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Home Equity Loan vs Line of Credit

March 13, 2014

Once you’ve owned a house for a few years and built some equity up, you can borrow against it. This type of loan is called a home equity loan or you can take out a home equity line of credit. While often this type of loan is used for major home improvements and renovations, you can actually use it for anything: college expenses, traveling, paying down debt, etc.

Since you’re borrowing against the value of your home, it’s considered a secure loan. Your home is the collateral. Both options are essentially a second mortgage. So what’s the difference?

A Home Equity Loan offers you a lump sum of money up front. You then pay this off over a predetermined period of time as a fixed monthly payment. This option is good for a one-time immediate need, such as building a new deck. The interest rate is almost always lower than a credit card and the interest you pay on a home equity loan is often tax deductible (consult a tax advisor first).

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a revolving line of credit up to a certain amount that you can draw on up to a certain number of years. As you need money over a longer period of time you can pull as you need it. Generally there is a minimum payment due each month, but you can usually pay off as much as you like. Just like the Loan, the interest rate is almost always lower than a credit card and the interest you pay on a HELOC is often tax deductible (consult a tax advisor first). This option is good for ongoing cash needs like college expenses, or many different ongoing renovation projects.

No matter your needs, there is often a home equity option we can help you with.

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