Home Improvement: How to Get the Most out of Your HELOC

Home Financing


2 min. read

By: FCU Team

Home equity loans (HELs and HELOCs) are a specific loan type available to homeowners who have equity in their home. Equity is the difference between what’s owed on a mortgage and the amount the home is worth. Homeowners can leverage this equity for the purposes of taking out a loan.


There are two types of home equity loans, the HEL and HELOC. The former is similar to other loans, where you borrow a fixed amount and receive your funds in one lump sum. A HELOC is more akin to a credit card. You can borrow up to a fixed amount over a certain period, commonly referred to as the draw period, where you can borrow money as needed. As you pay down the principal balance, your credit revolves, and you may utilize it again and again. Interest is only paid on the amount borrowed.

Home Improvement

While you may use home equity funds for a variety of things, one of the more common uses is for the purposes of renovations in and around a home. These can serve to increase the overall value of the home’s market value or improve the home before you settle in for retirement. Whatever the reason, here are a few recommendations for your home.

Silence is Golden

Everyone has suffered through accidentally dropping the toilet seat in the middle of the night and the resulting crashing noise that occurs. Similarly, if you’re in the kitchen having a late-night snack, closing a cabinet or drawer could loudly announce your intentions to the rest of the house. Soft-closing cabinets, drawers and toilet seats are an underrated addition to a home that can keep noise levels down and stealthy midnight snack missions a secret.


If you’ve been living in your home for a while, your kitchen might be outdated and in need of an upgrade. The kitchen is one of the most important and frequented areas of a home, so investing in a kitchen remodel is a no-brainer. Whether its improved counter space or new appliances, make sure you have the best space possible for your culinary creations.

Bathrooms are another popular remodel option. From a new shower or bathtub to new floor tiles and cabinets, the possibilities are endless.

Let There Be More Light

Natural light is underrated! Offering a myriad of benefits like the potential to save money and a boon to your mood, natural light should not be ignored when thinking of home improvements. Adding a skylight in a bathroom or opting for larger windows in your living room are all great options. We could all use a break from tungsten and fluorescent lights!

Outdoor Improvements

Is your home need of a fresh coat of paint? Could the yard benefit from a little TLC? Improvements can be made outside of your home, too. If those two areas are covered, perhaps you have a deck (or dreams of building one!) that can be nursed back to health? You can be as creative with the outside of your home as with the inside.

Start Today

Ready to learn more? Our Home Equity Loans page has all you need to get started, including financial calculators that will help you calculate the equity in your home and what payments might look like.