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Types of Loan

Home equity loan

In simple terminology, a home equity loan is a loan taken against your house. A home equity loan is also called a mortgage or a second mortgage. Another synonym for home equity loan is equity release schemes.

While taking a home equity loan you are actually borrowing the worth of your house. If the house is completely owned by you, then the term used for home equity loan is "mortgage", otherwise if your house is not fully paid off but has equity, it is called a "second mortgage". From now on we will use one term for both to facilitate better understanding. We will call them Home Equity Loans.

A home equity loan is an extra loan that you take against your home in addition to your mortgage; hence this is called a second mortgage. This enables a home owner to encash equity without refinancing the first mortgage. Most people are under the impression that the only way to raise cash is by selling their homes. However reality differs and factually one can take a second mortgage to free up the first mortgage also.
Equity is the difference between the amount you owe on your current home mortgage and the current value of your home. Furthering this definition, suppose you sell your home, the amount of cash left in your pocket after paying off the mortgage is called Equity. This equity when taken as a loan from a lender, without actually selling your home comes to be known as home equity loan.
Many lenders or loan companies allow you to borrow bigger amounts calculated by subtracting the balances of outstanding mortgages from 125% of the market value of your home. However the actual equity is the difference between appraised worth of your home and the balances of your outstanding mortgages.

There is no bar on how you can use the home equity loan. You can use it for any purposes as it suits you. A home equity loan is usually a one-time fixed interest rate loan, which is paid out at one go.
The rates of interest or the cost of the loan will depend on options you choose viz. the term of the loan and the amount; of course another important factor has always been your credit rating. The longer the term of the loan, the more you pay out as interest, also if the amount is more, the more interest you pay.
As always with any liabilities one undertakes certain words of caution are advised. Check all your options thoroughly before making a decision. Choose the amount carefully and take only what you need and specify the term which you think would be comfortable for you to repay in. No point accumulating liabilities in exchange for spending on pleasures or acquiring unnecessary assets.
Home equity loans are easily accessible to people with poor or bad credit rating since the lender is taking a lesser risk as the loan is secured against their home.

A Home Equity Loan usually means that you get the best interest rates on the loan, i.e. you get the loan at a lesser cost compared to other loans because of assured security, but one should always remember that the house is at risk lest you fail to repay the Home Equity Loan.

And what about that Credit card?

What is a Credit Card?

Put simply, a credit card is just a small piece of plastic that easily fits in your wallet. Well, it’s not ‘just a piece of plastic’; it’s a very powerful piece of plastic which can be regarded as a compressed form of cash. We can define credit cards as a credit system that allows the consumer to borrow money on the fly from a bank or a financial institution and use it to make payments to the merchants.

In order to obtain a credit card, the consumer needs to fill-in an application form that is actually like an agreement between the credit card supplier and the credit card consumer. The credit card supplier approves the application form and provides the consumer with a small piece of plastic (i.e. the credit card). This plastic (or credit card) contains electronically encoded security information in the form of a magnetic strip (which is generally located at the back of the credit card). This information is used for authorising payments whenever the consumer uses the credit card. The consumer can use the credit card for shopping at merchant outlets or on the internet etc. Of course, this is subject to merchant’s capability to accept credit card payments. Accepting the credit cards is, however, not enough. The merchant should be able to accept payments made through the credit card provided by that credit card organization (of which you hold the credit card) i.e. VISA, MasterCard etc. You can also use credit card to withdraw cash from ATMs (automatic cash machines) – also known as cash machines or Day/Night machines.

There are eight main credit card organisations and most of them operate in a lot of countries world wide. These are American Express, Citi, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard and VISA. Master card and VISA are probably the most popular ones. Then there are credit card suppliers or issuers who have tie-ups with these organisations and issue credit cards on their behalf e.g. you have various banks that issue VISA cards (like HSBC VISA card)

To make a payment using a credit card, the credit card has to be either swiped into special credit card processing machine (when shopping in person at shops) or the details of the credit card have to be entered on the merchant’s website (when shopping online). The credit card supplier sends across the bill for these transactions to the consumer who is then required to pay either the full amount or a partial (minimum) amount. If you pay in full, the credit card supplier doesn’t charge any interest on the amount you owe, otherwise the pre-agreed interest rate is charged. If you don’t pay even the minimum, you might land up with a late fee too. Moreover, the credit card supplier generally puts a limit on the maximum amount you can spend per month using your credit card.


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