Selling your home for a profit can mean a substantial windfall. But in the meantime, while you’re living there, that gain is locked up, out of reach — unless you access the equity with a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit , known as a HELOC.
To find out how much equity you’ve built up in your home, subtract the amount of money you owe on your mortgage from your property’s value. Depending on your financial track record, lenders may let you borrow up to 85% of your home equity. Keep in mind, though, that you’re using your home for collateral, so the lender can foreclose on your property if you default on your payments.