Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
Home equity revolving lines of credit have hit a three-year high, indicating that there is some confidence returning to the real estate market. These lines of credit had taken a major hit over the course of recession, as many homeowners watched their home values plummet. Already underwater in their mortgages or nervous that they would lose more value in their homes and would have little equity against which to borrow, fewer homeowners were able to open home equity lines of credit, and originations dropped off as the recession took hold.
Home equity revolving lines of credit work in a similar manner to credit cards. Lenders set a credit limit, and homeowners can borrow what they want when they want it—but they are borrowing against the equity available in their home. As homeowners repay the loan, they replenish the amount of cash available in the line of credit.
The number of new revolving home equity lines of credit opened between January 2012 and July 2012—the most recent date this data was available—stood at 495,000, a three-year high. However, that number is more than 76 percent lower than the seven-year high of more than two million new lines of credit opened between January 2006 and July 2006. And after peaking at $680 billion in May 2009, these credit lines fell 20 percent to a total of $553 billion in July 2012.
“Increasing new home equity revolving credit indicates homeowner confidence and momentum towards an improved market,” said Craig Crabtree, senior vice president and general manager of Equifax Mortgage Services. “While the levels are significantly lower when compared to pre-recession peaks, the recent stability has given way to consistent growth. Total first mortgages are still contracting; however, the decreasing debt and delinquencies are positive signs of a stable foundation towards recovery.”
Since mid-year 2007, usage of these lines of credit has increased for those who already had them available. In 2007, homeowners were using a little less than 48 percent of their available credit, which has since increased to around 55 percent in 2012—nearly a $200 billion difference.
But even that number has been declining since its peak in early 2011, meaning that homeowners have begun to pay off some of the credit they owe, releasing some of their available credit. That’s a good thing for pinched homeowners, as credit availability is one of the factors involved in calculating a credit score.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.