6 Smart Reasons to Tap Into Your Home's Equity (Hint: Your Aging A/C Is One...)

Borrowing against your home's equity can be a lifesaver. Here's how to know if it's right for you.

A BB&T Home Equity Loan and a BB&T Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) are both designed to give you affordable access to credit by tapping into the value of your home equity. The possibilities for how to use your home's equity, however, extend far beyond the home.

What's the difference between a home equity loan and a HELOC?

HELOC refers specifically to a home equity line of credit. It's different from a home equity loan because it's a replenishable line of credit. Home equity loans and lines of credit are both based on the amount of equity you have in your home—"equity" being the difference between the amount you owe on your mortgage and the market value of your home.

Home equity loans are generally used to finance planned one-time expenses. Similar to a personal loan, you simply borrow a specific lump sum. A BB&T Home Equity Loan comes with a fixed interest rate, fixed monthly payments and a scheduled pay-off date.

On the other hand, because a HELOC is a line of credit, as a borrower you can generally decide how much of that credit to use and when to use it (or whether to access funds from the HELOC at all). Like a credit card, your available credit will replenish up to the original credit limit as you repay what you’ve borrowed. You can get a BB&T Home Equity Line of Credit with flexible payment options and decide between a low variable interest rate, or lock in balances with a fixed rate and term.

When pursuing a HELOC, remember that affordable access to cash is a benefit—and an important responsibility. Manage a HELOC just as you would any other line of credit to ensure you put it to work in a way that supports your holistic financial picture.

Home equity loan and line of credit interest rates and terms vary based on your unique situation and your financial and credit history. But a home equity loan or line of credit may offer a lower interest rate than credit cards or personal loans.

What are good ways to use a home equity loan or line of credit?

Here are a few common reasons homeowners get a home equity loan or line of credit with BB&T:

  1. Helping with your child's—or funding your own—college tuition
  2. Home renovations that will increase your home's value, like kitchen and bathroom upgrades
  3. Necessary or unexpected home repairs like the air-conditioner or the furnace
  4. Replacement of an aging roof, siding or structural damage from hurricanes or flooding
  5. Improving energy efficiency with new windows and better insulation
  6. Paying off higher-interest loans—such as credit card balances

Remember that because using your home's equity for a loan or line of credit means you're borrowing against the value of your home, it's important to be confident you'll be able to repay any funds you access.

How do you get a home equity loan or line of credit?

Like many other requests for credit, applying for a home equity loan or line of credit may require that you provide bank account statements, proof of income, tax statements and approval to check your credit history and credit score. A home appraisal is also required.

To enhance the potential benefits of a home equity line of credit with BB&T, we offer no-cost closing options , flexible payment plans (including interest-only payment options), low setup fees and quick access to your funds or line of credit.

Want to talk with a pro about whether a BB&T Home Equity Loan or a BB&T Home Equity Line of Credit is right for you? Contact a BB&T Home Mortgage Loan Professional or visit your local branch today.

Keep it up. You're getting smarter about home buying.

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    The client may choose for the bank to pay their closing costs if the requested loan amount is <$500,000. If you pay off your BB&T Home Equity Line of Credit within 36 months from the date of loan origination, you may be required to remit any closing costs BB&T paid on your behalf. A Texas resident who has financed or refinanced a homestead or home equity in the previous 12 months may not be eligible for another homestead of home equity loan based on state law. There is a $50 annual fee in AL, GA, FL, KY, OH, NJ and IN. Property insurance and flood insurance where applicable, may be required. These programs are subject to change at any time and other lending options may be available to you which may have different costs, rates and fees that may be charged at origination, closing or subsequent to closing, ranging from $0 to $10,000, and may vary by state. Be sure to contact your local BB&T associate to discuss all your lending options.

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    A fixed option may be available on all or portions of your line. Fixed options are priced based on the margin, amount and term selected and will vary from your home equity line variable rate or any promotional rate. Clients may have up to three fixed options at any time on their home equity line. There is a $50 Fixed Option set up fee.

Loans, lines of credit and credit cards are subject to credit approval.

All BB&T mortgage professionals are registered on the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS), which promotes uniformity and transparency throughout the residential real estate industry. Search the NMLS Registry.

Branch Banking and Trust Company is a Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.