This discussion on Home Equity Loans is sponsored by LendingTree – All opinions are my own.

Many American homeowners don’t realize it, but with the improvements over the last few years in the home market, it’s possible they’re sitting on a pile of cash! As your home value increases, banks and lenders allow you to borrow against the appraised value of the house. It’s a loan to yourself that pays off big.

Smart borrowing can help your family make improvements to your home, pay off or pay down higher interest debts, consolidate loans (including student loans), or fund other dreams that you’ve been putting off because of the lack of funds.  Home equity loans are generally available at lower rates than other types of loans because they’re secured by your home with the added benefit of being a tax write off!  That’s a win/win!

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There are several ways to access your home’s equity.  A Home Equity Loan is a lump sum loan that is perfect for when you know the exact amount of cash you need. For instance, to consolidate your debt, fund a major home remodel, etc. A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC – pronounced Hee-lock), is a revolving line of credit that lets you withdraw what you need, but leaves room for unexpected expenses as well.  You pay interest only on the amount you use, and not the full amount you are approved for.

An Investment in Your Life

HELOC’s and Home Equity Loans should be considered as an investment in your life. Like paying for your child’s college, making a significant home improvement, or consolidating debts to save on interest (homeowners can generally deduct up to 100K of interest). We used one to pay off our van which saved us several thousand in interest. Our neighbors used a HELOC to fund a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Scotland to visit relatives.

Using HELOC’s and Home Equity Loans smartly as part of your overall financial plan makes perfect sense. Lowering the interest rate of existing loans can mean more money in your pocket or the ability to pay down other debts. Additionally, making calculated improvements to your home can raise the market value making your loan work for you.

Do I Qualify?

Think you don’t qualify for a Home Equity Loan? You’d be surprised. In fact, right now, homeowners ages 38-57 with a property value of $100-$500K, with a credit score above 620 are the largest group of Home Equity converters. Partly because as mortgage rates go up, HELOC’s and Home Equity Loans are more attractive.

Want to find out if you qualify for a loan? Visit for Home Equity, Refinancing, Financing, and Reverse Mortgage information. They can help you whether you own a single-family home, condo, townhome, multi-family, or manufactured/mobile home. Enter your location, amount of money you’re interested in borrowing, and the last four digits of your social security number (to verify your identity), and you’ll set up a login to view your <free offers and live rates. It’s that simple!

Once you log in, you get a free credit score (you’ll need to answer three security questions first) and then you’ll see the lenders interested in working with you. You’re not obligated to accept an offer from any lender, but because rates change daily, if you find a lender with a rate you like, secure it quickly, so you don’t miss out.

LendingTree has made it simple to find out if your home could fund some of your dreams or help you out of financial crises caused by high-interest credit cards. Make sound financial choices and use loans judiciously, and you’ll be on your way!

Have you considered a Home Equity or Home Equity Line of Credit?