Best of

Best Home Equity Loan Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletFebruary 11, 2020

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If you're interested in a home equity loan, we'll help you choose the best home equity loan lender. Our top picks of 2020 have an efficient application process, explain loan options clearly and tailor their services to your needs.

NOTE: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, obtaining a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with demand and staffing issues. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this emergency, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

The best home equity loan lenders have an efficient application process, explain loan options clearly and tailor their services to the varying needs of individual borrowers. NerdWallet has reviewed the leading lenders in the nation, and found some standouts when it comes to home equity loans. We have also shared some of our top picks for home equity lines of credit and cash-out refinances, which are two other ways to tap your home equity.

Consider your home equity loan needs and then shop the lenders below, confident that they're among the best.

Summary of Best Home Equity Loan Lenders of 2020

Our picks for

home equity loans

US Bank: NMLS#402761

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National / Regional

National

Max LTV

80%


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for low closing cost options. The 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.

Cons

  • No personalized mortgage rates available online.

  • Published mortgage rates assume an above-average credit score.

Read Full Review

Citibank: NMLS#412915

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National / Regional

National

Max LTV

70-80%


Why we like it

Good for: Borrowers who prefer an online experience.

Pros

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

  • Lower introductory rates may be available.

  • Offers both home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.

Cons

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

  • Must be a premium account holder to avoid annual fee.

  • Not available in Alaska.

Read Full Review
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at Northpointe

Northpointe: NMLS#447490

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Northpointe


Why we like it

Good for: those seeking an abundance of loan offerings — including a no-down-payment mortgage that helps accelerate home equity accumulation.

Pros

  • A full slate of loan offerings.

  • Offers a no-down-payment loan with shorter repayment terms that helps accelerate home equity accumulation.

  • Serves all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

  • A web app provides a number of customer conveniences.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer construction loans at this time.

Read Full Review

BB&T: NMLS#399803

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National / Regional

Regional

Max LTV

80%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who want flexibility. Offers two payment options and the ability to convert all or part of the HELOC balance into a fixed-rate option.

Pros

  • Offers both home equity line of credit and home equity loan options.

  • Up to three loans of at least $5,000 each from credit line can be converted to a fixed-rate option.

  • Flexible payment options during credit line draw period: interest only or 1.5% of outstanding balance.

Cons

  • There is a $50 fee to set up fixed options for portions of the credit line.

  • You may have to pay closing costs if you pay off the credit line within 36 months of origination.

Read Full Review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

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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

Connexus: NMLS#649316

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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

  • Well-qualified homeowners can borrow up to 90% of their home's equity.

  • Home equity loan terms from 60 to 240 months.

Cons

  • Borrower pays closing costs that range from $175 to $2,000.

  • Home equity products are not available to residents of Maryland, Texas, Hawaii and Alaska.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

home equity loans and lines of credit

Home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, offer the convenience of drawing on your home's equity only as you need it.

PNC: NMLS#446303

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National / Regional

National

Max LTV

84.9%


Why we like it

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

Pros

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

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

  • Maximum LTV is 84.9% but may be lower for borrowers in certain geographical areas.

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

Our picks for

home equity line of credit

SunTrust: NMLS#2915

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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

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including special programs for doctors, entrepreneurs and other professionals.

  • Offers a complete suite of online mortgage application tools and loan tracking.

  • Sample rates and fees are easy to find on the website.

Cons

  • Customized rates aren't available online without starting an application.

  • Branches are limited mostly to the Southeast.

Read Full Review

PenFed: NMLS#401822

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National / Regional

National

Max LTV

90%


Why we like it

Good for borrowers looking for a HELOC with flexible features and the low rates of a member-owned credit union.

Pros

  • PenFed pays most closing costs.

  • Available for owner and non-owner occupied homes.

  • Borrowers can switch from a variable to fixed interest rate on all or some of the credit line.

Cons

  • Has a $99 annual fee, but that fee may be waved in certain circumstances.

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.

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at Reali Loans

Reali Loans: NMLS#991397

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Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

Regional

at Reali Loans


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for an online mortgage application experience.

Pros

  • Offers a completely online application process.

  • Provides customized rate quotes online.

Cons

  • No FHA, VA or USDA refinance products.

  • Available only in a dozen states.

Read Full Review
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at Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

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Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National

at Guaranteed Rate


Why we like it

Good for homeowners who are looking to refinance conventional, FHA or VA mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers the ability to securely upload and digitally sign loan documents.

  • Displays detailed sample rates for many of its refinance loan products.

Cons

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

Read Full Review

Last updated on February 11, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services each lender offers to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The five key areas we evaluated include the variety of loan types and products offered, online conveniences, online mortgage rate information, and the rate spread and origination fee lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Home Equity Loan Lenders of 2020