You may have heard a friend mention using “cash out refi” to pay for a home renovation or to afford their child’s university tuition. What they are referring to is called cash out refinancing. Also known as a reverse mortgage or second mortgage, it allows property owners to borrow against the financial value of their home. Freeing up that much cash may sound very appealing, but is it really a good way for people to get extra cash?

How Does Cash Out Refinancing Work?

Cash out refinancing allows private homeowners to take out a loan from a bank based on the the homeowners’ equity in their homes. While a traditional home loan can only be used to make the initial home purchase, this special type of loan can be used for many purposes like home renovations, tuition or investing.

The amount that homeowners can borrow for their property from …