Consumers who own homes have access to a flexible and attractive source of credit in a home equity line of credit (HELOC). But like any credit product, it… Consumers who own homes have access to a flexible and attractive source of credit in a home equity line of credit (HELOC). But like any credit product, it must be used carefully or you can quickly land in trouble. Experian, one of the three credit agencies that keep up with consumers’ credit histories, is voicing some concern that borrowers who tapped equity 7 to 10 years ago could be facing some stress. Experian has just issued a study showing that a large portion of HELOC loans issues between 2005 and 2008 – just before the financial crisis – are outstanding and nearing the repayment phase of the loan. With most HELOCs, the borrower can draw money for a 10-year period, then begin to repay the money – often over another 10-year period but sometimes in less time. Here’s Experian’s concern: If there is a significant balance on the HELOC and the borrower must now stop drawing and start repaying, it could put him or her under a lot of financial stress. There is added worry about borrowers who tapped their...