A home equity loan is considered a second mortgage. These loans often have a repayment scheme of up to 15 years - or more. Generally, this second mortgage has an adjustable rate mortgage attached. However, should you desire you can also find lenders who will give you fixed rate.
For those who do not need the cash in one lump, a home equity line of credit, will give you a few options that a home equity loan does not give. This type of loan is specifically for those who do not know how much money they require, and do not require the total amount at once. A HELOC is also known as a second mortgage. However, rather than getting all the cash up front, you are given a line of credit and a credit limit. It is similar to using a credit card or a checking account.