Home Equity Loan Rate Market Forecast

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Home Equity Loan Rates - Where is the Market Headed?
By Rebecca O'Connor

In states like California there has been a decline during the last four months in home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. Many analysts are blaming the fall in equity loans on the languishing home values and rising interest rates. Rates have risen to around the 8 percent range and look as though the Federal Reserve is likely to continue raising the rate. Some economists feel that this will spell the end of the home equity loan boom. Christopher Thornberg, senior economist of UCLA's Anderson Forecast warns, "Keep an eye out. It's going to get worse and worse." However, other experts don't think this is the end at all. Mary Berg notes, "Home equity loans have been growing at a large clip for years. It's definitely slowed, but people are still borrowing. They're finding other products that are more flexible in this rate environment."

Although many people are likely to reconsider using equity loans for remodeling their home until the mortgage rates begin to drop again, there is likely to be a rise in the consumer use of a 2nd mortgage or a line of credit for the purposes of debt consolidation. With the increase in interest rates, many consumers are finding themselves stressed with bigger credit card payments. Borrowers that have a fixed rate mortgage on their homes would be better off leaving their 1st mortgage loan at a current low rate.

For now, interest rates for the home equity market are still more favorable than credit card rates if the buyer is able to write the interest off on his or her taxes. A home equity line of credit can be used much like a credit card throughout its draw period. If borrowers take out an adjustable rate mortgage, even if it starts with interest only payments, they may find themselves in trouble if the interest rates continue to rise. A prime home equity loan, with a fixed rate may be a better, safer option than an adjustable rate loan. If low rates return there is always the option of a refinance in the future. Home equity rates may continue to rise, but there is such a variety of products that you may still find one that benefits you. Find a lender that you trust and discuss all your options.

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