When it’s time to start thinking about funding a big life plan, whether it be paying off debt, paying for college, or making home improvements, a home equity loan is a go-to solution for homeowners to access the funds they need to reach their goals. If you’re a homeowner in Georgia, you may be curious about how to get a home equity loan for your Georgia home.
A home equity loan (HEL) can be a great tool to help you reach your goals, but it isn’t necessarily a fit for everyone. Make sure you are well-versed in all the details about home equity loans in Georgia and all the alternatives that are available to you. In this article, we’ll walk you through what a home equity loan is, how it can be used, and the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.
What is a Home Equity Loan?
A home equity loan allows homeowners in Georgia and nationwide to borrow against the equity in their homes at a fixed rate. The amount of money someone can get from this loan is determined by how much equity they have in their homes. Equity is the difference between the appraised value of your home and your outstanding mortgage balance.
How do you build up your home equity? The simplest way is by making your monthly mortgage payments. As your mortgage balance decreases through payments, your equity increases. Your equity also increases when your home value increases. When you make renovations and upgrades to your property and when the Georgia housing market changes, you can see a boost in your home equity.
What Can You Use a Home Equity Loan for in Georgia?
There are plenty of ways to use the funds from a home equity loan. Here are some of the most common situations that people use home equity loans in Georgia for:
- Making home improvements and upgrades
- Paying off or consolidating credit card debt
- Funding a student loan for yourself or your child
- Starting a business
- Paying medical bills
The Pros and Cons of Home Equity Loans for Georgia Homeowners
Home equity loans are common for Georgia homeowners looking to access their home equity. There are upsides and downsides to this option that homeowners should consider before choosing this solution for their financial needs. Here are the most essential pros and cons to know about:
- Fixed interest rates
- Lower rates than credit cards and personal loans
- Funds can be used for a broad range of purposes
- Interest for home improvements is tax-deductible
- Higher rates than a first mortgage
- High closing costs and fees
- Defaulting on your payments could mean losing your home
Before committing to a home equity loan in Georgia, be sure to do your full research into the benefits and downfalls of this solution.
Home Equity Loan Alternatives
Now that you know the pros and cons of home equity loans in Georgia, maybe an alternative option may be better suited to your needs. Here are some common alternative solutions that homeowners in Georgia use instead of a home equity loan:
- Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): this option works similarly to a secured credit card. The homeowner in Georgia can borrow a portion of their current credit limit, spend the funds, repay those funds with interest, and then take more money out later. Learn more about the difference between HELOC and home equity loans.
- Cash-Out Refinancing: this option allows you to take out a loan for a new value of your home, replacing your current mortgage. The funds pay off the balance of your mortgage, and you receive the remaining amount.
- Sale-Leaseback: this option lets you sell your home to a company. After paying off your mortgage, you receive the remaining amount. You can remain in the home as a renter, paying monthly rent.
Sale-Leaseback: The Flexible Loan Alternative for Georgians
If a sale-leaseback seems like it may be a better solution than a home equity loan in Georgia, check out your options. Many sale-leaseback programs allow you to sell your home for your full home value regardless of your credit score. You get the cash you need to achieve your goals, no matter what they may be. You can stay in your home indefinitely as a renter.
If you’re interested in pursuing a home equity loan for your Georgia home, make sure you have all the information you need. Talk to a financial advisor about all of your options.