Summary Info
  Go To: Bank Equity
  Home Equity Features
  Home Equity Terms
Use your home equity to finance college expenses such as tuition, housing and other expenses as needed.

Your best option is using the bank equity program: see demo
Home Equity Line of Credit Home Equity Loan

Works like a credit line:

  • You will receive special "equity" checks that that can be used to advance yourself a loan up to your approved available balance. Simply write the loan amount you need.

Some lenders will also provide credit card-like access to your equity line account:

  • You can use it like a credit card, which all transactions will be posted to your equity line account.

  • We note a word of caution. Even though your account is protected against fraudulent use, the last thing you need is having your home exposed to potential fraud in the event you lose your card or someone obtains access to your card numbers.

  • We recommend that you use the special "equity" checks to access your equity line account. Keep and protect them in your home. Never carry these checks with you.

  • When you need to access your account, write the loan amount you need with your "equity" check and deposit it in your bank checking or money account. Then use the debit or check card that came with your money account to charge transactions at retail and other establishments.

  • Another money management option is to use pre-paid credit to fund your child's education: see money management

Equity line rates are variable and indexed to the PRIME RATE or some other rate index:

  • This means your rate can increase or decrease whenever the PRIME RATE changes. The rate (APR) is calculated by taking an margin (percentage) and adding it to the PRIME RATE.

  • Whenever the PRIME RATE increases, your monthly payment due will likewise increase. Whenever the PRIME RATE decreases, your monthly payment due will likewise decrease.

  • The interest (APR) that will be charged to your account will be only on the amount you actually use, not on the total amount of your credit line.

  • If the lending institution uses an index other than the "PRIME RATE ", request to view historical changes for the index rate being used. Compare this trend against the historical trends for the "PRIME RATE" to note frequency changes in APR and how high the rate has climbed.

  • All home equity line accounts must list the rate cap for the account. This cap may vary by state.

Minimum payment terms for home equity lines may include one of the following plans:

  1. interest only plus any penalty-related fees,

  2. percentage of the principal plus interest and any penalty-related fees.

    Note: any principal repayment will not reduce your balance to zero at the time your line account closes. You must pay an additional amount to reduce your balance to zero over a repayment term. Use this payment calculator to estimate payments.

  • These repayment terms may vary by lender. You should be able to pay down your equity line account at any time without prepayment penalties. If no, find another lender.

With most credit line programs, you can advance yourself a loan as many times as your like, as long as the advance does not exceed your approved available balance:

  • The advance feature is usually available for 5-10 years at most lending institutions, at which time you may renew your equity line option, payoff the loan amount, or convert your equity line balance over to a fixed rate equity loan amortized at repayment terms set by the lender.

  • Again, these terms may differ by lender. Some lenders do not offer a renewable feature or allow conversion of the equity line balance over to fixed-rate amortized loan.

    Please review the terms before making your final decision.

The home equity loan is a fixed rate loan:

  • The money is advanced to you when you close your equity loan

  • This advance is a one-time loan, with no further advances made on your account.

Equity loan rates are fixed and set by the bank:

  • The rate will not go up or down during the repayment period of the loan.

Your monthly payments are fixed:

  • The amount and number of payments depend on the repayment terms of your loan. Lenders offer a range of repayment terms, generally from 5-20 years.

You may payoff your equity loan at any time:

  • You need to check the lender's prepayment terms. Some lenders will charge a prepayment penalty under certain circumstances.

How Much Can You Borrow

The approved available equity line or loan balance is secured by the equity in your home:

  • The total amount approved depends on your LTV position.

  • These amounts are determined by taking a percentage of the appraised value of your home and subtracting the balance owed on the existing mortgage.

  • For example:

    Let's say that your home has an estimated market value of $150,000. The amount that you still owe on your first mortgage and any other liens is $100,000. The maximum amount you can borrow is calculated as follows:

    calculate your own LTV borrowing amount


 Estimated Market Value:  $150,000  $150,000
Percentage LTV:  70%  80%
Percentage of Market Value:  $105,000  $120,000
 Less Mortgage Debt:  $100,000  $100,000
 Equals Total Equity:  $5,000  $20,000

 Estimated Market Value:  $150,000  $150,000
Percentage LTV:  90%  100%
Percentage of Market Value:  $135,000  $150,000
 Less Mortgage Debt:  $100,000  $100,000
 Equals Total Equity:  $35,000  $50,000



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