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Home Equity HELOCs

Best No-Fee HELOCs

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a borrowing tool that allows homeowners to tap into the equity they’ve built in their home. This line of credit is secured, meaning the home itself backs it. You can use the HELOC to fund home renovations, consolidate debts, fund a big purchase, or, during an emergency, pay unanticipated costs.

Unlike a home equity loan, which is a one-time lump-sum payment, a home equity line of credit is a form of revolving credit, allowing homeowners to borrow what they need when they need it. HELOCs aren’t free, however; in fact, homeowners can expect to pay several fees when getting a home equity line of credit and for ongoing usage of the HELOC.

LenderRates (APR)Best for
Figure7.85%17.20% fixedBest overall 
Bethpage12-month intro rate of 6.99% for VantageScores of 720 and up; then a variable rateBest credit union
LendingTreeStarting at 6.99%Best marketplace

Best no-fee HELOCs

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to find a true no-fee HELOC. Like a mortgage, home equity lines of credit come with several costs, including origination fees, notary fees, and appraisal fees. There are also ongoing costs to service the line of credit, like maintenance, early termination, and inactivity fees.

You can prioritize home equity lines of credit with low closing costs and ongoing fees. The table below shows some of the best HELOCs with low fees.


Best overall

4.9 /5
LendEDU Rating

Why we picked it

Figure is perfect for homeowners who want to tap into their equity quickly. The application process is 100% online, and you can get access to the HELOC in as few as five days. You can borrow up to $400,000, and you can manage the process entirely online—no need to set foot in a bank.

You’ll pay a one-time origination fee (up to 4.99%), though you can opt for a higher origination fee in exchange for a lower interest rate. Other HELOC fees through Figure may include the cost of a valuation, manual notarization, recording fees, and recording taxes.

  • Funding in as fast as five days
  • Fixed interest rate
  • Completely online process


Best credit union

4.7 /5
LendEDU Rating

Why we picked it

Bethpage is the best credit union for no-fee HELOCs. While the home equity lines of credit aren’t truly free of fees, you won’t pay any closing costs on the first $500,000 borrowed (as long as you don’t terminate the HELOC within 36 months). You’ll still be responsible for taxes and title insurance.

While Bethpage offers one of the best fee structures, you’ll need a little more patience—it takes 35 days on average to get access to funds. The first 12 months, you’ll get a fixed rate (assuming you meet credit score requirements), but then the loan converts to variable interest, unless you convert to a fixed-rate loan option.

  • No closing costs on first $500,000
  • Fixed-rate loan options available
  • Knowledgeable lending specialists available to chat


Best marketplace

4.5 /5
LendEDU Rating

Why we picked it

LendingTree is an online marketplace that allows you to compare multiple HELOC lenders in one spot. This is ideal if you’re overwhelmed by the options for your HELOC and want to ensure you find the best rate and lowest fees.

Because LendingTree has such a vast marketplace, you’re all but guaranteed to find a HELOC that works for your budget and needs. You can borrow up to $2 million (if approved). Repayment terms range from five to 30 years.

  • Comparison shop with various lenders
  • No credit impact when reviewing offers
  • Borrow up to $2 million

What are the most common HELOC fees?

While a no-fee HELOC would be ideal, be prepared to pay at least some common HELOC fees when accessing a home equity line of credit from a bank, credit union, or online lender. In fact, you’ll typically pay closing costs at the start of the HELOC and more fees during the entire loan term.

Common HELOC closing costs

As with a mortgage, expect to pay some costs during the HELOC closing process. Altogether, these fees generally amount to 2% to 5% of the total loan amount and include:

  • Origination fee: This is the cost of starting a loan. Origination fees are common with several types of loans, including mortgages and personal loans.
  • Appraisal fee: To determine the value of your home, you’ll need to get an appraisal, which unfortunately isn’t free—the result of the appraisal will dictate how much you can borrow.
  • Title search: Lenders may charge you to confirm you legally own the property for which you’re applying for a line of credit.
  • Credit check: When borrowing money, your credit score dictates your eligibility and resulting interest rate. Lenders may charge you to pull your credit report.
  • Other fees: In addition, lenders may charge you to prepare documents through an attorney, notarize documents, and record your loan with the county.
HELOC closing costTypical amount
Origination feeUsually a percentage of the loan amount
Appraisal fee$300 – $400
Title search$75 – $200
Credit check$25 – $50
Documentation/attorney fees$100 – $400
Notary fee$50 – $200
Loan recording fee$15 – $50

