how are home equity loans calculated understanding home equity – Home Equity Loans – Learn. – Understanding Home Equity. An equity loan is a mortgage in which an individual can borrow money by using real estate as collateral. Equity is the difference between the open market value of the house, minus what is owed on it.Half of local FHA borrowers made $100,000-plus – Nearly one out. of those loans went to homebuyers with incomes above $130,000. Orange County ranked in the top 30 out of 138 U.S. counties with higher proportions of FHA loans – traditionally.