BEST OF

Best HELOC Lenders of 2023

A HELOC lets you tap your home's equity. Compare our selections for best HELOC lenders.

By Taylor Getler 

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A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is a second mortgage that lets you borrow against the value of your home. You tap some of your equity as needed and pay back only what you borrow. Borrowers often use HELOCs to finance home improvement projects, educational expenses or debt consolidation.

The interest rate on a HELOC tends to be lower than rates on credit cards and personal loans. Lenders use your loan-to-value ratio, or LTV, to decide if you have enough equity for a HELOC.

NerdWallet has chosen some of the best HELOC lenders to help you find the one that's right for you.

Best HELOC Lenders

Bethpage Federal Credit Union
Learn more

at Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Bethpage Federal Credit Union: NMLS#449104

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bethpage Federal Credit Union

National / regional

National

Max LTV

85%

Min. credit score

670
Learn more

at Bethpage Federal Credit Union


Min. credit score

670

Why we like it

Bethpage may appeal to borrowers who want to access a lot of their equity.

Pros

  • Offers a fixed-rate option.

  • Max CLTV over 80%.

  • No annual fees.

  • Offers a fixed introductory rate.

Cons

  • Minimum draw required for best rate.

Read Full Review

PNC: NMLS#446303

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
PNC

National / regional

National

Max LTV

85%

Min. credit score

680

Min. credit score

680

Why we like it

Existing PNC customers can take advantage of discounts on their APR.

Pros

  • Offers a fixed-rate option.

  • Posts details about rates, fees and qualifications.

  • Offers a rate discount for existing customers.

Cons

  • Annual fee of $50.

Read Full Review

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Guaranteed Rate

National / regional

National

Min. credit score

640

Max LTV

90%

Max LTV

90%

Why we like it

Borrowers who want to know exactly what their payments will be can benefit from Guaranteed Rate's fixed-rate option.

Pros

  • CLTV borrowing limit over 80%.

  • Offers a fixed-rate option.

  • Offers paths for rate discounts.

Cons

  • No information about annual fees.

Read Full Review

State Employees' Credit Union: NMLS#430055

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
State Employees' Credit Union

National / regional

Regional

Max LTV

90%

Min. credit score

640

Min. credit score

640

Why we like it

State Employees' Credit Union may be a strong match for qualified North Carolina borrowers who want a long window to access their equity.

Pros

  • Long draw period of 15 years.

  • Introductory offer is below the prime rate.

Cons

  • Credit union membership is limited by restrictive requirements.

Read Full Review

PenFed: NMLS#401822

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
PenFed

National / regional

National

Max LTV

80%

Min. credit score

N/A

Min. credit score

N/A

Why we like it

PenFed is a strong choice for borrowers who want to take advantage of a fixed-rate option from a credit union.

Pros

  • Offers a fixed-rate option.

  • Borrow up to 80% CLTV.

Cons

  • Annual fee of $99.

Read Full Review

Alliant: NMLS#197185

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Alliant

National / regional

National

Max LTV

90%

Min. credit score

N/A

Min. credit score

N/A

Why we like it

Alliant's high borrowing limit makes it an ideal choice for borrowers who need to access a large amount of funds or who haven't built up a lot of equity yet.

Pros

  • Borrowing limit up to 90% CLTV.

  • Lower rate for automatic payments.

Cons

  • Annual fee of $50.

  • No fixed-rate option.

Read Full Review

Golden 1 Credit Union: NMLS#669333

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Golden 1 Credit Union

National / regional

Regional

Max LTV

N/A

Min. credit score

N/A

Min. credit score

N/A

Why we like it

Golden 1 Credit Union can be a good choice for borrowers in California seeking a line of credit with no annual fees.

Pros

  • Offers a fixed-rate option.

  • No annual fees.

Cons

  • Does not post rates.

Read Full Review

Bank of America: NMLS#399802

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bank of America

National / regional

National

Max LTV

85%

Min. credit score

660

Min. credit score

660

Why we like it

Bank of America's lack of annual fees and fixed-rate option make it a good choice for borrowers who prioritize definitive long-term financial planning.

