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Home Equity Loan Debt Ratio

Getting A Second Mortgage

How To Calculate Home Equity and Loan-To-Value (LTV) Ratio

A second mortgage is a second loan that you take on your home. You can borrow up to 80% of the appraised value of your home, minus the balance on your first mortgage.

The loan is secured against your home equity. While you pay off your second mortgage, you also need continue to pay off your first mortgage.

If you cant make your payments and your loan goes into default, you may lose your home. If thats the case, your home will be sold to pay off both your first and second mortgages. Your first mortgage lender would be paid first.

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What Is The Minimum Loan Amount For A Home Equity Loan

Whatever you need a large loan for, lenders usually dont make small loans because theyre not as profitable as large loans. The smallest home equity loan available is about $10,000. Some banks have minimum loan amounts of $25,000, and others require borrowing at least $35,000.

A home equity loan is meant for a single major expense. Renovating your kitchen or another big project at home is typical and will require paying a contractor $10,000 or more. Often much, much more.

Home renovations and remodels average $46,891, with most homes falling between $17,995 and $76,942, according to HomeAdvisor. Kitchens are the most expensive costing $25,000 on average for a remodel.

And dont forget budget overages. Unseen problems will probably pop up, so adding 20% to all home renovation budgets is smart.

With all of that in mind, its easy to see how a home renovation can end up costing a large chunk of money. A visit to the emergency room or a college education is also costly, and a HELOC or equity loan can help pay for those big bills.

If you only need $20,000 and the minimum loan amount is $35,000, theres no reason to borrow $15,000 extra. The interest rate on the full amount borrowed takes effect immediately, so youre paying interest on the $35,000 loan whether you use the full amount or not.

But remember that a HELOC only has a lower interest rate than an equity loan for a certain period, such as six to 12 months, so use the credit line before the low interest rate expires.

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Costs Of A Home Equity Loan

Depending on the lender, borrowers may pay various fees either at closing or throughout the life of the loan. These add to your overall costs, so understand what youll pay before signing for a home equity loan. Some common costs include:

  • Origination fee to set up the loan
  • Closing costs
  • Late fees for a delayed monthly payment
  • Prepayment penalty for paying the loan off before the term ends

Additionally, you may have to pay for title insurance, property insurance, flood insurance or certain taxes depending on the lender, the homes location, your state laws or other factors

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Debt to Equity Ratio Formula

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Home Equity Loan Or Heloc

If youve ruled out other options, weighed the pros and cons of consolidating with home equity and determined its the viable path, then its a choice of a home equity loan or a HELOC.

Home equity loans are a type of second mortgage based on the value of your home beyond what you owe on your primary mortgage. You get a lump sum of money, often with closing costs taken out, which you can then use to pay off your debt or for any other purpose. Youll have a fixed monthly payment and a repayment schedule.


  • Usually offers a low, fixed rate.

  • Fixed loan payments can be easier to budget for than variable credit card payments.

  • Know your loans exact payoff date.


  • Upfront closing costs can be high.

HELOCs are second mortgages structured like credit cards. Instead of getting a lump sum, you borrow against your home equity as needed to pay off credit card balances, for example using checks or a debit card linked to the credit line. You pay interest only on the credit you use, often at rates several percentage points lower than average rates on credit cards.


  • Usually a low, variable rate.

  • Some have no or low closing costs.


  • Adjustable rates mean payments could go up.

  • Harder to budget for.

Can I Get A Home Equity Loan Or Heloc Without A Job

If you dont have a job, it might be hard to get a home equity loan or HELOC you might not meet the lenders income requirements. However, you might be able to qualify for a home equity loan if you have other sources of income.

Heres a list of non-employment income sources lenders might consider:

  • Pension or retirement.
  • Interest and dividends.
  • Trust fund.

A lender will consider the income of a co-signer or co-borrower if you have one. That way, you could potentially meet the DTI requirements to qualify for a home equity loan or HELOC without a job. Before you apply, reach out to the lender to see what income sources are acceptable.

