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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Facts you should know about your Home equity loan

By Doc Schmyz

Home equity loans are a great source of cash. However, before you plunge right into the process of drawing out a loan out of the equity of your property; you should take a look at the fine print and what it means to you.

Are you debating on getting a home equity loan? Home equity loans might be an easy to acquire type of loan, but somehow even a seemingly great deal might turn out to be bad if the process of getting one is not done right.

Lets take a look at the following areas and terms for the loan process.

Points

How are you affected by this? Most of these lenders charge a part of the loan for commissions for themselves and for their sub-agents. Actually such points vary from little to exorbitant; it all depends on the company and the type of loan. If you are charged 1 point, this would mean 1 percent of the loan. And so 1 percent of a 100,000 dollar loan is an up front charge of 1000 dollars. Do not worry, there are lenders that do not charge points.

Interest rate terms

You have to know if it is a fixed or variable type of loan. If it is a fixed loan, then you do not have to worry about external forces such as economic situations directly affecting your interest rate. But on the other hand, if you have variable type of loan, you may actually have an initial good interest rate. Interest rates that go up naturally makes your monthly payments go up too in the process. So what do you want " a home equity loan with interest rate that stays the same all throughout the duration of the loan, or one with the possibility of going up anytime?

Pre Payment penalties

Simply put pre payment penalties are a fee that the lender places on you in the event you decide to pay of your loan early. These "pre-pays" can cost several thousand dollars in some cases.

Late payment penalties

Does a home equity loans interest rate go up with late payments? With many lenders, with delinquent payment, penalties usually follow. More so, there sometimes is a clause on default interest rate increase in the loan which raises automatically the loan rates when payments are late. This can actually be costly for the borrower.

Insurance

You have to check if the home equity loan that you are prospecting has insurance costs hidden somewhere, a cost that you definitely do not want. Whenever you get a loan, you can take in corresponding credit insurance. You can have credit life insurance, which takes care of your loan in the event that you die. However, if in the case of home equity loan, if you feel that insurance is just added cost, then by all means avoid the lender that requires you to pay for them.

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