I'll be doing some more work in the kitchen (new cabinets and countertops) and have been conditionally approved for a home equity line of credit through my mortgage lender (Citibank). I got my credit score in the mail this weekend (just opened the letter today)--it was 784 (out of a range between 300 and 850, with 850 being the best). I didn't know how good that was so I did some searching and came up with this.
The best credit rates are given to people with scores above 770, but a score of 700 -- out of a possible 850 -- is considered good, according to Fair Isaac. The median score is about 725. Generic interest rate calculations on the myfico.com Web site show that when the score dips below the mid-600s, those consumers generally qualify only for "subprime" lending and the interest rate starts to climb significantly.
I think the credit line will be at the prime rate (+ 0), which is now 5%.
I like my white kitchen so I've decided to go with KraftMaid white thermofoil cabinets with plywood sides, and white Silestone countertops with a bull-nose (rounded) edge. There will be a 4" Silestone backsplash and I'll tile the rest of it myself in something colorful (but not too).
I'm getting this done through Home Depot, right down the street. Presently they're offering 10% off on the cabinets and the Silestone and also throwing in a free stainless steel sink (worth over $250). I'll take it!
I'll also be getting a new microwave oven mounted above the stove, a new faucet, and a new disposal (one of the quiet ones). The disposal I have now is extremely loud and rattles everything in the sink and on the surrounding counter (and beyond). Also, the sink will be mounted beneath the counter (included in the estimate).
One upgraded cabinet I'm definitely getting is a 12" pull-out pantry to replace the deep, useless (shelfless) cabinet that's there now.
I've met several times already with a kitchen specialist at Home Depot. Very nice lady who seems to know her stuff.