ING has now made its HELOC available to all broker-partners, after what it terms a successful pilot resulting in tweaks to the product.
“The official launch was Feb. 13, so it’s too early to quantify demand,” Kim Luxton, ING’s head of broker services, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca, “but the response from our broker partners has definitely been very good. And the feedback we received from brokers during the pilot have resulted in clarifications to the mortgage commitment letter that help the broker and the client.”
The HELOC, facilitated by ING’s move to adopt a collateral charges platform, is expected to answer broker calls for a larger share of that $215 billion industry.
It also comes as RBC reports substantial growth in that portion of its own expanding book in Q1 -- even as economists and brokers, alike, raise concerns about record-high levels of household debt.
ING has billed its own offering as a more-targeted product with a more targeted application.
“We see it as for brokers whose clients are interested in a HELOC to meet a specific financial need,” Luxton told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Our focus is not on just building our book thorough the HELOC.
That jives with an increasing number of brokers, who want to see professionals enhance consumer understanding of HELOCs.
“For the right reasons and used correctly, HELOCs can help the client,” Mike Hamdan, an agent with Dominion Lending Centres – Eagle Group Mortgages, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca,” but there are negatives, and broker to educate the client about those potential negatives.”
The comments follow on the heels of a Bank of Canada report released this week and focused on household finances. It charts the growing use of home equity lines of credit as housing prices continued their climb and interest rates hover near historic lows.
While HELOCs accounted for 11 per cent of non-mortgage credit in 1995, by the end of 2011 they represented almost 50 per cent of that segment. They also represent a whopping $215 billion industry, according to a CAAMP report last year – the first to track that segment of the market largely closed to brokers.