10 Best HELOC Lenders of 2022

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If you have equity in your home, you may be able to liquidate it with a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

Unlike your first mortgage, the HELOC has lower interest rates, a draw period, and only requires you to pay interest on funds you withdraw.

A Home Equity Line of Credit works a lot like a credit card but using your home as collateral. Before you take out a home equity line of credit on your home, you should know which lenders offer the best programs.

The Best HELOC Lenders

  • RECOMMENDED
  • BEST FOR
  • MIN. CREDIT SCORE

Best HELOC Lenders

Best for Cash-Out Refinance
Rocket Mortgage HELOC
APPLY NOW
On Rocket Mortgage's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans
  • NMLS#
    3030
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

What We Like:

 Rocket Mortgage, a division of Quicken Loans, simplified the mortgage process.

If you’re comfortable with mortgage terms and can handle uploading your documents as instructed in writing, you can easily get a loan within a few weeks without talking to anyone.

If you do need help, though, Rocket Mortgage has loan officers available, giving you the best of both worlds – help when you need it and independence when you want it.

>> More: Rocket Mortgage Review

Best for Cash-Out Refinance
Guaranteed Rate HELOC Lender
APPLY NOW
On Guaranteed Rate's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
Guaranteed Rate
  • NMLS#
    2611
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

What We Like:

Guaranteed Rate offers a wide selection of mortgage loans, including unconventional jumbo loans, giving most borrowers a chance to secure the financing they need.

Guaranteed Rate’s loan process is mostly online, but they do have loan officers available if you have questions or need help.

Guaranteed Rate is licensed in all 50 states. Their website is among the most detailed mortgage lender websites among those offering digital mortgage services.

>> More: Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Review

Best Overall HELOC Lender
PenFed HELOC Loans
APPLY NOW
On PenFed's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
PenFed
  • NMLS#
    401822
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

What We Like:  

Credit unions often have great benefits for their members, and since anyone can join Pen Fed, it’s universally a good option for anyone.

Not only does PenFed have competitive interest rates, but they also offer lender credits at closing based on your loan amount.

While they don’t offer FHA loans, they make up for it with their other offerings, including HELOCs, which many non-bank lenders don’t offer.

PenFed offers both purchase and refinance loans, helping most people secure the financing they need.

Best HELOC Lender for Availability
Bank of America HELOC Loan
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On Bank of America's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
Bank of America
  • NMLS#
    399802
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

What We Like:

We like Bank of America for its versatility. They don’t have just your standard conventional and government-backed loans.

They have niche loans that help borrowers who otherwise would be without financing. If you’re a qualified Bank of America customer, you’ll even save money on your closing costs and interest rates.

We also like the fact that Bank America’s loan process can be 100% online, but there are also 411 branches throughout the United States if you need in-person help.

>> More: Bank of America Mortgage Review

Best for HELOC Loans
PNC HELOC Loans
APPLY NOW
On PNC Bank's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
PNC Bank
  • NMLS#
    446303
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

What We Like:

PNC offers a wide selection of loans, which is great for those with less-than-perfect credit or unique income situations.

They offer the standard conventional and government-backed loans, as well as niche products. If you already bank at PNC, it’s nice to have all your financial products in one place, but even if you don’t, PNC professionals are caring, educational, and help you find the right loan for your needs.

They aren’t pushy, and they provide as much education about the home loan process and how it affects your personal financial situation as they can.

Best for Home Equity Lines of Credit
US Bank HELOC Rates
APPLY NOW
On US Bank's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
US Bank
  • NMLS#
    402761
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

What We Like:

US Bank has rates higher than many other banks, so that’s a downside. However, if you’re looking for unique financing opportunities, you’ll find them here.

Construction loans, USDA loans, and even streamlined refinance options are all loans US Bank offers.

If you already bank at US Bank or have a unique situation, it may be a good option.

Best for Home Equity Lines of Credit
Flagstar HELOC Loan
APPLY NOW
On Flagstar's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
Flagstar
  • NMLS#
    417490
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

What We Like:

Flagstar Bank operates in all 50 states and, with its large selection of loans, helps thousands of borrowers secure financing.

