There are all sorts of finances that pile up at any point in life, whether it is mortgages, debts, college tuition, car loans, emergency situations like job losses or moving expenses. It can be difficult to know where exactly to go when it is time to pay for those costs, but, fortunately, there are always options, more so than ever these days. As a homeowner, it can be beneficial to access the value you’ve built up in your home, not only to give you a good idea of what your home will be worth in the future but to see what money you could obtain now. And that money can stem from a HELOC, or a home equity loan of credit.

What is a HELOC?

A HELOC is a line of credit that you can access as you choose over a set duration of time. Many people think this is similar to a home equity loan. They do have their similarities — both provide you with money — but a HELOC can provide you with much more leeway in terms of time, funds and expenses. Home equity loans are a one-time lump sum that you have to pay back at a fixed rate, usually with higher interest rates. Conversely, HELOCs give you the ability to borrow without a fixed sum in mind over a period of many years — though you only have to borrow what you need.

What Can You Use HELOCs for?

When many people think of home equity in general, they think of home renovations, improvements, or overall remodeling. While HELOCs can be used for these purposes, they also can assist you with a wide variety of other factors of life. For instance, if you find yourself with hefty, ongoing medical expenses, a HELOC is a great, low-interest way to pay for them if you find yourself lacking the needed funds to do so.

Alternatively, if you have children, a HELOC can help with either tuition or other educational costs (which can add up quickly in The U.S.) Lastly, preparation is key to avoiding financial disaster. Many homeowners wait until they have lost a job before inquiring into acquiring financial help with emergency costs, but having a line of credit in advance can go a long way towards saving you financially when you most need it. Emergency situations don’t just have to be for job loss, either — there could also be relative expenses that pop up as well.

Best HELOC Lenders

There are various HELOC lenders available for you to access what you have paid off over the years. Interest rates are available are that although are slightly higher than first mortgages, are still much more favorable than using your credit card. You can find your eligibility depend on current income, credit score, and the drive-by appraisal value compared to what you currently owe on your first mortgage. You can research to inquire online on finding the best home equity line of credit that meets your needs and budget.