Cash-out refinance vs. home equity loans and lines of credit

Homeowners have three convenient ways to pay for large, even unexpected, expenses—a cash-out refinance, home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). All three are convenient sources of cash, but which one is right for you will depend on your circumstances and what you’re trying to achieve. Borrowing against the equity, whether through a loan or line of credit, can be less expensive than other forms of personal credit. A cash-out refinance, on the other hand, makes sense if you’re shopping for better mortgage terms.

Which option is right for you?

Here are some important things to think about when deciding between a home equity loan, a HELOC and a cash-out refinance:

  • Determine how much equity you have
  • Decide how much you need to borrow
  • Think about how long you’ll need to repay
  • Compare fixed-rate and variable-rate terms