Some people will go through life without so much as a bump in the road. However, a large majority of people will face a road with many bumps and quite a few broken bridges. Its the handling of those bumps and bridges that can be hard and sometimes unbearable. Many of those problems are going to put some pressure on your wallet and bank account. Sometimes the pressure is to much for the contents of the wallet and you may begin to crumble. Luckily, there is somewhere to turn, its called a home equity loan. “A home equity loan! That means dealing with banks and lenders; and all they care about is money!!” Well, in most cases, yes they do care a great deal about their investments and their money. But either way, a home equity loans is a great way to make some improvements in your life.A home equity loan is in fact a great way to make improvements in your life, but it can also be a dangerous option for those who think it is “free” money. As most adults in this world know, there is no such thing as “free” money. A home equity loan is basically a loan on the mortgage that you have paid off. If you have paid off $100,000 on your home, that’s how much equity you have in your home. However, most banks will only lend 80% of that paid amount, so the loan amount you may receive will be up to $80,000.The bad thing about this whole process is that you are actually putting up your house as collateral against that loan. You will have to make those monthly payments in addition to your usual mortgage payments, so things might get a little expensive if you are not properly prepared. That’s why the term “second mortgage” is used; as it implies that you are actually paying two mortgages just to keep your home.Obviously, a home equity loan is not something to be decided on in a split second; it must be given some serious thought. Do you really want to risk your home because you feel the need to add an extra room on your house? Or because you want to take the family on a dream vacation? If you have the money to make the loan payments, then yeah, its fine. But, if you feel hesitant that you might not have the funds to cover the monthly payments, you may want to hold off on that home equity loan.If you can handle the payments, then get the loan. If you want the new corvette that just came out, but are unsure if you can handle the loan payments; do NOT get the loan. If the situation demands money NOW and not later (such as a family member who needs medical treatment, or perhaps a child who needs college money), then get the loan.You basically have to step back, view the situation, and make a decision. With some serious thought and thorough planning, your home equity loan will be all smooth sailing and you will be on the road to some major improvements in your life.