The primary function of savings and loan associations is the financing of long-term residential mort-gages. Savings and loan associations accept deposits in savings accounts, pay interest on these accounts, and make loans to residential home buyers. They do not make business loans of any kind, nor do they provide many of the other business services one finds in commercial banks. A privately managed home financing institution, a savings and loan accepts savings accounts from individuals and other sources. This money is then principally invested in loans for the construction, purchase, or improvement of homes.
Savings and loan associations are primarily involved in making residential loans. Consequently, they may be good sources of indirect business financing for homeowners who own substantial equity in their homes. For example, if homeowners need money for their businesses, they can refinance their homes or take out a second mortgage on the equity through a savings and loan association. The home equity loan application process at a savings and loan association is generally simpler than it is for a commercial bank because it is made on the equity of the home up to a maximum percentage of the equity, usually between 75 percent to 80 percent. The savings and loan association bears little risk if the home is located in a stable or appreciating market value area. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the savings and loan association can foreclose the mortgage and, sell the property to retire the loan, doing so often for a profit.