is a type of mortgage with a fixed rate where the amount paid monthly is increased over time in accordance with an agreed-upon pay schedule. This translates to more money applied to the principal of the loan, shortening its life and accruing less interest on the loan while increasing the equity in the home. Since the growing equity loan initial payment amount is higher than the monthly amount required to pay off the loan over time, the payments ensure that there would never be negative amortization of the loan.

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What is a 15-Year Home Equity Loan?

One of the benefits of owning a home is that as you pay your mortgage down, you begin to build equity. Equity is that tidy little sum that your home holds in trust for you, like a big wooden piggy bank, catching both paid-down principal and value from increasing real estate market values and inflation.

Instead of smashing through the pantry door to access it, though, you simply need to contact a banker about a home equity loan.

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What Credit Score Do You Need to Get a Home Equity Loan?

Can you get a home equity loan with a bad credit score? You’re hoping so, now. When you bought your house, the pink bathroom was cute and retro, but after living with it for years, you’re about ready to spray paint the whole thing just to get a break. But with bad credit, what are your options when it comes to renovating?

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Acceptable Credit Score for a Home Equity Loan

Home equity loans can help homeowners pay for big expenses without having to refinance their homes or take out a personal loan. Instead, the equity in your home acts like a piggy bank, allowing you to take out a separate loan for a specific purpose (or, in the case of a HELOC, establish a credit line) and repay it over a longer period of time than other types of credit generally allow. It’s an affordable option for many people, but there are guidelines for underwriting home equity loans, and credit scores are included in that mix.

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Finding Home Equity Loans with Bad Credit

When the going gets tough, sometimes, the tough get a home equity loan. There are always going to be times in life when you could use an injection of cash, whether that’s because you’re trying to breathe life into a startup, needing to update your kitchen, or you just got a little behind on bills. A home equity loan can be an excellent weapon in your life improvement war, but if your credit is on the poor side, it can make finding a home equity loan tricky.

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HELOC: Home Equity Line Of Credit in Home Loans

A Home Equity Line of Credit, also known as a HELOC, allows you to use the value you’ve built up in your home in order to secure a revolving line of credit. Individuals and families often use a HELOC to pay for serious expenses (like healthcare or college tuition) or to consolidate high-interest loans (like credit card debt).

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Home Equity Loan Terms

Home equity loans, which are sometimes known as second mortgages, allow homeowners to take out a loan against the equity in their home. Home equity loans are divided into two types. The first is a home equity loan, which is a traditional, fixed rate loan. The other is a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Since one of our other FAQs addresses the details about HELOCs, in this one, we’ll stick to talking about regular home equity loans.

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Home Equity Loans (HEL) vs. Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

Home equity loans (HELs) and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) are both ways that you can use the value in your home to pay bills, medical expenses, or to finance home improvements and renovations. While home equity loans provide a large, lump-sum payment usually in the form of a check, a HELOC simply provides access to credit based on the equity in your home. As a revolving line of credit, a HELOC functions more closely to a credit card than a traditional mortgage -- and many HELOCs actually come with one.

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What is Home Equity?

In basic terms, home equity is the amount of financial value that a homeowner has built up in their home. To discover how much home equity you have, take your property’s market value and subtract your outstanding loan balance. As you pay off your mortgage (or your home’s value increases), the amount of home equity you have increases.

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HELOC: Home Equity Line Of Credit

A home equity line of credit (HELOC), is a pool of credit you can draw from using your home equity as collateral. Your home equity is the difference between the value of your home and the mortgage balance. So if your home is valued at $250,000 and your mortgage is $150,000 then your home equity is at $100,000 ($250,000-$150,000).  

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