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Home Equity Loan or Cash-Out Refinance: Which One is Better for You?

One of the many appeals of purchasing a home is the equity that you’ll eventually build up. As you make your mortgage payments, you’ll be primarily paying down the interest on the loan at first. Over time, though, the amount you owe on your mortgage is reduced through a process known as amortization. The result is the buildup of equity in your home. 

Using Equity to Fund Your Life

Around the time that homeowners start to build equity, many of them start thinking about renovating or other major projects that are designed to improve their home and make it better suit their needs. In other cases, you might be looking for ways to fund your children’s college education. Regardless of why you want to access your home’s equity, you have two primary options for doing so: a home equity loan and a cash-out refinance. 

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Surprise! The Federal Reserve Bank Lowered Interest Rates

Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, made a surprising announcement on July 31. For the first time in more than 10 years, the Fed slashed interest rates. The reasoning behind this move, according to Powell, was to extend the country’s economic expansion so it can continue to set records. 

Dissecting the Interest Rate Reduction

The comments Powell delivered on July 31 in tandem with the Fed’s announcement were largely positive. It was a desire to keep the economy looking favorable that lead to the decision to lower the interest rate by a quarter percentage point. This move is designed to make it more affordable for consumers to borrow money to purchase cars, homes and consumer goods. 

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Top 3 Loans Homebuyers Can Take Advantage Of

For first-time homebuyers, obtaining financing isn’t the aspect of a mortgage they need to contend with. There are also a number of different types of loans available. While the options can be overwhelming, careful research can ensure that you understand each and help you find the one that best suits your situation. 

1. VA Loans

VA loans are limited to veterans and members of the military. Often easier to qualify for than a conventional loan, these mortgages are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s important to make the distinction that in spite of being the guarantor, the VA does not actually make the loan. 

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Reverse Mortgage Myths Busted

A reverse mortgage is officially known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). A tool that taps into a home’s equity while providing retirement income for homeowners aged 62 years or older with no monthly payments, reverse mortgages are being increasingly common. While most reverse mortgages are federally insured and are a great financial decision for many homeowners, there are still many myths surrounding them that can make it difficult to decide if they are the best choice. 

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President Trump pushes for lower interest rates

In spite of intense pressure from President Trump, the Federal Reserve did not change its key interest rates when it met last. Instead, the Fed reiterated its stance that it probably not hike rates in the near future. The reasons for their decision included low inflation and a strong economy. 

Does a Lower Interest Rate Make Sense?

Trump stated that he wanted the economy to continue to strengthen so he urged the Federal Reserve to lower rates in hopes that it would spur greater growth. Some experts, such as Kathy Bostjancic, an economist at Oxford Economics, projects that slashing the interest rate by one percentage point in 2019 will help the economy grow by about one-half of a percentage point in 2020. In order to be fully beneficial, though, businesses would need to be able to find enough qualified workers so they can make more goods and provide more services. Already, however, companies are having a hard time doing that because, at 3.8 percent, the nation’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in close to 50 years. 

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