Home equity loans are a popular way to pay for renovations or additions to your home, or even consolidate debt. Most often, these loans come in two versions: a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit, also known as a HELOC. Each product has specific benefits which may alter the application process, but for the most part the required information will be the same no matter which you choose.
The value of your home and existing mortgage, as well as your overall credit score are a few of the factors used in determining if your home equity application will be approved. To help make the home equity application process easier, you’ll want to gather a few documents and pieces of data ahead of time. Use the checklist of information below to make sure you have everything you need when applying for home equity.
Gather information about your home
The first step in the home equity loan application process is to find out how much your home is currently worth. You can start determining this value by looking at what nearby homes have recently sold for. You won’t need a formal appraisal of your home to submit a home equity application. You can simply provide a conservative estimate and the lender will confirm the value with an appraisal during the application process. Additional data points to gather about your home include:
- Year your home was built
- Names on the legal title of the home
- How much you originally paid for the house
- Whether or not the property is held in trust
Find detailed data about your existing mortgage
You will also need to know the remaining balance on your current mortgage when completing a home equity application. And, your lender will want to know if you are planning to use a home equity loan to refinance your mortgage. If so, will you be the sole owner of the new loan? Make sure you also have additional details like:
- Current mortgage rate
- How much your monthly payment is
- Details about a second mortgage or other loans on the property
Get a complete picture of your credit status
Your credit score and history also play an important role when applying for home equity. It’s a good idea to get a copy of your most recent credit report and find out your credit score before completing a home equity application. This will help you conduct research and find out a range of loan rates you’ll likely qualify for. Finally, make sure you consider other credit-related details, like:
- The credit score(s) and history of any co-applicants
- Promotional rates or information about equity loans you are qualified for
Completing a home equity loan application requires preparation
With planning and preparation the home equity application process will go much faster. Gather your documents ahead of time and plan for around 20 minutes to complete the home equity loan application. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact your lender.