BEST OF

Best Home Equity Loan Lenders of 2021

If you're interested in a home equity loan, we'll help you choose the best home equity loan lender. Our top picks of 2021 have an efficient application process, explain loan options clearly and tailor their services to your needs.

NerdWalletJanuary 22, 2021
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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.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, getting a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with high loan demand and staffing issues that may slow down the process. Also, some lenders have increased their fees or temporarily suspended certain loan products. 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 pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Summary of Best Home Equity Loan Lenders of 2021

Our picks for

cash-out refinance

Guaranteed Rate

at Guaranteed Rate

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

at Guaranteed Rate

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

National

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

  • May charge an application fee.
Read full review
Reali Loans

at Reali Loans

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

at Reali Loans

Min. Credit Score

620

National / Regional

Regional

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

Our picks for

home equity loans

Northpointe

at Northpointe

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

at Northpointe

National / Regional

National

Northpointe Bank offers rate-shopping convenience and plenty of loan options, including 100% financing. A web tool enhances the lender's online capabilities.

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

US Bank: NMLS#402761

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
National / Regional

National

Max LTV

80%

U.S. Bank gets high marks for its loan offerings and online customer conveniences — and has competitive fees and mortgage rates.

Pros

  • Offers a full line of conventional and government loan products.
  • Provides home equity loans and lines of credit.
  • Allows borrowers to apply and track their loan's progress online.

Cons

  • No personalized mortgage rates available online.
  • Published mortgage rates assume an above-average credit score.
Read full review

Citibank: NMLS#412915

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
National / Regional

National

Good for: Borrowers wanting to compare mortgage rates online for a variety of loan options.

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan options, including low-down-payment mortgages and jumbo mortgages.
  • Provides customizable mortgage rates on its website.
  • Offers low rates and fees compared with other lenders.

Cons

  • Charges a mortgage application fee.
  • Requires help from a mortgage loan officer to complete the loan application online.
Read full review

BB&T (Truist): NMLS#399803

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
National / Regional

Regional

Max LTV

80%

BB&T excels in online convenience and offers a good variety of loan types, but has a limited physical presence outside the Southeast.

Pros

  • Offers a variety of low-down-payment mortgages as well as construction mortgages.
  • Website lets users estimate rates online by loan and property type, amount and location.
  • Has an online mortgage application.

Cons

  • Branches limited to mostly the Southeast region.
  • Does not offer FHA loans.
Read full review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
National / Regional

National

Max LTV

89%

Good for borrowers who want a wide range of choices — not only among mortgage products, but also in the channel they prefer, whether a branch, online or on the phone.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of loan types and products, including FHA, VA and USDA.
  • Has a full suite of online conveniences.
  • Does well with rate transparency, and monthly payment estimates add mortgage insurance, when applicable.

Cons

  • Home equity lending is geographically limited.
Read full review

Connexus: NMLS#649316

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
National / Regional

National

Connexus boasts low-down-payment conventional loans and makes mortgage rate information readily accessible online, but doesn't offer government-backed mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers a range of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages in most states.
  • Displays sample rates for its entire array of loan products, and you don't need to provide personal information to get a custom rate quote.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer FHA, VA or USDA loans.
  • Lacks document upload and online loan tracking capabilities.
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

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
National / Regional

National

Max LTV

84.9%

Good for: borrowers with low-to-moderate incomes or limited down payments. PNC offers several low-down-payment loans, including one with no mortgage insurance.

Pros

  • Posts current mortgage rates on its website.
  • Has an online application for mortgage preapproval and a digital tool to track application progress.
  • Offers several affordable loan options including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.

Cons

  • Can't complete a full mortgage application online.
  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.
  • In-person service is not available in every state.
Read full review

Our picks for

home equity line of credit

SunTrust (Truist): NMLS#2915

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
National / Regional

National

Max LTV

89.9%

Good for: first-time home buyers, doctors and other borrowers interested in low-down-payment mortgage options.

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

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
National / Regional

National

Max LTV

90%

PenFed Credit Union has a digital mortgage application and offers a wide selection of mortgages, including low-down-payment home loans. But it doesn't offer FHA mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers a broad selection of home loan products, including low-down-payment options for first-time home buyers and home buyers of limited means.
  • Offers a lender credit, based on loan amount, for purchase mortgages.
  • Offers relatively low mortgage rates in comparison to other lenders.

Cons

  • Lender credit isn't available for refinance mortgages.
  • Doesn't offer FHA loans.
Read full review

Last updated on January 22, 2021

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 2021