Just ask Joel, an Unlock customer in southern California.
“I was in trouble with my credit card utilization* – to the point that it was nearing 100%,” he says. Over the past few years, with living expenses rising, and dealing with an overall high cost of living in California, Joel explains that he was leveraging credit cards to make ends meet.
He was making payments on time, avoiding late fees, but only making minimum payments. As interest rates went up – his APR rose to 20% – so did his minimum payments. His credit score was decreasing, and he couldn’t make a dent in the large, accumulated balances. “It all left me in very bad shape.”
Initially, he wanted to leave his home equity alone. So, he obtained a personal loan to help pay for everyday expenses, with the intent of paying down some of the credit card debt. As time went on, though, he found his debt balances were not going down. He also considered debt settlement, which he said would be a long, lengthy process, and was not for him.
That led him back to accessing his home equity. He started by looking into a home equity line of credit but found there was a minimum credit score requirement of 680. Then he considered a (cash-out) refinance, but that wasn’t going to work with rising mortgage interest rates, and again, his credit score.
“There must be something else.”
Joel recalls saying that to himself as he began an online search for alternatives. He quickly discovered Unlock. After reading up on how a home equity agreement (HEA) works, he thought, “This is exactly what I’m looking for.” An Unlock representative helped solidify his initial impressions: “Everything was transparent; nothing was hidden,” he says.
He found the Unlock Technologies HEA application platform “simple and straightforward.” He especially appreciated the tracking feature that allowed him to know exactly where his application stood at any time. “The most frustrating part about applying for credit is that you don’t know what’s going on; the creditor may be silent or have poor communication,” he explains. “That’s not the case with Unlock. With their platform, I knew exactly where things were throughout the process.”
Joel used the online platform to upload required documents, which “were minimal” compared with the traditional mortgage process. “It was so simple.”
Once he received his HEA funds, Joel quickly paid down his credit card debt. Instead of close to 100% utilization, it dropped below 10%. He is seeing a gradual increase in his credit score. His stress is reduced. “The HEA has helped refresh my lifestyle,” he adds. “Now, I think through how to manage my expenses more wisely.”
“The HEA product is a game changer that has allowed me to decrease the utilization of my credit cards and ultimately improve my credit score,” he concludes. “I’m really glad the HEA is available to homeowners.”
* Credit card utilization is the percent of “available credit” you use on your credit cards.
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