Best of

Best HELOC Lenders of November 2019

NerdWalletNovember 18, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

A HELOC lets you tap your home's equity. We've selected some of the best HELOC lenders to help you find the right one.

Summary of Best HELOC Lenders of November 2019

LenderBest ForNational/RegionalMax LTVLearn More
Chase

Chase

at Chase

home equity lines of credit

National

80%

at Chase

US Bank

US Bank

At U.S. Bank

home equity lines of credit

National

90%

At U.S. Bank

Citibank Mortgage

Citibank Mortgage

HELOCs overall

National

70-80%

Read review
PenFed

PenFed

home equity lines of credit

National

90%

Read review
PNC

PNC

home equity lines of credit

National

90%

Read review
Connexus

Connexus

home equity lines of credit

National

90% (HEL)

Read review
SunTrust

SunTrust

home equity lines of credit

National

89.9%

Read review
Flagstar

Flagstar

home equity lines of credit

National

89%

Read review
Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

cash-out refinance

National

N/A

at Rocket Mortgage

Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate

cash-out refinance

National

N/A

Read review
LenderBest ForNational/RegionalMax LTVLearn More
Chase

Chase

at Chase

home equity lines of credit

National

80%

at Chase

US Bank

US Bank

At U.S. Bank

home equity lines of credit

National

90%

At U.S. Bank

Citibank Mortgage

Citibank Mortgage

HELOCs overall

National

70-80%

Read review
PenFed

PenFed

home equity lines of credit

National

90%

Read review
PNC

PNC

home equity lines of credit

National

90%

Read review
Connexus

Connexus

home equity lines of credit

National

90% (HEL)

Read review
SunTrust

SunTrust

home equity lines of credit

National

89.9%

Read review
Flagstar

Flagstar

home equity lines of credit

National

89%

Read review
Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

at Rocket Mortgage

cash-out refinance

National

N/A

at Rocket Mortgage

Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate

cash-out refinance

National

N/A

Read review

Our picks for

home equity lines of credit

Logo

at Chase

Chase: NMLS#399798

Logo
National / Regional 
National 

Max LTV 
80% 

at Chase


Why we like it

Ideal for homeowners who have a new or existing Chase checking account, where interest rate discounts are available on HELOCs. Chase also offers option to convert HELOC to fixed rate for up to 20 years.

Pros

  • Get a 0.25% rate discount for having Chase personal checking or 0.5% rate discount with a Premier Platinum checking account.

  • Convert all or part of the credit line's outstanding balance into a fixed rate and term.

  • Discount introductory interest rate when taking an initial draw of $30,000 or more.

Cons

  • Carries $50 annual fee unless you have a Chase Premier, Premier Plus or Premier Platinum checking account.

  • Has a $50 origination fee.

  • HELOCs not available in Alaska, Hawaii or South Carolina.

Read Full Review
Logo

At U.S. Bank

US Bank: NMLS#402761

Logo
National / Regional 
National 

Max LTV 
90% 

At U.S. Bank


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who want low fees. No closing costs and annual fee is waived for HELOC borrowers with an eligible checking account

Pros

  • Equity borrowing available from $15,000 to $750,000 (up to $1 million for properties in California), depending on credit history, property's equity and monthly debts.

  • With a variable-rate HELOC up to three fixed-rate options can be locked.

  • Originates loans in all 50 states with loan officers physically present in 28 states.

  • Mortgage options include a "piggyback" or 80/10/10 loan.

  • Alternative credit sources can be used In some cases.

  • No closing costs with a cash-out refinance.

Cons

  • Limited opportunities for face-to-face banking with offices in only 28 of 50 states.

  • Average score in J.D. Power 2017 consumer satisfaction survey (US Bank has 3 stars out of 5).

  • Online capabilities are currently limited.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

HELOCs overall

Citibank Mortgage: NMLS#413108

Logo
National / Regional 
National 

Max LTV 
70-80% 


Why we like it

Ideal for those who prefer an online experience. Rate discounts available if you sign up for Citibank Auto Deduct and link your HELOC to a premier Citi banking account.

Pros

  • Discounts may be available for Citibank customers or those who elect to pay closing costs.

  • Lower introductory rates may be available.

  • Multiple ways to access HELOC funds.

  • No application or closing cost fees.

Cons

  • Early closure fee if you close HELOC account within 36 months of opening it.

  • Must be a premium account holder for best rates.

  • HELOCs require an initial draw of at least $25,000

  • Not available in Alaska.

Read Full Review

Our picks for

home equity lines of credit

PenFed: NMLS#401822

Logo
National / Regional 
National 

Max LTV 
90% 


Why we like it

Ideal for military or government-employee borrowers. PenFed offers a variety of options to tap into home equity.

Pros

  • A variety of home equity options, including an interest-only HELOC.

  • A 5/5 HELOC allows you to lock in a low rate for five years.

Cons

  • Membership required, but it's easier to obtain these days than in years past.

  • Branch offices are in limited locations, following a major military base footprint.

Read Full Review

PNC: NMLS#446303

Logo
National / Regional 
National 

Max LTV 
90% 


Why we like it

Ideal for equity borrowers looking for flexibility on loan terms. PNC HELOCs have locked fixed-rate terms of 5 to 30 years.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of purchase and refinance mortgages, home equity loans and HELOCs.

  • Online planning tool helps borrowers find affordable mortgage payment amounts.

