Should you use your Home Equity for a Loan or Line of Credit?

Posted on 9th April 2020
Tags: home equity, homeowners, home equity loans, home equity line of credit, home equity loans Ontario, home equity loan, home equity lending, Alternative Lending,

When the time comes to consider a secondary loan, it may be worth considering your home equity position. Equity builds up in your home, or other property, over time, as you pay off a loan secured on it. This equity is the percentage of the property you own through repayments of the first loan.

It has become increasingly popular for borrowers to utilize this equity as a form of guarantee on a second loan. Home Equity Loans can be used for a variety of reasons. Depending on what you want, the loan is for will determine what type of home equity loan you should be considering.

Home Equity Loan

The standard Home Equity Loan (HEL) works much like a regular loan. You and the lender agree on a schedule for repayments along with interest rates, penalties, etc. On the whole, you may find the interest rate on a home equity loan is slightly higher than a standard loan. This is because it is the second loan on the same property. In the event of your bankruptcy, the first lender will be paid first from the sale of your estate. If there's nothing left after that, the second lender doesn't get paid.

To minimize the potential for paying a higher rate, borrowers are best advised to shop around. The major banks are a good place to start, but it’s also worth seeing what an alternative lender might have to offer. They can often equal, if not beat, bank rates and can be more flexible on terms, fees, and penalties.

Home Equity Loans are often used as a way to pay bills. If this is the case for you, keep in mind that most banks will want to see a good credit score and predictable future earnings.

Home Equity Line of Credit

A home Equity Line of credit functions in the same way as a HEL, the equity in your property determines how much you can borrow. However, instead of the loan amount being made available to you as a lump sum at the start of the schedule, it instead forms a pool of money you can draw from.

This form of loan is particularly useful for borrowers that want to undertake a period of repairs to their home. This may be part of ongoing regular maintenance and upgrades, or it might be in the year or so before putting a property up for sale.

Having a pool of money that you can borrow from as and when you need to allows borrowers to plan with confidence without the worry of how they will pay any particular bill for works as and when it comes. They can simply release funds from the line-of-credit pool, and know they're not going to overspend the initial borrowing figure.

Home Equity Lenders

As previously mentioned, Home Equity Lenders can sometimes get the worst part of a bankruptcy situation. When dealing with banks, their inclination is to penalize the lender with higher rates. This is their way of protecting themselves against the worst, even if it doesn't happen.

Many Canadians who take out Home Equity Loans find a better deal through alternative lenders such as credit unions or other financial institutes. The advantage of these lenders is their flexibility, where banks tend to lean towards rigidity. The downside? There are only a few major banks; there are a lot of alternative lenders.

At Canadalend, our independent experts have access to hundreds of different lenders and their financial products. Unlike advisors at a bank, they don't get incentivized to sell you a certain product. Their sole concern is finding the lender and product that meets your needs, whether that's a Home Equity Loan or a Line of Credit.

To find out how you can make your home equity start working for you and your future, contact today and talk to one of our experts.

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