Home repair emergencies can occur without much warning and, when you have more than one, you can find that your savings are insufficient. This can leave you in a bind as a homeowner with repairs that must be completed in a short time. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can fund those repairs when you don’t have the cash on hand.
Use Your Home’s Equity
Depending on the length of time you have owned your home, you may have enough equity in the property to help you finance those repairs. You can apply with your lender for a home equity loan or a HELOC (home equity line of credit), but either option requires that you have a minimum of 20% equity in your home. Many homeowners prefer the line of credit because it can help them save on interest. With a home equity loan, borrowing $20,000 means paying interest on that full amount. However, a HELOC lets you draw up to your approved amount and only pay interest on the money you draw. If you only use $15,000 of the approved $20,000, you’ll only pay interest on the $15,000.
Use a Refinance Cash-Out
This option involves refinancing your home with a new mortgage or a second mortgage. However, while a traditional refinance means taking out a smaller loan to cover what you still owe on the original mortgage, a refinance cash-out involves taking out a larger mortgage. If you owe $120,000 on your home, refinancing with a $140,000 loan gives you that extra $20,000 to fund your repairs. This option can be more advantageous if you want to avoid creating more debt with a HELOC.
Look into Government Programs
Your local government may offer financial assistance to homeowners with a need for emergency home repairs. Similarly, the federal government may also offer assistance through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most government programs have income restrictions and other requirements to be eligible for aid, so you will have to research your options with those agencies. If your home repair emergencies result from a natural disaster, you may also be eligible for recovery relief from FEMA. It may take some time, but you can find more options to help you get the financial aid you need from the government.