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Home Equity HELOCs

Best HELOC Introductory Rates

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a loan option for homeowners. It allows you to access the equity in your home and use it as collateral for a revolving line of credit. You might be able to borrow up to 90% of your home’s value (minus any outstanding mortgage balance).  

The best HELOC introductory rates offer significant savings potential, so shopping around and comparing offers from multiple lenders is important. We’ve researched the best HELOC introductory rates and how to take advantage of them.

Best introductory HELOC rates

HELOCs offer two types of interest rates: variable or fixed. Variable rates are tied to an index rate that fluctuates with the market, while fixed rates remain constant over the life of the loan. 

If you choose a variable-rate HELOC, it’s essential you understand the following:

  • How the rate is determined—often a published base rate, such as the prime rate The Wall Street Journal publishes, plus a factor the lender sets
  • How and when the variable rate can change

Many banks incentivize customers by offering home equity loan and HELOC promotions. These introductory rates lower than the current market rate. However, they’re often available for a limited time, such as six months to one year. The market rate kicks in after they expire. 

How likely you are to qualify for the lowest introductory HELOC rate depends on your creditworthiness, home equity, and other factors. Rates change over time, so comparing the introductory and current rates will help you choose the best loan.

Here are the five lenders we found with the best introductory HELOC rates. You can click the lender’s name in the table for the details on its introductory rates—or keep reading to find out more about all five.

LenderIntro rate (APR) & lengthWhat to know
Bethpage FCU6.99% fixed, 12 mos.$25,000 initial draw required for intro rate
Connexus5.99%^ fixed, 6 mos.*No required initial draw
Bank of America6.99% variable, 6 mos.No required initial draw
BMO Harris6.99% variable, 6 mos.*Lowest rates may require initial draw of 100% of credit line (minus fees)
Central Pacific Bank7.65% fixed, 2 yrs.* Only available in Hawaii
*Offers longer intro periods for slightly higher rates, ^Rates in March 2024

Bethpage Federal Credit Union

HELOC

  • 7.24% fixed introductory APR for 12 months for VantageScores of 720 and up1, then variable
  • No closing costs or origination fees
  • 20-year repayment period

Bethpage FCU is an established credit union that’s provided financial services to its members since 1941. In addition to its HELOC, its products and services include checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and auto loans.

One standout feature of Bethpage’s HELOC is its fixed introductory rate, which won’t change for the first year of account opening. Bethpage also covers closing costs, so you’ll pay nothing for application, origination, or appraisal. You must draw $25,000 from your credit line at closing to qualify for the intro rate.

You must become a member to take advantage of Bethpage’s best HELOC introductory rates. Join Bethpage by opening a Share Savings account with a minimum $5 deposit. Then you can apply for a HELOC.

Key features:

  • Introductory rates (APR): 7.24% fixed for VantageScores of 720 and up1
  • Length of introductory term: 12 months
  • Interest rates (APR) after the introductory term ends: Variable; Starting at 7.75%
  • Minimum credit score: 670
  • Maximum LTV: 75% to qualify for the introductory rate
  • Draw period: 10 years
  • Repayment period: 20 years
  • Fees: No application, origination, or appraisal fees. No closing costs on lines up to $500,000.
  • Availability: Not available in Texas

Connexus

HELOC

  • 5.99% – 6.49% fixed introductory rate (in March 2024)
  • Interest-only payment option during draw period
  • 15-year draw period; 15-year repayment period

Connexus Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative founded in 1935. The credit union offers various products and services, including mortgages and HELOCs. 

The Connexus HELOC is popular for homeowners who want to access home equity for home improvements, debt consolidation, or unexpected expenses. 

It has a $5,000 minimum loan amount and an introductory APR you can lock in until April 1, 2025. (If you want the lowest intro rate, 5.99%, it expires on October 1, 2024. You can also choose a 6.49% rate until April 1, 2025.) Another reason we’re fans of Connexus is it has no initial draw requirement on your credit line.

Connexus is a credit union, but anyone can join by making a one-time $5 donation to the Connexus Association. 

Key features:

  • Introductory rates (APR): 5.99% – 6.49% fixed (in March 2024)
  • Length of introductory term: 6 – 12 months (depending on which rate you select)
  • Interest rates (APR) after introductory term ends: Variable; starting at 8.74%
  • Maximum LTV: 90%
  • Draw period: 15 years
  • Repayment period: 15 years
  • Fees: Closing costs
  • Availability: Not available in Maryland, Texas, Hawaii, or Alaska

Bank of America

HELOC

  • 6.49% introductory variable APR for 6 months
  • Interest-rate discounts for initial withdrawals and Preferred Rewards members
  • 0.25% automatic payment discount

Bank of America (BoA) offers a range of products and services to consumers and businesses. 

The Bank of America HELOC provides a flexible financing option to draw funds as needed—no initial draw is required—with the added benefit of interest-rate discounts for automatic payments, initial withdrawals, and Preferred Rewards members. 

Bank of America’s HELOC introductory rate has a variable APR for six months. This makes it a competitive option for those looking to tap into their home equity. But keep in mind BoA’s introductory HELOC rate is variable, not fixed. So it could change based on the prime rate.

