Cash-out refinance vs. home equity loans | finder.com
House on top of money

Cash-out refinance vs. home equity loan

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Here’s how to leverage equity in a smart way that adds value.

They say your home is where your heart is. And after recent growth in the real estate market, it’s also where you may find a significant asset.

The time may be ideal for tapping this asset for a remodeling project, debt consolidation, or new business idea. We cover just two options for putting your house up as collateral in exchange for a cash infusion.

How does a cash-out refinancing differ from a home equity loan?

Let’s start with the cash-out refinancing option. This option takes your current home loan and refinances it into a larger mortgage, providing you with a cash amount equivalent to the increase in your mortgage amount. You can choose from fixed or adjustable rate as well as numerous other terms. The result is an entirely new loan agreement with a different term, interest rate and repayment schedule.

In contrast, a home equity loan taps into your home’s equity to create a new loan that’s in addition to your current mortgage. If approved, you’re paying two loans each month. This option typically comes with a fixed interest rate but offers a range of repayment terms.

Cash-out refinancingHome equity loan
Closing costs2% to 4% of the home’s purchase price2% to 5% percent of the cost of the home equity loan
Repayment termsUp to 30 yearsFrom 5 to 20 years
Maximum loan amountsBorrow up to 80% of your home’s valueBorrow up to 95% of your home’s value across your first and second loans
Interest ratesFixed or variableFixed

What is equity?

In short, it’s the part of your home that you “own” after subtracting any debts associated with your home, like a mortgage, from your home’s fair market value. The remainder is your home’s equity.

What are the benefits of a cash-out refinancing and a home equity loan?

Cash-out refinancing

  • Lower interest rate compared to a home equity loan
  • Interest may be tax-deductible
  • Only one loan payment
  • Lump sum to spend how you wish

Home equity loan

  • Fixed interest rate and monthly payment
  • Interest may be tax-deductible
  • Lump sum to spend how you wish

What are the drawbacks of a cash-out refinancing and a home equity loan?

Cash-out refinancing

  • Higher closing costs than a home equity loan
  • Restarts mortgage process, leading to a longer time to repay your home loan
  • If equity falls under 20%, private mortgage insurance may be required
  • You can lose your home if you default

Home equity loan

  • Two monthly payments
  • Numerous fees and closing costs
  • You can lose your home if you default

Which option is better suited for me?

While you ultimately have to determine which loan fits your circumstances best, consider your budget against your financial goals.

For example, think about how much money you need for that home renovation project, debt consolidation or new business. If it’s more than 80% of your home’s value, you’d need to choose a home equity loan over a cash-out refinancing.

Also, look at the interest rate on your existing mortgage. If it’s low, then you might not want to lose that by trading it in for a new loan with a potentially higher rate. Instead, a home equity loan could result in a stronger interest rate.

Name Product Min. down payment Origination fee
3.5%
N/A
Competitive rates and no prepayment penalties on a variety of loans.
3.5%
1.0% to 5.0%
A nontraditional lender offering impartial guidance on a range of loans, though with potentially high fees.
3%
0.5% to 1.0%
Streamline your mortgage from quote to final payment — all from your computer or phone.
3%
0.5% to 1.0%
Flexible options, fast approvals and support online backed by a trusted brand.
3.5%
Depends
Connect with vetted lenders quickly through this free online marketplace.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Rates
As low as 4.25%
Connect with vetted lenders quickly through this free online marketplace.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Any decision that involves a significant amount of money and repayment responsibility can be stressful. However, by comparing the benefits and risks of a cash-out refinancing and a home equity loan, you’re better positioned to narrow down the best loan to leverage your home’s equity.

Frequently asked questions

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.
Go to site