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Home Equity Line of Credit Application
1601 Washington Plaza, Reston, VA 20190
Phone: (703) 467-3428 Fax: (866) 218-1403 AMOUNT REQUESTED: PURPOSE OF LINE:
APPLICANT INFORMATION FINANCIAL INFORMATION CERTIFICATION
ASSETS LIABILITIES Please INITIAL the appropriate selection:
First Name Middle Initial Last Name Cash & Savings $__________ Credit Card Debt $__________ Individual-I am applying for individual credit and will rely on my own income and assets to
__________________________________________________________________ repay any loan. (Leave co-applicant information blank). ____________
Investments $__________ Installment Debt $__________
Social Security Number Date of Birth
Joint-we are applying for credit together. We want you to look at all income and assets in
_________________________________________________________________ Real Estate $__________ Real Estate Debt $__________ evaluating this application. (Complete all sections). ____________ Applicant
Other Assets $__________ Other Debt $__________
__________________________________________________________________ __________ Co-Applicant
City State Zip Code No. of years at address TOTAL ASSETS: $__________ TOTAL DEBT: $__________
__________________________________________________________________ I (meaning applicant/co-applicant below), authorize Millennium Bank, N.A. to make credit inquiries
PLEASE SUMMARIZE YOUR PERSONAL BALANCE SHEET WITHIN THE CATEGORIES STATED HERE. YOU
Home Phone Work Phone Cell/Other Contact Phone CAN ATTACH ANY INFORMATION THAT YOU FEEL WOULD ASSIST US IN OUR EVALUATION. about me and authorize anyone to furnish requested information to you. All information and this
__________________________________________________________________ TOTAL ASSETS –TOTAL DEBT = NET WORTH application is your property, whether or not credit is extended. You may disclose any information
Previous Address (if less than 2 years at current address) NET WORTH: $_________________ relating to this application or loan account to any applicant for or proposed guarantor of this loan.
___ Married ___ Unmarried ___ Separated Please describe uses of cash on a monthly basis: Everything I have told you in this application is true, complete and correct. I will use my loan only
__________________________________________________________________ Mortgage payments: $_________ for lawful purposes. The application, and any additional sheets attached, lists all debts and
Marital Status (do not complete if applying for individual credit) Car payments $_________ MONTHLY CASH FLOW: obligations I have, including those for which I am jointly obligated.
__________________________________________________________________ Credit Cards $_________ Gross Income: $________
Name and Address of Employer Rental payments $_________ By signing below, I authorize you to check my employment history, to have a consumer credit
*Total Expenses - $________ report prepared on me for the purpose of evaluating this application for credit, and to answer
YES NO Utilities $_________
__________________________________________________________________ Bank loans $_________ Cash Flow = $________ questions others may ask you about my credit record with you. I understand that I must update
Position Annual Salary No. of years at job Self-employed? Other loans $_________ (Surplus or Deficit) this credit information at your request and if my financial condition changes.
__________________________________________________________________ Federal, State & Local taxes $_________
Other Income-Include Source(s).* Email Address: Living Expenses $_________ I also acknowledge receipt of the Home Equity Line Disclosure Information Statement
Other Expenses (explain) $_________ MB-01 (in a form I can keep), the Federal Government brochure; When Your House is on the
_____________________________________________________ Line: What You Should Know About Home Equity Lines of Credit, the Millennium Bank Privacy
*You do not need to reveal income from alimony, child support or separate maintenance agreements unless you TOTAL EXPENSES: * $_________
want us to consider this income in connection with this application for credit. Statement and the Right to Received a Copy of Appraisal Notice.
CO-APPLICANT INFORMATION PROPERTY INFORMATION
First Name Middle Initial Last Name ______________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________ Address of Property to be Used as Collateral
Social Security Number Date of Birth X______________________________________(SEAL)
______________________________________________________________________ APPLICANT’S SIGNATURE
Street Address City State Zip Code
__________________________________________________________________ County X______________________________________(SEAL)
City State Zip Code No. of years at address ______________________________________________________________________ CO-APPLICANT’S SIGNATURE
__________________________________________________________________ Name(s) Property is Titled In (Include Trust Agreements) I am an employee, officer or director of Millennium Bank or its affiliates, or an
Home Phone Work Phone Cell/Other Contact Phone immediate family member.
