Hurricane season is well underway, causing many in the Southeast to stay cognizant of inclement weather coming ashore. Concerns range from the health and safety of loved ones to impacts on the community to damage to your home and properties. When a worst-case scenario hits, sometimes the waiting game for insurance adjustors only adds to your emotional toll. One way to access emergency funds quicker to ensure you and your family are back on your feet is through a home equity line of credit (HELOC).
A HELOC uses the equity in your home to provide a revolving line of credit. This means that as you pay off the credit advanced to you, you can use the credit line again throughout the term of your agreement. Money will be advanced to you up to your credit limit. The interest rate on a HELOC can also be lower than other types of loans such as an unsecured loan.
If a consumer has already secured a HELOC, these funds can be used during a hurricane for many immediate costs that can arise after the storm hits. You may need extra cash for repairs to your home such as removing water, cleaning mold, fixing the roof, replacing windows or repairing your vehicle. Other daily expenses can cause a need for unanticipated cashflow, including:
- Rent– If your home is currently uninhabitable, you may need to find a temporary-stay rental or a hotel until repairs can be made.
- Meals– This one is true, especially if you sustained kitchen damage, or stay in a hotel without a robust kitchen. The food that was in your pantries and refrigerator may have gone bad, and so you may either be replacing a fridge or calling in more to-go orders than usual.
- Pet boarding– While no one wants to part with their animals for any period of time, maybe the only temporary living situation you can find does not allow your furry friends to follow you. They may need to stay with a sitter or boarding service, with those expenses racking up.
- Ride Sharing or Car Rental– If your car sustained damage, it’s likely that others are in the same predicament leading to long lines at the mechanic. You may need to utilize a ride-share app or program, or use a car rental agency if you need a vehicle more than a few times per day.
- Electronics– In today’s world, almost everything seems to revolve around computers and smartphones. If your devices were impacted by the storm, you may need to invest in one or multiple new phones or laptops to get everything back on track.
It is up to you to decide where you would stand financially should your home find its way in the throes of a hurricane’s path, and whether or not you can wait for the insurance adjustors to see to your case. If you have questions, a HELOC could be an option for you to gain peace of mind this hurricane season.
Reviewed July 2023
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Ameris Bank does not endorse nor is affiliated with the companies listed in this article.
All loans are subject to credit approval. This document is not a complete description of all eligibility requirements. Additional program restrictions and limitations may apply.
Consult a tax adviser for further information regarding the deductibility of interest and charges.