Shop, shop, shop for the best deal on home equity loans. These second mortgages differ from full refinances in that the first mortgage in not replaced with a new one. The homeowner simply accesses the equity that’s available in the property and borrows against it, thereby creating two separate mortgages, along with two separate payments. The terms and fees of home equities are as varied as the lenders who offer them. Therefore, careful study and comparison shopping is a must for the homeowner who’s interested in tapping into his or her equity by means of a HEL.

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