If you have both a home and debt, you may be able to use the equity from your house to pay off your other bills. But is this right for you? There are important things to consider before you apply for a cash-out refi and refinance your home. A cash-out refi may be the tool you need to consolidate your debt and pay it off faster, but there are some disadvantages to that debt relief plan as well. If you don’t have a solid personal or family budget, or fully understand your new financial obligations, be cautious.

When it comes to debt relief, it can sometimes feel like the chicken and the egg situation. You got a mortgage on a house because that’s supposed to improve your credit, but then the bills start coming in — for high-interest credit cards, medical bills, student loans, or other debts. Which do you pay first to make sure you don’t get even more in the red than you already are? Many homeowners that struggle with bad credit may think that they do not qualify for a home equity loan or refinance plan. But you may be surprised, and find a path to debt consolidation that will help you become debt-free with improved credit.

It sounds too good to be true: By simply connecting with a representative of a debt settlement agency, the amount of your debts will decrease significantly, and in no time you’ll be debt-free. Well, it’s not that easy, of course. Debt settlement can be a long process that has many pros and cons, and it’s not always the best solution for everyone. Let’s take an in-depth look at the process of debt settlement, as well as other debt relief services, to see what option is best for you.

Home ownership is an investment, but when it pays off may be up to you. If you own your own home, you have been paying into a long-term investment in real estate. It’s smart in many communities to have a mortgage rather than pay rent to a landlord every month. Your mortgage may take up to 30 years or more to pay off, but you don’t have to wait that long to see the benefits. If the value of your home is more than what you currently owe, you may be eligible for a home equity loan. This can result in a cash-out refi, giving you cash that you can use for other things.

If you’ve been hit with a sudden bill that you can’t cover — maybe a medical bill or a home repair — it may make sense to take out a small loan. Many people are confused, though, about the differences between a personal loan and a payday loan. In reality, these types of loans are very different. They have different terms, different fees, different limits and can have different impacts on your credit score. Let’s compare the two types of loans to help with your debt.

Despite working hard every day, you may find yourself in a financial situation that stretches your resources to the limit. Maybe you’ve been hit with a big hospital bill or maybe crippling student debt is taking its toll. Perhaps you had to pay for a surprise bill like a home repair, or you got too relaxed with your credit cards. Before your debt gets out of control with high interest rates and calls from collection agencies, consider possible solutions for debt consolidation and financial relief. A personal loan is one option for paying off debt.

There are plenty of tricks to save money. You can skip the morning coffee at the corner café. You can put extra change in a jar, or use an online app that rounds all your purchases up and puts the change in a savings account. You can plan your meals and buy only ingredients to make food at home. But can you get rewarded for good credit? Yes! Having a good credit score and history can help you save money in a number of ways. Check out these examples.

If you’re thinking about refinancing your home, there’s a lot to consider. If you move forward with refinancing as a path to debt consolidation, you need to make sure it’s the right option for you financially for the next few years. Otherwise, you risk losing your home to foreclosure. Before creating a debt relief plan through a cash-out refinance or home equity loan approval, consider these top tips: