Home Equity Loan and HELOC

A home equity loan is a second mortgage on your home that grants you the ability to borrow against your equity. It’s a secured loan that you can use for any reason. These loans are an affordable way to get a lump sum of cash or credit for large expenses and still maintain a low monthly payment.

Home Equity Loan and HELOC

What is a home equity loan used for?

A home equity loan is an excellent way to use your collateral when you need a substantial amount of money. It takes the home’s equity and allows you to borrow against it for a fixed term.

You use a home equity loan for any number of personal reasons that require a large lump sum of money. Using the home’s equity is a great way to pay for larger home projects and still have an affordable monthly payment. Other reasons often involve debt consolidation, medical bills, college tuition, wedding expenses, or funeral expenses.

These loans are for any purpose where you need a more significant amount of money than you could get with a personal loan or credit card. They have a specified repayment period and a fixed monthly payment.

If you’re looking for a loan for home improvements, take a moment to read our blog on ways to save money; 7 Ways to Save on Home Renovations. Want to learn more about how a home equity loan works? Read, How Does a Home Equity Loan Work, by The Street.

Home Equity Loan and HELOC - what is equity

What is equity?

Equity is the percentage of ownership in an asset after subtracting any outstanding debts associated with that particular asset. Your equity begins building as you pay off the balance of your mortgage to the lender. So, as you continue to make payments on your original mortgage, the equity in your home will increase. You acquire a greater percentage of control until it is finally yours, as the sole owner. Your home’s equity is the appraised value in your home minus what you currently owe on the house.

For example, if your home’s appraised value is $200,000.00, and you owe $130,000.00 on your existing mortgage, then the home’s equity is a value of $70,000.00.

Difference between Home Equity Loan and HELOC

Is there a difference between a home equity loan and a home equity line of credit (HELOC)?

Yes. A home equity line of credit, known as a HELOC, is different from a home equity loan in a few ways. First, it has a variable interest rate, which means that the interest rate will rise and fall with the market. An adjustable interest rate may start lower, but considering the loan term’s length, it can climb throughout its lifetime. However, it can also fall with the market, giving you a more favorable rate at times. Generally, it seems to be a higher risk to the borrower because of this, but you’re encouraged to weigh the risk.

Another difference is that the borrower may draw money out as needed on a HELOC rather than commit to one lump sum as a home equity loan demands. The HELOC funds are available for use throughout several years, allowing you to take out only what is needed as things arise. This useful feature comes into play when you have continuing expenses such as ongoing home projects or even recurring hospital bills for someone diagnosed with an illness, for example.

Lastly, a HELOC loan offers a longer repayment period. You’re able to use the line of credit for 10 years. After that, you have another 15 years to pay it back for a total of 25 years for the loan. An extended term means stretching out the debt for a more significant amount of time, leaving you with lower monthly payments than a home equity loan for the same amount.

Features Loan Line of Credit
Interest Rate Fixed Rate as low as 5.74%* Variable Rate 8.00%
Accessing the Funds Lump sum disbursement Withdraw funds as needed
Repayment Term Monthly payments stay the same for the life of the loan Only pay on the balance you owe; can change with every advance
Term of Loan Choose 5, 10, or 15-year term Use the for 10 years, then take another 15 to pay it back

*Rate shown is 5-year term and includes 0.25% automatic payment discount. Other rates and terms are available.


Rates are dropping. Home values are skyrocketing. And for a limited time we just got rid of all closing costs. Your home is your greatest asset! Schedule a time to talk with one of our expert loan specialists.

How much can I borrow?

Money FCU lends up to 90% of your home’s appraised value, minus any outstanding balance on a first mortgage or home equity. To calculate the maximum loan amount, take your home’s appraised value, multiply it by 90% (.90), and subtract your current mortgage balance. Also, remove any other home equity loan balances, if applicable. The resulting figure is the maximum dollar amount the Credit Union lends on approval.

For example, if the home’s appraised value is $200,000.00, multiply that by 90% (.90), which equals $180,000.00, then subtract the existing mortgage balance. In this example, we’re using an outstanding balance of $130,000.00. Your maximum loan amount is $50,000.

$200,000 x .90 = $180,000
$180,000 – $130,000 = $50,000
In the above example, you can borrow up to $50,000.

Can I speak with a professional to help me decide?

Customer service and loan specialists have all the details of each loan offered by Money FCU. Still, maybe you’re looking for something a bit more. Do you want someone to help advise what loan options would work for you and why?

Money FCU also has free financial coaches who will look at your finances and help you to decide your best options. These trained professionals will make recommendations on which financing options and repayment plans would work best for your specific situation. It’s always good to consider having professional help when making significant financial decisions.

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I just went through one of the most painless processes getting a home improvement loan. I couldn’t believe how quick and smoothly everything went. I was quite impressed at the level of service. A special thank you also goes out to Debbie for her efficiency and for being so easy to work with!

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I just went through the process of taking out a car loan. If it weren’t for Melissa, I wouldn’t have been able to get things done. I wasn’t sure about what to do for so many things, but Melissa did! She was always there for me, quick, soooooo much help. Lucky for me I was smart enough to join your credit union years ago.

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I’m ready! How do I apply for a Home Equity Loan or HELOC?

Great, let’s get you started! If you reside in Onondaga, Oswego, Madison, or Cayuga county, we can help!