How Do You Safely Tap Into the Equity of Your Home in an Emergency Financial Situation & How to Get Approved for a Home Loan?

Be aware of the risks and the costs associated when you borrow from the equity of your home before taking advantage of it.

The equity you have in your home shouldn’t be the first line of defense in case your roof begins to leak. It can nevertheless be a useful instrument to bridge a gap in your financial situation. Most homeowners own a greater amount of cash in their homes today than they did several years before.

For the quarter ending in March 2021 homeowners on average earned $56,700 of equity year after year, as per the latest equity report released by CoreLogic the company that provides property data. In 2020, the median increase of just $26,300. This was the highest since the third quarter of 2013.

This is quite a lot of change.

The email you receive might provide strategies for increasing property values and converting them into cash. But borrowing against the equity of your home, which is the home’s current market value less any amount due on the property — shouldn’t be considered an unwise option.

“It’s not free,” says AnnaMarie Mock, a certified financial planner with Highland Financial Advisors in Wayne, New Jersey.

The process of tapping into your home equity is about being aware of the risks and the costs as well as making sure you’re comparing prices to get the most affordable deal. This is how you do it.

What are the criteria to be considered to get a home loan?


Ratings for credit. You’ll need a minimum of 600 credit score to be eligible for the conventional loan or 580 for an FHA loan (with an obligation of the requirement of a 3.5 percent down payment). VA and USDA lenders could require a minimum of 620 or 640 credit scores, or 640.

” HTML0″ is the debt-to-income (DTI) percentage. The DTI ratio is the total of your total monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. It is recommended to have a DTI ratio that is under 43 percent. You can be eligible for a mortgage loan on the Bridge Payday category with a DTI ratio up to 50%, however, you’ll need a good credit score and/or a larger down amount.

The downpayment. Conventional loans can be obtained with the minimum requirement of 3 percent down (income limits may be needed). You’ll need a minimum of 3.5 percent down in order to be eligible for an FHA loan. There could be no down payment when you’re eligible for a USDA or VA loan.

Employment report. Lenders require evidence of consistent income and employment during the past two years. Keep your W-2s, pay stubs, and federal tax returns on hand for your lender to be presented with.

Be sure to know your options.

Typically, banks will lend an amount equal to 80percent or more of the property’s value but there are occasions when it is more substantial, Jon Giles, head of consumer direct loans for TD Bank, said in an email. For a house valued at $300,000 and having a maximum of 80% for lending on the mortgage, your equity in the home could amount to as high as $240,000. In the example above, if you have a debt of $150,000 on your mortgage you could be able to borrow up to $90,000 in equity.

Three options are available to access the equity of your home:

  • Equity loans for homeowners are one lump sum that is returned at a set rate over a certain period of time. It is a predictable method of repayment and is a great option in the event of a large-ticket purchase like the cost of a home renovation.
  • An equity line in your home referred to as HELOC is like a credit card that has an interest rate that is variable. In the period of drawing generally, it is 10-years. You are able to draw as much cash depending on the amount you need. Minimum monthly payments are generally interest-only for the draw period, but you could make more. At the next installment date, you will repay the principal amount and the interest charged on the loan amount. The HELOC gives you flexibility, giving cash to be accessed at any time, and with no charges, even if you do not have money to borrow.
  • A cash-out could be used to replace the loan currently for your home with new mortgages that are more outstanding than the total amount you owe to the home. A portion of the extra amount is available to you in cash at the time the loan is paid off. This can be an alternative if you are able to get lower interest rates than your current mortgage. You’ll still have to cover up to 5 percent of your loan’s value in closing costs. A common rule of thumb is to refinance to reduce the interest rate on your mortgage by three-quarters of a percentage.

Reverse mortgages can be a great way to draw on the capital in the home you own, however, it’s not exactly the same and is only accessible to those who live in a home that is 62 years old or older.

Make yourself aware of potential dangers.

Your home serves as collateral when you get a loan against the equity of your home, the same way it happens with mortgages. It is possible to lose your home if you are unable to pay back the loan.

The worst-case scenario is that you make an unsecured loan against the equity in your home. The housing market crashes during the 2008 Great Recession 2008 -and the price of houses drop. The changes in your life will require you to relocate and you’ll be required to sell your house if you are owed more the value of your home. You’ve been laid off and you’ve utilized everything until the end.