Common ongoing HELOC fees

Unfortunately, HELOC fees don’t stop when you close on the loan. Lenders continue to charge various HELOC fees over the life of the line of credit, including:

  • Annual maintenance fees: Lenders typically charge you a small annual fee simply to keep the loan active.
  • Early termination fees: When opening a HELOC, you’ll typically agree on a termination date. If you decide to end the HELOC early, you may pay a fee.
  • Inactivity charges: Lenders make money when you use your HELOC (since they charge you interest). To incentivize you to borrow, they may assess inactivity fees when you don’t make draws.
  • Rate conversion fees: If you have a variable rate and want to switch to a fixed rate, lenders could charge you for this service.
Ongoing HELOC feesTypical amount
Annual maintenance fees$25 – $75
Early termination fees$500
Inactivity charges$5 – $50
Rate conversion fees$75

Ask the expert

Erin Kinkade


It’s wise to be cautious when any advertisement for a financial product promotes the product with no fees. I suggest checking the company on the Better Business Bureau website before speaking with a representative. Once it is determined they are accredited, speak with a representative to understand the product and where the fees are charged. Be wary of a financial institution promoting a no-fee product that does not have a reputable/long-term track record and can’t prove BBB accreditation. I recommend borrowers ideally identify at least three reputable financial institutions to compare and contrast available features to obtain a HELOC. 

How to choose the best HELOC

Here’s how to choose the best HELOC:

  1. Grab a calculator and your budget: Figure out how much you need to borrow now and try to anticipate how much you might need to borrow on an ongoing basis. But also estimate how much equity you have in your home and how much you can afford to spend each month in loan repayment costs. This will help you define your search parameters, including borrowing limit and APR.
  2. Compare multiple lenders: Never go with the first HELOC lender you find. If possible, check your rates and fees at all the low-fee HELOCs on our list above, or use an online marketplace to compare multiple lenders in one place.
  3. Consider other factors: Beyond rates and fees, think about what else you want out of a HELOC. Do you need fast funding? Do you want an all-digital experience, or would you prefer to visit a local bank branch to talk to a loan expert throughout the life of the loan? Answering these and other questions can help you find the best HELOC lender for you.
  4. Understand the fine print: When considering any HELOC, read the fine print closely to understand whether it’s a fixed or variable interest rate, when the draw period ends, and any hidden fees, such as early termination fees.


Does a HELOC put your home at risk?

A home equity line of credit uses your home as collateral. If you default on a HELOC, the lender could initiate foreclosure proceedings against you. 

Because you could lose your home if you can’t pay, using home equity is much riskier than unsecured personal loans or other forms of debt

How do variable HELOC rates work?

Variable-rate HELOCs cap the maximum interest rate the loan can carry. Your rates can’t rise unchecked, but a higher rate can mean much higher payments. 

Since many home equity line of credit products have variable interest rates, it’s crucial to be aware that repayment amounts are not fixed.

What is the HELOC application process?

Applying for a home equity line of credit is similar to applying for a mortgage.

In addition to the formal application and credit check, lenders require documentation verifying the applicant’s information, i.e., recent billing statements for all debt obligations, pay stubs, and W-2 forms.

How we chose the best no-fee HELOCs

Since 2018, LendEDU has evaluated home equity companies to help readers find the best home equity loans and HELOCs. Our latest analysis reviewed 850 data points from 34 lenders and financial institutions, with 25 data points collected from each. This information is gathered from company websites, online applications, public disclosures, customer reviews, and direct communication with company representatives.

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

Recap of the best no-fee HELOCs

LenderRates (APR)
Figure7.85%17.20% fixed
Bethpage12-month intro rate of 6.99% for VantageScores of 720 and up; then a variable rate
LendingTreeStarting at 6.99%