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Home Equity Lines Of Credit

A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is a credit line that gives borrowers access to a certain amount of funds based on the accumulated equity in their home.

Funds can be withdrawn during a so-called draw period during this time, you can choose to pay only interest or make payments to the principal as well. Draw periods often last about 10 years and are followed by a 20-year repayment period. You can pay the borrowed amount plus interest during repayment as either a lump sum or in installments.

Most HELOCs feature a variable interest rate, although some lenders offer the option of converting to a fixed rate.

If youre interested in borrowing for a one-time expense, getting a home improvement loan, personal loan or a credit card could be a better alternative than a HELOC. However, keep in mind that personal loans meant for home renovations arent tax-deductible, while home equity loans, HELOCs and home improvement loans are.

What Is Gross Monthly Income

Using home equity to pay off debt

Your gross monthly income is the sum of everything you earn in one month, before taxes or deductions. This includes your base monthly income and any additional commissions, bonuses, tips and investment income that you earn each month. To calculate your gross monthly income, take your total annual income and divide it by 12. If you’re hourly, you can multiply your hourly wage by how many hours a week you work, then multiply that number by 52 to get your annual salary. Divide your annual salary by 12 to get your gross monthly income.

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Home Equity Loan Qualification

Home equity loans operate much like a mortgage or auto loan. The borrower receives a lump sum of money that is paid back over a fixed time with a fixed interest rate. In 2019, the rates were averaging about 6% with some available for a lower rate and great credit score.

The terms are pretty standard, ranging from 5-to-15 years, though some can be as long as 20. Approval, by the way, is not guaranteed.

Banks are much more careful after the 2008 housing crisis, when it was more of a rubber-stamp operation. Lenders evaluate your application and generally make sure the 80% loan-to-value ratio isnt surpassed.

Basically, like most loans, home equity approval moves forward if you demonstrate the ability to repay. The ability to repay is an amazing thing. Lenders go through credit reports to verify your finances. You need to provide proof of income with pay stubs, tax returns, investments, etc. Your credit will be checked carefully. An appraisal will be required. The whole process will take several weeks before any money is released.

Its similar to applying for a home purchase loan. Another similarity: You should shop around with banks, credit unions and online lenders because interest rates can vary.

If you are hesitant because of volatility in the real-estate market, it could be very difficult to sell your home. You might investigate other options, such as mortgage modifications.

Choose Your Debt Amount

Home> Real Estate> How to Get a Mortgage> Home Equity Loans

Need some extra cash? Home equity loans are a convenient, low-cost way to borrow large sums at favorable rates.

Home equity loans for debt consolidation will have a much lower interest rate than credit cards, but you can also use the equity in your home for large home improvement projects like a kitchen remodel or even a down payment for another property.

Whats not to love about that?

The equity figure in home equity loans is a simple math equation: Homes value minus amount owed = home equity. So, if your home is worth $200,000 and you owe $125,000, you have $75,000 worth of equity.

Most lenders offer an 80% loan-to-value rate based on your equity. With the $75,000 equity example, you could qualify for up to a $60,000 loan .

You would receive the $60,000 in a lump sum, then begin a monthly repayment schedule at a fixed rate for anywhere from 5-to-15 years, though most are 5-year loans.

And now that often-asked question: Can I get a home equity loan for anything?

The answer is YES! Anything your heart desires. Lenders wont follow you around to see how the money is spent.

If you qualify for a home equity loan, the cash can be used for financing your daughters wedding, taking a family vacation to Europe, getting some front-row Broadway tickets to Hamilton, purchasing season tickets for your favorite sports teams, paying off your student loan or even making home improvements.

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Do Helocs Require Appraisals

Whether or not you need a full appraisal for a HELOC depends on your lender. Although there is usually some type of appraisal, a full appraisal isnt always required. Some lenders offer alternatives such as an automated valuation model, or AVM, which uses local property tax and home sale information to estimate your homes value.