Estimated Market Value of Property Last Appraised Name: _____________________________Position held: ______________________
Previous Address (if less than 2 years at current address)
Relationship: (please circle) Applicant Co-Applicant Family Member
Married Unmarried Separated ______________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________ 1st Mortgage Balance Interest Rate Monthly Payment Amount
Marital Status No. of dependents
FOR INTERNAL BANK USE ONLY
__________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ ___ Application was taken:
Name and Address of Employer 2nd Mortgage Balance Interest Rate Monthly Payment Amount
YES NO IN PERSON BY MAIL BY PHONE BY FAX
Position Annual Salary No. of years at job Self-employed? Dwelling Type (Single Family, Town House, Condo, etc.)
BRANCH NAME ______________________________________________________
Other Income-Include Source(s).* Email Address: ______________________________________________________________________
Type of Residence (Primary Residence, Vacation Home, Rental) REFERRED BY: ______________________________________________________
*You do not need to reveal income from alimony, child support or separate maintenance agreements unless you
want us to consider this income in connection with this application for credit. APPROVED: _______ DECLINED: _______ DATE:_________________________
It is required that all applicants applying for a Home Equity Line of Credit receive the
• Millennium Bank Privacy Statement
• Notice of Right to Receive Appraisal
• When Your Home is on the Line
While we are providing these documents to you now electronically, you have the right to
request them again on paper. If you wish to receive a printed copy (at no cost to you),
please call us toll free at (866) 639-3669 or write to:
Millennium Bank, N.A.
1601 Washington Plaza
Reston, VA 20190
At Millennium Bankshares Corporation, Millennium Bank, N.A. and Millennium Bank’s subsidiaries (together the
Bank), we respect your privacy. You have chosen to do business with us, and in return, we are obliged to keep your
information secure and confidential.
The Bank does not share customers’ non-public financial information with our corporate family and we do not share
your information with any third party list providers or sell your information to outsiders. At any time, you may contact
us if you have any questions about the sharing of information.
We value your trust. Maintaining security over your personal and financial information is one of our most critical
Our employees will only access information about you when needed to maintain your accounts, to consider a request
from you, or to exercise our rights under any agreement with you. Employees are trained and follow standards and
procedures designed to prevent misuse of your information. At no time will a Bank employee ask for your Internet
Banking Password, nor should it ever be given to anyone.
Accuracy of Information
We strive to maintain current information on all of our valued customers. If you find that our records are incomplete or
inaccurate, please let us know so that we can make corrections where necessary.
Information We Collect
• Information we receive on applications or other forms (name, address, phone number, or social security number)
• Information about transactions with us, our affiliates or others (account activity, payment history, account balance)
• Information from a consumer reporting agency (such as your credit worthiness or credit history)
We also collect and use various types of information, such as: information available from public records,
lifestyle and other demographic or survey information, and information supplied by you. We use this
information to service your accounts and to better understand the financial services you're interested in and
the best way to offer them to you.
We exercise care in controlling who receives information and what type of information is shared. The Bank will share
information only for legitimate business purposes, such as completing financial transactions you request. In-line with
our goal of providing a full complement of financial services, the Bank may also find the occasion to share information
with companies that provide services for us. Such companies might, for example, assist us in offering you certain
products and services. These companies act on our behalf and are obliged to keep the information that we provide to
Millennium Bank may also exchange or provide information with credit bureaus and similar organizations when legally
required or permitted in connection with an acquisition or sale, or in connection with a fraud investigation. If we receive
a subpoena or similar legal process demanding release of any information about you, we will generally attempt to notify
you before we comply with the request (unless we believe we are prohibited from doing so). Except as required by law
or as described above, we do not share information with outside parties, including government agencies.
