Most of debt consolidation loans are home equity loans. With this loan, the lender gives homeowners a second mortgage based on the equity accrued on their property. The part of the home that the homeowner owns is called the equity. It is built as the principle of the mortgage is paid off and the value of the home increases. A homeowner can borrow against that equity while still occupying the home. This financing is typically used to pay off personal or student loans, credit card debt and other unsecured debt.Home equity loans do not go without risk. The biggest risk comes from using the equity in a home as collateral. If the borrower is unable to make payments on the loan, the lender can begin the proceedings for foreclosure. With the debt consolidation home equity loan, debt is combined into one loan and repayment terms are extended while the time to pay of the entire debt is increased.There are two options for a debt consolidation loan of this characteristics:1. HELOC (Home equity line of credit) – a lender provides an amount of money up to a credit limit. The money is given as needed and it is accessed with by check, debit card or credit card. The interest rate is typically adjustable and interest is only paid on the money that is withdrawn. This type of loan is good for home improvement or school tuition.2. HEL (Home equity loan) – this is usually the better choice for debt consolidation. It uses the home’s equity to get a second mortgage. A lump sum can be borrowed at a fixed interest rate while monthly payments are made on the balance. This type of loan is better when money is needed all at one time as with a debt consolidation.