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A home equity loan can be a great option for consolidating debt, renovating your house or covering another major cost. As its name suggests, a home equity loan lets you borrow from your home’s equity—the value of your property minus your existing mortgage balance. Typically, a home equity loan is a cheaper and faster funding option than a cash-out refinance.

To find the best home equity loan lenders in 2024, we compared multiple lenders using several factors— ease of application process, potential fees and available discounts, accepted combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratios, competitive interest rates, transparent borrowing requirements and accessible customer service.

Best home equity loan lenders

Why trust our mortgage experts

Our team of experts evaluated hundreds of mortgage products and analyzed thousands of data points to help you find the best fit for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 18 mortgage lenders reviewed.
  • 180 data points analyzed.
  • 6-stage fact-checking process.

Compare the best home equity loan lenders

 APRMIN. CREDIT SCOREMAX CLTV RATIOCLOSING TIME
Discover
Below national average
620
90%
30 to 55 days
Old National Bank
Below national average
Does not disclose
89%
Less than 30 days
TD Bank
Below national average
660
89.99%
30 to 45 days
BMO Harris
Above national average
700
89%
30 to 45 days
Fifth Third Bank
Below national average
660
89%
30 to 45 days
Flagstar
Below national average
680
89%
30 to 45 days
Connexus Credit Union
Below national average (introductory rate)
640
90%
Less than 30 days
Navy Federal Credit Union
Below national average
Does not disclose
100%
Over 60 days

Methodology

Our expert writers and editors have reviewed and researched multiple lenders to help you find the best home equity loan. Out of all the lenders considered, the eight that made our list excelled in areas across the following categories (with weightings): loan cost (35%), eligibility and accessibility (35%), customer service (15%), and ease of application (10%).

Within each major category, we considered several characteristics, including minimum APR, maximum combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio and minimum credit score requirements. We also evaluated each provider’s customer support options, borrower perks and features that simplify the borrowing process—like time to close.

Why some lenders didn’t make the cut

Of the home equity loan lenders that we reviewed, only a fraction made the cut. The lenders that didn’t have high enough scores to be included, received lower ratings mostly due to having a lack of transparency around eligibility details like minimum credit score, APR and more.

What is a home equity loan?

A home equity loan is a type of financing that allows you to tap into your home’s equity to pay for various expenses, such as home improvements, debt consolidation or other major purchases. You can typically borrow 80% to 90% of your total equity (in other words, your home’s value), and repayment terms can range from five to 30 years, depending on the lender.

Home equity loans are disbursed as a lump sum to use how you’d like, which can make them ideal if you know exactly how much they need to borrow. These loans also usually have fixed interest rates, which means your payments will stay the same throughout the life of the loan.

Keep in mind that like a standard mortgage, a home equity loan uses your home as collateral. Because this reduces the risk for lenders, home equity loans can have lower interest rates than other options like personal loans and credit cards. However, you could lose your home if you don’t make your payments.

How to get a home equity loan

If you’re ready to get a home equity loan, follow these steps:

  1. Estimate your available equity. Getting a sense of your home equity can be helpful so you have some insight into what you could borrow. To calculate your home equity, subtract what you still owe on your mortgage (along with any other loans secured by your home’s equity, such as a HELOC) from your home’s current value.
  2. Compare lenders and pick a loan option. Before you apply, be sure to shop around and compare your options with as many home equity loan lenders as possible. Consider important factors like home equity loan rates, loan amounts, repayment terms and borrower requirements. After you’ve done your research, choose the lender you like best.
  3. Gather documentation. While requirements vary by lender, lenders typically request recent mortgage statements, bank statements, tax returns and more when you apply for a home equity loan. Gathering your documentation beforehand you apply can help simplify the process and save time. 
  4. Apply. After you’ve chosen a lender and gathered your documents, it’s time to submit a formal application. Many lenders offer online applications for home equity loans, though some might require you to visit a local branch location. 
  5. Close on the loan and get your funds. If your application is approved, you can typically expect to close on your home equity loan in two to six weeks (or longer), depending on your lender and the complexity of your loan. On closing day, the lender will have you sign all of the paperwork for the loan, and you’ll pay any required closing costs. Your funds will generally be disbursed as soon as three days after closing in agreement with federal regulations.

