If you are a homeowner carrying a home equity loan in addition to your mortgage, refinancing to one monthly payment could save you money. Consolidating these loans has the advantage of one lower monthly payment and you can even lock in a fixed interest rate. Here are several tips to help you refinance your primary mortgage and home equity loans without overpaying for the financing.Refinancing has many advantages for homeowners with multiple loans. Consolidating your primary mortgage and home equity line of credit will make your monthly budget easier to mange by providing you one lower monthly payment. Additionally, you will qualify for a lower interest rate on your new mortgage than the one you were paying on your home equity loan. Home equity loans come with higher interest rates than your primary mortgage because there is additional risk for the second lender. The home equity lender passes this risk on to the borrower in the form of higher interest rates.Refinancing is also not without risk. The main disadvantage of refinancing your mortgage is that you are starting your amortization all over again. At the beginning of your mortgage, most of your monthly payment is applied to interest and very little goes to repaying the loan principle. When refinancing your mortgage there is the additional risk of overpaying for the new mortgage loan. To avoid overpaying for the new mortgage it is important to shop around from a variety of mortgage lenders and brokers. When you compare loan offers be sure and compare all aspects of the loans, not just the interest rates. You can learn more about shopping for the most competitive loan offer by registering for a free mortgage guidebook.
Mortgage cycling is a strategy for building equity in your home and quickly paying down the balance of your mortgage loan. Cycling your mortgage is an effective strategy when executed properly; here are the basics you need to understand before attempting a mortgage cycling strategy to build equity in your home.Mortgage cycling is a repayment strategy that can shave ten years off the repayment of your mortgage loan. This is an effective strategy for any homeowner with a couple hundred dollars of disposable income every month. Many people don’t have this amount of cash on hand every month; if you don’t have the money there is still a way to implement this strategy using equity in your home.Mortgage cycling works by making large equity payments against the principle loan balance of your mortgage, several times every year. Many homeowners make $5,000 equity payments every six months. If you don’t have the cash on hand you can utilize a home equity line of credit to make the equity payments. You will need to pay off the equity line quickly, usually within six months to make the next equity payment. This is necessary to take full advantage of the mortgage cycling strategy. Making these payments quickly reduces the principle balance and the amount of your monthly payment that is applied to interest.If you use the home equity line of credit option to cycle your mortgage it is important to shop for a competitive home equity loan as you will have to pay interest, lender fees, and often closing costs to secure this loan. Most of these fees will be one-time up font expenses and you will only pay finance charges when you borrow against the equity line of credit. It is important to remember that home equity lines of credit come with variable interest rates; when interest rates go up, your payment amounts and finance charges go up with them. You need to factor this expense into your calculations before deciding to go forward with a mortgage cycling plan.To implement a mortgage cycling plan effectively you need to continue making the equity payments for a period of ten years. There are risks involved when using a home equity line of credit; because your home equity line is secured with your home if you fall behind on the payments you could lose your home. You can learn more about your mortgage options by registering for a free mortgage guidebook.
There are a number of reasons for refinancing your home loan regardless of your financial situation or the economy. Refinancing can help you lower your monthly payment amount, qualify for better terms or interest rates, even build equity in your home at a faster rate. Here are three common reasons for refinancing your mortgage and the advantages that go along with themI. Consolidate Your BillsOne of the best reasons for refinancing your mortgage is to cash out equity in your home for the purpose of consolidating your higher interest debts. The advantage of refinancing over using other types of equity loans is that you will be left with one monthly payment and a lower interest rate. When you refinance your existing mortgage and take cash back you are actually borrowing more with the new loan than you owe on your existing mortgage. The difference between the old mortgage and your new loan will be paid to you at closing; this is the money you will use to pay off your bills.II. Lower Your Monthly Mortgage PaymentMany homeowners refinance their home loans because they need a lower monthly payment amount. There are two ways to lower your monthly payment when refinancing. You can qualify for a lower interest rate and extend the term of your new mortgage. The term length of a mortgage is the amount of time the lender grants you to repay the loan. The most common term length is thirty years; however, there are now forty and fifty year mortgage terms available. If you do not qualify for a lower interest rate you can still lower your payment amount by choosing a home loan with a longer term length.III. Build Equity in Your Home FasterMany homeowners refinance their home loans to build equity in their homes at a faster rate. By shortening the term length of the new mortgage loan, your new mortgage payment will go up and you will build equity in your home faster. Common term lengths for homeowners refinancing for this reason are 10 to 15 years. You can learn more about your home loan options and common mistakes to avoid when refinancing by registering for a free mortgage guidebook.
