Equity is basically the amount of money that a person has put into his or her home. Each home has a value and chances are every homeowner has taken out a mortgage. A person’s equity is determined by the value of a piece of property less what a person still owes on the property’s mortgage. For example: If a property is worth $300,000 and the owner still owes $200,000 on it, then that property’s equity would be $100,000. Knowing how much equity you have is important because your equity is what will determine the amount of money you are eligible to receive in the event that you need to apply for a home equity loan.A home equity loan (or line) is also known as a second mortgage. The amount of money a person is eligible to receive is built upon the amount of equity they have built up. Usually when a person applies for a home equity line, they put their home up as collateral. This makes home equity lines dangerous to take out. After all, if you default on your repayment plan, you could lose your home.When looking for home equity lines it is important to do your research. Find out who the home equity lenders are in your area and contact them. Ask them how much you qualify for and what kind of repayment plans they have. You will also want to ask what kind of interest rates they usually work with and if they will charge you any extra fees for things like processing and preparation of documents.You will also want to know how home equity works. A little bit has been explained in this article but you will also want to learn about how interest is calculated and how the value of a home is determined. The more you know about these things, the less likely you are to be taken advantage of when applying for home equity lines.Home equity lines can be stressful; after all you could lose your home if you default, so make sure that home equity lines are something that you actually need. These are not meant to be quick fixes, they are meant to be last resorts.