The MTA Advantage is a publication of MTA Benefits, a subsidiary of the Massachusetts Teachers Association
Considering a home equity loan?
A home equity loan versus a home equity line of credit
“We help customers with the loan process,
reviewing their financial needs and expectations
while working in accordance with compliance
regulations,” said Stephanie Reusswig, vice
president and retail loan manager at Berkshire
Bank. “Our team is trained to help each individual
customer achieve short- and long-term goals.”
Berkshire Bank offers home equity loans and lines
of credit of up to 80 percent of the value3 of
your home, and in some cases up to 85 percent,
depending on a range of credit factors. Knowing
what each home equity product offers allows you
to determine which option best meets your needs.
; Home Equity Loan
The borrower receives a lump-sum
disbursement from the lender, minus any costs.
The payment and interest rate are
fixed, with a variety of terms available.
; Home Equity Line of Credit
The borrower receives a revolving line of credit
to use as needed. The monthly interest rate is
variable, and payments are calculated on the
current balance. This option includes a “draw”
period with a minimum interest-only payment,
followed by an amortized (principal and
interest) repayment period.
‘Know before you owe’ home equity loans
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s
“know before you owe” regulations are now in
effect. These rules affect how loans on residential
properties are disclosed. The regulations are
designed to safeguard consumers by providing
disclosures that are clear and easy to understand.
This enables consumers to shop and compare
lender rates and conditions easily. A simpler process
Within three business days of your application
for a home equity loan, you will receive a loan
estimate that includes the interest rate, term,
conditions, payment information and comparable
cost information. Each lender is required to
use the same form, so the information can be
readily reviewed and compared. If you decide to
proceed with the loan, you submit your intention
to proceed to the bank and the loan process
begins. At that time, any required verifying
documentation — such as pay stubs, tax returns
and insurance — will be requested.
Once your loan application has been evaluated
and approved, you will receive a copy of the
closing disclosure at least three full business
days before closing. This allows you to review
final closing costs and loan information. Once
you have completed the scheduled closing and
signed all of the required closing documents, the
loan is funded and your funds are disbursed4. Special benefits for MTA members
As an MTA partner, Berkshire Bank offers special
savings to MTA members when they take out a
home equity loan or line of credit. Please contact
Berkshire Bank for details. MTA members are
also eligible for an Elite Relationship Checking
account with no monthly maintenance fees, and
they have access to My Banker, a free concierge
service providing 24-hour access to a specialized
banking representative who responds to MTA
1 A lien is placed against your property as collateral.
2 Consult with a tax specialist regarding tax benefits.
3 An inspection by a licensed appraiser is required.
4 If the subject property is a primary residence, the loan is subject
to a three-day rescission period prior to funding. This gives the
borrower three days to rescind the loan for any reason.
MTA members can apply for a home equity loan or line of credit in person at any Berkshire Bank office.
Call 866.475.HOME (4663) or apply online at www.berkshire.com.
Here’s what you should know about new regulations
Home equity loans and lines of credit can be viable options when you need funds for home improvements,
a down payment on another home or another major purchase. If you use the equity in your home to receive
secured credit 1, financing options with low interest rates and potential tax benefits2 become available.
You need to be informed so that you will make the decision that is best for you and your situation.
“We help customers with the
loan process, reviewing their
financial needs and expectations
while working in accordance
with compliance regulations.
Our team is trained to help each
individual customer achieve
short- and long-term goals.”
— Stephanie Reusswig, vice president and
retail loan manager, Berkshire Bank