Those are just two different names for the same thing — borrowing against the equity in your home. With a “line of credit” you do not have to take down the money immediately, and do not pay interest until you do. With an actual home equity LOAN, you’ll start paying interest immediately.
VERY IMPORTANT: As noted in a nearby Q&A response, if you do not use the loan to “improve the property” but instead use it to consolidate and pay off credit card debt, the interest is no longer deductible! So unless you get a much lower rate on this loan than on your credit cards, this won’t make much difference, even though the interest may be calculated differently.
Also, read next week’s column on balance transfer cards. That’s another thing to consider if your credit is ok. And it gives the formula for getting out from under credit card debt.
Let me ask you to consider another option. Do you really NEED to live in your suburban house? Would you be better off selling, (and assuming the gains would be tax-free depending on the amount of profit and your tax filing status), and consider starting over with a fresh slate in a less expensive home, or even renting. This would get you out from under the burden of debt and give you some breathing room. Of course , if you have children involved this may have other implications.