Home equity loans are the best way for homeowners to borrow against the equity in their houses. Home equity is the difference between what you owe on your mortgage taxes and the actual value of your home at the point of valuation. These loans are a popular option among borrowers who want to use the funds to pay off or consolidate their debt to income-ratio. You can also use home equity loans to fund home improvement projects.
While obtaining home equity loans to help you settle the debt or improve your housing conditions is good, getting the best value accounts for everything. It is not an overstatement when we say the best home equity loans will change your life. However, the worst loans could do the same, but in the negative.
You will find several brands on the market promoting their equity loans. You will notice with time that not all of these brands offer the best interest rates. Furthermore, some of these brands have hidden charges like the origination fee. Such online lenders may offer loans that do not meet your expectations.
To rid you of the stress of researching for the best home equity loans with the best value packages, we decided to prepare this list. Our article will introduce you to some home equity loan companies with the best rates on the market. These mortgage lenders will give you a lump sum to help you consolidate high-interest rate debts or execute projects in your home.
Best Home Equity Loan Lenders of 2022
There are many good home equity lender platforms on the internet today. After a long research period, we have come up with this list of the best home equity loan lenders to help you consolidate high-interest debt.
PNC Bank is our top pick with a 5.0 rating from Forbes Advisor. The most interesting thing about this financial institution is that it offers mortgage rates lower than the national average. Additionally, the bank operates in all 50 states in the U.S. Also, PNC Bank has a series of mortgage products you can consider. The brand offers home equity loans for low and moderate-income earners.
PNC Bank also has a creative online experience they call Home Insight. You can use this online experience to gain a deep insight into home buying. Their online blog educates homeowners and potential homeowners on the entire process, from selecting to buying your first home. The blog also helps customers select the mortgage payment plan best suited for them.
Another cool feature is that PNC Bank lets users shop for homes with real-time loan products and rate quotes. The brand also allows clients who have applied for loans to track the approval process while uploading supporting documents for their loans. Don’t worry if you don’t have experience with housing; PNC Bank allows you to invite a realtor to help monitor the progress you’ve made with your housing equity loan.
The Home Insight feature also combines a monthly payment estimator and a home affordability analysis that covers insurance and taxes with the ability to check for available house listings. The feature also connects real-time rates, unique budgets, and loan products with a real estate listing search to help potential home buyers to better understand how much housing they can pay for. Additionally, the bank has a fully digitalized pre-approval application feature that allows borrowers to apply online and get approved in minutes.
Available in All the States Within the U.S.
PNC Bank has branches in all 50 states within the U.S. to help borrowers who love brick-and-mortar transactions. Alternatively, you can visit the bank’s online platform to get your equity loan in just a few steps.
If you want to visit their office for the physical experience, you can use the location finder to locate their nearest branch to your location. You will find PNC Bank in the following states: Alabama, District of Columbia, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
How to Apply?
PNC Bank makes its application process straightforward for everyone. If you do not like in-person applications, you can use the online method to apply. However, if you prefer the physical experience, you can visit any of their bank branches to get started.
You can access the bank’s customer support by phone from Monday through Thursday (8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. E.T.).
It takes 20 to 30 minutes to get pre-approved when applying for an equity loan with PNC Bank. Additionally, the average closing time for each application is 45 days, which is the average time you will get from any good home equity line. In some cases, you may get a shorter closing which could be as short as 30 days.
PNC Bank requires its borrowers to have a minimum credit score of 620. However, the bank requires a minimum credit score of 700 for Jumbo loans. These credit requirements are some of the best you will find anywhere. In addition, the bank offers better home equity loan rates compared to other home equity lenders.
Loan Types Available
When obtaining a home equity loan from PNC Bank, you will find several loan types. The Bank offers conventional loans, FHA, and V.A. loan types. Additionally, you can enjoy Jumbo, ARM, and home equity loans. PNC Bank also offers specialty loans, including Medical Professional and Community Loans.
