If you use funds from a home equity loan or a HELOC for home improvements, you can deduct interest on up to $750,000. In fact, the only way that interest on these loans is deductible is if you use them for home improvements.
Is HELOC Interest Tax Deductible? HELOC interest is tax deductible only if the borrowed funds are used to buy, build, or substantially improve the taxpayer's home that secures the loan. At Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal), we make getting a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) easier. Call 866.287.
While the interest paid on home equity loans can be tax-deductible, there are some limitations. To be tax-deductible, you must use the home equity loan to “buy, build or substantially improve” the home that was used to secure the loan.
For 2021, you can deduct the interest paid on home equity proceeds used only to “buy, build or substantially improve a taxpayer's home that secures the loan,” the IRS says.
Currently, interest on home equity money that you borrow after 2017 is only tax deductible for buying, building, or improving properties. This law applies from 2018 until 2026.
First, the funds you receive through a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) are not taxable as income - it's borrowed money, not an increase your earnings. Second, in some areas you may have to pay a mortgage recording tax when you take out a home equity loan.
A second mortgage is paid out in one lump sum at the beginning of the loan, and the term and monthly payments are fixed. A HELOC is a revolving line of credit that allows you to borrow up to a certain amount and make monthly payments on just the balance you've borrowed so far.
Typically, a HELOC's draw period is between five and 10 years. Once the HELOC transitions into the repayment period, you aren't allowed to withdraw any more money, and your monthly payment will include principal and interest.
Loan payment example: on a $100,000 loan for 180 months at 5.79% interest rate, monthly payments would be $832.55.
Dave Ramsey advises his followers to avoid home equity loans and HELOCs. Although it might seem like home equity loans might make sense if homeowners are trying to quickly pay down credit card debt in their quest to become debt-free, he still does not recommend home equity debt.
If you're currently paying for PMI, a home equity loan could raise your PMI premiums substantially, and you could be on the hook for PMI payments for a much longer period of time than you would if you didn't tap into your home equity.
If you have multiple high-interest credit balances, you can use a HELOC to pay down your debt faster and reduce the interest you pay. With a HELOC you can consolidate credit card and personal loans payments at potentially lower interest rates. Using a HELOC to consolidate debt can make your debt easier to manage.
Interest on home equity loans and lines of credit are deductible only if the borrowed funds are used to buy, build, or substantially improve the taxpayer's home that secures the loan. The loan must be secured by the taxpayer's main home or second home (qualified residence), and meet other requirements.
What Home Equity Loan Interest Is Tax Deductible? All of the interest on your home equity loan is deductible as long as your total mortgage debt is $750,000 (or $1 million) or less, you itemize your deductions, and, according to the IRS, you use the loan to “buy, build or substantially improve” your home.
A personal line of credit is not tax deductible, and if the IRS determines that you used funds from the line of credit for your own expenses rather than for the business, the business deduction will not be allowed.
PMI premiums are based on your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, which compares your mortgage balance to your home's value. A home equity loan lets you tap into your home's equity without selling or refinancing the house. Because a home equity loan can change your LTV ratio, it can affect your PMI.
The Bottom Line
Home equity loans are secured against your home, so you can't borrow more than the value of the equity you hold in your home. Your equity is the value of your home minus the amount you owe on your first mortgage. Lenders may be able to lend you up to 85% of this value.
Since HELOCs sometimes have lower interest rates than mortgages, you could save money and potentially pay off your mortgage sooner. Even if the rates are similar, refinancing your first mortgage with a HELOC might still be the best choice for you.
HELOCs allow you to make interest-only payments during the draw period, then you make principal and interest payments after. Additional principal payments on a home equity line of credit reduce your monthly payments.
To pay off a HELOC faster, make additional payments each month to be applied to the principal balance or refinance the debt to avoid variable interest rates.
For example, on a $50,000 HELOC with a 5% interest rate, the payment during the draw period is $208. Whereas, during the repayment period the monthly payment can jump to $330 if it is over 20 years.
Because it has a minimum monthly payment and a limit, a HELOC can directly affect your credit score since it looks like a credit card to credit agencies. It's important to manage the amount of credit you have since a HELOC typically has a much larger balance than a credit card.