Home equity loan vs. HELOC

Both home equity loans and HELOCs are secured by your home, but they’re structured differently. A home equity loan is typically a fixed-rate installment loan that provides you with a lump sum to use how you’d like — similar to a personal loan. With this kind of loan, you’ll begin making full principal and interest payments shortly after you receive your loan funds. Repayment terms generally range from five to 30 years, depending on the lender.

A HELOC, on the other hand, is a revolving credit line that comes with both a draw period and a repayment period. During the draw period (typically up to 10 years), you can borrow against your HELOC as needed up to the amount designated by your lender. You’ll generally make interest-only payments during this time. Once this period ends, you’ll enter repayment and start making full principal and interest payments toward the amount you’ve borrowed. HELOC repayment periods can range up to 20 years, depending on the lender.

Also note that unlike home equity loans, HELOCs usually have variable rates that can fluctuate according to market conditions.

How to choose: A home equity loan can be a good choice if you know exactly how much you need to borrow. However, if you aren’t sure how much you need to borrow or have recurring expenses, a HELOC might be a better option.

Is a home equity loan right for you?

A home equity loan might be right for you if you have amassed significant equity in your property and appreciate the predictability of a fixed-rate financing option. However, it’s crucial to review your monthly budget before applying for a home equity loan as you’ll want to ensure you can afford to add another monthly payment to your expenses — especially since your home will act as collateral for the loan.

Home equity loan alternatives

home equity line of credit (HELOC) could be a good alternative to a home equity loan, and a personal loan may also be a smart choice.

“One of the biggest drawbacks to a home equity loan is that it’s secured by your property,” says Leslie Tayne, Founder and Head Attorney at Tayne Law Group. 

That means if you face financial hardship and are suddenly unable to make your payments, your home could be at risk of foreclosure. Many personal loans, on the other hand, are unsecured, meaning no collateral is required to secure the loan. There are still pretty serious consequences if you miss payments, but you don’t have to worry about losing what’s probably your largest asset.”

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

You’ll likely need good to excellent credit—a score of 670 or above—to qualify for a home equity loan. But certain lenders may have less stringent requirements than others, accepting credit scores as low as 620.

The timeframe for closing on your home equity loan can vary by lender. But generally, getting your loan may take two weeks to two months after applying.

You’ll likely need an appraisal to determine your home’s current value before you can get a home equity loan. These loans are secured by your house, meaning the bank will want to know your home’s market value before determining how much they’ll approve you for or if you can get a loan.

The total amount you can borrow will depend upon factors like the amount remaining on your mortgage, the current value of your home, the lender you work with, and more. But as a general rule, lenders may let you borrow up to 85% of your home’s value, minus your current mortgage balance.

Yes, it’s possible to borrow against your home’s equity without refinancing your mortgage. To do so, you could apply for a home equity loan, a lump-sum loan secured by your home. Or you could get a HELOC, which acts as a credit line you can draw from that’s secured by your home.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Jess Ullrich

BLUEPRINT

Jess is a personal finance writer who's been creating online content since 2009. Before transitioning to full-time freelance writing, Jess was on the editorial team at Investopedia and The Balance. Her work has been published on FinanceBuzz, HuffPost, Investopedia, The Balance and more.

Jamie Young

BLUEPRINT

Jamie Young is Lead Editor of loans and mortgages at ӣƵ Blueprint. She has been writing and editing professionally for 12 years. Previously, she worked for Forbes Advisor, Credible, LendingTree, Student Loan Hero, and GOBankingRates. Her work has also appeared on some of the best-known media outlets including Yahoo, Fox Business, Time, CBS News, AOL, MSN, and more. Jamie is passionate about finance, technology, and the Oxford comma. In her free time, she likes to game, play with her two crazy cats (Detective Snoop and his girl Friday), and try to keep up with her ever-growing plant collection.

Ashley Harrison is a ӣƵ Blueprint loans and mortgages deputy editor who has worked in the online finance space since 2017. She’s passionate about creating helpful content that makes complicated financial topics easy to understand. She has previously worked at Forbes Advisor, Credible, LendingTree and Student Loan Hero. Her work has appeared on Fox Business and Yahoo. Ashley is also an artist and massive horror fan who had her short story “The Box” produced by the award-winning NoSleep Podcast. In her free time, she likes to draw, play video games, and hang out with her black cats, Salem and Binx.