A new year means new goals, adventures, and purchases. Are you financially prepared and in good standing to follow through with your dreams? Whether you’re looking to make big home improvements, pay off debt, fund a loved one’s education or simply have extra cash for a special project, a home equity loan could be the right solution for you to quickly get you the funds you need. But before we launch into what defines a “good” home equity loan and how to get one, let’s get started with the basics of this source of financial backing.

What’s a Home Equity Loan?

Similar to the first mortgage you used to initially purchase your home, a home equity loan is a second mortgage on your home. With this type of loan, you’re borrowing money against the value of your home without any of your unpaid balances. The terms will vary depending on promotion, company, and creditworthiness. Some will have fixed rates, whereas some may have variable rates based upon U.S. economic trends. Some may also have numerous other fees attached—something to look out for. 

How much will the loan be for?

The maximum home equity loan you’ll be eligible for would be the total value of your home minus any outstanding balances. Depending on which bank or credit union you decide to pursue the loan through, home equity loan values can vary. At Common Trust, your loan can be approved for up to Eighty Percent (80% LTV) of the appraised value of the real estate, minus First Mortgage balance before minimum dollar amount. Loan-to-Value amount is the ratio the bank will allow you to be approved for (ex. 80% LTV of a total value of $100,000 would be an $80,000 loan). The minimum loan value is $10,000 and the maximum dollar amount is $300,000. Imagine what you could do with such spending power! The possibilities are endless.

A simple equation for use in determining the Home Equity Loan you’re eligible for: 

[(Appraised Value of Home) – (Outstanding Balances)] × (LTV%) = Total Loan Value

Is a home equity loan a good idea?

Home equity loans are a great way to access funds that you need to do the things you love. If you are in good financial standing and have a good grip on managing your finances in general, you’ll surely reap the benefits of a Home Equity Loan without any negative drawbacks. If you find yourself struggling to manage your budgeting and always stress about finances, a home equity loan may not be the right choice for you. 

Are there any cons?

As with any financial investment, if you aren’t responsible you may find yourself in deep waters relatively quickly. It’s important to understand your financial standing and whether or not you can afford to take out such a loan. Be sure to confirm all interest rates before signing off on the loan to prevent any surprise fees, and never be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to finalize your decision. This is likely one of the biggest loans you’ll take out, so make sure it’s the right choice. 

There are a few other very notable disadvantages to a Home Equity Loan if used frivolously, however. Keep in mind that your home is being used as collateral to back this loan, so if there are any instances where you can’t make payments they can technically take possession of your property. Since your loan is based on the equity of your home, which can decrease in value depending upon economic trends, you may end up owing more money on your home than it’s actually worth if there’s a serious drop in appraised value. This is commonly known as being “underwater” or “upside-down”. Though these drawbacks can easily be prevented with more research on your loan terms and home value, they are still important to consider when investing in this type of loan. 

Think a Home Equity Loan could be right for you? We have good news! Until March 31, 2020, Common Trust is proud to be offering our 10 Year Home Equity Loan promotion. With competitive rates as low as 4.99*, you can get access to the funds you need and pursue the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Take advantage of our low rates while you can—give us a ring or reach out via email today!

*Actual rate is subject to creditworthiness