Pros

  • Offers a fixed-rate option.

  • Borrowing limit up to 85% CLTV.

  • No annual fees.

  • Offers paths for rate discounts.

Cons

  • Best rates assume an initial withdrawal at opening.

Read Full Review

Truist: NMLS#399803

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Truist

National / regional

National

Min. credit score

N/A

Max LTV

80%

Max LTV

80%

Why we like it

Truist's fixed-rate option can be attractive for borrowers who prioritize long-term planning.

Pros

  • Offers a fixed-rate option.

  • Highly transparent about APR ranges.

Cons

  • Limited transparency around maximum CLTV.

  • Annual fee of $50.

Read Full Review

Homebridge: NMLS#6521

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Homebridge

Min. credit score

N/A

Max LTV

N/A

National / regional

National

National / regional

National

Why we like it

Homebridge may appeal to borrowers who want a line of credit without annual fees.

Pros

  • Offers a fixed-rate option.

  • No annual fees.

  • Offers paths for rate discounts.

Cons

  • Limited transparency around maximum CLTV and APR.

Read Full Review

How a HELOC works

A HELOC works similarly to a credit card: You’re able to borrow up to a certain limit as needed, rather than taking out a lump sum all at once. The lender uses your home’s value to set the HELOC limit, and they’ll let you borrow a percentage of what you own. You may borrow during a draw period that lasts for several years and pay interest only on the balance. After the draw period ends, you may no longer take money out, and you pay the principal plus interest.

To obtain the best HELOC rates, make sure you comparison shop, preferably among at least three lenders. By shopping around, you're likely to find the combination of features and interest rate that make the best home equity line of credit for your needs.

Pros and cons of HELOCs

A HELOC's main advantage is that it offers flexibility. During the draw period, the minimum monthly payment covers just the interest on the balance, so you don't have to pay principal if you don't want to.

A HELOC can have a variable interest rate, which means it can go up or down over time. When the interest rate rises, the minimum monthly payment may increase, too. Less commonly, some lenders offer a fixed-rate HELOC option, meaning that you can lock in some or all of the loan balance at a specific APR.

There are two major disadvantages to a HELOC: The interest rate can rise, and you can get in over your head if you're not careful. You may end up borrowing so much that you can't comfortably afford the principal and interest during the repayment period.

HELOCs typically have lower interest rates than credit cards. But defaulting on a HELOC could put your home at risk of foreclosure.

Alternatives to HELOCs

A HELOC is not your only option for tapping your home's equity. If you know exactly how much you need to borrow, you may consider a home equity loan, which you receive as a lump sum and pay back at a fixed rate.

If you need to borrow more money than you'd qualify for with a HELOC or home equity loan, a cash-out refinance may be the right choice for you. This replaces your original mortgage with a larger one, and you receive the difference between the value of the loan and the amount you currently owe in cash.

Finally, if you cannot qualify for a HELOC, a shared appreciation agreement may be worth exploring. This transaction allows you to sell off a stake in your future equity earnings to a company in exchange for an advance on some of your current equity. This type of agreement is typically for homeowners with a lot of equity but little cash reserves, and most consumers are better served by a HELOC if they can get one. You risk losing out on equity profits by mortgaging the future value of your home, so think carefully before choosing this option.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on January 3, 2023

Methodology

The star ratings on this page reflect each lender's home equity line of credit star rating. HELOC star ratings are awarded based on the following evaluated factors for reviewed mortgage lenders that offer HELOCs: whether a fixed-rate option is available, CLTV borrowing limits, annual fees and transparency on key factors.

NerdWallet reviewed more than 50 mortgage lenders, including the majority of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders by annual loan volume (measured among lenders with at least a 1% market share), lenders with significant online search volume and those that specialize in serving various audiences across the country.

For inclusion in this roundup, lenders must score a 4 or above according to our HELOC methodology.

NerdWallet solicits information from reviewed lenders on a recurring basis throughout the year. All lender-provided information is verified through lender websites and interviews. We also utilized 2021 HMDA data for origination volume, origination fee, average interest rate and share-of-product data.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best HELOC Lenders of 2023

Frequently asked questions