The first thing to know about a HELOC is that it’s not the same as a Home Equity Loan. This is important because many people confuse the two and, in certain aspects, they’re at opposite ends of the lending spectrum.
A Home Equity Loan is similar to your primary mortgage in the sense that it’s set for a specific loan amount to be repaid with fixed monthly payments. (This type of loan is sometimes called a “second mortgage”.) Typically, Home Equity Loan interest rates are fixed and fully amortized.