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The Basics of Home Equity Loan
By: Alan Lim

If you are a homeowner, you surely have heard so much about home equity loan. What is this all about? Owning a home is not only a major turning point in your life, but is actually an investment that will increase in value over time. In time, your home value would increase. This means that your house which originally cost you $150,000 10 years ago can now be sold for $200,000.

Consequently, if you purchase a home and pay for it through home mortgage, you are slowly building on home equity. It is simply the difference between the current value of your home and the value you still owe your lender on the mortgage. You can then expect your home equity to increase in two ways - it increases as you pay your monthly mortgage payments, and as the market value of your home increases in time.

Home equity is actually one of the most important advantages you can get when buying a home. It is a great financial resource and your money stored in the bank. You can borrow against it through a home equity loan in cases when you badly need some extra cash. If you want to take on a home equity loan for college tuition, home renovation or to pay off your debts, you have two types to choose from: a second mortgage (known as the traditional home equity loan) and the home equity line of credit loan. What are these two all about?

A second mortgage loan merits you lump sum money which is based on the equity built on your home. On the other hand, a line of credit loan entitles you to a credit card or a check book with a corresponding maximum credit amount that you can use for purchases. The amount you can spend is again based on your home's equity.

Whichever type it is, is low interest and tax deductible. Thus, with all else being equal, the choice of which one to choose is entirely up to you. It will depend on your needs for the moment. If you need the lump sum cash to pay for big purchases, then a second mortgage will do. On the other hand, if you need to spend it in small but regular amounts, then you might find a line of credit more suitable.

However, it is still very important for you to bear in mind that when taking out a home equity loan, your lender can repossess your home anytime if you fail to pay the necessary dues. If you fail to pay your monthly payments for a while or if you fail to pay your home equity loan in full as agreed upon, your lender or your bank can take your house away and use its current value to get what you owed them. As in all mortgages, make sure that you assume the responsibility to pay for what you need to, or you stand the risk losing your home.