For Your Information
To reduce the amount of advertising you receive from other companies, you can write to the following agencies:
For mail advertising: For telephone advertising:
Mail Preference Service National Do Not Call Registry
c/o Direct Marketing Assoc. donotcall.gov
P.O. Box 282 (888) 382-1222
Carmel, NY 10512
Please be sure to include complete information about each name, address and telephone number you would like
excluded from direct mail advertising and telemarketing. If you have moved within the last year, please also include
your old address and phone number. The same is true for name changes and the addresses and phone numbers
associated with each name.
We save your e-mail and e-mail address as well as our response so that we can properly address any follow-up
questions you may have. We also do this to meet legal and regulatory requirements.
You have two options for contacting us by email. 1) For general inquiries containing no confidential information, go to
www.millennumbank.com select Request Info, and then General Information. 2) For accountholder inquiries
containing personal account information, log on to our free Online Banking service, also located at
www.millenniumbank.com. Once logged into Online Banking, select “send message” in the Message Center box.
Your inquiries and our responses sent through our Message Center are secure and use Secure Socket Layer (SSL). You
may also contact us by phone, U.S. postal service, or by visiting any of our six branches in Virginia.
Internet Website Information
Whether you are a current customer or just visiting our Web site, we safeguard the information you provide to us at
When you access your online account, the information is sent in a “secure session” established with Secure Socket
Layer (SSL). If you submit an application online, you should end your browser session before leaving your computer.
We provide planning tools in our Internet web site that help you make the financial decisions right for you. We
encourage you to use these tools as often as you like. When you use various planning tools on our Web site, the
calculations run on either your PC or our server. We do not capture the personal information you provide on these
planning tools. Examples include the mortgage calculator and investment calculator.
You may also contact us directly if you have any questions about the sharing of information. Our general number is
703 464-0100. If you believe that we have not complied with your preference, please contact us at the telephone
number on your account statement, and we will be happy to investigate. To contact us in writing, please write to:
Millennium Bankshares Corporation, or Millennium Bank N.A.
1601 Washington Plaza
Reston VA 20190
Attn: Privacy Officer
MEMBER FDIC Last revised 2/2008
Millennium Bank, N.A.
1601 Washington Plaza
Reston, VA 20190
Telephone: (703) 464-0100
Fax Number: (703) 464-7974
Web Address: http://www.millenniumbank.com
HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT 2008
This disclosure contains important information about our HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT 2008. You should read it carefully and keep a copy for your records.
1. AVAILABILITY OF TERMS. All of the terms described below are subject to change. If these terms change (other than the annual percentage rate), and you
decide, as a result, not to enter into an agreement with us, you are entitled to a refund of any fees that you have paid to us or anyone else in connection with your
2. SECURITY INTEREST. We will take a security interest in your home. You could lose your home if you do not meet the obligations in your agreement with us.
3. POSSIBLE ACTIONS. Under certain circumstances, we can:
A. Terminate your line of credit, require you to pay us the entire outstanding balance in one payment, and charge you certain fees;
B. Refuse to make additional extensions of credit; and
C. Reduce your credit limit.
We can terminate your line of credit, require you to pay us the entire outstanding balance in one payment, and charge you certain fees if:
A. You engage in fraud or material misrepresentation in connection with the line of credit;
B. You fail to make a payment as required by the agreement; or
C. Your action or inaction adversely affects the collateral or our rights in the collateral.
We can refuse to make additional extensions of credit or reduce your credit limit if:
A. The value of the dwelling securing the line of credit declines significantly below its appraised value for purposes of the line of credit;
B. We reasonably believe you will not be able to meet the repayment requirements under the line of credit due to a material change in your financial
C. You are in default of a material obligation of the agreement;
D. Government action prevents us from imposing the annual percentage rate provided for in the agreement, or impairs our security interest such that the value
of the interest is less than 120 percent of the credit limit on the line of credit;
E. A regulatory agency has notified us that continued advances would constitute an unsafe and unsound practice; or
F. The maximum annual percentage rate is reached.
4. MINIMUM PAYMENT REQUIREMENTS. You can obtain credit advances for 120 months. During this period, payments will be due monthly. Your minimum
monthly payment will equal the following:
* The amount of accrued finance charges on the last day of the billing cycle.
