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It pays to shop around for the best home equity loan. Costs and terms differ, so you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars if you do some research first. Here are some tips:
* Contact several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers.
* Get a copy of your credit report and review it before your lender does. Is the information accurate? Are credit problems shown that you have corrected? If so, contact the credit reporting bureau to dispute the report.
* Go online and compare offers. There are hundreds of resources on the web for home equity loans.
* Finally, make sure an equity loan is the best option for you. Questions to ask yourself: Do your purchases demand a big lump sum like an equity loan? Will you be able to keep up with the monthly payments on the equity loan?
Review and consider insurance to cover the payments if something happens. You may or may not need insurance. If you're going to include it in your program, try to pay the premiums monthly – not up front.