You are asking a common question. Let us start by defining some terms.
What are home equity lines of credit?
Home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, are not first mortgages, and are therefore not reported to the credit bureaus as secured first mortgages. Both mortgages and HELOCs are secured by your real property, but unlike a primary mortgage, which pays out the full amount of the loan amount at the time of closing, a HELOC provides you with a line of credit against which you can borrow at your discretion, up to a predetermined credit limit.
You can think of a HELOC as a low-interest credit card that is secured by your home. Like a credit card, your monthly payment is based on the amount of your available credit you have used. The repayment of home equity lines is divided into two periods, each with a different payment requirement. The "draw" period, typically the first 15 years of the loan term, is the time that you can borrow money on your equity line -- during this period, your monthly payment is usually interest only, meaning that your payment must cover the interest on your outstanding balance. During the "repayment" period, typically the second 15 years, you will no longer be able to draw on the equity line, and your payment will be calculated to repay the balance of the loan by then end of the 15 year period. Because HELOCs provide you with a line of credit which you may use at your discretion, they are frequently categorized as revolving accounts. Therefore, it is appropriate for your lenders to report your home equity lines as revolving accounts.
However, if you would like the loans reclassified as non-RV loans (e.g., simply stated as a HELOC, or a rental property loan) you should contact your lender. I cannot guarantee, but I do not believe that this will have a significant impact on your credit score.
How does a HELOC affect my credit score?
Credit scoring is too complicated a calculation for me to determine whether or not these loans are negatively impacting your credit score. If you have maxed out your available credit on the equity lines, they may be damaging your credit, as would any maxed out revolving credit account. If you are able to pay down the principal balances on these credit lines, you may reduce the negative influence they are having on your credit score. Also, you may be able to refinance these notes into a mortgage. However, you should check with your lenders to make sure you will not run into pre-payment penalties or other fees for paying off the HELOCs early.
If you want to try to refi, Bills.com makes it easy to compare mortgage offers and different loan types. Please visit the loan page and find a loan that meets your needs at: Mortgage Refinance Quote
I invite you to view Bills.com site for more information about home equity lines of credit and home equity loans.
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