Home Equity Loan vs. Cash-Out Refinance – What Are The Differences?

Your house is more than simply a place to live; it’s also an investment. It’s both and so much more. Your home might also serve as a convenient source of cash for unexpected expenses, repairs, or upgrades. Mortgage refinancing is the act of freeing the money you’ve put into your mortgage, and there are various options for doing so.

Cash-out refinancing and home equity loans are two of the most common to refinance mortgage.

A cash-out refinance is when you pay off your previous mortgage and replace it with a new one at a reduced interest rate. A home equity loan is a distinct loan with different payment dates that pays you cash in exchange for the equity you’ve built up in your home.

-Refinancing Types

Let’s start with the basics. Mortgage refinancing includes both cash-out refinancing and home equity loans. There are a lot of different types of mortgage refinancing, and you should think about whether refinancing is right for you before you look at cash-out refinancing and home equity loans.

Two popular procedures for mortgage refinancing, or refi. One is a rate-and-term refinance, in which your existing mortgage is basically replaced with a new one. Except for closing expenses and money from the new loan paying down the old loan, no money changes hands in this sort of refinancing.

The second sort of refinance is actually a series of options, each of which releases a portion of your home’s equity:

We’ll look at these two sorts of mortgage refinancing in this article.

-Can you tell me why you want to refinance your home?

So, why are you looking to refinance your mortgage? There are two basic reasons for doing this: decreasing your mortgage’s overall cost or releasing some equity that would otherwise be locked up in your home.

Let’s say your 30-year fixed-rate mortgage had a 5% interest rate when you first bought your house ten years ago. You can now secure a mortgage with a 3% interest rate until 2021. These two ideas might save you hundreds of dollars every month on your payment, as well as a significant amount on the entire cost of financing your house over the life of the loan. In this instance, a refinance might be beneficial.

Even if your mortgage installments and term are satisfactory, it may be worthwhile to investigate home equity loans. Perhaps you already have a low interest rate, but you need some extra cash to put a new roof on your house, build a deck, or fund your child’s college tuition. In this case, a home equity loan might be an interesting option.

-The advantages and disadvantages of refinancing

You must first determine whether refinancing is right for you before looking at the various types of refinancing. Refinancing has a number of advantages. It can supply you with the following:

Interest at a lower annual percentage rate (APR)

A more affordable monthly payment

A shorter payback period

The ability to cash out your equity and use it towards something else.

Your home, on the other hand, should not be viewed as a good source of short-term capital. Most banks won’t let you take out more than 70% of your home’s current market value, and refinancing costs might be substantial.

Closing costs, which include appraisal fees, credit report fees, title services, lender origination and administration fees, survey fees, underwriting fees, and attorney charges, should be budgeted at around $5,000, according to Freddie Mac. Closing expenses for any sort of refinancing are likely to be 2% to 3% of the loan amount, and you may be liable for taxes depending on where you live.

Any form of refinancing should be done with the intention of staying in your home for at least a year. A rate-and-term refi may be a good idea if you can return your closing expenses with a lower monthly interest rate in less than 18 months.

If you don’t plan on staying in your house for a long time, refinancing may not be the best option; instead, a home equity loan may be a better option because closing costs are cheaper than refinancing.

-How Does a Cash-Out Refinance Work?

A cash-out refinance is a mortgage refinancing option in which an old mortgage is replaced with a new one that is bigger than the previous loan’s balance, allowing homeowners to obtain cash out of their house. As opposed to a rate-and-term refinance, where the mortgage amount remains the same, you normally pay a higher interest rate or more points on a cash-out refinance mortgage.

Based on bank criteria, your property’s loan-to-value ratio, and your credit profile, a lender will evaluate how much cash you can get with a cash-out refinance. A lender will also look at the conditions of your prior loans, the amount of loans you owe on them, and your credit history. Following that, the lender will make an offer based on the results of an underwriting analysis. The borrower receives a new loan that pays off the old one and commits them to a new monthly payment schedule in the future.

-The advantages and disadvantages of a cash-out refinance

The main benefit of a cash-out refinance is that the borrower can receive cash for a portion of the property’s value.

A conventional refinance does not result in the borrower receiving any cash, only a reduction in their monthly payments. A cash-out refinance can have a loan-to-value ratio as high as 125 percent.This means that the refinance pays off the debt, and the borrower may be eligible for up to 125 percent of the home’s value.The money left over after the mortgage is paid off is given to you in cash, just like a personal loan.

Cash-out refinances, on the other hand, have some disadvantages. Cash-out loans typically have higher interest rates and other fees, such as points, when compared to rate-and-term refinancing. Cash-out loans are more complicated than rate-and-term loans, and they typically have stricter underwriting requirements. A good credit score and a low relative loan-to-value ratio can help alleviate some fears and earn you a better offer.

-Home Equity Loans

Home equity loans are a type of loan that allows you to borrow money against your home.

When it comes to refinancing, one option is to take out a home equity loan. Because they’re secured by your home, these loans have lower interest rates than personal, unsecured loans, but there’s a catch: if you default, the lender can take your home.

The standard home equity loan, in which you borrow a single sum, and the home equity line of credit, are the two types of home equity loans available (HELOC).

-Second mortgage

A second mortgage is a term used to describe a standard home equity loan. You’ve paid off your primary mortgage and are now borrowing against the equity you’ve built in your loan. The second loan is subordinate to the first, which means that if you default, the second lender will be the one to collect any foreclosure proceeds after the first.

