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HELOC

HELOC Definition

heloc is an abbreviation of home equity line of credit. this refers to a loan in which the lender agrees to lend a maximum amount within an agreed period. this differs from a conventional home equity loan in that the borrower is not advanced the entire sum up, but uses the line of credit to borrow sums that total no more than the amount.

a heloc in many ways is similar to a credit card. at closing you are assigned a specified credit limit that you can borrow up to - not a check. during a "draw period" (typically 5 to 25 years), heloc funds can be borrowed "on demand" and you pay back only what you use plus interest. depending on how much you use the heloc, you will have a minimum monthly payment requirement (often "interest only"); beyond the minimum, it is up to you how much to pay and when to pay. at the end of the draw period, you will have to pay back the full principal amount borrowed either in a lum-sum balloon payment or according to an loan amortization schedule.

another important difference from a conventional loan: the interest rate on a heloc is variable based on an index such as prime rate. this means that the interest rate can - and almost certainly will - change over time.





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