The minimum payment amount will be rounded to the nearest $.01. The minimum monthly payments will not reduce the principal that is outstanding on your line
of credit by the end of 120 months. You will then be required to pay the entire balance in a single payment.
5. MINIMUM PAYMENT EXAMPLE. If you made only the minimum monthly payment and took no other credit advances, it would take 10 years to pay off a credit
advance of $10,000.00 at an ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE of 7.250%. During that period, you would make 119 payments of $60.42 with a final payment of
6. FEES AND CHARGES. You must pay certain fees to third parties, such as appraisers, credit reporting firms, and government agencies. These fees generally
total $250.00 to $1,800.00. If you ask, we will provide you with an itemization of the fees you will have to pay to third parties.
You must carry insurance on the property that secures the line of credit.
7. REFUNDABILITY OF FEES. If you decide not to enter into this plan within three days of receiving this disclosure and the Home Equity Booklet, you are entitled
to a refund of any fee you may have already paid.
8. MINIMUM DRAW REQUIREMENTS. The minimum credit advance that you can receive is $100.00.
9. TAX DEDUCTIBILITY. You should consult a tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest and charges for the line of credit.
10. VARIABLE RATE FEATURES. This line of credit has a variable rate feature and the annual percentage rate (corresponding to the periodic rate) and the
minimum monthly payment can change as a result. The annual percentage rate includes only interest and not other costs. The annual percentage rate is based on
the value of an index. The index is the base rate on corporate loans posted by at least 75% of the 30 largest U.S. banks known as the Wall Street Journal U.S.
Prime Rate and is published in the Wall Street Journal. To determine the annual percentage rate that will apply to your line of credit, we add a margin to the value
of the index and then round to the nearest .001 percent. Ask us for the current index value, margin, and annual percentage rate. After you open a line of credit,
rate information will be provided on periodic statements that we send you.
11. RATE CHANGES. The annual percentage rate can change daily. There is no limit on the amount by which the rate can change in any one year period. The
maximum ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE that can apply during the line of credit is 18.000 percent. The minimum ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE that can apply
during the line of credit is 4.500 percent.
HOME EQUITY EARLY DISCLOSURE
VA/52765436 -2000 Bankers Systems, Inc., St. Cloud, MN C Page 1
12. MAXIMUM RATE AND PAYMENT EXAMPLES. If you had an outstanding balance of $10,000.00 the minimum monthly payment at the maximum ANNUAL
PERCENTAGE RATE of 18.000 percent would be $150.00. The maximum annual percentage rate could be reached in the 1st month (1 month) following an initial
hold of 1 day.
13. ADDITIONAL TERMS. To obtain the lowest available rate, you must allow automatic debit of your loan payment from a Millennium Bank, N.A. account,
maintain your primary mortgage with us, or maintain a consumer deposit relationship with us of $10,000 or more. We will pay all closing costs associated with
your HELOC, as referred to in paragraph 6 above. If no appraisal is require, but you request that one be performed, you will be responsible for the upfront cost of
the appraisal and will be reimbursed for that cost at settlement. If you close your line in the first three years, you will be required to repay the amount of all
closing costs associated with your HELOC.
14. HISTORICAL EXAMPLES. The following table shows how the annual percentage rate and the minimum payments for a single $10,000.00 credit advance
would have changed based on changes in the index over the last 15 years. The index values are from the first business day of January. While only one payment
amount per year is shown, payments would have varied during each year. The table assumes that no additional credit advances were taken, that only the
minimum payment was made, and that the rate remained constant during each year. It does not necessarily indicate how the index or your payments would
change in the future.
