Cool Ways to Use Your Equity Loan for Summer Projects

Posted July 22 2016
by PenFed Team
three young children jumping into a pool

A home equity loan is a natural way to use the value in your home to finance short-term expenses like home improvements or summer vacations—or both. Stay cool this summer by putting your equity to work for you with these summer project ideas from PenFed.

First: What Is a Home Equity Loan?

With a home equity loan, you borrow money based on the value of your home minus whatever you still owe on your mortgage loan. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Home Equity Loan. A home equity loan is a straightforward loan that gives you your financing all up front in one lump sum. It’s often referred to as a second mortgage.
  2. Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). A home equity line of credit, also called a HELOC, is a revolving line of credit (like a credit card) that uses your home as collateral. Use only as much as you need during the approved loan period—a little bit at a time for smaller projects, or bigger payments for things like college tuition.

Summertime Equity Projects

  1. Keep your cool all summer long. Maybe it’s about time to retire your aging air conditioner—but a new A/C unit is a pretty big investment. A home equity loan can help lighten the load so you can replace your old unit before it decides to gasp its last breath on the hottest day of August.
  2. Take advantage of good construction weather. Do you have backyard improvements on your mind? Summertime’s the perfect time for outdoor construction projects, including new fences (boring), new decks (more fun), a chic pergola (outright exciting), or even a custom outdoor kitchen (downright sizzling). It’s probably too late in the season to get a new swimming pool installed in time for summer pool parties, but you could certainly plan to finish up before fall and winter weather have a chance to complicate construction.
  3. Get away from it all. Maybe what you really need is less time worrying about home matters and more time taking the stress off your shoulders. That summer dream vacation you’ve never quite managed to work into the budget the past couple of years becomes doable with a home equity loan.
  4. Think ahead to fall fun. If summer’s not really your season, carry the fun into the fall with improvements like a backyard fire pit. This home improvement can be a simple DIY project or an elaborate stone presentation including benches. Either way, gathering around the fire on a crisp autumn evening can be an invigorating way to reconnect with friends and family at the end of a long day.
  5. Back to school. College costs represent a huge drain on your budget, but a home equity loan can tackle looming fall tuition bills with ease. You’re likely to get a lower interest rate than you would with a student loan, and a HELOC makes it convenient to take out only as much cash as you need when you need it for expenses like tuition, textbooks, campus fees, and more.

The Right Home Equity for Your Project

Remember, any time you use your home as collateral for a loan, you risk losing your home should you default on the loan. Home equity loans are not meant to help you live beyond your means. But reinvesting in your home’s own value with a renovation project, or taking a well-deserved vacation you’ve been putting off far too long, might be just the thing to cool off a sweltering summer.

Lenders like PenFed offer a variety of home equity loan options to choose from: such as standard home equity loans and home equity lines of credit, a 5/5 home equity line of credit, and an interest-only home equity line of credit. Investigate your options today at PenFed Home Equity financing.