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Volume 2014 - Number 12

June 6, 2014

IO HELOCs a Concern but Still Available

Wells Fargo received some attention this week when officials at the bank reiterated that Wells doesn’t offer interest-only home-equity lines of credit to borrowers with less than $1.0 million in assets. While the bank first announced the change in November and has suggested that other lenders should follow suit, plenty of other banks still offer IO HELOCs despite concerns about borrowers’ ability to repay the loans. IO HELOCs are particularly desirable for borrowers as they offer lower payments and more flexibility than HELOCs that require payment of principal and interest or closed-end second liens. Banks have taken a closer look at HELOC originations in recent years as IO HELOCs originated before the financial crisis are set to turn 10-years old, hitting their end-of-draw periods. At that time, HELOC borrowers are required to make principal payments significantly higher than the monthly IO payment previously owed on the loan. Officials at Wells said...

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