Many or all companies we feature compensate us. Compensation and editorial
research influence how products appear on a page.
Home Equity HELOCs

Best HELOC Lenders and Rates

A home equity line of credit can give you access to cash for debt consolidation, home improvements, or other expenses. Knowing how to shop for a HELOC matters if you hope to get the lowest rate, so we reviewed 35 HELOC lenders to find the best. In our evaluation, Figure came out as our top selection.

Company
Best for…
Rating (0-5)
Best Overall
4.9
Best for Large HELOCs
4.7
Best Marketplace
4.5
View Rates
NMLS #1136 Terms and Conditions apply.

Reviews of the best HELOC lenders

We created a rating system for getting a HELOC that considers critical factors, such as interest rates, eligibility requirements, loan-to-value ratios, loan amounts, draw periods, repayment details, and minimum credit score requirements.

Here’s a summary of our recommendations for the best HELOC companies:

Best overall: Figure

Editorial rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • 7.45% to 15.55%, fixed APR
  • Borrow $20,000 to $400,000
  • Receive funds in as little as five days
  • 100% online application and appraisal
  • Redraw up to 100% of your funds

Includes autopay and credit union membership discounts, as well as payment of an origination fee in exchange for a reduced APR. Terms and conditions apply. Visit Figure.com for further details. Figure Lending LLC is an equal opportunity lender. NMLS #1717824

Figure is our choice as the best overall home equity line of credit thanks to its high maximum loan limit and speedy approval and funding process. The application process is online, with no need to meet with a loan officer in person. It’s possible to get approved in minutes.

Eligible homeowners can borrow up to $400,000, with the option to redraw up to 100%. Once approved, get access to funding in as little as five days. Figure offers online and video notary support, with an average response time of less than 45 seconds.

There are no closing costs for a Figure HELOC and no out-of-pocket costs. HELOC rates are fixed, and you can check your rate without affecting your credit score. Figure HELOCs are available in most states, and you can borrow against a primary home, second home, or investment property.

Eligibility requirements

Figure has a few requirements for homeowners and their properties to be accepted for a HELOC.

Applicants:

  • Have a credit score of 680 or above.
  • Name must appear in the country records as the property owner.
  • Must be employed, self-employed, or retired.

Properties:

  • Be a single-family residence, townhouse, planned urban development (PUD), or condo.
  • Can be the applicant’s primary or secondary residence.
  • No title change in the preceding 90 days.
Repayment details

Figure HELOCs have a draw period of up to five years before full repayment begins. Once the five years are up, you’ll have a repayment term of five, 10, 15, or 30 years. There are no prepayment penalties, so you can repay your loan anytime.

Best for large HELOCs: Bethpage

Editorial rating: 4.7 out of 5

  • 12-month intro rate of 6.99% for VantageScores of 720 and up1; then a variable rate
  • Borrow $10,000 to $1 million
  • No application, origination, or appraisal fees
  • Convert part of your HELOC to a fixed-rate option

You might be looking for the best bank for a HELOC, but don’t count out credit unions. Bethpage Federal Credit Union offers variable-rate HELOCs with an option to fix full or a portion of the line, with no closing costs2 or hidden fees. Bethpage HELOCs have a minimum amount of $10,000 and a maximum amount of $1 million.

The credit union offers a low fixed introductory APR on HELOCs of $25,000 or more for VantageScores of 720 and up1. After 12 months, your HELOC converts to a variable rate. You also have the option to convert a variable-rate loan balance to a fixed rate3, which can help you lock in predictable payments. Ensure you consider the variable-rate payments and current interest rates. Keep track of timing and steps to lock in a fixed interest rate when the option becomes available.

Rate discounts are available if you schedule payments from a Bethpage personal savings or checking account. You must start an application to see what rates you might qualify for. Bethpage doesn’t disclose, income requirements, or debt-to-income (DTI) requirements online, but has a minimum credit score of 670.

Eligibility requirements

Bethpage has several requirements you must meet to be eligible for a HELOC, but it doesn’t disclose them in detail on its website. It recommends you speak to a home lending specialist. We know that applicants must have a credit score of 670 or above.

Repayment details

All Bethpage FCU HELOCs include a 10-year draw period and a 20-year repayment period.

Best marketplace: LendingTree

NMLS #1136 Terms and Conditions apply.

Editorial rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Borrow $10,000 to $2 million
  • Compare offers from multiple lenders
  • No impact on your credit for checking offers

A HELOC is one way to tap into your equity; a home equity loan is another. Instead of a flexible line of credit, home equity loans provide a lump sum. LendingTree lets you compare lenders that offer both with one simple online form. 

You can borrow up to $2 million, depending on the lender you’re matched with. The repayment terms vary between five and 30 years.

LendingTree rates start at 6.99%, but, as with the loan amounts, they vary based on the lender you choose. If matched with a lender, you could receive funds in as little as five days.

Eligibility requirements

LendingTree isn’t a lender itself, so there are no eligibility requirements for comparing lenders in its network. Its website notes that most borrowers have a minimum credit score of 620 or higher, a debt-to-income ratio below 43%, and a loan-to-value ratio below 95%.

