Strategies for Paying Off Your HELOC

February 16, 2024 by Partner Colorado Credit Union

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a flexible financial tool that allows homeowners to borrow against the equity in their home. It operates as a revolving credit line, letting you withdraw funds as needed, up to a set limit. Monthly payments can vary based on the outstanding balance and repayment terms.

When it comes to paying off your HELOC, developing a repayment strategy involves taking a look at your financial situation, setting clear goals, and implementing plans to pay off the debt efficiently. Here's a guide to help you develop a repayment strategy for your HELOC.

Review Your HELOC Terms

Start by reviewing the terms of your HELOC, including the interest rate, repayment period, and any associated fees. Understanding the specifics of your loan will help you formulate an effective repayment plan.

Create a Budget

Start by understanding your income and expenses. Knowing how much you can realistically set aside for your HELOC repayment each month is crucial.

When creating your budget, establish a clear and realistic timeline for paying off your HELOC. You can use our free online calculator to help you determine a timeline. Setting specific goals will help keep you motivated and focused on your repayment efforts.

If you need help tracking your spending, you can use My Financial Partner. It’s our free online financial management tool that lets you track your spending, create a budget and set your financial goals.

Prioritize the HELOC

One of the best strategies to paying off your HELOC is to make it one of your top priorities when it comes to paying off debt. Try setting aside as much money as possible toward your HELOC payment, while making the minimum payments on all your other debts. This approach can help you pay off your HELOC sooner.

Increase Monthly Payments

Paying more than the minimum requirement each month can significantly reduce the time it takes to pay off your HELOC. Even small increases in your monthly payment can make a big difference in the long run. The sooner you pay off your HELOC, the less interest you’ll end up paying.

Make Biweekly Payments

Another strategy you could consider is making biweekly payments. By doing this, you make 26 half-payments each year, which equals 13 full payments. You end up making an extra monthly payment by the end of the year. This strategy can help you pay off your HELOC faster and save on interest.

Use Extra Income and Bonuses

Whenever you receive unexpected income, such as a tax refund, work bonus, or inheritance, consider putting a portion or all of it toward your HELOC. Extra income provides an excellent opportunity to make a significant dent on your HELOC balance.

Explore Refinancing Options

If your HELOC has a high interest rate or unfavorable terms, explore refinancing options to secure a lower rate or more favorable loan terms. Refinancing your HELOC could help reduce your monthly payment and save you money on interest over time.

Avoid Taking on More Debt

While you're focused on paying off your HELOC, avoid taking on additional debt whenever possible. This includes avoiding new credit card debt or applying for loans that could derail your progress.

Stay Disciplined

Stick to your repayment plan and stay disciplined with your budgeting and spending habits, and resist the temptation to use your home equity for non-essential purchases or expenses.

Track Your Progress

Monitor your progress regularly and adjust your repayment strategy as needed. Celebrate milestones along the way, such as reaching a certain percentage of your HELOC repayment. Keeping track of your progress will help you stay motivated and committed to your goals.

Seek Professional Advice

If you're struggling to develop a repayment strategy or manage your debt effectively, consider seeking advice from a financial advisor. They can provide personalized guidance and support to help you navigate your financial challenges and achieve your goals.

If you’re a Partner Colorado member, you can take advantage of our Partners in Financial Wellness program. We’ve partnered with GreenPath to provide you access to a financial wellness expert who can discuss your finances and create a personalized plan to meet your needs.

By following this guide and implementing a well-thought-out repayment strategy, you can successfully pay off your HELOC and achieve greater financial freedom. Remember to stay focused, disciplined, and proactive in managing your debt, and don't hesitate to seek help if you need it.