Year Index Margin ANNUAL Minimum
(%) (%) PERCENTAGE Monthly
1994 6.000 0.000 6.000 50.00
1995 8.500 0.000 8.500 70.83
1996 8.500 0.000 8.500 70.83
1997 8.250 0.000 8.250 68.75
1998 8.500 0.000 8.500 70.83
1999 7.750 0.000 7.750 64.58
2000 8.500 0.000 8.500 70.83
2001 9.500 0.000 9.500 79.17
2002 4.750 0.000 4.750 39.58
2003 4.250 0.000 4.500 (K) 37.50 (P)
2004 4.000 0.000 4.500 (K) N/A
2005 5.250 0.000 5.250 N/A
2006 7.250 0.000 7.250 N/A
2007 8.250 0.000 8.250 N/A
2008 7.250 0.000 7.250 N/A
(K) This reflects a lifetime floor of 4.500 percent.
(P) At the end of this year a balloon payment of $10,037.50 would occur. You would be required to pay the entire balance in one payment.
This is not a commitment to make a loan.
HOME EQUITY EARLY DISCLOSURE
VA/52765436 -2000 Bankers Systems, Inc., St. Cloud, MN C Page 2
NOTICE OF RIGHT TO RECEIVE COPY OF APPRAISAL
MILLENNIUM BANK, N.A.
Bank Closing Department
1601 Washington Plaza
Reston, VA 20190
You have the right to a copy of the appraisal report used in connection with your
application for credit. If you wish to receive a copy please write to us at the mailing
address we have provided above.
We must hear from you no later than 90 days after we notify you about the action taken
on your credit application or you withdraw your application. In your letter, please give us
the following information:
• Loan or application number (if known)
• Date of application
• Name of loan applicant
• Property Address
• Current mailing address
Thank you for choosing Millennium Bank, N.A. We appreciate the opportunity to assist
you with your borrowing needs.
Equity Lending Programs
1601 Washington Plaza, Reston, Virginia 20190
Toll Free Phone: (866) 639-3669
Toll Free Fax: (866) 218-1403
Thank you for your interest in our equity lending programs. We offer a variety of borrowing options with no closing cost1 (as long as
the equity loan or line of credit is open for three years – no minimum balance or draw amount required).
Millennium Equity Line Expanded Equity Line
Rates as low as Prime – 0.50% (currently 4.50%APR) Rates as low as Prime + 0.00% (currently 5.00% APR)
Maximum Loan-to-Value of 80% Maximum Loan-to-Value of 90%
Affordable “interest only” monthly payments! Affordable “interest only” monthly payments!
Millennium Equity Loans Expanded Equity Loans
Rates as low as 7.50% (fixed rate) Rates as low as 8.00% (fixed rate)
5,10 and 15 year terms available 5,10 and 15 year terms available
Maximum Loan-to-Value of 80% Maximum Loan-to-Value of 90%
• Most Recent year-to-date pay stub for each wage-earning applicant (if income reported on a W-2), and prior years W-2
• Two years of tax returns and a year-to-date financial statement if self-employed (or if you have additional income sources
such as a rental property)
• Name, address, and phone number of homeowner’s insurance agent and policy number (or provide a copy of your policy)2
Additional information that may be requested:
• Copy of appraisal completed within the last twelvemonths if you would like us to consider it when determining your home
value (subject to bank approval)
• Copy of HUD1 Settlement Statement and Note from any refinance or new mortgage loan done within the last six months
(if you have refinanced your first mortgage or obtained/refinanced a second or third mortgage on your home).
• If you have an existing second and/or third mortgage on your home, we must receive a “payoff letter” prior to scheduling a
closing date for your equity loan/line. This “payoff letter” should include the balance due and a per diem (daily) interest
• If you are using the proceeds of the equity loan/line to payoff other debts, such as credit cards or auto loans, we will need a
copy of the credit card statement or a “payoff letter” from the lender prior to scheduling a closing date for your equity
This information can be faxed, emailed, or brought to us in person. See contact information above.