While their credit score requirements are higher than other lenders, they have one of the largest loan selections, including niche loans for professionals and FHA 203h loans for homeowners affected by a Federal natural disaster.

Most of Flagstar’s process is online too, which makes it easy to complete.

>> More: Flagstar Bank Mortgage Review

Best Overall HELOC lender
Connexus HELOC Loans
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On Connexus's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
Connexus Credit Union
  • NMLS#
    649316
  • Min. Credit Score
    640
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

What We Like:

Even though Connexus doesn’t offer government loans, they have a nice selection of loan options with flexible underwriting guidelines.

You can get rate quotes in a matter of minutes, and their 30-day closing guarantee is a great feature.

They are still working on their online platform, for they do have the basics down, giving millennials a chance to use technology to apply for a mortgage while still having the benefit of a live loan officer assisting them with any questions or concerns.

>> More: Connexus Credit Union Mortgage Review

Best Overall HELOC Lender
SunTrust HELOC Loans
APPLY NOW
On SunTrust's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
SunTrust
  • NMLS#
    2915
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

What We Like:

If you’re looking for a flexible loan with low closing costs and a loan officer who sits with you and helps you understand your loan, you’ll find it with SunTrust Bank.

In a world of technological encounters and a lack of personal service, it’s nice to see a bank that enforces the human connection with something as important as a mortgage.

SunTrust offers a large selection of loans, including conventional, government-backed, jumbo, and a Doctor loan program that helps doctors buy a home with no down payment, knowing their income will increase tremendously through the years.

Best Overall HELOC Lender
TD Bank HELOC Rates
APPLY NOW
On TD Bank's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
TD Bank
  • NMLS#
    399800
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

What We Like:

TD Bank offers the standard loan products you’ll find at most mortgage lenders, but they also have some niche products to help you get approved for a loan.

They offer online and personal support and have 24/7 customer service available, which is nice.

They have one of the largest selections of no down payment loans to help those who otherwise would have to wait years to become homeowners.

How to Compare the Best HELOC Lenders

#1. Fees

If there’s one area you should watch the most when securing a HELOC, it’s the fees.

Not only do lenders charge upfront closing fees, but they may charge annual fees or even monthly fees to withdraw and/or use your funds.

Ask for a breakdown of the fees and read the fine print. Ask the loan officer as many questions as possible so you understand the full cost of the loan and can decide before closing if it makes financial sense.

Online mortgage lenders tend to have lower fees, faster funding times, and a better customer experience.

#2. Max LTV

Most HELOC lenders only allow an 80% total loan-to-value ratio. This means you can borrow up to 80% of the home’s value minus any outstanding mortgages you already have.

For example, if your home is worth $300,000 and you have a $100,000 mortgage outstanding, that leaves you with $140,000 to take out in a HELOC or cash-out refinance.

Some lenders don’t allow LTVs as high as 80%, so always ask what their LTV limit is to ensure you can tap into as much of your equity as you need.

#3. Availability (National or Regional)

As you saw in our list, not every bank is licensed in every state. Make sure the bank you’re working with works in your state and offers the convenience you need with both the application process and accessing your funds.

#4. HELOC Processing Time  

HELOCs typically process fast, but some banks take longer than others.

Look for a bank that closes the loan within a few weeks since there’s less to underwrite and do for a HELOC than a first mortgage.

How a HELOC Works

A HELOC is a line of credit, much like your credit card. You are given a credit limit and a checkbook or debit card to access the funds.

You don’t pay interest on the funds until you withdraw them. In other words, if you take out a $100,000 HELOC, you don’t pay interest on the $100,000 right away. You don’t even owe any payments until you withdraw any portion of the $100,000.

Let’s say after a few months, you withdraw $10,000 from your HELOC. You would owe interest on the amount based on the current interest rate.

You aren’t required to make principal payments, but you can if you want to pay your balance down and be able to reuse the funds.

