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Guide to Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit

This four-part guide to home equity loans and home equity lines of credit explains how to build, use and access the equity in your home. We'll teach you how these products work (and can work for you), review risks and rewards, discuss fees and prepayment penalties and give you a solid working knowledge so that you can shop confidently for the product and terms that will best suit your needs. If you're a novice, we recommend reading through the guide from section to section, but if you're a little more experienced, you can jump from part to part as you like. However, it's always a good idea to start from the beginning…

  • 1. Home equity borrowing basics
  • 2. Home equity borrowing terms
  • 3. Home equity borrowing costs and risks
  • 4. Shopping for home equity loans or lines

Section 1: Home equity borrowing basics

home equity basicsIn this section of HSH.com's guide to home equity, readers gain an understanding of what home equity is, how it is created and how to build it. We'll take a look at smart (and not so smart) ways to use this valuable resource and dig into how much home equity you'll typically be allowed to use.

 • What is home equity, and how is it built?

 • How can I use my home equity?

 • How much of my home equity can I borrow?

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