You ask Is it smart to use the equity in your home to pay off credit cards and non secured debts?
I am pleased to note that you may have equity in your house--generally, a lot of home equity has gone away, leaving many folks hanging on with payments for a house that may be worth less than what they could sell it for. So it is refreshing to have a question like yours.
Is it smart to pay off high interest loans with a low interest loan? Well yes, if you are able to keep the credit cards from growing back to high balances. But if you plan to erode your home equity in favor of large credit limits available on your credit cards, then it's the dumbest thing you could ever do. Is that clear?
Or will increasing the loan on your house put you in danger of foreclosure if you fall behind in payments -- you would be converting your nonrecourse loans to a recourse loan. Just remember nonpayment of credit cards and unsecured loans may ruin your credit (temporarily) but they would not have the option of foreclosure.
I would consult your financial planner or accountant to see what is the best scenario considering your personal sitauation.
Place all on an excel spread sheet run all the #'s determine what is your better option. You need determine your short / long term range regarding your home if your intent sale within few years may not be worth expense refi.
Bottom line get an estimate and calculate how much it cost both ways.
American Pacific Mortgage