There are several decision points in choosing the best home equity loans that will suit your needs. The first hurdle is to choose between a home equity loan and a home equity line of credit. The first is like a traditional mortgage that gives you one lump-sum payment at the start and you pay in equal monthly amortizations over a period of time. While it offers a fixed interest rate, which may appeal to you if you prefer to have all things set at the start, it will lock you in during the entire term of the loan. If the term is 15 years, you will have to pay month in, month out during that period, unless you pre-pay the loan.
The second type of home equity loan, the home equity line of credit, may be best if you would like more flexibility. Theoretically, it allows you to draw on the line of credit any amount at any time. You will not start making payments until you borrow or draw from the credit line. It could be more manageable since you only borrow the amount that you need. This allows you to manage your debt levels at any given time. This type of loan is usually offered with a variable rate of interest. While this may be risky if interest rates are going high, it may also benefit you if interest rate levels are on the decline. Both options have their pros and cons. You choose which one is the best for you.
The second decision point is the lending institution. You should allow yourself the luxury of shopping around for the best home equity loans. Find out the level of interest rates each company is offering and go for the best deal, not necessarily the best bargain. Each of them will present similarly attractive loan packages to you. You should do your math and find out how it impacts your amortization and find out which one you can afford. Do you want low amortizations in the first year, that would increase in subsequent years or do you want a more predictable equally allocated installments? You should also consider in your decision the fine terms in the loan agreement and see whether you are comfortable with them. Lastly, there are the non-monetary factors such as the company's reputation, existing relationships, etc.
Getting a loan should be a wise, contemplated decision. Otherwise you could lose big if you are not too careful.
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