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HELOC Loans in Taylor County, Florida: Learn About the Benefits and How They Work

Owning a home in Taylor County, Florida, is advantageous for many reasons. Besides the sunny weather and good public and private infrastructure, the most notable advantage of owning a home here is the opportunity to apply and qualify for a HELOC loan. Yes - there are alternative home-based loans, such as traditional mortgages, but a HELOC loan is considerably better in many ways.

So, are you a homeowner in Taylor County, Florida, and would you be interested in a HELOC loan? It is essential to do your homework and understand how these loans work before getting one. Here is a comprehensive guide on HELOC loans, how they work, their benefits, and how to get one in Taylor County.

What is a HELOC Loan?

HELOC is an acronym for Home Equity Line of Credit. It is a home equity loan backed by your home as collateral – essentially, you borrow money against your home's equity, and you can borrow up to 85% of your home's value or equity.

A HELOC loan differs from a traditional mortgage and personal loan in many aspects – its most notable aspect is that it is a line of credit that functions like a credit card.

This means that you can draw money from your HELOC loan and pay it back as often as you want, albeit it comes with a withdrawal cap (the maximum amount of money you can withdraw) and a limited draw period (how long you can draw money from your loan).

Here is an overview of the three main aspects of how a HELOC loan works:

Variable Interest Rate

HELOC loan payments are based on a variable interest rate, which depends on the market's prime rate (the prevailing interest rate). This means that your loan's interest rates will go up or down when the prime rate rises or falls – it also means that your payments can increase or decrease.

However, it is worth noting that some lenders can allow you to assign a fixed interest rate on a portion of your outstanding variable-interest loan balance. It is also worth noting that HELOC loans usually have lower interest rates than traditional mortgages and personal loans.

Draw & Repayment Periods

HELOC loans have two phases - a draw period and a repayment period. The draw period refers to the number of years you can draw money from your HELOC loan. The repayment period refers to how many years you should repay your HELOC loan.

Draw and repayment periods usually vary depending on the lender and other factors, such as the loan amount. Most HELOC loans have a draw and repayment period of 10 and 20 years, respectively.

You can only draw money from your HELOC loan during the draw period. However, you can repay some of the money during this period. You can make minimum monthly interest-only repayments or principal plus interest payments – the latter option will cost you more.

Still, it will help reduce your overall debt, enabling you to repay your loan faster. You should repay the loan by the end of the repayment period.

Repayment Plan

The repayment period is designated for repayments – you cannot draw money from your loan during this period. The monthly payments include principal and interest payments. It is also worth noting that you could have an outstanding debt at the end of the repayment period.

This debt is based on any outstanding principal not repaid during the draw and repayment periods and should be cleared in a lump-sum payment.

Note - It is advisable to find a lender willing to grant you a term extension or refinancing option in case you still owe a large lump-sum payment at the end of the loan's repayment period.

How Do 75-15 HELOC Loans for Condos Work?

Do you own a condo in Taylor County, Florida? You could benefit from a 75-15 HELOC loan for greater convenience and more accessible terms and conditions.

The 75-15 HELOC loan is presented as 75-15-10:

  • 75% indicates your initial mortgage – essentially, you can borrow up to 75% of your condo's value via a primary mortgage.

  • 15% indicates the size of your second mortgage, usually a HELOC loan.

  • 10% indicates your down payment for the loans.

You can finance up to 90% of the value of your condo by combining the first and second mortgages. It is worth noting that the 75-15 HELOC loan is especially preferable for condos because condo mortgage rates are higher when the loan-to-value ratio exceeds 75%.

75-15 HELOC loans are also advantageous because of the limited condo review. Lenders are not authorized to analyze the association's budget or review the funds directed to reserves. They also don't need to verify fidelity bond coverage when reviewing the condo's insurance.

Lastly, many lenders don't care about the number of investors or owner-occupied units, and the condo questionnaire is overall limited.

