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HELOCs for fun and profit

There's a sensible way to take money out of your home and the crazy way. During the housing crisis some "investors" saw flipping houses as a great way to make quick money seemingly at no risk. Until the music stopped and many were "under water" with lots of debt and very little home value.

But if you have substantial equity in your home and need to borrow to make improvements then a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) may be just the thing for you. Interest rates not only are dramatically lower than what you'd pay for unsecured debt or credit cards the interest is usually tax deductible.

Some have chosen to use a HELOC to pay off higher, non-deductible debt from education, transportation or credit cards. You can even use these funds to fund your IRA or after-tax investment account but beware that you are taking risk here.

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