Key features:

  • Introductory rates (APR): 6.49% variable
  • Length of introductory term: 6 months
  • Interest rates (APR) after introductory term ends: Variable; starting at 8.90%
  • Maximum LTV: 80%
  • Draw period: 10 years
  • Repayment period: 20 years
  • Discounts: 0.25% automatic payment discount; Interest rate discounts of up to 1.50% for initial withdrawals; Up to 0.625% for BoA Preferred Rewards members
  • Fees: BoA covers closing costs; $450 early closure fee applies if closed within 36 months of opening
  • Availability: Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

BMO Harris

HELOC

  • 2 variable introductory rates available
  • 5.74% APR for 6 months or 7.24% APR for 12 months
  • Lock in a rate up to 3 times

BMO Harris is a leading bank that offers financial products including home equity lines of credit. The BMO Harris HELOC offers flexible access to funds, with two variable introductory rate options depending on your needs. 

The bank has competitive HELOC introductory rates for six or 12 months. After the introductory period ends, the standard rate is competitive. We couldn’t confirm whether BMO Harris requires an initial draw for its HELOC, but its loan assumptions and disclosures indicate that borrowers draw 100% of the credit line to get the lowest rates.

The bank also offers low to no closing costs, and you can lock in your rate up to three times, with the first lock fee-free and additional locks costing $75 each.

Key features:

  • Introductory rates (APR): 5.74% variable for 6 months or 7.24% variable for 12 months
  • Interest rates (APR) after introductory term ends: Variable; starting at 7.49%
  • Minimum credit score: 650 
  • Maximum LTV: 70%
  • Draw period: 10 years
  • Repayment period: 20 years
  • Discounts: 0.50% autopay
  • Fees: $75 annual fee; $75 rate-lock fee; $100 remote closing fee; Early closure fee
  • Availability: All 50 states

Central Pacific Bank

HELOC

  • 4.95% fixed introductory rate for 2 years
  • Get a credit of up to $500 to help pay closing fees
  • Open to Hawaii residents only

Central Pacific Bank is a Hawaii-based lender that offers various banking and financial services. Its HELOC is only available for properties in Hawaii, but the fixed introductory APR is too generous not to include it on this list. 

If you live in Hawaii and qualify for a Central Pacific Bank HELOC, you can lock in a fixed introductory APR for two to five years. As you can see from our other top HELOC introductory rates, most others last six to 12 months. The fixed intro rate requires a $10,000 initial draw.

Central Pacific Bank’s quick loan approval process and easy automatic payments further streamline the borrowing experience. The Express HELOC offers even faster processing times and requires no appraisal for loans up to $75,000.

  • Introductory rates (APR): 4.95% fixed
  • Length of introductory term: 2 – 5 years
  • Interest rates (APR) after introductory term ends: Variable; starting at 8.75%
  • Draw period: 10 years
  • Repayment period: 20 years
  • Fees: No annual fee. Closing costs may apply, but borrowers can get a credit of up to $500 to help cover these fees.
  • Availability: Hawaii only

What makes a good introductory rate?

A good introductory rate for a HELOC is often a low APR that lasts for at least six months. However, the lowest interest rate may not be the best deal if you could maximize your savings by choosing a higher rate with an extended introductory period. 

For example, a HELOC with a 6.50% introductory rate that lasts for 12 months could be a better deal than a HELOC with a 5.50% introductory rate that lasts for six months, depending on your situation.

In addition to the introductory APR and length, consider the following:

  • Long-term interest rate
  • Repayment terms
  • Fees
  • Potential penalties

For instance, a HELOC with a lower introductory rate but higher fees or a higher long-term APR might be more expensive in the long run.

Why do lenders offer introductory rates?

Lenders offer the best HELOC introductory rates to attract new borrowers and compete with other lenders. An attractive introductory HELOC rate can be an effective way to entice borrowers looking for a low-cost loan.

The best HELOC introductory rates may be temporary, but they can help lenders establish long-term relationships with borrowers, resulting in steady business for years.

What happens when the introductory rate period ends?

When the HELOC introductory rate period ends, your interest rate will default to the lender’s current market rate. This rate is often based on the prime rate plus a margin, which the lender determines. 

The new interest rate could be higher or lower than the introductory rate depending on market conditions and your creditworthiness. Your monthly payment will adjust to reflect the new interest rate, which could result in a higher payment.

Can I refinance my HELOC to a new introductory rate when mine ends?

Refinancing a HELOC to a new introductory rate may be possible depending on the lender’s policies, but it’s unlikely. Many lenders only extend introductory rate offers to new HELOCs, not refinances. 

Refinancing a HELOC may also come with new fees and closing costs, offsetting the savings from the new introductory rate. 

How important should the introductory rate be when choosing a HELOC?

A low HELOC introductory rate is essential when selecting a loan because it can lower your initial monthly payments. However, consider other factors, such as: 

  • How long the introductory period lasts
  • APR after the introductory period ends
  • Fees 

Comparing HELOC rates from different lenders can help you find the best deal. 

Once you choose a lender, you’ll fill out an application and provide documentation, such as proof of income and bank statements. 

The lender will then review your application and approve or deny you for a HELOC. If approved, you’ll finalize details, such as the loan amount, introductory HELOC rate, and repayment terms.