If you are like most Americans you’ve probably racked up considerable debt trying to keep up with the Smith and Jones families down the street. According to Cardweb.com, the leading online publisher of information pertaining to credit and other payment cards, you are not alone. In 2004, individuals who earned between $75,000 and $100,000 per year, and had at least one credit card, carried an average revolving balance of nearly $8,000. This does not even include other personal debts such as car loans, which can total in the tens of thousands.If credit card debt is keeping you up at night, you’re probably wondering what you can or should do about it. File for bankruptcy? Refinance? If you refinance, is a fixed mortgage rate or an adjustable rate mortgage better? What about a home equity loan? The simplest answer of course is to get a debt consolidation loan.What is a Debt Consolidation Loan?Simply put, a debt consolidation loan lumps all of your debts together and pays them off using a single new loan. The next question of course is how to go about getting a debt consolidation loan. Visit a loan shark? Take out a second mortgage on your home? Apply for an unsecured loan at the bank and hope for the best? For the majority of folks a visit to the local loan shark is not a viable option; but taking out a 2nd mortgage or obtaining an unsecured loan from the bank are both excellent choices.Whether you use a second mortgage or an unsecured loan to pay off credit card debt, often depends on several important factors including whether you actually own a home, what your credit rating is, and what the total dollar amount of the credit card debt is that you owe to various financial institutions. According to one expert we spoke to who used to work in the unsecured loan business but now runs his own mortgage broker business, “The most important consideration is the borrowers credit history.”2nd MortgageA second mortgage is a loan or mortgage that is taken out after a first mortgage. It is similar to a first mortgage in that it uses the equity built up in a home as collateral. Similar to a first mortgage, a second mortgage consists of a fixed dollar amount that is paid out in one lump sum and repaid over a period of time typically 15 or 30 years. A 2nd mortgage may be either a fixed rate or an adjustable rate mortgage.Sometimes called a junior mortgage or junior lien, a 2nd mortgage is subordinate to a 1st or primary mortgage. What this means is that in the case of default, the lender for the first mortgage gets paid before the lender who issued the second mortgage does. As such, a 2nd mortgage is considered to be a higher risk and lenders often charge a higher interest rate; however, this rate is generally lower than an unsecured loan or the interest charged on most credit cards.Second mortgages are tax deductible, a major advantage for most people. The payback period is over a fairly long period of time so monthly payments are lower and the total loan amount is generally larger. “There are some cons to consider when thinking about taking out a second mortgage,” explains Brett Bostwick, owner of Snowbird Mortgage Company. “It takes longer to get approved, there is more paperwork involved, and because it is a mortgage loan, there are closing costs such as appraisals and title searches,” he says.Unsecured LoanAn unsecured loan is a lump sum payout that is repaid at a fixed rate of interest in equal payments over a short period of time, typically 5 years or less. Unlike a second mortgage, collateral is not necessary to secure the loan. Loan amounts are relatively small, usually less than $15,000.Interest rates on unsecured loans, which are sometimes called signature or personal loans, are determined by whether you are considered a good credit risk. In other words, the higher the credit score, the lower the interest rate will be and vice versa. A bad credit score will earn you a higher interest rate, sometimes the same or higher than the credit card interest you are paying. This is compounded by the fact that an unsecured loan is considered a higher risk (no collateral), and lenders may charge interest rates that are often quite high, generally higher than the interest rate on a second mortgage would be, but usually less than that 18%-plus interest credit card debt you are trying to pay off.Unsecured loans have a couple of advantages over second mortgages in that approval process is much quicker and there are no additional costs involved. Because the loan period is shorter and the interest rates are higher, monthly payments are also higher. Nor is the interest is not tax deductible. However, if you default on the loan, it may damage your credit but you won’t lose your home.The Bottom LineIt really depends on your situation. What is best for a co-worker or neighbor might not be the best choice for you. Most experts advise getting a 2nd mortgage if you are paying off a larger amount of bills and you don’t mind paying closing costs or the longer approval process required for a second mortgage. If you need money quickly and only have a small amount of debt to consolidate, it’s probably better to go for the unsecured loan.Of course unless you exercise restraint, change your spending habits, and stop using those credit cards, you will fall right back into credit card debt. With a little hard work and perseverance however, you will remain credit card debt free…and able to keep more of those hard-earned dollars in your pocket instead of handing them over to the bank.