The Benefits of HELOC Loans

There are dozens of benefits to taking out a HELOC loan. The most obvious benefit is that you can monetize and access your home's equity without selling it, which comes in handy when you need quick money for various uses.

Here is an overview of five other benefits of HELOC loans:

Quick & Easy Approval

Applying for a traditional mortgage, personal loan, and many other alternatives is usually long and tedious. It involves filling in a lot of paperwork and undergoing a thorough review, which can take several weeks or months. Approval is also usually tricky, considering the thorough review process.

In contrast, applying for a HELOC loan is overall quick and easy. Lenders are less thorough when reviewing your eligibility – the process can take several days or weeks. It is also worth noting that applying for a 75-15 HELOC condo loan is easier and faster than applying for an ordinary HELOC loan.

Lower Interest Rates

HELOC loans usually have lower interest rates than most alternatives, including traditional mortgages and personal loans. The lower interest rates make these loans more affordable than alternative options.

Arguably, the lower interest rates are one of the reasons why HELOC loans are so popular with homeowners – the total HELOC debt is currently valued at about $320 billion.

It is also worth noting that you can negotiate for a fixed interest rate instead of the standard variable rate. Some lenders can allow you to lock in a low and fixed rate for a portion of your HELOC loan balance.

Only Pay Interest on Borrowed Money

HELOC loans function like a line of credit. You can draw as much or little money as you need, whenever you need it – you don't need or have to use all of the money. Your HELOC loan could be $300,000, but the amount used could be $150,000.

One of the most notable aspects of these loans is that you pay interest only on the money used. Using the example above, you would pay interest only on the $150,000 you used – you would pay the remaining $150,000 only as principal.

It is also worth noting that you can minimize your monthly payments during the draw period by opting for interest-only payments.

Flexible Terms & Conditions

Ordinary mortgages and most other loans usually come with strict terms and conditions. For example, some loans limit how you can use the money, while others have strict monthly principal plus interest payments.

In contrast, HELOC loans usually come with flexible terms and conditions because your house backs them as collateral. For example, you can opt for interest-only monthly payments during the draw period. You can also negotiate a fixed interest rate or extended term.

A Convenient Source of Money for Various Uses

A HELOC loan is a convenient source of quick money for two reasons - you can draw money whenever you want to, and you can use the money for virtually any purpose. Some of the most popular uses of a HELOC loan include:

  • Debt consolidation.
  • Home repairs, renovations, and improvements.
  • Paying college fees and student loans.
  • Starting or reinforcing your business.
  • Paying off medical expenses.

Interestingly, you can use your HELOC loan to increase your home's value through repairs, renovations, and improvements. This would also increase your home's equity, giving your more leverage to qualify for larger HELOC or ordinary mortgage loans.

Loan bags on a laptop

Applying for a HELOC Loan – A Step-by-Step Overview

Applying for a HELOC loan is relatively easier and faster than applying for alternative loans. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to go about it:

Determine Your Eligibility

The first step entails evaluating your eligibility for a HELOC loan. Having a home in Taylor County, Florida is the most basic requirement – other requirements include meeting a minimum credit score and good loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios. Applying while ineligible would only result in disappointment.

Determine Your Home's Equity

Besides your finances, your eligibility for a HELOC also depends on the equity available in your home. Equity refers to the amount of money available on your home – essentially, your home's value minus any underlying debts such as a primary mortgage.

You need at least 15% to 20% equity on your home to qualify for a HELOC loan – however, some lenders may require higher or lower equity. Don't worry if your home's equity is insufficient – there are ways to quickly and easily increase your home's equity, such as paying your mortgage down.

Shop Around

It is prudent to start shopping around for a HELOC lender only after determining your eligibility for the loan. Shopping around for a lender entails finding one with the lowest interest rates and the best terms and conditions – a slight difference in interest rates can add up to thousands of dollars over time.


Applying for a HELOC loan is the most crucial step of this process. It entails filling out the loan application documents provided by your lender. It is crucial to provide accurate and up-to-date information.

