Home Equity Lines of Credit May Provide Additional Liquidity for Businesses and Families

The SBA has announced they are unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on current funding.

However, there is a large source of other potential emergency funding for businesses and families: their home equity.

For the first time in several decades, and as a consequence of the financial crises of 2008, Americans have been deleveraging their homes. Home mortgages, on average, now represent only about 33%–or one third–of the overall value of an average American home. The number of Home Equity Lines of Credit have decreased every year since 2009.

For those people looking to refinance an existing mortgage, or take out a home equity line of credit, new, lower interest rates make for an excellent time to do it.  In March, the Federal Reserve dropped the interest rate to zero in response to COVID-19. The Fed cut its benchmark by a full percentage point to zero, the benchmark U.S interest rate is now in the range of 0 to .25 percent. Since the feds cut by a full percentage point, many banks did the same lowering prime from 4.25 to 3.25 percent. The result is that home equity lines of credit are now much more affordable for business owners and homeowners in general.

As we can see from recent SBA announcements, there is no guarantee that the large-scale government programs (PPP) will get money to Americans who need it most. However, a refinance of an existing mortgage or Home Equity Line of Credit could be a welcome lifeline to a family.

For more information on refinancing, contact Carl Little at carl@snw.law or 504-304-5846