  • Home equity loan amounts start at $1,000.

  • HELOCs allow two fixed-rate lock options at one time.

Cons

  • Automatic deductions from a PNC account required to enjoy advertised rates on some equity products.

  • Offers mortgage loans nationwide, but has branches for in-person service in only about two dozen states.

Read Full Review

Connexus: NMLS#649316

Logo
National / Regional 
National 

Max LTV 
90% (HEL) 


Why we like it

Ideal for Connexus members who want multiple home equity loan and HELOC options.

Pros

  • Flexible payment options during HELOC draw period: interest-only or interest plus principal.

  • No annual fee on HELOC.

  • Home equity loan terms from 60 to 240 months.

Cons

  • Borrower pays closing costs that range from $250 to $2,000.

  • Branch locations in only four states.

Read Full Review

SunTrust: NMLS#2915

Logo
National / Regional 
National 

Max LTV 
89.9% 


Why we like it

Ideal for homeowners who want flexibility. SunTrust offers a variable-rate HELOC where borrowers can convert all or part of the HELOC balance into a fixed-rate option.

Pros

  • Discount introductory interest rate for initial advances of $25,000 or more.

  • Up to five loans of at least $5,000 each can be converted to a fixed-rate, fixed-term option.

  • Multiple ways to access funds: checks, online, mobile or at a branch.

  • Annual fee waived for Signature Advantage or Premier Banking clients.

Cons

  • Borrower pays closing costs of $100 to $2,000 if account is closed within three years.

  • $65 annual fee.

  • No interest-only payment option during draw and repayment periods.

Read Full Review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

Logo
National / Regional 
National 

Max LTV 
89% 


Why we like it

Ideal for current Flagstar customers. Flagstar offers rate discounts for existing customers with high credit scores who withdraw at least $25,000 at closing.

Pros

  • Multiple draw methods.

  • Line amounts from $10,000 to $1,000,000.

  • No prepayment penalty on home equity loans.

Cons

  • Below average customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power.

  • Branch locations in only about half of U.S. states.

Read Full Review

Our picks for

cash-out refinance

A cash-out refi can be a solid alternative to home equity lines of credit, and you’ll often find it offered with a lower, fixed interest rate. Below are two options for cash-out refinance lenders.

Logo

at Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage: NMLS#3030

Logo
Min. Credit Score 
620 

National / Regional 
National 

at Rocket Mortgage


Why we like it

Ideal for refi borrowers with little time. Rocket Mortgage brings smartphone app convenience to the refinance process. And online income and asset verification speeds the process.

Pros

  • Offers conventional and government-backed refinance mortgages.

  • Customized loan recommendations based on refinance goals.

  • Automatically fills in your application with public information.

  • Helpful mortgage bankers are just a click away.

Cons

  • Doesn’t consider alternative-credit info for refinances.

  • No in-person customer service available.

  • Must create an account to see personalized refinance rates.

Read Full Review

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

Logo
Min. Credit Score 
620 

National / Regional 
National 


Why we like it

Ideal for homeowners who are looking to refinance into conventional, FHA or VA mortgages. Guaranteed Rate works with almost anyone with a good credit score and stable income.

Pros

  • Apply and be approved for a refinance entirely online.

  • Suggests refinance loan products based on your financial goals.

  • No personal information required for customized refinance rate quotes.

Cons

  • Charges some fees, such as a lender fee which includes an application fee.

Read Full Review

Is getting a HELOC a good idea?

Many homeowners get a HELOC to pay for home repairs and renovations. The interest on the HELOC may be tax-deductible if the money is used to buy, build or substantially improve the home, according to the IRS. But defaulting on a HELOC could put your home at risk of foreclosure, so think twice before using one  to pay for vacations, vehicles or other expenditures that don't build wealth.

How does a HELOC affect your credit score?

Taking out a HELOC will probably reduce your credit score temporarily once it appears on your credit report. Some credit bureaus treat HELOCs as installment loans rather than revolving lines of credit, so maxing out a HELOC might not have the same negative effect on your credit score that borrowing up to the limit on a credit card would.

What credit score do you need for a HELOC?

Lender requirements vary, but typically you'll need a credit score of 620 or higher.

How does a HELOC work?

A HELOC works like a credit card: You’re able to borrow up to a certain limit, repay some or all of what you took out, then do it again as needed. The lender uses your home’s value to set the HELOC limit. You may borrow during a draw period that lasts for several years and pay only interest on the balance. After the draw period ends, you may no longer take money out, and you pay principal plus interest.

What are the disadvantages of a HELOC?

The main disadvantage of a HELOC is that your home could be subject to foreclosure if you don't repay the loan. Also, the interest rate on a HELOC is tied to the prime rate, meaning it can go up or down. When interest rates rise, your minimum monthly payments may go up, too.

Is it better to get a home equity loan or HELOC?

The answer depends on how you plan to use the money. A HELOC lets you borrow whatever amount you need, as you need it, and you only pay interest on the outstanding balance. A home equity loan provides a lump sum that you repay in installments.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on November 18, 2019

Methodology

NerdWallet's selection of mortgage lenders for inclusion here was made based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The six key areas we evaluated include the loan types and loan products offered, online capabilities, online mortgage rate information, customer service and the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a percentage of loans issued. We also awarded lenders up to one bonus star for a unique program or borrower focus that set them apart from other lenders. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best HELOC Lenders of November 2019