- Low minimum credit score requirements
- Online and in-person application
- Handy customer service
- Several discount programs
- USDA loans are not accessible with PNC Bank
Bank of America
Bank of America makes it to our list with a Forbes Advisor rating of 4.0. The brand has some of the best equity loans in the United States. This Bank made it to our list of the best cash-out refinance financial institutions because it has several interesting features when comparing home equity loans.
Bank of America is one of the biggest bank lenders that offer excellent mortgage rates and refinance loans alongside full banking services. If you love banking in person, you will find this bank handy because it has over 5,000 branches in the United States. Also, the bank has online mortgage options for individuals who do not love the brick-and-mortar business. The online mortgage option includes a feature known as the Bank of America Digital Mortgage Experience.
This experience offers customers several benefits, including the easy online application, online rate locks, and electronic signatures for documents. Borrowers also get to connect with a licensed lending specialist. Bank of America has a lower-than-average mortgage rate. You can also enjoy the convenience of applying online from anywhere in the United States or visiting its branches for the physical application process.
The bank’s Affordable Loan Solution mortgage allows you to make a low down payment of only 3%. Additionally, you will not have to provide private mortgage insurance. Hence, budget-minded borrowers can save hundreds of dollars per month by using this bank’s equity loan. Existing mortgage customers can enjoy discounts, such as a $600 closing costs discount.
Available in 50 States
Bank of America, like PNC Banks, has branches in all 50 states within the United States, and the bank has no geographical restrictions whatsoever. Thus, you can enjoy the best home equity loans from this bank anywhere in the U.S.
You can leverage the online or in-person applications to get your home equity loan from this bank. Borrowers can locate the bank’s branches if they want the physical experience or use the online application form to get their personal loans. You can access customer service by phone from Monday to Friday (8 a.m. – 10 p.m., and on Saturday from 8 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. E.T.).
Bank of America’s mortgage loan pre-approval takes ten days which is quite lengthy compared to other home equity lenders. This long pre-approval time is a disadvantage for the bank in a market filled with several home equity lenders. Since buyers bid against other people and need financing to lock in their home’s equity, they may have to look for other cash-out refinancing options with faster pre-approval times. Bank of America’s average closing time lies between 30 to 45 days which is fair compared to other lenders.
This bank requires a minimum credit score of 620. The lender considers your credit report with reputable credit unions to approve your loan. Bank of America also uses alternative credit information such as utility and rent payments when considering your mortgage application. The alternative credit reports consider the payments you make, which will not typically reflect in your credit report. Thus, the alternative credit data can help you if you do not have a long or credible credit history. Additionally, this data could prove useful if you previously experienced bankruptcy but have a good track record with other non-traditional payments.
Available Loan Types
Bank of America has several adjustable and fixed-rate conventional jumbo mortgages (ARMs) and FHA loans you could access. Also, the bank has the Affordable Solution Mortgage, which only requires you to make a 3% down payment on your total fixed-rate loans. Another good thing with this bank is that it does not insist on private mortgage insurance like most lenders on the market. However, the lender does not offer USDA loans. You can access loans from Bank of America, including V.A. and Home equity loans.
- Apply online or in person
- Alternative credit data
- Many mortgage discount programs
- Qualify for no-PMI loans
- Low down payment on home loan options
- Pre-approval takes ten days
- No USDA loans
Another very great option on our list is LoanDepot. LoanDepot has an overall rating of 4.5 on Forbes Advisor’s rating scale. This brand is one of the largest non-bank home equity mortgage lenders in the United States. Furthermore, the company has more than 150 branches that offer home equity lines of credit. Unlike most lenders, this brand does not charge money for origination fees.
LoanDepot has one of the best online presences you can find with any home equity loan company. This company boasted loan products, including government-backed loans, cash-out refinances, and conventional mortgage loans. The brand will offer home equity loans to individuals who qualify for them. Additionally, you will find that the interest rate on these loans does not cost much.
You can use the lender’s online feature known as the Mello Smartloan online technology to reduce your closing time by 17 days. The feature helps reduce closing time by minimizing paperwork and digitally verifying your assets, debt, and income. Once the lender determines all these, you will know how much equity to expect from them.
