A HELOC is a line of revolving credit with an adjustable interest rate whereas a home equity loan is a one-time lump-sum loan, often with a fixed interest rate. The HELOC is where the borrower can choose when and how often to borrow against the equity in the property, with the lender setting an initial limit to the credit line based on criteria similar to those used for closed-end loans. Like the closed-end loan, it may be possible to borrow up to an amount equal to the value of the home, minus any liens. These lines of credit are available up to 30 years, usually at a variable interest rate. The minimum monthly payment can be as low as only the interest that is due. Typically, the interest rate is based on the prime rate plus a margin.
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