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When you want to cash in on your home's value without selling it, you may consider getting either a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). And what are the differences between these similar-sounding mortgage products?
"Home equity is a great tool if it's used responsibly," says Seltzer, "but it can also be a trap." People looking to consolidate debt, such as credit cards or auto loans, benefit in two ways: "With home equity loans and HELOCs, you're not only getting a lower rate, you're also making payments that are tax deductible." The downside, however, is that equity lines of credit only require you to pay interest in the early years of the loan.Instead of providing you with a lump sum as with a home equity loan, a HELOC lets you access the equity in your home on an as-needed basis, up to the full amount of your credit line.So if you have a HELOC, you simply write a check or draw down on your home equity using a credit card issued by your mortgage lender. With a HELOC, there are two phases: a draw period and then a repayment period. 1, 2015, and you have a 10-year draw period, you'll be able to borrow from the credit line until 2025. 1, 2025, your repayment period begins and you're no longer able to borrow funds.In a nutshell, a home equity loan or a HELOC is based on the the current value of your home minus any outstanding loans plus the new one you're getting.When you add them both together — the first mortgage the second mortgage — that creates the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.