The Mello Smartloan feature also conducts title clearance which often takes so much time due to the underwriting process. Another benefit of this feature is that it can help to determine if you can waive the appraisal requirement on your home equity loan, thereby saving time and money from your mortgage cost.
Available in All U.S. States
Potential customers can apply in more than 150 branch locations within the U.S. or use the platform’s online application process. LoanDepot has origination centers in Tennessee, Arizona, and two in California. Furthermore, the platform has the license to operate in 50 states within the U.S.
LoanDepot’s customers can use the online platform to apply for home equity loans with fixed monthly payments. Once the customers submit their loan application, they will get a call from their loan officer informing them of the next steps. Typically, you will need to submit your personal identification and income documents for consideration by the brand. LoanDepot will check your information with a recognized credit union to ensure you have a good credit report.
You can always leverage customer service, which has flexible work hours during the weekdays. LoanDepot’s customer service will attend to you from 8 a.m to 10 p.m. (Monday through Friday ET) and 11 a.m to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
This brand’s mortgage pre-approval time typically takes about 20 minutes. Interestingly borrowers do not need to provide more information before they obtain home equity loans from the company.
You can cut down the application time and amount of paperwork you need to submit when you use the Mello Smartloan technology provided by the platform. In some cases, the Mello Smartloan feature also helps to eliminate the need for home appraisals and may even shorten the closing process by 17 days.
LoanDepot, like the other brands on our list, requires a minimum credit score of 620 for V.A. and conventional home equity loans. The credit requirement on these loans is the average you will find when considering other lenders. With FHA mortgages, you can obtain a less stringent requirement where the brand accepts a credit score of 580. Ultimately, the brand requires a minimum of 700 credit scores for Jumbo borrowers.
Loan Types Available
LoanDepot has fixed interest rate mortgages, FHA loans, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), V.A. loans, Jumbo loans, and 203(k) loans. The brand does not have USDA loans. Additionally, the brand does not offer specialty and home equity loans.
- Fast pre-approval time up to 15 minutes
- Moderate credit requirements
- Mello Smartloan feature
- No refinancing fee for existing customers
- Easy application process
- Higher origination fees
- No home equity loans
- Longer loan closing periods
SunTrust Mortgage (Truist)
SunTrust Mortgage is another excellent option if you need home equity loans with an affordable fixed interest rate and debt-to-income ratio. Truist has a rating of 4.0 out of 5 on Forbes Advisor’s rating scale, which means the brand is right up there with other brands that offer home equity loans.
We picked Truist because it does an excellent job, from low fixed interest rate loans to fast pre-approval times. Additionally, the brand offers low origination fees for its mortgage customers. The brand has all the right features typically sought by customers when considering a home equity loan.
Truist makes it a point of excellence to offer your pre-approval letter within 24 hours after application. This pre-approval time is fast and competitive compared to other home equity line brands. The fast pre-approval also comes in handy if you need to shop for homes and immediately present an offer.
SunTrust Mortgage Banks Inc. and BB&T Corp. merged in 2019 to form Truist Financial Corp. However, SunTrust Mortgage continues to use its branding and name on its ATMs, branch locations, and website. You can use this brand for the best home equity loan rates when looking to make immediate home offers.
Available in the Several States
Truist has an online presence in all the states within the U.S. except Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, and Oregon. In addition, you will find branch locations in Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Mississippi, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee.
Borrowers can obtain loans from Truist when they apply in person or online. Note that in-person application will only work in locations where you can find Truist branches.
The brand also has efficient customer service that works from Monday through Friday (8 a.m. to 8 p.m E.T.) and Saturdays (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to provide quality information to help you process your home equity loan.
The brand has one of the best loan pre-approval speeds on the market. Truist offers pre-approval letters within 24 hours after the loan application. Thus individuals who need to make an offer for their homes can know what to expect when closing in on their housing deal.
SunTrust Mortgage (Truist), like all the average home equity line of credit lenders, requires a minimum score of 620 to offer cash-out refinance loans to its customers. You will not get a better deal for the best home equity loans anywhere else.
