A new product from Wells Fargo gives homeowners the ability to manage their home as an asset in a changing interest-rate environment. The SmartFit Home Equity Account combines the flexibility of a home equity line of credit with the control of a home equity loan in one account.

The account enables homeowners to access their home equity at an initial fixed rate for a three-, five- or seven-year term. During this initial fixed-rate term, minimum required monthly payments are interest-only. Homeowners have the choice to make payments toward principal at any time without penalty as long as the account remains open.

As the principal is paid down, the account offers ongoing access to the available credit. At the end of the initial fixed-rate term, the balance is converted into a revolving line of credit or can be refinanced to a fully amortized fixed rate for up to 30 years.

The SmartFit Home Equity Account can be used for major home renovations, consolidating higher interest bills, educational or medical expenses or to buy an automobile. Low monthly payments allow customers to increase their cash flow in order to preserve cash for savings accounts or other investments. Interest paid on a home equity line of credit or loan is potentially tax deductible.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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