Should You Refinance with Home Equity
Many Americans who accumulated unmanageably large debts during the economic downturn are now considering using the equity they have built up in their homes to reduce their debt burden. A home is your most expensive asset and using it to take a refinance loan can give you access to a substantial sum that can cover a large number of small debts.
Getting a refinance loan using your home is a good way to consolidate all your loans into one for easy management. Taking such a loan in this low interest climate can also reduce your monthly outgoings by quite a significant amount. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to get out of debt sooner.
Before you use your home to get a refinance loan, it is very important to gain an idea of what experts predict about future interest rates. This will help you choose between a fixed rate and an adjustable rate for your new loan. A fixed rate is a good option when rates are expected to rise in future. Your fixed rate loan is protected against any such future increases. Even when rates do rise, your loan repayment remains the same.
An adjustable rate loan is one on which interest rate changes in line with prevailing market rates. If the general market expectation is that interest rates will fall, then a variable or adjustable interest is the better option for your refinance loan. If rates do drop in future, your monthly outgoing towards your loan also falls in tandem.
When you use your home equity to refinance, remember that this loan creates a lien on your home. Your refinance lender can lay claim to your home property if you default on this loan.
In effect, you are placing your most valuable asset at risk to repay your other debts. Keeping this in mind will help you sustain a committed approach to repaying this new loan on time.
Always read through your loan documents thoroughly and clarify any questions before you sign up for any loan that uses your home as collateral. This helps you avoid hidden costs in your loan that may become due at a later date quite unexpectedly.
Be especially wary if your lender offers a surprisingly low initial monthly repayment. It may mean that there is a lump sum balloon payment at the end of a specified term. Hiring a real estate broker is a worthwhile expense that can keep you safe from such unpleasant surprises and future costs if you are not well versed in these matters.