Home Equity Line Of Credit

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Mortgage Option

What is a HELOC?

HELOC, or Home Equity Line of Credit, is an instant loan facility where one uses their home equities to fund their financial needs. The home equity line of credit gives the much-required flexibility in terms of applying and repaying. One can avail of a HELOC at their convenience and make paybacks anytime. However, there is a certain standard that will be required. Customers interested in applying for a Home Equity Line of Credit need to ensure they have a credit score equal to or more than 650. Furthermore, customers can expect an interest rate of 3% to 4%. Lastly, HELOC is a much sought-after second mortgage that borrowers use to refinance their house mortgages.

How much home equity can I access with a HELOC?

To use the benefits of a HELOC, the borrower must have a house, a good credit score, sufficient income, and a minimum of 20% of the home equity. Since the home equity line of credit is processed against one house, one must know how much home equity they can access with a HELOC. Essentially, a homes equity is the difference between the home value and outstanding mortgage payments sanctioned against it. The lender has the upper hand in determining the amount of loan that can be processed.

Even though that is the case, one can still use a HELOC Calculator to determine how much home equity can be accessed with a HELOC. The information that will be required includes the house value, outstanding mortgage balance, and details about other liens on the property. In Canada, the accepted percentage is 65% of the house value when applying for a HELOC. The share might go up to 80% if the lender decides to adjust the remaining balance of the existing mortgage.

How to Qualify for a HELOC in Canada?

There are certain aspects involved in applying for a HELOC. First things first, there is the requirement of only being approved once to be able to access the benefits of HELOC. What the customer would be expected to do is to make a 20% down payment. Either that or the borrower needs to provide a minimum of 35% equity. Moreover, the generic requirements will include a credit score of 650 points, a sufficient source of income, a balanced debt-income ratio, and a minimum of 20% home equity ownership. Other than these, the customer is also obligated to show the documents proving their ownership of the house on the line, provide details of all the credits and mortgages availed in the house’s name, and provide a home evaluation certificate.

How does a HELOC work in Canada?

In Canada, the lender allows the customer to borrow financial aid with the home equity on the line to guarantee that the borrowed amount of money is paid back. Customers are advised to assess their financial condition before applying for a home equity credit. Often, the borrower savings will be enough to cover up the expenses, and they might not necessarily need an external credit. Moreover, understanding the interest rates, flexibility factor, and bank policies will be instrumental in choosing a suitable home equity credit facility. Negotiations have a considerable role as well. Customers can, on average, get around 2% moderation of the interest rates. This could be highly beneficial as the borrower can save a lot of money in the process. Once you get down to the nitty-gritty, the bank the customer chooses will also do a background check on the customer. They will consider the credit score, credit history, mortgage balance, ownership papers and home evaluation to assess whether or not to lend them money. And once they find the clarity on that, the bank will decide the credit amount. In Canada, the maximum home equity line of credit that can be disbursed to the borrower is 65% of their home evaluation score. Lastly, certain fees are attached to the home equity line of credit, including legal charges, insurance charges, appreciation charges, property evaluation charges, and processing charges.

How to pay off a mortgage using a HELOC

It will undoubtedly be the “how” that will remain in question once you have narrowed down the bank you want the credit from. Knowing how to pay off a mortgage using a home equity line of credit can be beneficial, so you can overlook the process and determine whether the policies involved are ideal. Technically, taking a home equity line of credit to pay off the existing mortgage is a way to refinance your mortgage. This Second Mortgage comes with a couple of variants. Customers can go for the HELOC or try the traditional home equity loan. With the HELOC, the borrower will get the flexibility to choose the repayment period as they can choose to pay as little as just the interest.

Here is an example to showcase the repayment pattern. Suppose a borrower has taken a CAD 400,000 mortgage and an outstanding worth of CAD 100,000 for ten years. They will be able to pay back the remaining mortgage with a further HELOC credit of CAD 100,000 and can pay off the mortgage. The customer can save up on the interest rate here by only being required to pay less interest for the remaining amortisation period. Depending on the lender, there could be a prepayment penalty levied on the borrower.

HELOC Advantages

Some of the advantages of purchasing a home equity line of credit includes

  • Lower interest rates as compared to its counterpart, i.e. the home equity loan
  • The value of the interest rate can never exceed the amount borrowed
  • Payback flexibility with as low as just the interest and eventually taking up the entire amount
  • Borrow anytime as per need
  • Procure the loan quickly with a minimal processing time

HELOC Disadvantages

Some of the disadvantages of purchasing a home equity line of credit are:

  • Big chunks of credits can do more harm than good as the customer may pay a lot more than they expect.
  • Taking a HELOC can potentially limit the credit feature of the home equity.
  • Interest rates are not fixed, hence subject to market risks
  • Loan repayment default can lead to a foreclosure which can be a significant hassle and cost more money. In the worst-case scenario, the borrower can lose the house as well.
  • Prepayment penalties are nasty.
  • Even a slight change in repeated payment can alter the user’s credit score, potentially harming the borrower’s future loan sanctions.


Ans - When you exclude the amount of outstanding mortgage balance from the value of a household in the market. You can call the result home equity. Based on the home equity customers can apply for an equity line of credit facility offered by various lenders to gain a quick financial support

Ans - HELOC or Home Equity Line of Credit is an instant loan facility where one can collateralise their home equity to gain financial support. The Home equity credit can be used to meet various financial needs such as education, home renovation, vehicle maintenance, vehicle purchase, financing a new house and so on.

Ans - Depending on the goal, a HELOC can be beneficial to meet immediate financial needs such as education, home renovation, or the purchase of a vehicle. Home equity line of credit also have lower interest rates and are flexible in terms of repayment. On the other hand, a refinance would be ideal to avoid major defaults and foreclosures. Additional mortgages will have higher interest rates than a HELOC, usually for longer terms.

Ans - HELOC generally has a faster fund processing than its counterpart, a home equity loan. The processing time for HELOC is advertised as less than ten days, whereas the lenders usually take about two to six weeks for the home equity loan.

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Table of Content

  • What is a HELOC?
  • How much home equity can I access with a HELOC?
  • How to Qualify for a HELOC in Canada?
  • How does a HELOC work in Canada?
  • How to pay off a mortgage using a HELOC
  • HELOC Advantages
  • HELOC Disadvantages