How to get a home equity loan

A home equity installment loan is a convenient way to consolidate debt or pay for big household expenses, with the security of fixed-rate payments. You can apply by phone, online or in person, but before you begin you’ll want to have the answers to certain questions:

  1. How much equity do you have in your home?
  2. Will you be applying by yourself or with a co-applicant?
  3. Do you live in the property that will be used as collateral?

Home equity loan requirements

Let’s take a closer look at some of these items.

Your home’s equity

The amount of equity you have in your home is determined by the value of your home minus the amount you owe on your mortgage. For example, if your home is valued at $300,000 and you have a $150,000 balance on your mortgage, you have $150,000 in equity.

Information you’ll need to apply for a home equity loan

You’ll want to produce a solid estimate of the home’s value, as well as documents showing your household income, Social Security number and any other outstanding balances. Lenders also will ask for a mortgage statement, a property tax bill and a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy, among other requested documents.