This process lasts for 10 years and is known as the draw period. After 10 years, the loan converts to the repayment period and lasts for 20 years.

You must make principal and interest payments to pay back any amount you borrowed in full during this time.

>> More: Differences Between a HELOC and Home Equity Loan

What Can You Use a HELOC For?  

Most lenders don’t tell you what you can or can’t use a HELOC for, with one exception. If your debt-to-income ratio is high when you apply for the HELOC, they may make it a condition that you use the funds to consolidate some or all of your debt.

If this is the case, they will likely use the funds themselves to pay off your debts. This means you’ll incur interest charges right away, but you will no longer have a credit card or other loan payments anymore.

If you don’t have a debt-to-income ratio issue, you can usually use the HELOC for any reason. Here are some common ways borrowers use the funds:

  • Use as an emergency fund
  • Make home renovations
  • Buy a second home or investment home
  • Pay off medical bills
  • Pay for college
  • Pay for a wedding

Is It Smart to Use a HELOC?

It can be smart to use a HELOC if you use it right. For example, if you consolidate debt with it, don’t rack up your credit card debt again. Use the opportunity to pay your debt down faster with the lower interest rate.

Even if you use the funds to renovate your home, you’re reinvesting in your home, making it worth more, which can be a good way to use your home equity.

There’s a risk, though.

You’re using your home as collateral. If you miss your payments, the lender can start the foreclosure process, which could cost you your home.

To avoid this, don’t take a HELOC loan you can’t afford. If you aren’t sure if you can afford the payments, don’t do it.

Your unsecured debt (credit cards and personal loans) won’t put your home at risk if you don’t make the payments.

While it’s not a good idea to miss payments, putting your home at risk can be the largest risk you take.

>> More: Best Mortgage Lenders

Pros and Cons of HELOCs Loans

Pros:

  • You only pay interest on the money you withdraw, not the entire loan amount
  • The interest rates on HELOCs are typically low
  • You may be able to deduct the interest paid if you use the funds to invest back in your home
  • You only need to borrow what you need, but you can have the other money available ‘just in case.’
  • No or few restrictions on how you use the money

Cons:

  • Your home is collateral for the loan. If you miss your payments, you could lose your home
  • The interest rate is usually variable
  • You use up your home’s equity

Summary: HELOC Lenders

  • Rocket Mortgage: Best HELOC Lender for Cash-Out Refinance
  • GuaranteedRate: Best for Cash-Out Refinance
  • PenFed: Best for Overall HELOC Loans
  • Bank of America: Best HELOC Lender for Availability
  • PNC Bank: Best for Traditional HELOC Loans
  • US Bank: Best for Traditional HELOC Loans
  • FlagStar Bank: Best for Online HELOC Loans
  • Connexus Credit Union: Best Credit Union HELOC Loans
  • SunTrust: Best Overall HELOC Lender
  • TD Bank: Best for Traditional HELOC Loans

Bottom Line: The Best HELOC Lenders

Before you take out a HELOC loan, compare your options. Don’t assume all HELOCs are created equal – they aren’t. Some banks don’t even offer HELOC loans but instead do cash-out refinances, which is essentially when you refinance your mortgage. Look at the big picture, see how a HELOC affects your loan, equity, and personal financial status, and choose the lender that is right for you!

Methodology

SimpleMoneyLyfe reviewed over 40+ lenders that offer mortgages online and in-person. The criteria we used to accurately score, evaluate, and review HELOC lenders included current rates, credit score requirements, down payment requirements, closing costs and fees, online experience, closing time, and security. Analysts value companies that are transparent, offer robust customer support, and have a streamlined online application. Read our editorial guidelines and mortgage rating methodology to learn more about the integrity of our reviews.

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli

Kim Pinnelli is a Senior Writer , Editor, & Product Analyst with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been a professional writer for over 15 years, and has appeared in a myriad of industry leading financial media outlets. Kim is committed to helping people take charge of their personal finance. Her areas of expertise spans mortgages, credit cards, credit, and loans.