One of the major risks of refinancing your home comes from possible penalties you may incur as a result of paying down your existing mortgage with your line of home equity credit. In most mortgage agreements there is a provision that allows the mortgage company to charge you a fee for doing this, and these fees can amount to thousands of dollars.

Getting a new home equity loan is another viable option but carries some of the same advantages and disadvantages of getting a new HELOC (fixes the immediate financial hardship, but you end up paying more interest). A home equity loan may be the best option if you can afford to make larger payments and want a fixed payment amount with a fixed rate.

Get a home equity loan. A home equity loan differs from a line of credit because you get the money in one lump sum. A fixed amount, a fixed interest rate, and potentially a longer repayment period.