Valley Bank & Trust Co. has introduced a 100 percent home equity loan, the first bank in Utah to do so.

The 100 percent equity option is targeted at middle- to high-income homeowners 27 to 54 years old who have been in their homes less than five years and haven't built up much equity yet, said Michael Danielson, bank president.He said home equity loans have become increasingly popular in Utah because they are the only way left to borrow money with the possibility of a tax deduction on the interest.

Unfortunately, he said, only those having owned a home for several years have built up a substantial amount of equity to qualify for such loans. That means that new homeowners, who often need loans, have been denied home equity loans by local lending institutions.

To advertise this new equity wrinkle, Valley Bank is running newspaper and television ads that also introduce a new free hotline number to call-1-800-734-BANK or 481-5555 in the Salt Lake area, to answer questions about home equity loans in general. The hotline is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The 100 percent equity option gives the customer a revolving credit line or loan from $5,000 to $25,000, which can be used for any worthwhile purpose, Danielson said.