Definition: A loan that allows homeowners to borrow against the equity in their homes .
If you're looking for startup or expansion capital for your business and you own a home, consider getting a home equity loan on the part of the mortgage that you've already paid off. The bank will either provide a lump-sum loan payment or extend a line of credit based on the equity in your home. Home-equity loans carry relatively low interest rates, and all interest paid on a loan of up to $100,000 is tax-deductible. But be sure you can repay the loan--you can lose your home if you don't repay.