Because of this, home equity loan interest rates are typically higher. The lender is willing to take a bigger risk. HELOCs are also known as second mortgages in some cases.


A HELOC is a type of credit card that is secured by your home’s equity. You can normally borrow as little or as much of that credit line as you like during the draw period after you obtain it, but some loans do require an initial withdrawal of a fixed minimum amount.

You may be charged a transaction fee each time you make a withdrawal, as well as an inactivity fee if you don’t utilize your credit line for an extended period of time. You only pay interest on what you’ve borrowed throughout the draw period. When the draw period is over, your credit line will be depleted. When the payback period begins, you begin repaying the principle plus interest.

While most home equity loans have set interest rates, some are adjustable. HELOCs frequently have adjustable interest rates. The annual percentage rate (APR) for a home equity line of credit is based on the loan’s interest rate, but the APR for a regular home equity loan typically includes the loan’s origination expenses.

-The advantages and disadvantages of home equity loans

Home equity loans have a number of advantages that make them appealing to homeowners who want to lower their monthly payments while also receiving a lump sum payout. Refinancing using a home equity loan can provide you with the following benefits:

Interest rates are lower and fixed than they were on your previous mortgage.
Due to lower interest rates and a lower principal, monthly payments are cheaper.
A one-time payment that can be used for anything, including renovations and enhancements to your home that will increase its value.
Home equity loans, on the other hand, come with hazards that you should be aware of:
Because the loan is secured by your home, it is at risk if you default on your payments.
You must borrow a specific amount of money with a standard home equity loan. You may be stuck paying interest on a portion of the loan you don’t use if you don’t need the entire amount. It’s because HELOCs are better for homeowners who have recurring, high-cost expenses that don’t always come up at the same time each month.
With too much debt or bad credit, you won’t be able to acquire a home equity loan. Some people are unable to access the equity in their homes as a result of this.

Home Equity Loans vs. Cash-Out Refinance

There are various reasons why a cash-out refinance may be preferable to a home equity loan.
A cash-out refinance, in theory, allows you the quickest access to the money you’ve already put into your home. You pay off your current mortgage and take out a new one with a cash-out refinance. This makes things easy and can swiftly release a large sum of cash—cash that can even assist in increasing the value of your house.
Cash-out refinancing, on the other hand, is usually more expensive in terms of fees and percentage points than a home equity loan. To get approved for a cash-out refinance, you’ll also need a good credit score because the underwriting standards for this sort of refinance are often higher than for other types.
A home equity loan is easier to get for borrowers with bad credit than a cash-out refinance, and it can release just as much equity. Home equity loans are typically less expensive than cash-out refinancing, and they are also less complicated.
However, there are certain disadvantages to home equity loans. This sort of refinancing entails taking out a second mortgage in addition to your first, resulting in two liens on your property and two different creditors, each with a potential claim on your home. This can increase your risk level, so only do it if you’re confident you’ll be able to make your mortgage payments on time every month.
-Mortgage Refinancing Application
Your credit score determines whether you can borrow through cash-out refinancing or a home equity loan. If your credit score is lower than it was when you bought your house, refinancing may not be in your best interest because it could raise your interest rate. Before applying for either of these loans, you need to have your three credit ratings from the three major credit bureaus. If your credit score isn’t routinely above 740, talk to potential lenders about how it could affect your interest rate.
A home equity loan or a home equity line of credit requires you to submit a variety of paperwork to confirm your eligibility, and both loans might come with many of the same closing charges as a mortgage. Attorney expenses, a title search, and document preparation are among them.
An appraisal to determine the property’s market value, an application cost for completing the loan, points (one point equals one percent of the loan), and an annual maintenance fee are all common additions. However, some lenders will waive these fees, so be sure to inquire.

-Answers to frequently asked questions about loans and home equity loans
-When refinancing a home, do you lose equity?
Even if you refinance your house, the equity you’ve built up over time, whether through principal repayment or price appreciation, stays yours. Though your equity position will change over time, refinancing will not affect your equity. This is because the value of your home and the amount of money you owe on your mortgage or mortgages will both change over time.
How Does a Cash-Out Refinance Work?
A cash-out refinance is a form of mortgage refinance that uses the equity you’ve created over time to offer you cash in exchange for a higher mortgage. To put it another way, a cash-out refinance allows you to borrow more money than you owe on your mortgage and keep the difference in your pocket.
Do I Have to Pay Taxes if I Refinance with a Cash-Out?
Normally, no. The money you get from a cash-out refinance is not subject to income taxes. The cash you get through a cash-out refinance isn’t counted as income. As a result, you won’t have to pay taxes on that cash. A cash-out refinance is essentially a loan that replaces income.
Important Takeaways
Both cash-out refinancing and home equity loans allow homeowners to borrow cash against the value of their homes.

If you plan to stay in your house for at least a year, cash-out refinancing may be a good option because your interest rate will be reduced, resulting in lower monthly payments.

Borrowers who need a large chunk of money for a specific purpose, such as a big home improvement, should consider cash-out refinancing.

Home equity loans, on the other hand, use your home’s equity as security for a brand-new loan. They’re best for people who require a cash reserve over time rather than right away, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
-The Final Word
Homeowners who desire to convert the equity in their houses into cash may benefit from cash-out refinancing and home equity loans. Consider how much equity you have, what you’ll do with the money, and how long you plan to stay in your house when deciding which option is best for you.