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Home Equity Line of Credit Lock Feature: You can switch outstanding variable interest rate balances to a fixed rate during the draw period using the Chase Fixed Rate Lock Option. You may have up to five separate locks on a single HELOC account at one time. There is no fee to switch to a fixed rate, but there is a fee of 1% of the original lock amount if the lock is cancelled after 45 days of the lock date. Minimum lock amount is $1,000 and maximum lock amount is up to 95% of the credit limit at closing or 100% after closing. The minimum lock term is 12 months and the maximum term depends on the remaining term of your HELOC. All locks must be paid in full not later than 2 months before the final HELOC account maturity date.
Home-equity lines of credit. These mortgages work kind of like credit cards: Lenders give you a ceiling to which you can borrow; then they charge interest on only the amount used. You can draw funds when you need them — a plus if your project spans many months. Some programs have a minimum withdrawal, while others have checkbook or credit-card access with no minimum. There are no closing costs. Interest rates are adjustable, with most tied to the prime rate. Most programs require repayment after 8 to 10 years. Banks, credit unions, brokerage houses, and finance companies all market these loans aggressively. Credit lines, fees, and interest rates vary widely, so shop carefully. Watch out for lenders that suck you in with a low initial rate, then jack it up. Find out how high the rate rises and how it's figured. And be sure to compare the total annual percentage rate (APR) and the closing costs separately. This differs from other mortgages, where costs, such as appraisal, origination, and title fees, are figured into a bottom-line APR for comparison.
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