Home Equity Line Of Credit Benefits

By: Carrie Reeder

The options for tapping into your home equity are numerous. Some homeowners choose to refinance, while others take advantage of home equity loans. A home equity line of credit is a great option for homeowners who want access to their home's equity over a length of time. There are benefits to a home equity line of credit. However, to avoid the pitfalls of these types of loan, consider the following.

What are Home Equity Lines of Credit?

Home equity lines of credit are revolving credit accounts that are protected by your home. The term revolving credit is often associated with high interest credit cards. However, lines of credit differ from credit cards. For starters, lines of credit are easier to qualify for. The interest rates are significantly lower than most credit cards, and home equity lines of credit are tax deductible.

Common Uses of a Home Equity Loan

Home equity loans are often obtained for large expenses. These are best used for financing home improvement projects, debt consolidation, paying for a child's college expenses, etc. Additionally, some homeowners obtain home equity lines of credit as a means of having a cash reserve in the event of an emergency.

Pros and Cons of Home Equity Line of Credit

While this home equity option is useful, there are advantages and disadvantages. The benefits surround the ability to payoff high interest credit card debts and other consumer loans.

If using a line of credit for debt consolidation, homeowners will simplify their lives by having a single debt payment, as opposed to several. Furthermore, because of lower rates, homeowners are able to repay a home equity line of credit much sooner.

The disadvantage of home equity lines of credit is that your home serves as collateral for the loan. If for any reason you are unable to repay the loan, the lender may claim your property. This results in losing your home and equity. To avoid foreclosure, borrow a modest amount of money. Also, repay the funds promptly. The problems lies when people think of home equity lines of credit as free money, and begin borrowing and spending frivolously.

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