Your home is an investment and should be treated as such. Extra cash can be needed for any number of reasons throughout your life and your home provides an excellent way to get it. Home equity lines of credit are a low interest loan that you can secure through the built up equity in your residence. The loans can be used for anything from home improvement, to debt consolidation, to opening a new business. But be aware of the risks otherwise you can lose everything.Home equity lines of credit should be applied for when you do not have a need to spend the money. The reason is, because if you absolutely need the money you may end up making a poor financial decision and not shop for the best rate possible. Equity rates can be as low as 3.25% to as high as 14% so be careful before signing on the dotted line. Generally speaking you do not want a home equity line that has a rate any higher than 9%. The reason being if you use that money you do not want to have to payback an excessive amount to interest.You also must be careful in the way you use your home equity line of credit. If you default on the loan, in most cases, it is the same as defaulting on your mortgage, which means nonpayment can result in foreclosure. Home equity loans should most often be used for upgrades to homes. The credit rate of the loan will make it a smarter choice than using a credit card at a double digit interest rate. Not to mention that once the loan is paid off the money is there to be used again in most cases.