If you are a homeowner in need of an equity loan, but do not wish to refinance your existing mortgage, you have the choice of an equity line of credit or a second mortgage loan. Each option has advantages and disadvantages over the other. Here are several suggestions to help you decide which home equity loan type is right for you.Home equity loans come in two flavors: second mortgage loans and home equity lines of credit. Depending on your reasons for borrowing and the amount you need for the loan, choosing the right home equity loan for your situation could save you thousands of dollars. Here are the pros and cons of both loan types.Equity Lines of CreditChoosing a Home Equity Line of Credit, or HELOC, gives you the greatest amount of flexibility. If you are using equity for renovations to your home, an equity line of credit offers the flexibility to make sure the job gets done. Home improvements and renovations rarely come in under budget; if you only planned for a fixed amount on your project, you could find yourself short when unforeseen circumstances arise. Equity lines of credit offer a debit card you can use for purchases just like a credit card that is tied to the equity in your home.There are disadvantages to Home Equity Lines of Credit. These loans typically come with variable interest rates that are higher than comparable second mortgage loans. Because the loans come with variable rates the lender will adjust the interest rate and payment amount at regular intervals. This means your monthly payment will almost always go up when the lender resets the loan. Another disadvantage of this type of loan is the ease of access provided by the debit card. This ease of access could tempt you to spend more money than you had intended.Second Mortgage LoansSecond mortgage loans have many advantages over equity lines of credit. These loans come with fixed interest rates and allow you to borrow a specific amount without the temptation to overspend. Second mortgage loans are ideal for homeowners that want to consolidate their bills into one low payment. When you take out a second mortgage for this reason, it is important to remember that debt consolidation does not eliminate your debts; it simply moves it around to make it easier for you to repay. You gain a tax advantage with home equity loans, the interest you pay on these loans can be deducted on your Federal Income tax.There are risks associated with both varieties of home equity loans. Because home equity loans are secured by your property, if you fall behind on the payments your lenders could foreclose and take your home. The interest rate you qualify for on your home equity loan will be higher than the rate of your primary mortgage because this lender assumes more risk for the loan.
You can learn more about your second mortgage and home equity loan options by registering for a free mortgage guidebook.
Taking out a second mortgage after a bankruptcy can help you reestablish your credit. Because your home is used as collateral, you will have a much easier time qualifying for decent interest rates when you have bad credit. Here are several tips to help you find the best second mortgage without losing your shirt in the process.Having a bankruptcy on your record is a financial hurdle that can be difficult to overcome. If you have a fair amount of equity in your home you can use this equity to rebuild your credit rating. Responsible use of credit along with making all of your payments on time is the first step to repairing your credit.How Long Can You Wait After Bankruptcy?It is possible to qualify for a second mortgage immediately after your bankruptcy is discharged; however, the interest rate you receive will be extremely high. The longer you wait before taking out a second mortgage, the more affordable the interest rate will be. In as little as six months you can have enough payment history with your existing mortgage to qualify for a competitive interest rate.Before you apply for a second mortgage it is important to start building up your credit history by paying all of your bills on time. You can open a small credit card account and use this to help establish your payment history; however, it is important to maintain low balances on any credit card accounts you open. Making regular, on time payments on low credit card balances will help you reestablish your credit history.How Much Can You Expect to Pay for a Second Mortgage?Second mortgages come with higher rates and fees than you would pay for your primary mortgage. This is because the second mortgage lender assumes more risk than the primary mortgage lender. If you have poor credit or a bankruptcy on your record the amount of risk goes up and the lender passes this risk on to you in the form of higher rates and fees.For homeowners with poor credit a second mortgage can be more affordable than a home equity line of credit. Second mortgage loans come with fixed interest rates and allow you to borrow a specific amount of equity. It is important to shop from a variety of lenders to find the best loan offer for your financial situation. You can learn more about shopping for the best second mortgage by registering for a free mortgage guidebook.