A Credit Score Over 620

Debt Equity Ratio

Homeowners with a of at least 620 will definitely have an easier time getting approved, says Watanasuparp. Higher is better, however, as Watanasuparp recommends a credit score of at least 720 to qualify for the best rates.

According to the credit reporting company Experian, borrowers have the best chance of qualifying for approval with a score of at least 700. If your score is lower, you should be an outstanding candidate in other areas.

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Easily Compare Home Equity Loans For Bad Credit Online

Home equity loans for bad credit arent as out of reach as you may think. Some lenders specialize in providing loans to people with bad credit and are easy to find online and see if you qualify for a loan.

Online forms can take mere minutes to fill out, and some companies will have a list of lenders for you to choose from within minutes. They may require talking to a loan officer to get more information, such as your proof of income and other documents.

As with any type of loan, shop for the best interest rate and other loan terms. This can pay off in thousands of dollars saved in interest.

For example, check what the annual percentage rate, or APR, of the loan is. This is the interest you pay each year as represented as a percentage of the loan balance. A loan with an APR of 10% means youre paying $100 annually for every $1,000 borrowed. Search for the lowest APR you can find.

Your homes equity is something you should tap into wisely. Youve probably spent years paying into it, and your home is likely to be one of the biggest expenses youll ever have.

An equity loan is a good funding source for home improvements or to pay for other big expenses. It should only be used with caution and the knowledge that youll be paying a second mortgage for years to come.

Repaying A Home Equity Loan

After you receive your loan amount, get ready to start paying it back. Your monthly payments will be a consistent amount throughout the term of your loan and include both principal and interest.

You may think its best to choose a shorter loan term, so you can pay off your debt faster. Remember, a 10-year term will have higher monthly payments than a 15- or 30-year term.

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What Is The Difference Between A Home Equity Loan And A Home Equity Line Of Credit

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Home equity lines of credit, called HELOCs for short, also allow homeowners to borrow against the equity they have in their home, just like home equity loans do. The loan amount for each depends on your equity and homes market value.

A loan and a line of credit, however, are different in a few ways.

An equity loan is an amount of money paid in a lump sum. The upfront amount of money is usually set at a fixed interest rate based on how much you borrow.

The loan term is set for a certain amount of time at a fixed interest rate, much like your first mortgage. An equity loan is sometimes called a second mortgage and is subordinate to your first mortgage.

Equity credit lines are lines of credit that you can draw on as you need money. The draw period is for a set amount of time, and youll have ongoing access to the cash as needed. For example, this can come in handy if a home remodeling project goes over budget and you need more money to pay a contractor.

The payment made on a home equity line is based on the amount of money you transferred. HELOCs usually have a variable interest rate, which can make them more expensive than the fixed interest rate of an equity loan.

But a HELOC loan can be advantageous, too. It provides flexibility by allowing you to borrow what you need, and then pay it off and borrow again. Paying off the amount you use can result in a lower monthly payment instead of borrowing a lump sum.

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Home Equity Loans

Home equity loans can be a great solution for some borrowers and offer certain advantages over other types of loans:

  • Home equity loans may offer lower interest rates and access to larger funds. A home equity loan often comes with a lower interest rate than other loans since your home is secured as collateral. This type of financing also typically offers more money all at once than personal loans or credit cards, which may be useful if you only need to make a one-time large purchase.
  • There may be tax perks. If you’re using the loan to make home improvements, you may be able to deduct the interest if you itemize your income taxes.
  • Home equity loans may offer a greater degree of flexibility than other loans. Home equity loans can be used for anything, from financing a car to going on vacation. This differs from some other loans that are earmarked for a specific purpose.

However, home equity loans aren’t right for everyone. It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with these types of loans as well:

More Mortgage Tools And Resources

You can use CNET’s mortgage calculator to help you determine how much house you can afford. The CNET mortgage calculator factors in variables such as the size of your down payment, home price and interest rate to help you understand how much of a difference even a slight increase in rates can make in the amount of interest you’ll pay over the lifetime of your loan.

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