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Question:

How does a home equity line of credit differ from a second mortgage?

A With a home equity line of credit the borrower can draw money as they need it.
Explaination

In a traditional second mortgage, a borrower would take all of the money loaned to them at one time. In a home equity line of credit the borrower may take up to a specified amount, but they do not need to take that amount in full or all at one time.