The choice between a home equity loan or a line of credit is seldom black or white. But here are a couple of generalizations:
A home equity loan might be the best fit if you plan to use the money in a lump sum for a one-time occasion such as consolidating your credit card debt, replacing the roof, or paying for your daughter's wedding. The interest rate is fixed, and so are the monthly payments, and you can budget accordingly.
A HELOC -- home equity line of credit -- might be a better fit if you will need money periodically and not all at once. This is the case in lengthy home remodeling projects when you pay the contractor in two or more draws. Or perhaps you will need to shed an arm and a leg at the beginning of each semester over the next four years when the kids head off to college. A HELOC gives you the flexibility to borrow what you need, when you need it.
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A little research could save you BIG on interest.