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Home Equity HELOCs

Best Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Rates & Lenders

Updated Sep 01, 2023   |   12-min read

In our evaluation of the best HELOC lenders, Figure came out as our clear overall top pick. We reviewed the online application process, current rates, funding speed, and more.

LenderOur choiceRates (APR)Editorial rating
FigureBest overall6.55%15.54%4.9 stars
HitchBest for fast funding7.75%13.00%4.4 stars
Spring EQBest multi-product applicationNot disclosed4.6 stars
BethpageBest credit unionFixed, intro rate of 7.24% APR for 12 months for VantageScores of 720 and up1; then variable starting at 7.75% APR2 thereafter4.2 stars

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.

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:

Compare the best HELOC lenders

Figure

Best Overall

Why it’s one of the best

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.

What you should know

Rates (APR) 8.65%16.80%, fixed
Loan amount $15,000 – $400,000
Draw period 5 years
Funding time As little as 5 days

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 penalities, so you can repay your loan anytime.

Key takeaways

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    Fixed rates on all HELOCs

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    Receive funds in as little as 5 days

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    100% online application process

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    Redraw up to 100% of your funds

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    No in-person branches

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    Origination fee that varies borrower by borrower

Check your rate without impacting your credit. Click here.

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

Spring EQ

Best Multi-Product Application

Why it’s one of the best

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. Spring EQ offers both, and you can apply for a HELOC and home equity loan using the same application. 

You can borrow up to $500,000 with a Spring EQ HELOC or home equity loan. The maximum LTV for either is 95%. HELOCs have a 20-year repayment term, following a 10-year draw period, while home equity loan borrowers can repay the loan over 30 years after getting the lump sum.

Spring EQ doesn’t disclose rates online, so you’ll need to start an application to see what rates you might qualify for. The minimum credit score requirement is 680, but the company doesn’t specify income or DTI requirements. Once approved, it’s possible to get funded in under two weeks.

What you should know

Rates (APR) Not disclosed
Loan amounts $25,000 – $500,000
Draw period 10 years
Funding time As little as 11 days

Eligibility requirements

Spring EQ doesn’t disclose all of its eligibility requirements for homeowners and properties, but here’s what we do know.

Applicants:
– Have a credit score of 680 or above.

Properties:
– Be an owner-occupied or secondary home.

Repayment details

Spring EQ HELOCs come with a 10-year draw period where interest-only payments are due. At the end of those 10 years, there’s a full repayment period of 20 years.

Key takeaways

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    Borrow up to 95% of your home’s equity

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    See rates for both a HELOC and home equity loan

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    Not available nationwide

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    Limited information available outside of the application

Check your HELOC and home equity loan rates. Click here.

Hitch

Best for Fast Funding

Why it’s one of the best

Hitch offers an online HELOC that comes with fast funding. The application process takes just minutes. Once approved, getting funds in just a few days is possible. With other HELOC options, you might wait two to six weeks for your lender to grant access to your credit line.

Hitch offers multiple draw period options, and it’s possible to borrow up to $500,000 or 95% of your home’s value. You’ll need at least a 640 credit score and one year of verifiable income to apply. No hard credit pull is required to check your rates and get prequalified for a HELOC.

If there is one “hitch” with Hitch, its HELOCs are not available in every state. As of May 2023, Hitch only lends in Colorado, Florida, Oregon, and Utah. However, the company plans to extend its HELOC offerings to other states, so it’s worth keeping on your radar if you’re shopping for the best home equity line of credit. 

What you should know

Rates (APR) 7.75%13.00%, variable
Loan amount $25,000 – $500,000
Draw period 10 years
Funding time 5 to 7 days, on average

Eligibility requirements

Hitch doesn’t disclose a lot of information about its eligibility requirements. We’ve gathered that applicants must have a credit score of 640 or above and reside in Colorado, Florida, Oregon, or Utah.

Repayment details

Hitch HELOCs include a 10-year draw period and a 20-year repayment period.

Key takeaways

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    Check your rates without impacting your credit

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    Easy application process

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    Access up to 95% of your home’s equity

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    You’re assigned a dedicated loan officer during the application process

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    Only available in Colorado, Florida, Oregon, and Utah

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    Not a lot of information on its website

Check your rate without impacting your credit. Click here.

Bethpage

Best Credit Union

Why it’s one of the best

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.

What you should know

Rates (APR) 12-month intro rate of 6.99% for VantageScores of 720 and up1; then a variable rate
Loan amount $10,000 – $1 million
Draw period 10 years
Funding time 6 to 10 weeks

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.

Key takeaways

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    No application, origination, or appraisal fees

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    Borrow up to $1 million

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    Convert part of your HELOC to a fixed-rate option

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    No eligibility details on its website

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    Longer funding times than online lenders

Ready to check your rate? Click here.

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 offer home equity loan and HELOC promotions. 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. 

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. 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

As mentioned, 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. 

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.

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 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.

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

How do HELOC rates compare to home equity loans or personal loans?

HELOC rates are often variable rather than fixed, which means they can be higher than home equity loan rates. Home equity loan and HELOC rates are generally higher than traditional mortgage rates.

Whether you can get a higher or lower rate with a HELOC versus a personal loan can depend on how much you’re borrowing and the lender. It’s possible to find unsecured personal loans with competitive rates. Personal loan rates are often fixed, but some lenders offer variable-rate options.