How to Determine Your Loan-to-Value Ratio:
Example A Example B
Value of Home: $300,000 Value of Home: $300,000
X 80% X 90%
Subtotal: $240,000 Subtotal: $270,000
Less 1st Mtg. Balance -$210,000 Less 1st Mtg. Balance -$210,000
Eligible Line Amount: $30,000 Eligible Line Amount: $60,000
The fee for an appraisal requested by an applicant to confirm home value is collected in advance from the applicant. The appraisal
fee is eligible for reimbursement after the equity line closes and the rescission period is over. If the line is closed within the first thirty-
six months, this fee would be added to the total closing costs to be repaid to Millennium Bank, N.A.
Sufficient homeowner’s insurance is required to be maintained on the property with Millennium Bank, N.A., listed as a lien holder
and loss payee.
More and more lenders are offering home equity
lines of credit. By using the equity in your home,
you may qualify for a sizable amount of credit,
available for use when and how you please, at an
interest rate that is relatively low.
Furthermore, under the tax law—depending on your
specific situation—you may be allowed to deduct
the interest because the debt is secured by your
If you are in the market for credit, a home equity
plan may be right for you. Or perhaps another form
of credit would be better. Before making a decision,
you should weigh carefully the costs of a home
equity line against the benefits. Shop for the credit terms that best meet your borrowing
needs without posing undue financial risk. And remember, failure to repay the amounts
you’ve borrowed, plus interest, could mean the loss of your home.
What is a home equity line of credit?
A home equity line of credit is a form of revolving credit in which your home serves as collateral.
Because the home is likely to be a consumer’s largest asset, many homeowners use their credit
lines only for major items such as education, home improvements, or medical bills and not for day-to-
With a home equity line, you will be approved for a specific amount of credit—your credit
limit, the maximum amount you may borrow at any one time under the plan. Many lenders
set the credit limit on a home equity line by taking a percentage (say, 75 percent) of the
home’s appraised value and subtracting from that the balance owed on the existing
mortgage. For example:
Appraised value of home $100,000
Percentage x 75%
Percentage of appraised value =$
Less balance owed on mortgage -$
Potential credit $ 35,000
In determining your actual credit limit, the lender will also consider your ability to repay, by
looking at your income, debts, and other financial obligations as well as your credit history.
Many home equity plans set a fixed period during which you can borrow money, such as 10
years. At the end of this “draw period,” you may be allowed to renew the credit line. If your
plan does not allow renewals, you will not be able to borrow additional money once the
period has ended. Some plans may call for payment in full of any outstanding balance at the
end of the period. Others may allow repayment over a fixed period (the “repayment
period”), for example, 10 years.
Once approved for a home equity line of credit, you will most likely be able to borrow up to
your credit limit whenever you want. Typically, you will use special checks to draw on your
line. Under some plans, borrowers can use a credit card or other means to draw on the line.
There may be limitations on how you use the line. Some plans may require you to borrow a
minimum amount each time you draw on the line (for example, $300) and to keep a
minimum amount outstanding. Some plans may also require that you take an initial advance
when the line is set up.
What should you look for when shopping for a plan?
If you decide to apply for a home equity line of credit, look for the plan that best meets your particular
needs. Read the credit agreement carefully, and examine the terms and conditions of various plans,
including the annual percentage rate (APR) and the costs of establishing the plan. The APR for a
home equity line is based on the interest rate alone and will not reflect the closing costs and other
fees and charges, so you’ll need to compare these costs, as well as the APRs, among lenders.
Interest rate charges and related plan features
Home equity lines of credit typically involve variable rather than fixed interest rates. The variable rate
must be based on a publicly available index (such as the prime rate published in some major daily
newspapers or a U.S. Treasury bill rate); the interest rate for borrowing under the home equity line
changes, mirroring fluctuations in the value of the index. Most lenders cite the interest rate you will
pay as the value of the index at a particular time plus a “margin,” such as 2 percentage points.
Because the cost of borrowing is tied directly to the value of the index, it is important to find out
which index is used, how often the value of the index changes, and how high it has risen in the past
as well as the amount of the margin.