Home Equity Loans are a potentially money-saving option for homeowners who want to consolidate debt and/or turn some of their bad credit into good credit. The possible tax deductions on home equity loans make them potentially useful for debt consolidation, since other personal and consumer loans typically have no tax deductions and higher interest rates. A home equity loan can also be used for home improvement purposes, and certain tax advantages can apply.According to current home equity statistics from the U.S. Census, approximately 7.2 million Americans obtained home equity loans in the past year. However, not all loans are right for everyone. It is important to decide which type of home loan is the perfect fit for you. To be sure that you are making a confident financial decision before you sign on the dotted line, read on for answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about home equity loans.FAQ: Are Home Equity Loans (HEL) and Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) the same thing?A: No. Although both of these loans are of second mortgages, a HEL and a HELOC have some important differences. With a HEL, you receive a lump sum of money, while a HELOC works more like a line of credit.The interest rate on these loans also works differently. Home equity loans generally have a fixed interest rate, but according to bankrate “almost always carry fees and closing costs, which many lenders do not generally charge for credit lines.” While home equity lines of credit may be free of some of these costly up-front fees, keep in mind that they are also variable rate loans, which means that the interest rate can change over time, according to the prime interest rate set by the Federal Reserve.When choosing between these loan types, ask yourself whether receiving your loan all at once or having access to a line of credit works better for you.FAQ: What Is a Loan-To-Value Ratio?A: The loan-to-value-ratio is the difference between the amount of your current mortgage and the newly appraised value of your home. This ratio will be figured into the loan terms of your second mortgage.FAQ: Is Home Refinancing a Better Option Than A HEL or HELOC?A: That depends. If you decide to refinance your current mortgage, you may be able to obtain a lower interest rate, which means lower payments, and the possibility of a cash-out refinance.Obtaining an interest-only refinance is also a possibility. However, while an interest-only lowers your payments, it can also lower the equity in your home and, says CFA for bankrate, Don Taylor, “only makes sense for people who don’t plan on being in the mortgage or house for a long time.”If you are happy with the interest rate on your current mortgage, it makes more sense to consider a HEL or HELOC, especially since it is possible to refinance your first mortgage as well as your second in the future if interest rates do take a dip in your favor.FAQ: What Is a Subordination Clause and how does it relate to a HEL?Depending on the lender, a subordination clause or agreement most often means that before you can get a second mortgage, the first mortgage company must agree to allow the second mortgage to be placed in first lien position. The new loan then has the priority in case of a foreclosure.This is especially important down the road if you pay off your first mortgage, because the lender in charge of your second mortgage can then write a new first mortgage and place that in first lien position, which will help protect your interest rate, since the rate for second mortgages is higher.Terms of subordination clauses can vary by lender, so it is important to have a discussion with yours before entering into any agreement.Being an informed consumer is the first step toward making sure you get the right loan for you. Be sure to talk to your lender and weigh your options carefully before making a final decision.
If you are refinancing your mortgage and are considering using a mortgage broker, it is important that you negotiate with your broker for the best loan. Mortgage negotiation intimidates most homeowners; however, when it comes to screening mortgage brokers, the process is very simple. Here are several questions you will need answered when shopping for a mortgage broker that will help you avoid overpaying for your home loan.Mortgage brokers are a typically a third party that places borrowers with a mortgage lender for a commission. There are several advantages to using a mortgage broker to find your next mortgage loan. Brokers can save you time and money if used with caution. Here are questions to ask your broker before entering into an agreement.o I’m shopping for a mortgage broker, one with access to a variety of wholesale lenders that close in the lender’s name. Is this how you work?This is important to determine if the broker is actually a broker and not a broker-bank. Broker-banks are exempt from RESPA legislation that protects homeowners from predatory lenders and will overcharge you for the mortgage every time. You only want to work with a mortgage broker that does not close in their own name.o Do the quotes come from the wholesale lender’s rate sheets or are you issued a company rate sheet?This is important because you want your interest rate lock to come from the wholesale lender and not the broker. If the broker locks from a company rate sheet you will get stuck with a higher interest rate because the brokerage company pads the interest rates in order to receive additional commission from the wholesale lender. Make sure the interest rate guarantee you receive comes from the wholesale lender, and not the mortgage company.o Tell your broker that you will pay 1 to 1.5 points for origination fees and processing fees and no more. Tell the broker you will not pay Yield Spread Premium (YSP). Tell the broker you will pay the necessary third party charges, but will not pay any broker markup.YSP is the markup the broker adds to your interest rate in order to receive a bonus from the wholesale lender. Mortgage brokers cleverly disguise this markup in their loan documents and Broker-Banks are not required to disclose this markup at all due to a loophole in RESPA legislation.o Ask your broker to see the original lock confirmation from the wholesale lender and the lock agreement from the broker’s mortgage company. Insist on seeing the HUD documents and the Good Faith Estimate prior to your closing date.If the broker agrees to these terms you have found a good mortgage broker for your home loan. You can learn more about your mortgage options including common mistakes to avoid by registering for a free mortgage guidebook.
