When big projects are necessary around the home, a home equity secured loan meets the funding needs. In most cases, these loans are easier to obtain, and often offer tax advantages as well. As long as the homeowner exercises caution when using the equity in his home, making those home repairs and improvements can be less of a financial strain.Choosing an equity loan or line of creditA home equity secured loan is a fixed amount of funding that has a set number of payments over a specified term. This type of loan is good for those who have a specific project in mind that is going to be completed at one time. What if you have some additions and renovations to complete, but you don’t plan to do everything at the same time?Maybe you need the money for college for your children, so you don’t want to take all of the money at one time and have to pay payments on money that you won’t be using for several years from now. For those situations, a home equity line of credit is the best solution.With a line of credit, you are approved for a specified amount, but you can draw against the funds as the need arises, with your payment increasing as the balances increases on the line of credit. The lending institution gives you a specific number of years in which to use the funds before you need to renew the line of credit.Using home equity for college expensesA home equity secured loan is a perfect solution to those skyrocketing college expenses, and as previously stated, a line of credit is the perfect solution for this because you can draw on the funds as tuition is due rather than having to take all of the money at once and put it in an account specified for college expenses. In the meantime, you are paying payments and interest on the entire amount of the home equity secured loan.Major renovations: home equity loan or line of creditFor projects that you plan to complete at one time, a home equity secured loan will work best, but if you plan to stretch the project into several months, or even a year or more, a line of credit would better suit your purpose.For example, if you are planning to remodel your family room right now, do the entire rest of the house with the next six months, and build a pool by next summer, it doesn’t make economic sense to pay payments and interest on money that you don’t need right now. A line of credit allows you to take what you need when you need it, and you only pay on the money that you have already borrowed, not the entire amount of the line of credit.Making the choiceBefore you apply for the home equity secured loan, you should have decided if you want a loan or a line of credit and approach the lender accordingly. If you’re not sure which would best meet your needs, certainly ask the lender when you apply for the loan. You will have to give him some idea of why you need the money, so take that opportunity to tell him what your plans are and let him advice you if a home equity secured loan or line of credit would be best for you.