A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is a second mortgage that lets you borrow against the value of your home.You tap the equity only as you need it. Having a HELOC can be a budget saver.

Q. I used my home equity line of credit (HELOC) to pay for my son’s college. It has a $100,000 limit and I’ve used $85,000. I can handle the monthly payments but I’m wondering if it’s better to.

With a home equity loan, you receive the money you are borrowing in a lump sum payment and you usually have a fixed interest rate. With a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you have the ability to borrow or draw money multiple times from an available maximum amount.

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Home equity line of credit. A HELOC is a credit line secured by your home. Most HELOCs have an adjustable rate, interest-only payments for a specified time, and a 10-year "draw" period, during which the borrower can access the funds. After the draw period ends, the outstanding balance must be repaid.

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A home equity line of credit is a one-time loan that you repay with fixed payments over a certain number of years. In some ways, home equity loans and HELOCs are similar: Second mortgages: Both loans are often second mortgages that you can use in addition to an existing home-purchase loan.

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A home equity line of credit, also known as a HELOC, is a line of credit secured by your home that gives you a revolving credit line to use for large expenses or to consolidate higher-interest rate debt on other loans Footnote 1 such as credit cards. A HELOC often has a lower interest rate than some other common types of loans, and the interest may be tax deductible.

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At NerdWallet, we strive to help. Those who have equity built up in their homes can consider tapping it with a HELOC, a home equity line of credit. It’s a revolving loan funded by your home’s.

Home equity line of credit (HELOC) vs. home equity loan. A home equity loan and home equity line of credit (HELOC) are alike in that both are secured by your home, just like the first mortgage you obtained to buy your place. Both loans are usually for shorter terms than first mortgages.