every cloud has a silver lining
Illustration: Ellen Weinstein
« »

The Details

After years of overzealous lending to high-risk borrowers, banks have closed the proverbial barn door and tightened up their standards. But for anyone with three things—a good credit rating, at least 20 percent equity left in his or her home, and proof of income—lenders are as eager as ever to extend fat lines of credit. "They need to offset all of those bad loans with quality ones," says Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve's cuts have driven down home-equity interest rates from 8.25 percent to 6.4 percent in the past six months alone, and analysts expect them to fall even further.
Ask TOH users about Befores and Afters

Contribute to This Story Below