You will also be required to provide copies of your financial documents, such as your pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements. You should consider consulting a professional if the process proves complicated for you.

Get Approved & Review Disclosure Documents

The lender will take some time to review your application and assess your eligibility for the HELOC loan – the underwriting and evaluation processes usually take a few weeks. They will then send you disclosure documents if you qualify for the loan.

These documents will detail the loan's terms and conditions, including the loan amount, interest rate, and repayment terms. It is advisable to read the documents carefully and ask questions about anything you don't understand for clarity before signing the contract.

Requirements for Qualifying for a HELOC Loan

Qualifying for a HELOC loan is relatively easier than qualifying for alternative loans. However, you must meet the following requirements:

  • 15%-20% Equity - Many lenders require you to have at least 15% equity on your home, but some raise the bar to 20%. For example, if your home is worth $1,000,000, then the available equity should be at least $150,000 or $200,000 –you shouldn't owe more than $800,000 using your home as collateral. Remember, some lenders can give you up to 85% of your home's equity, so more considerable equity is always preferable.

  • 620 Credit Score - 620 is a good credit score for qualifying for a HELOC loan – traditional mortgages and other alternatives usually require higher credit scores. However, lenders still prefer borrowers with higher credit scores – they perceive borrowers with low credit scores as risky, prompting them to raise interest rates and impose strict terms and conditions on the loan.

  • 43% Debt-to-Income Ratio - The debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is your total debt divided by your monthly income. Most lenders prefer a maximum DTI ratio of 43%, but a lower ratio is always preferable. A high DTI ratio means you have too much debt and not enough money to pay it off, making you a risky borrower. You can reduce your DTI ratio by paying down your existing debts.

  • 85% Loan-to-Value Ratio - Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio refers to your loan's ratio to your home's value. Most lenders require a maximum LTV ratio of 85% – this means that if your home is worth $1,000,000, then your HELOC loan (and other previous mortgages) shouldn't exceed $850,000.

Celebrating Your HELOC Loan – 5 Ice Cream Shops in Taylor County, Florida

Qualifying for a HELOC loan is an excellent reason to celebrate, considering the many opportunities you could unlock and the financial hurdles you could overcome using the money. How does a scoop (or two) of your favorite ice cream flavor sound?

Here is an overview of five enticing ice cream shops in Taylor County, Florida, where you can celebrate:

  • Steinhatchee Scoops - Steinhatchee Scoops offers premium ice-hand-dipped ice cream in dozens of flavors, including your favorite. This ice cream shop is at 1502 1st Ave SE, suite B, Steinhatchee, Florida. They are open daily from 2:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.

  • Winn-Dixie - Winn-Dixie offers a mouth-watering range of ice cream flavors. They are located at 2057 S Byron Butler Pkwy SUITE 1, Perry, FL 32348 and are usually open from 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. from Monday to Saturday.

  • Maddie's Market - Maddie's Market is located at 815 1st Ave S, Steinhatchee, FL 32359. Besides ice cream, you will also find fresh fruits, groceries, and freshly cut meat here.

  • 3 Nelsons LLC - Besides a bewildering range of ice cream flavors, 3 Nelsons LLC also serves fresh (never frozen) hamburgers, cheese, chicken, fries, salads, and steaks. It is located at 1300 N Jefferson St, Perry, FL 32347-1327.

  • Sonic Drive-In - Sonic Drive-In is a convenient option if you are in a rush. They are open from 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. daily, and you can find a variety of ice creams. They are located at 1950 South Jefferson St, Perry, FL 32348.

Apply for a HELOC Loan Today!

Approximately 45% of American homeowners are equity-rich, meaning they have enough equity tied up in their homes to qualify for HELOC loans. You could be one of these homeowners, and you certainly could benefit from a HELOC loan.

Applying and qualifying for a HELOC loan is easy, and you can use the money for any purpose you desire. These loans also come with flexible terms and conditions. However, it is essential to ensure that you choose a suitable lender that will offer you an affordable loan under friendly terms and conditions.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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