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A mortgage can be an incredibly hard loan to manage. Unless you have stellar credit, paid a big down payment, bought a budget-friendly house and managed to avoid monster tax payments, you likely found yourself committing to an uncomfortable monthly mortgage payment.

At some point over the next 30 years, you may also find that the burden of your home loan becomes too much to bear financially, and you are desperately looking into the options you have to not bury yourself in debt and keep your house, or maybe get out of the expensive house and still get into something affordable and nice.

One option that may seem to offer the most is a home equity loan. A home equity loan is self-defined, as long as you understand where the equity comes from. The equity is the difference in your home’s assessed value and what you still owe on it. Negative equity is when you owe more than your home’s appraised value.

You can apply for a loan and take out money against this equity, using the home as collateral. You can then pay down your mortgage or pay off your debts. However, when you do this, you have to take a closer look at interest rates as well as upfront fees and closing costs. You may end up paying more than your original mortgage, and if you don’t have the money to pay down the loan, it may be wiser to avoid pursuing one.

If you have questions about how to get your debt down or keep your house, a Florida debt relief attorney may be able to shine line on areas of concern, potential areas of risk and direct you toward making the best decision to protect your financial future.