I'm Greg McBride, chief analyst with Bankrate.com and here is your weekly look at home equity rates.
Rates for both home equity loans and lines of credit moved up slightly, bringing the average rates to four-week highs. The average home equity line of credit rate is up for the second time in three weeks, to 4.87 percent. The average fixed-rate home equity loan now sits at 6.13 percent.
People often look to home equity borrowing as a way to consolidate debts. On the surface, this appears attractive by virtue of getting a lower, often tax-deductible interest rate, and the convenience of one monthly payment. But be aware that by doing so, you're now using your home as collateral for the loan and its at risk in the event of default. And that debt consolidation? It hasn't actually repaid any of the debt, just moved it around. For this to truly be effective, you'll need to refrain from piling the debt back up again and focus on just paying down that home equity balance sooner than you would have prior to the consolidation.
For more information on home equity loans and home equity lines of credit, and to check home loan rates in your area, go to Bankrate.com.
I'm Greg McBride.