Millions upon millions of Americans have a HELOC, or Home Equity Line of Credit. What a great idea! Nothing is perfect but for people under 62 years of age the HELOC remains the instrument of choice to enjoy using some of the equity in their homes. That equity is far more often than not their biggest asset. For those 62 or older seeking to use housing wealth there is another option that unfortunately few know about. It is the HECM, or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage from the U.S. Government. It is far easier to qualify for and has features that are remarkable and more favorable for those in or approaching retirement. I’ve been helping people to use this program for quite some time and I know it inside and out. It requires explanation because it may seem too good to be true. Especially the concept of a growing sum that is guaranteed to be available no matter what your home value might be at the time. Oh and there are no required monthly payments. Frankly it is counterintuitive and not easy to grasp. I had over 20 years of financial services under my belt when I found out what I was supposed to be doing in my professional life, yet I struggled to wrap my head around the benefit of a growing, always accessible line of credit with no monthly payments. Those are only two of the amazing features that are clear HECM advantages. Please see a side by side comparison here.