Repayment details

LendingTree’s lenders offer repayment terms between five and 30 years, with draw periods of two to 20 years.

How we chose the best HELOC lenders

LendEDU has evaluated lenders since 2019 to help our readers find the best HELOCs. Our most recent evaluation consisted of 35 lenders and 26 data points for each, resulting in 910 data points in our analysis.

These data points fell under 12 categories: transparency, eligibility requirements, rates, repayment terms, loan amounts, appraisal process, fees, customer experience, company history, benefits, funding time, and limitations on received funds.

Each company was assigned a score of one to five per category, depending on how it compared to others. We determine the weight of each category based on how important we believe the information is to consumers. We total the weighted scores to determine a final editorial rating for each company. The star ratings range from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). We round our ratings to the nearest half-star.

These star ratings help us determine which companies are the best for different borrowers. We don’t believe two companies can be the best for the same purpose, so we only show each “best for” designation once.

How to get the best HELOC rates

Getting the best rates on a home equity line of credit begins with research. The following are important considerations when comparing HELOC rates.

  • Introductory rates. Some lenders may offer home equity loan and HELOC promotions or make borrowing easier for veterans. These include introductory or teaser rates for HELOCs. These rates are often good for the first 12 months. If you’re tempted by an introductory rate, remember to consider what the rate will adjust to later and whether there’s a minimum loan requirement to qualify. 
  • Fixed vs. variable rates. A fixed-rate HELOC could make sense if you want predictable payments and don’t want to worry about rate adjustments making your loan more expensive. On the other hand, variable-rate HELOCs can be more attractive when rates are low.
  • Rate discounts. HELOC lenders can use rate discounts as an incentive to attract borrowers. When comparing HELOC options, consider what discounts you might take advantage of to reduce your rate. 
  • Convertibility. If you’re leaning toward a variable-rate HELOC, consider whether you might have the option to switch to a fixed rate later. Not all HELOC lenders offer this benefit, but it can be appealing if variable rates lose their luster after closing. 

Aside from HELOC rates, it’s also important to consider other factors, including:

  • Minimum and maximum loan amounts
  • Maximum LTV ratio allowed
  • Minimum credit score and income requirements
  • Application, approval, and funding speed
  • Draw periods
  • Repayment terms
  • Fees

Digging into these details can take time, but it’s worth it to feel confident you’ve found the right HELOC for your needs. 

Does your state affect HELOC rates? Check out our resources to see the best lenders in your state:

How to qualify for a HELOC

HELOC lenders can consider various factors when deciding whether to approve you. The critical considerations for HELOC approval often revolve around the following:

  • Credit scores
  • Income
  • Debt-to-income ratio

Higher credit scores can make it easier to get approved for a HELOC and qualify for the lowest rates. Our research found minimum credit score requirements in the 620 to 640 range, but a “good” credit score is 670 to 739. You’ll need a score of 800 or better to have exceptional credit

Lenders consider the type of home you own. This is important because your home secures the HELOC. Income and debt-to-income ratio—your monthly debt payments divided by your pretax monthly income—also matter because they tell a lender how much money you can dedicate to repaying a home equity line of credit

The equity you have in your home also matters. It’s typical for lenders to cap the maximum LTV for a home equity loan at 80% or 85%. 

However, as you can see from our roundup of the best HELOC lenders, the maximum LTV can be higher or lower than that range. You can use a home equity calculator to estimate how much you might be able to borrow. From there, the next step is getting rate quotes and reviewing approval requirements with individual lenders. 

Is a HELOC my best option?

A HELOC could be the best option for borrowing against home equity when you don’t know how much cash you might need. You could use a HELOC to pay for a one-time expense or ongoing costs. 

Here are scenarios where a HELOC might be a good option for funding expenses. 

When you need cash for…You could use a HELOC to…
CollegePay for tuition, fees, room and board or off-campus housing, books, a new laptop, and other expenses.
Home improvements or repairsPurchase supplies, pay contractors’ fees, and get necessary inspections or permits.
HealthcareMake copayments or coinsurance payments, meet deductibles, purchase prescriptions, or pay medical bills insurance doesn’t cover.
A weddingPay deposits, rent furniture or equipment, pay the photographer, buy wedding clothes or rings, purchase decorations and favors, buy invitations, and even fund the honeymoon.
EmergenciesCover emergency veterinary bills, pay for major car repairs, fix damage to your home that insurance doesn’t cover, or fund day-to-day living expenses if you’re unable to work because of an illness or injury.

Is there anything you shouldn’t use a HELOC for?

We advise against using a HELOC for costs that aren’t necessities (such as a vacation) because you risk losing your home if you can’t repay it. We also don’t recommend using borrowed money to invest if you’re not comfortable accepting the risk that goes along with it. 

You may also weigh the pros and cons of using your home equity to fund a new business. If the business fails, you’ll still have to pay back what you borrowed or risk the lender foreclosing on your house. 

