8 Kasım 2007 Perşembe

5 tips for wisely tapping your home equity

Millions of Americans are using home-equity loans and lines of credit for splurges. That's risky. But for better investments, these loans can make sense. Bankers love it when you borrow against your house. That's reason enough to be wary of home-equity lending.
Yet millions of Americans are buying lenders' pitches that our homes are a good source of funds for whatever our little hearts desire, from Super Bowl tickets to exotic vacations to investments in stocks and bonds. That lust for cheap cash has turned home-equity lending into the fastest-growing, and very profitable, area of consumer loans.
Mainstream home-equity lending soared 33% last year according to SMR Research, with new borrowing at nearly quadruple the level of just five years ago. The amount we owe on home-equity loans and lines of credit, $719 billion, now exceeds the balances on our Visas, MasterCards and other general-purpose credit cards.

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