More Borrowers Taking Out Home Equity Lines of Credit

Back when the real estate market was hot, in the mid-2000s, people were borrowing against the equity in their homes for pretty much anything and everything. In 2005, in fact, American homeowners borrowed more than $350 billion.  After the economy crashed, whether out of fear or because their homes no longer had equity, people stopped borrowing against their homes.

In 2011, home equity borrowing was down to about $73 billion, just about a fifth of what it was during the real estate hey-days. But since then, it’s been gradually increasing.  In 2014, Americans borrowed about $121 billion against their homes.  In 2015, that amount went up by 20%, to about $146 billion.  As the values of their homes increase, borrowers are taking advantage of their newfound (or returned) equity to update their homes, among other things.

Of course, it’s still not always easy to get a loan, what with tight lending criteria, but it’s easier than it was a few years ago!