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The Mortgage Professor: Is a HELOC better than a HECM?

After some deep thought and research, I could find only one situation where a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, might work better than a home equity conversion mortgage, or HECM, in meeting the needs of consumers. In all other situations where both could be used, the HECM worked better for the borrower. In addition, the HECM can be used for purposes that the HELOC cannot touch at all. The downside of the HECM, the Federal Housing Authority's reverse mortgage program, is that you must be 62 to qualify.

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