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Where to get a home equity loan

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The average homeowner is sitting on almost $300,000 in available equity, a record, according to CoreLogic estimates from the second quarter of this year. Many kinds of lenders offer home equity lines of credit (HELOC) or home equity loans, and still others have begun offering these products as equity rises. Whatever your financial goals are, here’s where you can get a home equity loan today.

What are home equity loans?

HELOCs and home equity loans allow you to borrow against the equity in your home. Your equity is the difference between what your home is worth and what you still owe on it. There are two primary products that use your equity as collateral: a HELOC, a type of credit line with a variable interest rate; and a home equity loan, a second mortgage with a fixed rate. Calculate your equity now.

Where to get a home equity loan

Traditionally, you could get a HELOC or home equity loan from a bank. While many still offer them, there are several other types of institutions that provide them now, as well.

Banks

Banks like Bank of America, Citizens Bank and Fifth Third Bank have home equity offerings. You might especially benefit from going to a bank if you’re already a customer. Some banks such as Citi and Wells Fargo halted their home equity business in the pandemic and have yet to restart, so check before you apply.

Credit unions

These are local, national or regional, and driven by members aligned by factors like location or profession. Some bigger examples include Alliant Credit Union and PenFed Credit Union.

Mortgage lenders

If you bought your home with mortgage lender like CrossCountry Mortgage or Lower, you might also choose to work with them to find a home equity solution. Companies like Guaranteed Rate and Rocket Mortgage also now support home equity products.

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This includes established operations like Discover and newer players like Figure, which offers HELOCs, cash-out refinances and a crypto mortgage, and Spring EQ, which allows some borrowers access up to $500,000 in equity.

How to choose a home equity loan lender

With many more options for a home equity loan beyond the bank, it’s best to compare different types of lenders so you’ll have a sense of which offer the lowest rates and fees and the most convenience or perks.

“You should look for a lender who is upfront with you about the entire loan process, especially the requirements needed to get a loan,” says Rob Cook, vice president of Home Loans at Discover, adding “costs and fees are an important consideration for anyone who is looking for a loan.”

If you’re getting a home equity loan, know exactly how much you need to borrow; don’t just accept whatever the lender is willing to offer you, which might be more than you requested. Remember: You’re tapping your equity — an asset — and you’ll need to be able to repay the loan or risk losing your home.

Many home equity lenders, too, offer attractively low rates but charge higher fees. Make sure you understand your all-in costs before committing to an offer.

Written by
Rae Hartley Beck
Contributing writer
Rae Hartley Beck is a writer and editor with over eight years of experience in personal finance. Her work has most recently appeared in Bankrate, MoneyWise and Investopedia. Rae specializes in credit card rewards, investing, real estate, home improvement, lending and financial advice for millennials, Gen Z, Gen Alpha and their parents.
Edited by
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Part of  Home Equity Loan Basics