Why is it So Hard to Get a Home Equity Loan?

Many homeowners long to hear the magic words: “Your home equity loan is approved.” But for most, this type of loan, which allows a homeowner to borrow against the equity in the home, is hard to get.

The typical barriers are lack of equity, impaired credit and inadequate income to support additional borrowing. Of those, negative equity, also referred to as being “upside down” or “underwater,” may be the most daunting hurdle.

More than 27 percent of U.S. homeowners who had a mortgage were in a negative home equity position or had less than 5 percent equity in their home as of Sept. 30, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data service in Santa Ana, Calif.

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