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Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit - Which is right for you?

Written by: Charles Essmeier

The most common type of home equity loan is the term loan. This loan is set for a fixed amount of time, anywhere from five to fifteen years. Such loans are typically granted for up to 80% of the value of the home, but some lenders will lend up to 125% of the home's value.

Is this type of loan right for you? The term loan works best for those who need to borrow a fixed amount of money for a specific purpose - paying for a wedding, a home remodeling project, a fixed educational expense, or debt consolidation. This would give the borrower a fixed repayment schedule, where he or she would pay a set amount of money each month for a specific period of time.

An increasingly popular alternative to the home equity loan is a line of credit. This type of loan works like a credit card, and has a revolving line of credit, in which the borrower may borrow against the principal more than once over the life of the loan. The borrower is usually given special checks that he or she may use to write checks against the loan amount. The borrower may borrow a little at a time, or borrow all of the loan amount at once. Unlike the term loan, the interest rate on lines of credit tends to be variable. This type of loan works best for recurring expenses - a complicated remodeling project accomplished in several stages, or a recurring educational expense such as annual tuition.

Each type of loan has its advantages and disadvantages; you simply need to decide if you want a fixed interest rate and fixed payments, or more flexibility in terms of when and how you pay. Your needs will determine which type of loan is best for you.

Either way, under current Federal law, the interest on a second mortgage is deductible from your income taxes up to $100,000.

About the Author

ęCopyright 2005 by Retro Marketing. Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing, a firm devoted to informational Websites, including http://www.End-Your-Debt.com/ and http://www.HomeEquityHelp.net/


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