Financial Wellness

Home Equity Line of Credit Pre-Approval: 5 Ways It Makes Your Life Easier

father and daughter high five as he helps her with her homework

Three hundred thirty-three thousand square feet. That’s the size of the gargantuan Portland Expo Center.

In a few short weeks, it will be packed to the gills for the Portland Home and Garden Show. There will be landscapers, tilers and craftspeople galore.

They will all be there to help you remake your home.

If you’re planning home improvements, I implore you: don’t make the mistake most do.

Most people harshly limit the value they can get from events like these for a simple reason. They fail to get HELOC pre-approval before they go.

Getting pre-approved for a home equity line (like Equity Line Plus) improves your quality of life in so many ways.

Here are five things an equity line helps you to do:

1. Makes it easier to make good decisions

When you know exactly how much you can borrow, you know exactly how much you can afford. When you know what you can afford, you’re confident when it’s time to make a big financial decision – like hiring a contractor, negotiating a price, or planning your remodel.

Less guesswork means less stress, more clarity, and better decisions.

2. Take as much time as you need

Our members really love this about Equity Line Plus! The line is available for you whenever you need it. So if you’re the type to get things done quickly, the money is there.

If you spend a long time researching and finding ideas before jumping in (like I do), you’re covered. The funds are ready when you’re ready. And you only pay for what you borrow.

Use the line for “that thing coming up,” or for “that thing that just came up.”

3. Be your best budgeting self

Now you know how much money you can borrow, and you know it will be there when you need it. Breathing a little deeper already? Good!

Now you can become a budgeting boss. Pick your ideal monthly payment and make it happen!

ELP adjusts to your budget. You decide how you want your payment and rate to look. Lock in a fixed rate for 60 months, or spring for 180 months! The choice is yours. Rates right now are as low as 3.74% APR.*

Craft your ideal payment and term length. It’s up to you!

4. Relax knowing you’re covered

As we’ve all seen, emergencies and unexpected expenses can pop up when we least expect it.

Getting HELOC pre-approval is like getting a suit of armor. You know that if you come face to face with a major financial expense, you have funds available to use, with really good rates and terms.

Especially as a homeowner, it feels nice to know you’re financially prepared for the unexpected.

5. Get creative to build a better life

Home improvements, paying for college expenses, consolidating debt, paying for large purchases – these are just some of the things you can do with an equity line. What will you do?

The name “Home Equity Line of Credit” is a bit of a misnomer, isn’t it? You can use it for a ton of different things to fit your budget and your needs.

How long does it take to get pre-approved?

While we’re planning ahead, let’s talk pre-approval timeframe.

Your home equity loan uses your home as collateral, so it takes a little longer than your typical consumer loan to process. Members can usually expect about 3-4 weeks for processing.

Which means if you’re heading off to the Portland Home and Garden Show this February, or next year’s show even, now is a good time to get pre-approved!

How do you get pre-approved?

Start by visiting the Equity Line Plus page. It’ll give you the details on how the product works, examples of creative things you can do with it, and current rate information.

You’ll see a big shiny button there to “Apply Online”. When you’re ready, that will be your first step to pre-approval.

If you’ve quit renting and you’re a homeowner, you’re in a great position.

You’ve already paid into your mortgage. It’s time for your mortgage to start paying you back. That’s where an Equity line helps. Use one and build a brighter future!

And if you do visit the Home & Garden Show in the future, don’t forget to stop by our Unitus booth and say “hi!” We love seeing members out in their element – growing, building, always improving!

*APR = Annual Percentage Rate

Posted By: Melissa Grimm

About the Author: Melissa has been in the credit union industry for 13 years and has been with Unitus Community Credit Union since 2016. During the day, Melissa oversees the operations of Unitus’ Equity Lending department which includes underwriting, processing, and funding. In her free time, Melissa enjoys staying active and spending quality time with family.

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