That makes a HELOC more like a mortgage; in fact, a HELOC is often is referred to as a "second mortgage." Your home equity – the value of your home less any other debt registered against the home – serves as collateral for the credit line.
Some mortgage "advisers" have advocated replacing a low-balance mortgage with a HELOC to maximize a home loan interest deduction, because as the loan approaches retirement, most of what you pay each month goes toward the principal, unlike the beginning of a mortgage term when the lion’s share goes to interest.
You should note that a home equity line of credit (HELOC) is actually a type of second mortgage. However, we often think of it as something different. This misconception is due to the characteristics of a HELOC .
What is a Home Equity Loan? A home equity loan – also known as a second mortgage, term loan or equity loan – is when a mortgage lender lets a homeowner borrow money against the equity in his or her home. If you haven’t already paid off your first mortgage, a home equity loan or second mortgage is paid every month on top of the mortgage you already pay, hence the name "second mortgage."
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) A HELOC amounts to an open checkbook for people with equity in their home. However, there is a huge risk – foreclosing on your house – if you can’t repay the loan when it comes due.
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 loans1 such as credit cards. A HELOC often has a lower interest rate than some other common types of loans,
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A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, gives borrowers a line of credit in which to draw funds from as needed. Think of a HELOC like using a credit card, where your lender determines a maximum loan amount and you can take out as much money as you need until you reach the limit.