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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

LenderNerdWallet Rating National / RegionalMax LTVLearn More

US Bank: NMLS#402761

Best for home equity loans

National

80%

Read review

Citibank: NMLS#412915

Best for home equity loans

National

70-80%

Read review

Northpointe: NMLS#447490

at Northpointe

Best for home equity loans

N/A

N/A

at Northpointe

BB&T: NMLS#399803

Best for home equity loans

Regional

80%

Read review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

Best for home equity loans

National

89%

Read review

Connexus: NMLS#649316

Best for home equity loans

National

90% (HEL)

Read review

PNC: NMLS#446303

Best for home equity loans and lines of credit

National

84.9%

Read review

SunTrust: NMLS#2915

Best for home equity line of credit

National

89.9%

Read review

PenFed: NMLS#401822

Best for home equity line of credit

National

90%

Read review

Reali Loans: NMLS#991397

at Reali Loans

Best for cash-out refinance

Regional

N/A

at Reali Loans

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

Best for cash-out refinance

National

N/A

Read review

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 fees. No closing costs and 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.

  • Alternative credit sources can be used in some cases.

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

  • 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

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

Ideal for refinance customers in the states it serves. Reali Loans doesn’t charge upfront origination or broker fees on refinance loans, which close in around 36 days.

Pros

  • No upfront origination or broker fees.

  • A shorter, more transparent refinance process.

  • Online platform lets you track your refinance every step of the way.

Cons

  • No FHA, VA or USDA refinance products.

  • Account required to see personalized refinance rates.

Read Full Review

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

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Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National


Why we like it

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

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

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