Alternatives to a HELOC

A HELOC is one option for getting cash, but it may not suit everyone. Some properties, such as co-ops, may not allow HELOCs. Business owners may want to consider commercial equity lines of credit. While shopping for the best home equity line of credit, you might also consider other ways to borrow.

HELOC alternatives include:

  • Home equity loans
  • Personal loans
  • Credit cards
Table showing the major differences and similarities between a HELOC and a home equity loan

Home equity loans allow you to tap into your equity by borrowing a lump sum. Compared to a HELOC, home equity loans may have longer repayment periods. Fixed rates are more common with home equity loans, which means the rate and monthly payment will remain the same for the life of the loan. 

Personal loans might be preferable to home equity loans or HELOCs if you’d prefer not to use your home as collateral. If you fail to repay a HELOC or home equity loan, you risk losing your home to foreclosure. Many personal loans are unsecured, eliminating that risk. 

Credit cards are another option for borrowing if you don’t need cash. For example, you might use a credit card to purchase supplies for home renovations or cover an emergency expense. Watch out for the APR because credit card interest rates can be much higher than HELOC rates. 

How to apply for a HELOC

Applying for a HELOC is similar to applying for other loans, but it’s wise to know what to expect. Before you hit “submit” on a loan application, it’s helpful to do the following:

  • Estimate how much you’ll need to borrow
  • Calculate your home equity
  • Check your credit score
  • Review your income and debt

Once you have numbers, you can shop for the best home equity line of credit. This is where it pays to compare rates, fees, and loan terms to find the right option. 

Every lender has unique guidelines for submitting a HELOC application. You may be able to check your rates first before completing the entire application. Lenders who offer this often allow you to prequalify through a short online questionnaire that doesn’t affect your credit. It’s an opportunity to see how much you might pay to borrow before completing a full application and having a hard credit inquiry added to your credit report. 

You’ll likely need several documents to apply for a HELOC, and organizing them beforehand is wise. For example, a lender may ask to see the following:

  • Recent pay stubs
  • Tax forms for the previous year or two years
  • Bank statements
  • Copies of your homeowners insurance policy and flood declarations
  • Current year property tax bill
  • Recent mortgage statements

If you’re applying for a HELOC online, your lender should tell you how to upload those documents. Whether you need an appraisal can depend on the lender. Some lenders allow automatic appraisals online, while others require an in-person evaluation of your home. 

Find out more about how to apply for a HELOC.

FAQ

How does a HELOC work?

A HELOC is a line of credit that allows you to borrow against your home equity. HELOCs have a draw period, during which you can use your credit line, followed by a repayment period. 

Image shows a borrower withdrawing three times during the draw period, then making full principal + interest payments during the repayment period

Draw periods can last five to 10 years, while repayment periods can last up to 20 years. You may be required or given the option to make interest-only payments during the draw period. You only pay interest on the amount of your credit line you use.


Tip

Some lenders offer HELOCs with no prepayment penalties, offering more control over the repayment process.


What’s the average HELOC rate today?

We couldn’t find any government agencies providing this information, so we reviewed the rate ranges of 10 HELOC lenders disclosing their marketed rates to calculate the average rate range of 7.80% to 15.56% APR. We calculated this on March 27, 2023. 

Note: This is the average lowest and highest rate from the lenders, not the average borrowers received.

The average HELOC rate is not fixed and can fluctuate by day or week. The average for fixed-rate HELOCs, which are often attractive to retirees, may differ from variable-rate HELOCs.

How do I know if I got a good HELOC rate?

The simplest way to evaluate whether a HELOC rate is “good” is to compare it to HELOC rates from other lenders. 

However, it’s essential to remember that what constitutes a good rate for you may differ from someone else. Your credit scores and income can influence the rates you pay. The best HELOC rate is the lowest one you can be approved for based on your credit and other qualifications, considering what fits in your budget.

Read More

HELOCs for Seniors

Do interest-rate hikes affect my HELOC rate?

Interest-rate hikes can affect your HELOC rate if you have a variable-rate loan. Variable-rate HELOCs are tied to an index rate; when that index rate goes up, the rate on your HELOC can also increase. HELOCs are indexed to the prime rate, which follows movements in the federal funds rate

The federal funds rate is the rate at which banks lend to one another overnight. When the Federal Reserve adjusts the federal funds rate up or down to steer economic policy, HELOC rates can follow suit. 

Are there limitations to how I use a HELOC?

You can use a HELOC to meet various financial needs, including home renovations or repairs, debt consolidation, major purchases, or emergency expenses. If there are any limitations on what you can use a HELOC for, your lender should disclose those upfront. 

How long does it take to get funds from a HELOC?

The time it takes to get HELOC funds after approval can vary by lender. Hitch, for example, can provide funding within a few days, while other lenders may require you to wait two to six weeks to access funds. 

Generally, funding may be faster with online HELOC lenders versus traditional banks or credit unions

Recap of the best HELOCs

Company
Best for…
Rating (0-5)
Best Overall
4.9
Best for Large HELOCs
4.7
Best Marketplace
4.5
View Rates
NMLS #1136 Terms and Conditions apply.