Equity loan

An equity loan is a mortgage placed on real estate in exchange for cash to the borrower. For example, if a person owns a home worth $100,000, but does not currently have a lien on it, they may take an equity loan at 80% loan to value (LTV) or $80,000 in cash in exchange for a lien on title placed by the lender of the equity loan.

Many lending institutions require the borrower to repay only an interest component of the loan each month (calculated daily, and compounded to the loan once each month). The borrower can apply any surplus funds to the outstanding loan principal at any time, reducing the amount of interest calculated from that day onwards. Some loan products also allow the possibility to redraw cash up to the original LTV, potentially perpetuating the life of the loan beyond the original loan term.

The rate of interest applied to equity loans is much lower than that applied to unsecured loans, such as credit card debt. The reasoning behind this is that equity loans involve collateral, and credit card debt does not.

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