Click HereSponsored by TD Bank
Home Equity Basics
House keys and a $1 bill in the background
home equity
Pros and cons of equity debt

Taking out a home equity loan: Pros
  • In most cases, borrowers can deduct the interest on loans up to $100,000 on their taxes.
  • The loans carry lower interest rates than credit cards and unsecured personal loans.
  • They can be used for lots of things: debt consolidation, home improvements, tuition, medical costs, emergencies and big-ticket items.


Taking out a home equity loan: Cons
  • If you default, you could lose your home, your biggest asset.
  • Such loans can be a risky spending tool for younger homeowners who are not established in their careers and have less experience owning a home and managing money.
  • The loans can be risky for older homeowners who would be tapping their nest egg close to retirement.
  • Credit lines have variable interest rates, so monthly payments can rise, even if your income doesn't.
  • If your home's value drops, you can end up owing more than the house is worth -- a bad situation if you need to sell the house.
  • Using an equity loan to pay off debt might make monthly payments cheaper but could cost you more in the long haul, because you're taking much more time to pay off the debt.
  • You might not be able to lease your home during the term of your loan.



Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us

Ask Dr. Don

HELOC vs. reverse mortgage?

Dear Senior Living Adviser, If you have a home equity line of credit , or HELOC, for $150,000 with no balance on it, should you use it instead of a reverse mortgage? Which is a better way to save the assets if there is... Read more

Connect with us