Building equity in your home is not only an achievement, but a display of your hard work. Understanding what equity is and how to use it wisely can potentially help your finances and offer benefits. In short, equity is the difference between what your home’s current market value is and what you owe on it – this equals the amount of your home that you own.

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When you have built enough equity, you can borrow from it with a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. This loan offers a flexible line of credit secured by the equity you have in your home. Whether using your equity for home upgrades or towards new experiences, a HELOC can be a wonderful way to “Do Stuff.” Here are some ideas of what a HELOC can be used for:

Rachel Caballero is community and PR manager at TruWest Credit Union in the East Valley.

Upgrade Stuff

One of the most common ways to use a HELOC is upgrading your home, which can transform it into your dream home. Whether it’s trading outdated features for more modern, practical ones, adding a fresh design, or adding that pool you’ve always wanted, investing in your home’s improvement can provide a better living experience. This can also add market value, thus increasing your home’s equity even further. Additionally, using a HELOC for home improvements may also provide tax benefits with potentially tax-deductible interest (consult your tax advisor for more information).

Experience Stuff

Beyond improving your living space, a HELOC offers the financial flexibility to have rich life experiences. Whether satisfying your dreams of traveling or creating lasting memories with loved ones as you adventure together, tapping into your home equity can make those dreams a reality. While it’s important not to use your equity to further increase debt, taking advantage of opportunities that align with your goals, that can be repaid responsibly, can be a wise use of your equity.

Pay Off Stuff

Consolidating and paying off existing debts is another wise way to use the equity in your home. Using the funds to pay off high interest credit obligations allows you to not only streamline your finances, but potentially reduce your overall interest payments, putting more money back in your pocket.

Building equity in your home is something to be proud of. Utilizing that equity in a way that allows you to take control of your financial future can be empowering and elevate your journey of homeownership. Whether you choose to upgrade stuff, experience stuff, or pay off stuff, tapping into your home’s equity can afford you the opportunity to “Do Stuff” for a brighter financial future.

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Author: Rachel Caballero is community and PR manager at TruWest Credit Union in the East Valley.