Home Equity Loan Vs. Personal Loan: What’s The Best Option?

Finding the best financing option for you can be difficult if you need to borrow money for a home project, renovation, or other needs. Which loan is ideal for your condition and financial requirements out of personal loans and home equity loans?

Let’s examine some of the main distinctions between personal loans and home equity loans.

The primary distinctions between personal loans and home equity loans
Your financial position will determine whether a personal loan or a home equity loan is better for you. Let’s quickly review some of the distinctions between each loan before delving more deeply into its details.

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Home equity loans: How Do They Operate?
What precisely is a home equity loan, then? A home equity loan, often known as a second mortgage, enables you to borrow money using the equity you’ve established in your house as security. The equity in your home is the amount that is due on your mortgage less the value of your home.

As opposed to home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), which function more like credit cards, you normally receive the borrowed funds in a single lump payment.

Home equity loans won’t be an option for borrowers who may still be first-time homebuyers because they are heavily focused on how much of your home’s principal balance you’ve paid down. With a home equity loan, lenders normally let you borrow 80% to 85% of your equity.

A home equity loan may make sense if you have adequate equity. These loans typically have cheaper interest rates because they are secured.

Pros of Home Equity Loans
Compared to many other consumer loans, home equity loans are often easier to qualify for.
Since these loans are secured by the equity in your house, lenders rate them less riskily than other loans and as a result charge lower interest rates.
Because the terms are longer than those of many other consumer loans, the monthly payments are smaller, but you’ll end up paying a significant rise in interest by the time the loan is fully returned.
The money is available to you right away, usually in one big sum.
There are no surprises because the monthly installments are set.
Cash-out the equity in your home.
See what you might be able to get. Apply online right now with Rocket Mortgage®.

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Cons of Home Equity Loans
If you can’t pay back a home equity loan, you risk having a lien placed on your property at best and losing your house to foreclosure at worst. This is so that the provider of the home equity loan can utilize your equity as security.
In addition to your primary mortgage, you will also have a second mortgage to pay off. Two payments may become too much to handle.
When you close on the sale of your house, you will be required to pay down the whole loan sum as well as the remaining principal on your primary mortgage. Most borrowers find it impossible to do this.
You will have to pay closing costs, possibly obtain a home assessment, and possibly go through the entire mortgage application process again because this loan is a second mortgage and is dependent on the worth of your property.
Personal Loans: How Do They Operate?
In that you can borrow money in a flat amount and are required to repay it, a personal loan is comparable to a home equity loan. Home equity loans, on the other hand, are guaranteed by the equity you’ve established in your home, whereas personal loans are frequently unbacked and hence unsecured.

Personal loans frequently have slightly higher interest rates because they are unsecured. Your income, credit rating, and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) will all have a significant impact on your ability to obtain a personal loan. But because your home isn’t used as collateral for this kind of loan, the approval procedure may go much more quickly than it would for a home equity loan.

Pros of Personal Loans
Since there is no collateral property to check or another loan to take into consideration, personal loans are typically completed much more rapidly than home equity loans.
Compared to home equity loans, personal loan term lengths are often more adaptable.
In general, fixed interest rates range from 6% to 36%, depending on your credit score and other variables.
You do not need to own a home or have enough equity.
Fixed and foreseeable monthly installments are available.
The money is available right away, sometimes on the same day as your application.
Cons of Personal Loans
To be eligible for a personal loan with a lower interest rate, you must have great credit. Individuals with fair or bad credit may be subject to significantly higher interest rates on personal loans.
The loan has a shorter term than the majority of home equity loans, therefore your monthly payments will be higher.
For late payments and other mistakes, personal loans could have increased costs and penalties.
Due to their frequently higher interest rates and propensity to generate extra debt when consolidating debt, personal loans can be potentially risky, especially when used to pay off items like credit card debt.
Which Loan Option Is Better For You: A Personal Loan Or A Home Equity Loan?
There isn’t the best loan that applies to all circumstances. After that, let’s go over some of the monetary aspects that may affect your decision between a personal loan and a home equity loan.

The Best Home Equity Loans
Home equity loans might be a desirable alternative because they often feature lower interest rates and longer payback terms. You may even be able to deduct the loan interest if you use a home equity loan for remodeling or improvements.

Here are a few factors to think about while applying for a home equity loan:

You Want To Take Out A Big Loan

A home equity loan can be the best option if you need to borrow a sizable sum of money for a project around the house and have a lot of equity in your house.