SunTrust Mortgage has several loan types available to its users. Customers can obtain mortgages for refinances and buyers. Additionally, the brand has fixed and adjustable-rate (ARMs), conventional, and Jumbo mortgages. The brand also offers V.A., FHA, and home equity loans. Truist is the only name on our list to offer USDA loans. The brand also has specialty loans like the Doctor Loan Program, Premier Loans for Professionals, and Affordable Financing Loan.
- Low Annual fee
- Low mortgage rates
- Fast pre-approval time
- No physical branches in all the 50 states
Guidelines for Comparing Home equity Loans
Getting home equity loans with good interest rates is one of the best feelings you can ever experience as a homeowner. There are a few things you need to know before you can access loan to value ratio in your home without selling it:
- The meaning of a home equity loan
- The meaning of home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
- When to leverage cash-out refinancing
There are essential differences between these three loan types we just mentioned. Thus, you must understand what they stand for to help you choose a loan that best suits your financial needs. You can set up a loan when you borrow against your equity (home equity loan).
Thus, you will typically receive a lump sum which you will repay with interest over time. Alternatively, you can set up a line of credit (home equity line of credit) that allows you to access finances over a particular period.
You should leverage a home equity loan if you know how much money you need to borrow. Additionally, you can use a HELOC when consolidating a loan. The HELOC also suits individuals who want to use them for home renovations or construction since costs can change over time.
One good thing about the HELOC is that it allows you to use as little or as much of the credit as you need. Also, you can continue to borrow more funds as you pay your principal. However, you will need a second mortgage on our house if you want to use any of these options.
If you still have to pay off your primary mortgage, the new mortgage you take will be in the second position. Hence, the mortgage will always be second in line to pay back when selling your house or if your home goes into foreclosure. Thus, home equity loans and HELOCs are usually harder to qualify for based on the reasons above when compared to cash-out refinancing.
A cash-out refinance, on the other hand, replaces your first mortgage with a better and bigger one. Since you will receive money against the equity, the amount gets rolled into your mortgage. Hence, you will pay your equity loan amount and principal balance in one payment. Lenders have loose credit requirements on cash-out refinancing because they are typically the first in a position to get repaid.
Like home purchase mortgages, equity borrowing requires you to shop for the best interest rates. Ensure to collect as much information as needed. Such information will lead you to make the best comparisons and hence get the lowest rates. You can potentially utilize a loan estimate obtained from a lender to negotiate a lower interest rate with another equity lender.
We considered several mortgage lenders with an online and physical presence throughout the United States before picking our best mortgage loan brands. The lenders we listed represent some of the best and most efficient mortgage lenders you will find. Additionally, these lenders have the largest trades by volume and include credit unions, banks, and online lenders.
Our scoring methodology captured more data points such as interest rates, discounts, lender fees, borrower requirements, and accessibility. The best home equity lenders performed well in these areas and others, including low lender fees, speed, and low-interest rates.
This is the relevance we attached to each category:
- Speed: 20%
- Loan Costs: 30%
- Loan types offered: 20%
- Credit requirements: 20%
- Availability and access: 10%
Specific things we considered within each category included average interest rate, APR, origination fees, discounts, minimum credit score requirements, and customer service availability. We also gave bonuses of up to 5% of the score to lenders considering alternative data.
FAQs About Best Equity Home Loans
What is home equity?
Home equity is the difference between the current appraised value and what you owe in the mortgage. If your house gets appraised at $300,000 and you owe a hundred thousand dollars, you have two hundred thousand dollars in equity.
How much equity can you borrow?
The amount of money you can borrow typically depends on your chosen lender. Lenders give you a percentage of your total equity, and part of how much you qualify for may depend on your credit profile. Thus, some lenders may give you up to 85% or more of your equity if you have a good credit score backed by a strong financial profile.
Conclusion: Which Equity Home Loan Is Best For Me?
Equity home loans are quite popular and allow homeowners to borrow against the equity in their houses. Such loans are quite useful for those borrowers who want to use the funds to pay off or consolidate their debt to income ratio. However, it’s recommended to do research and choose the best provider who offers home equity loans at the lowest possible rates.