Lenders sometimes offer a temporarily discounted interest rate for home equity lines—a rate
that is unusually low and may last for only an introductory period, such as 6 months.
Variable-rate plans secured by a dwelling must, by law, have a ceiling (or cap) on how much
your interest rate may increase over the life of the plan. Some variable-rate plans limit how
much your payment may increase and how low your interest rate may fall if interest rates
Some lenders allow you to convert from a variable interest rate to a fixed rate during the life
of the plan, or to convert all or a portion of your line to a fixed-term installment loan.
Plans generally permit the lender to freeze or reduce your credit line under certain
circumstances. For example, some variable-rate plans may not allow you to draw additional
funds during a period in which the interest rate reaches the cap.
Costs of establishing and maintaining a home equity line
Many of the costs of setting up a home equity line of credit are similar to those you paywhen
you buy a home. For example:
A fee for a property appraisal to estimate the va lue of your home
An application fee, which may not be refunded if you are turned down for credit
Up-front charges, such as one or more points (one point equals 1 percent of the credit
Closing costs, including fees for attorneys, title search, and mortgage preparation and
filing; property and title insurance; and taxes.
In addition, you may be subject to certain fees during the plan period, such as annual membership or
maintenance fees and a transaction fee every time you draw on the credit line.
You could find yourself paying hundreds of dollars to establish the plan. If you were to draw
only a small amount against your credit line, those initial charges would substantially
increase the cost of the funds borrowed. On the other hand, because the lender’s risk is
lower than for other forms of credit, as your home serves as collateral, annual percentage
rates for home equity lines are generally
lower than rates for other types of credit.
The interest you save could offset the costs
of establishing and maintaining the line.
Moreover, some lenders waive some or all
of the closing costs.
How will you repay your home
Before entering into a plan, consider how you
will pay back the money you borrow. Some
plans set minimum payments that cover a
portion of the principal (the amount you borrow)
plus accrued interest. But (unlike with the typical
installment loan) the portion that goes toward
principal may not be enough to repay the
principal by the end of the term. Other plans
may allow payment of interest alone during the
life of the plan, which means that you pay
nothing toward the principal. If you borrow
$10,000, you will owe that amount when the
Regardless of the minimum required
payment, you may choose to pay more, and many lenders offer a choic e of payment options.
Many consumers choose to pay down the principal regularly as they do with other loans. For
example, if you use your line to buy a boat, you may want to pay it off as you would a
typical boat loan.
Whatever your payment arrangeme nts during the life of the plan—whether you pay some, a
little, or none of the principal amount of the loan—when the plan ends you may have to pay
the entire balance owed, all at once. You must be prepared to make this “balloon payment”
by refinancing it with the lender, by obtaining a loan from another lender, or by some other
means. If you are unable to make the balloon payment, you could lose your home.
If your plan has a variable interest rate, your monthly payments may change. Assume, for
example, that you borrow $10,000 under a plan that calls for interest-only payments. At a 10
percent interest rate, your monthly payments would be $83. If the rate rises over time to 15
percent, your monthly payments will increase to $125. Similarly, if you are making
payments that cover interest plus some portion of the principal, your monthly payments may
increase, unless your agreement calls for keeping payments the same throughout the plan
If you sell your home, you will probably be required to pay off your home equity line in full
immediately. If you are likely to sell your home in the near future, consider whether it
makes sense to pay the up-front costs of setting up a line of credit. Also keep in mind that
renting your home may be prohibited under the terms of your agreement.
Lines of credit vs. traditional second morgage loans
If you are thinking about a home equity line of credit, you might also want to consider a traditional
second mortgage loan. A second mortgage provides you with a fixed amount of money repayable
over a fixed period. In most cases the payment schedule calls for equal payments that will pay off the
entire loan within the loan period. You might consider a second mortgage instead of a home equity
line if, for example, you need a set amount for a specific purpose, such as an addition to your home.
