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Lakeside Bank is not only concerned with taking necessary safety precautions during the coronavirus crisis, it is also working to provide a vital financial lifeline to customers in a manner only a community bank can do.

"Access to credit is always a priority during trying times," said Bobby Broussard, Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending, "and our business depends on the health and vitality of individuals, families and businesses in our community. We're working to help them in any way we can."

One of the ways Lakeside Bank is helping is a Home Equity Line
of Credit (HELOC) with a guaranteed low interest rate of 2.727 percent
for the first year. The offer is available through December of this year.

"A home equity line of credit is primarily used for home improvements," said Broussard, "but it can be used for other expenses."

While COVID has impacted everyone, it has not impacted everyone in the same way. A Lakeside Bank HELOC can be used for vehicle, boat or RV purchase, college expenses, to pay off debts with a higher rate of interest, keep capital in reserve, put in a swimming pool or purchase investment property with an eye on generating retirement income.

A home equity loan is a revolving line of credit based on the amount of equity in the home. With each mortgage payment, the homeowner gains or owns more equity in the home. For example, if $50,000 has been paid on a $250,000 property (not including interest), the owner can re-borrow a percentage of (or make draws on) that amount.

"You can borrow what you need, pay it back in full or partially, and have access to available credit again," Broussard said. "It works something like a credit card but without the plastic. If you see a property listed in a sheriff's sale, you need extra help with college expenses this year, or you need to buy a car for your newly-licensed teenager, you don't have to take the time to visit with a lender and apply for a loan, you already have access to your home equity line of credit."

The Lakeside Bank HELOC is perfectly timed for all the home improvements going on during this time when people are spending more time at home. Home repairs, maintenance and improvement projects are on the rise because people are spending more time at home. Harnessing the home's equity to pay for these improvements can be a good move for the financially prudent, Broussard said.

"The interest on HELOC money used for capital improvements to a home is tax deductible, as long as it falls into certain limits," he added, "and if your home is in need of certain maintenance, for instance a new roof, that's a project that protects your investment."

Broussard added that it is also important to remember some home improvements and remodeling projects deliver a higher return than others. Kitchens and bathrooms, for example.

Retailers may offer financing on home improvement materials or the swimming pool you dream of having to enjoy with your family. However, the interest rate may be higher. The terms may be shorter, and the monthly payment may be fixed. The Lakeside Bank HELOC requires payment of one to two percent of the outstanding balance, plus the interest.

Broussard strongly suggests paying more and paying it off as quickly as feasible.

"A home equity loan or line of credit isn't for everyone," Broussard said. "Your home is a valuable asset, probably your largest and most important investment, and shouldn't be put at risk. Make sure you don't use all your equity – even if a lender is willing to let you do so. Be wise."

To find out more about this and the other banking products from Lakeside Bank, go to mylksb.bank or call the Lakeside Bank branch nearest you.

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