“A creditor must understand their circumstances and overall financial health to be sure that they’re not putting their home at risk. your home.” Giles says.

You should only take out loans only for legitimate reasons.

“You need to be specific about the most optimal use for that resource,” says Jamie Lima, who is a CFP and chief executive officer and the founder of Woodson Wealth Management in Ramona, California. “Write down your goals that you’re trying to reach Then write down what you’re planning to utilize the funds to achieve. This is the exact amount we’ll be spending and that’s our budget. If you write at the budget on paper you’ll be able to consider, “Does this make sense? What’s the worth to us?”

A HELOC is a great way to increase your emergency fund where interest rates remain at a lower rate, Mock says. That is instead of keeping costs for six months within your savings account, you can have about 2 to 3 months’ worth of income in your account. Then, put the rest into an investment account where it is likely to generate more cash than your savings accounts. The HELOC can be utilized for a reserve plan should an emergency has already exhausted your emergency cash reserves.

Particular financial experts suggest against using your home equity to pay for things that don’t have value, like automobiles, or for other debts that aren’t secured such as medical bills. If you’re facing medical bills consider alternatives like talking about the account with your doctor and creating your payment schedule.

Establish credit before you’re desperate

If you’re looking to tap the equity you have in your home, don’t wait until the last minute to submit the credit application. The process of applying for credit and receiving approval could take anywhere between two and three months, Giles says.

It might be too late if you lost your job and have no income. You’re unlikely to be in the position to be.

“You need to set up the credit line before you need the line of credit,” says Jim Crider, who is a CFP and chief executive officer of Intentional Living CFP located in New Braunfels, Texas.

After quitting his full-time position, Crider made use of the HELOC to fund his family and launch a business of his own finance business. Prior to leaving, Crider took out the HELOC in the context of a well-planned plan. In the first four months following the establishment of the business, he utilized savings money to provide for the family. He borrowed money through his HELOC to augment his income during the subsequent months. In addition, the personal line of credit to use in the event of.

This allowed him to not have to take funds from savings accounts in order to avoid the potential gains gained by investing in the market. The method he used to keep his family of five financially sound soon after the company was earning more money than what he made from his previous job.

Create and stick to an agreement on payment.

Create a plan for your payment. Be sure to budget for the monthly installment, and be aware of the effect this will have on your savings for other goals, Mock says.

In the absence of a sound repayment plan that will meet your needs, and not just the demands of your lender -then you may find that the equity home loan or HELOCs seem less costly than they actually are. For instance, an example, the time frame for repayment of the home equity loan could be as long as 30 years. The monthly costs for a large amount could seem reasonable when spread over time. “What isn’t considered is the entire cost of interest that is due for thirty years,” says Anthony Watson, a CFP and founder of Thrive Retirement Specialists in Dearborn, Michigan.

HELOCs However, typically are characterized by interest-only requirements for the time period that the drawing is in effect. So, the minimum amount is a small amount. The mere fact of making the minimum payment doesn’t reduce any amount which will have to be paid back with interest once the drawing period has ended.

“It’s so simple to get access to that it could be an unforgiving hill,” Watson states. “It must be handled with diligence and for the right function.”

A HELOC isn’t a great choice if you or your spouse are inclined to make use of credit cards or if you are worried about the possibility that you might misuse it in a reckless manner; Blake Jones, a CFP and the co-founder of Pomegranate Financial in Springville, Utah said this in an email.

Have a look and read the fine design

The fees and rates are subject to change and it is recommended to examine rates from various credit unions as well as banks to get the lowest price, Crider says.

Learn about the method by which the line of credit is operated, how much interest is charged, and when or if it may change, as well as any applicable fees.

A lot of institutions and credit unions don’t require an annual fee for keeping a HELOC open. However, that they do, according to Jones who is a former banker. It is also possible to think about moving within the next few years. There’s usually an early closure cost if you are not able to close the HELOC cannot be closed in the specified period of time after opening it as stated by the agent. The HELOC is also referred to in the form of home equity loans that must be repaid after the sale has been completed.

Your home equity can serve as an insurance strategy to ensure secure financial protection. But, it’s an event that needs proper planning. Financial planners can assist you to comprehend the ways that borrowing from your home equity can be incorporated into the bigger perspective. A loan agent can help you through the options of cost, repayment, and terms.

Sarah J. Greer