In deciding which type of loan best suits your needs, consider the costs under the two
alternatives. Look at both the APR and other charges. Do not, however, simply compare the
APRs, because the APRs on the two types of loans are figured differently:
The APR for a traditional second mortgage loan takes into account the interest rate
charged plus points and other finance charges.
The APR for a home equity line of credit is based on the periodic interest rate alone. It
does not include points or other charges.
Disclosures from lenders
The federal Truth in Lending Act requires lenders to disclose the important terms and costs
of their home equity plans, including the APR, miscellaneous charges, the payment terms,
and information about any variable-rate feature. And in general, neither the lender nor
anyone else may charge a fee until after you have received this information. You usually get
these disclosures when you receive an application form, and you will get additional
disclosures before the plan is opened. If any term (other than a variable-rate feature) changes
before the plan is opened, the lender must return all fees if you decide not to enter into the
plan because of the change.
When you open a home equity line, the transaction puts your home at risk. If the home involved is
your principal dwelling, the Truth in Lending Act gives you 3 days from the day the account was
opened to cancel the credit line. This right allows you to change your mind for any reason. You
simply inform the lender in writing within the 3-day period. The lender must then cancel its security
interest in your home and return all fees—including any application and appraisal fees—paid to open
Annual membership or maintenance fee
An annual charge for having the line of credit available. Charged regardless of whether
or not the line is used.
Annual percentage rate (APR)
The cost of credit on a yearly basis expressed as a percentage.
Fees that are paid upon application. May include charges for property appraisal and a
A lump-sum payment that may be required when the plan ends.
A limit on how much the variable interest rate may increase during the life of the plan.
Fees paid at closing, including attorneys fees, fees for preparing and filing a mortgage,
fees for title search, taxes, and insurance.
The maximum amount that may be borrowed under the home equity plan.
The difference between the fair market value (appraised value) of the home and the
outstanding mortgage balance.
Published rate that serves as a base for the interest rate charged on a home equity line
and also as the base for rate changes used by the lender.
The periodic charge, expressed as a percentage, for use of credit.
The number of percentage points the lender adds to the index rate to determine the
annual percentage rate.
The minimum amount that you must pay (usually monthly) on your account. Under
some plans, the minimum payment may cover interest only; under others, it may
include both principal and interest.
One point is equal to 1 percent of the amount of the credit line. Points must usually be
paid at closing and are in addition to monthly interest.
An interest that a lender takes in the borrower’s property to ensure repayment of a
A fee charged each time you draw on your credit line.
An interest rate that changes periodically in relation to an index. Payments may
increase or decrease accordingly.
Where to Go for Help
The following federal agencies are responsible for enforcing the federal Truth in Lending Act, the law
that governs disclosure of terms for home equity lines of credit.
Questions concerning compliance with the act by a particular financial institution should be directed to the
institution’s enforcement agency.
State Banks that Are Members of the Federal Reserve System
Division of Consumer and Community Affairs
Mail Stop 801
Federal Reserve Board
Washington DC 20551
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Customer Assistance Unit
1301 McKinney St.
Houston, TX 77010
Federal Credit Unions
National Credit Union Administration
Office of Public and Congressional Affairs
1775 Duke St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Federally Insured Non-Member State-Chartered Banks and Savings Banks
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Consumer Response Center
2345 Grand Boulevard
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
Federally Insured Savings and Loan Institutions and Federally Chartered Savings Banks
Office of Thrift Supervision
1700 G Street, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20552
(202) 906-6237 or (800) 842-6929
Mortgage Companies and Other Lenders
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
(202) 326-3758 or (877) FTC -HELP
Home Equity Plan Checklist Ask your lender to help fill out this checklist. 
Basic Features Plan A Plan B
Fixed annual percentage rate
Variable annual percentage rate
• Index used and current value
• Amount of margin
• Frequency of rate adjustments
• Amount/length of discount (if any)
• Interest rate cap and floor
Length of Plan
Up-front charges, including points
Repayment Terms Plan A Plan B
During the draw period
Interest and principal payments
Fully amortizing payments
When the draw period ends
Refinancing of balance by lender?