Home equity loans typically offer longer repayment terms, which may make paying back greater sums of money a little bit simpler than with loans with shorter durations. When repaying a greater sum, the reduced interest rates that come with home equity loans can be highly beneficial and will save you a lot of interest.

You Have Poor Credit

A home equity loan could be helpful if your credit isn’t the best but you have some equity. Even though you might not be able to get a loan with a low-interest rate, you might still be able to use a home equity loan to borrow the money you require.

Since these loans are secured, your lender may be more inclined to disburse the funds because they are less risky.

You’re not rushing.

Whether you select a home equity loan or another financing option may depend significantly on the loan’s intended use. Home equity loans involve a few extra steps that other loans do not because they are dependent on the worth of your house.

A home equity loan makes a lot of sense if you need the extra cash to renovate your property. If you need to quickly pay for emergency medical expenses, however, a home equity loan might not be such a good idea, since the origination process can take some time.

You Can Pay Off The Loan

Ensure that you’re confident in your ability to repay a home equity loan. It’s a second mortgage payment, which can be a lot to take on. The loan also holds your property as collateral, so failure to pay may result in your home being foreclosed on.

Before applying for a home equity loan, be sure you can confidently cover your other loan payments and bills in addition to the new payment.

Your Home Value Is Rising

If home values near you are on the rise, you don’t have to worry much about your home equity loan. If these values are decreasing, however, a home equity loan may not be a good choice. There’s a very real possibility you could end up with an underwater mortgage when home values are sinking, especially if you also have a second mortgage.

Your mortgage becomes “underwater” when the principal balance of your loan is higher than your home is worth. This can make it very difficult to sell your home, especially if you’re still making two loan payments – one of which you’ll need to completely pay off if you intend to get rid of the house.

Choosing A Personal Loan
Personal loans may typically have slightly higher interest rates than home equity loans, but they also come with perks. The process of getting a personal loan is significantly faster than the process of getting a home equity loan – and you don’t need a house with built-in equity to qualify for the loan.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you might want a personal loan.

You Don’t Have Sufficient Equity

While home equity loans are a great financing option for those with the equity to spare, not everyone is a homeowner. Some homeowners may be wary of offering their home as collateral, as well, or maybe they don’t have enough equity to borrow from.

Falling below a certain amount of equity on a conventional loan can come with even more costs, such as private mortgage insurance (PMI). With a personal loan, you don’t need to own a property or make mortgage payments. You might face a higher annual percentage rate (APR) cost, but you won’t have to deal with taking out a second mortgage or worry about having enough equity to borrow from.

You’re Borrowing A Small Amount

Applying for a home equity loan often comes with as much hassle as applying for a mortgage – meaning, it takes a while. If you’re borrowing a smaller amount of money, it may not be worth it to deal with the long, grueling process of home equity loan origination. You may also save on closing costs and other fees by opting for a personal loan.

Home equity loans have several costs involved, from appraisal fees to loan origination fees to title search costs. These costs often add up to 2% – 5% of the loan amount, which might be significant. With a personal loan, you’ll have no closing costs. While you may have to pay late-payment fees or early-repayment penalties, closing costs aren’t part of the equation.

You Need The Money Now

If time is of the essence, you’re almost always better off getting a personal loan than a home equity loan. It can take days to a week, give or take a little, to get a personal loan – but a home equity loan might take a month or longer.

If you need an emergency loan to cover medical costs, moving expenses, or anything particularly urgent, it may be wise to get a personal loan since you’ll likely see the money faster. Just be sure, as always, that you’re prepared to pay back what you borrow.

You’re able to repay more quickly. Home equity loans typically come with repayment terms of 5 – 30 years, whereas personal loans typically range from 1 – 7 years. While longer repayment terms can sometimes mean lower interest rates and lower payments, the stretched-out payment schedule will mean you accrue more interest over time than if you paid off the loan more quickly.

Home Equity Vs. Personal Loan FAQs
Below are a few commonly asked questions about home equity loans and personal loans.

What’s the difference between a home equity loan and a personal loan?
The main difference between a home equity loan and a personal loan is that a personal loan is an unsecured loan, backed by nothing. A home equity loan is backed by the equity you’ve built in your home.

Can I take out multiple personal loans or home equity loans?
There’s not necessarily a limit on how many loans you can take out, but you might be limited in the amount you can borrow. Some lenders may not allow you to have multiple outstanding loans.

Should I get a home equity loan or a personal loan?
Choosing between a home equity loan or a personal loan is a decision based on many personal and financial factors. If you have a significant amount of equity in your home, then a home equity loan might be right for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking to borrow a small amount of money fairly soon, a personal loan might work best for you.