My Personal Finance Journey

Personal finance observation, musing and decisions in a journey toward financial independence by 2020 with at least $3 million.


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$30,000 HELOC Closed

Contributed by mm | July 22, 2004 3:54 PM PST

Yesterday I closed my Home Equity Line of Credit of $30,000. It's a very streamlined process that only takes 20 minutes on the phone and a visit to my credit union's branch to sign a few documents. As expected, there is no closing fee of this line of credit, and the rate is Prime + 0.50%. Yes, there is $25 annual fee, but at $2/month it is a nice price to pay for liquidity insurance.

With the access to $30,000 now, it is now time to think about how to creatively leverage my capital structure. I am exploring some ideas like stable value funds or bank loan funds. I can see some opportunities of doing carry trade, but the margin is too low (like 2-3% annually) and there is little room for error. I may probably spend more time in research before taking any actions.

(By the way, my credit limit on the Visa with the credit union was also boosted from $5,000 to $13,000, bringing my total credit limit from credit cards to $68,200.)

This Post Has Received 55 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


Ron Commented on September 6, 2004

In most personal finance advice books, the idea of a rainy-day fund is promoted. Books of that kind usually promote the need to build a cash fund equal to 3 - 6 months of income. In keeping with that information, I used to keep $10K in a money-market account that was making about 1% a year, just in case.

I decided to keep a $20K HELOC, instead. The problem is that if I were to need the money, I would incur a debt instead of having the cash available and not having to take on debt.

So, I'm not certain about the value of a HELOC except as a source of cash in excess of cash on hand if a really good investment opportunity was to pop up.

Still, because I am within three years of early retirement, I am out of the stock market and in cash or equivalents. So, I have the liquidity if the right opportunity presented itself.

The thing is, I planned my retirement based on that same $1M threshold, and I am right where I should be: so I don't really need any other opportunity.

So, what is the value in the liquidity of a HELOC, even if it costs almost nothing?


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