Before applying for a personal loan to pay for home repairs, wedding
expenses, or college tuition, carefully weigh the advantages and
disadvantages of a home equity loan. Home equity loans provide a lump sum of
quick cash for large purchases. Moreover, because your property secures
the loan, most second mortgage applications are approved.Advantages of a Fixed Rate Home Equity LoanHome equity loans are beneficial because they generally have a lower
interest rate. Using a credit card for home repairs, emergencies, etc is
very costly. Because of high finance charges, paying the balance on
credit cards is almost impossible. On the other hand, a home equity loan
has a low fixed rate, which allows you to pay off the balance within a
few years.Furthermore, home equity loans are available for individuals with poor
credit. Most bank loans and credit card companies will not loan money
or grant credit to individuals with a low credit score. In some cases,
it is possible to obtain a loan with adequate collateral or a co-signer.
If a bad credit applicant does not secure the loan with a piece of
property or have a co-debtor, lenders will not approve the application.Home Equity Loan DangersWhile low rate home equity loans have several advantages, there is one
major pitfall of getting a second mortgage. The loan approval is based
on your home’s equity. Hence, you take out a second loan against your
home. If you are unable to repay the home equity loan, the lender will
foreclose on your house. This is true even if you continue to pay your
first mortgage. Because the home has two liens, either lender has the
right to foreclose.Finding Low Rate Home Equity LoansGetting the best deal on a home equity loan requires work. To begin,
shop around for quotes from a mixture of lenders. These may include
banks, mortgage companies, brokers, credit unions, etc. Mortgage brokers
are extremely helpful. Moreover, contact your present mortgage lender for
a quote. Before applying for a second mortgage, review your credit.
Resolve credit errors, and improve credit blemishes. This will help you
get the best rate.
There are several ways to borrow against equity in your home. You can refinance your mortgage and take cash back, take out a second mortgage loan, or open a home equity line of credit. Each method has its advantages; carefully evaluating the costs associated with home equity loans will help you choose the loan that will cost you the least. Here are tips to help you avoid overpaying for the home equity financing.The most common methods of borrowing against home equity are second mortgages and home equity lines of credit. Equity in your home is simply the difference between what you owe and what your home is worth. Second mortgages and home equity lines of credit are secured by your home just like your primary mortgage; if you fall behind on any of the payments the lender could take your home.Home Equity Lines of CreditA home equity line of credit works much like a credit card. The lender will issue you a debit card and a check book you can use against a predetermined limit secured by your home. The main advantage of a home equity line of credit is that it is an extremely convenient way to borrow against the equity in your home. One of the main disadvantages of a home equity line of credit also that it is a convenient way to borrow against the equity in your home; because of this convenience you might be tempted to overspend. Home equity lines of credit come with variable interest rates and many of the same fees you paid when applying for your mortgage. If you only need a small amount of equity and plan on paying it back quickly, a home equity loan could save you money over a second mortgage.Second Mortgage LoansA second mortgage differs from a home equity line of credit in that you receive the amount you are borrowing in one lump sum. Second mortgages come with fixed interest rates; a fixed interest rate can save you money and give you peace-of-mind for the long term. If you need to borrow a large sum of money, a second mortgage can save you money over a home equity line of credit.You can learn more about your home equity options including how to avoid common homeowner mistakes by registering for a free mortgage guidebook.