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What is the difference between a home equity loan and a home equity line of credit?

Frequently Asked Question

A Home Equity loan lets you borrow amounts based on the amount of equity you have in your home. This type of loan provides a lump sum of money up-front and the loan balance is paid back monthly, with a fixed payment amount and a fixed interest rate. A home equity loan is good for people who have an immediate and specific purpose for the funds, such as home improvements or a big-ticket purchase.

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is an open-ended line of credit. A credit limit is set based on the amount of equity you have in your home and can be used whenever you need it. Unlike a home equity loan, once the balance of a HELOC is paid down, the line remains open. Your monthly payment will vary based on your outstanding balance and the variable interest rate. A HELOC is best suited for people who want access to funds in the case of an emergency, have children starting college, or perhaps plan to make a series of purchases or payments over time.