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5 Ways to Use Your Home Equity Line of Credit

Your home is a source of pride and accomplishment. Did you know that your home can also be an affordable source of income? As your home appreciates and you make your monthly mortgage payments you build what's called equity. You can access this equity at attractive interest rates using a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

There are a number of advantages to securing a home equity line of credit if you need access to cash for a project or another goal. First, a home equity line of credit may be tax-deductible. Also, HELOC's are very flexible, you access only the money that you need with checks or cards offered by your credit union. That flexibility extends to use. Following are some of the most popular uses for your HELOC.

? Education - College tuition can be very expensive and, unfortunately there are not enough scholarships available to fund the educational expenses of every school-bound student. Most parents do not have pockets deep enough to foot the bill and many loans can be expensive or carry unattractive features. A home equity line of credit offers an attractive option for funding your child's education. Access the money as you need it a pay tuition bills without stress or worry.

? Renovation or remodeling projects - Your home is probably your greatest investment. Add personal or more comfortable touches with remodeling or renovation projects. Many projects such as bathroom and kitchen remodeling jobs can add value to your home's price tag. Maximize your investment and take a tax break to boot.

? Travel - Traveling on a shoestring budget can be fun, but there are times when you want to go first class. The trip of a lifetime awaits with a home equity line of credit. Join your family for a reunion in Ireland or celebrate your fifth or fiftieth wedding anniversary with an African safari.

? Purchase a car - Buy the car of your dreams - finally, with a home equity line of credit. No need to worry about haggling with the dealer, or forgoing discounts or rebates, you have the cash in hand, and a great interest rate.

? Consolidate bills - The average American carries around $7,000.00 in credit card debt. At typical interest rates and with minimum payments it could take more than twenty years to bring the balance to zero. Your high interest credit card bills are a thing of the past when you pay them off with a home equity line of credit. Again, the interest may be tax-deductible. Before you consider this option, make sure that you are ready to change your spending habits otherwise you'll be worse of than when you started; and this time you won't have you home equity as a safety net.

Home equity lines of credit help you do more of those things that matter to you. They can be a wise financial move as they typically offer lower interest rates than other types of loans. It is important to proceed with caution if you decide on a home equity line of credit as the loan is secured by your home. If you are unable to pay, the lender is entitled to seize your property to cure the default. Some states allow foreclosure without a judge's permission. You could lose your home in as little as 37 days. Learn about the laws in your state and before you sign on the dotted line, make sure that you understand your responsibilities and obligations as a borrower, as well as the lender's recourse in the event of default.Credit Unions offer great rates on home equity lines and loans.

Nicole Soltau is the President and Founder of http://CreditUnionRate.comThe Leading Credit Union DirectorySearch, Find, Join.

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