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How long does it take to get a home equity loan?

It’s not an instant process, but typically takes less time than getting a regular mortgage.

Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) are both ways to obtain cash while borrowing against the value of your home. While HELOCs open up a line of credit for ongoing use, home equity loans offer a lump sum of cash — and tend to be approved more quickly.

How long does it take for approval on a home equity loan?

It can take anywhere from 3 to 31 days for a lender to process and approve your application for a home equity loan. But keep in mind that the exact amount of time it takes varies depending on the lender, your financial situation and how quickly you can get the paperwork together.

What affects my approval time?

Several factors can affect the time it takes for you to receive your funds, including:

  • The application. Most applications require a copy of your current mortgage statement, property tax bill and proof of income. Keep these documents handy throughout the process.
  • Verification. The lender takes time to verify the information you’ve provided, including your source of income and personal details. It’ll also probably check out:
    • Your credit score. If your credit score is less-than-good, that could delay the process.
    • Your debt-to income ratio. Ideally should be lower than 43% to ensure you’ll be able to pay back the loan without hardship.
    • Property debt. A lender will likely run a title search to check for existing debt on the property.
  • Home evaluation. You’ll need an appraisal to verify what your home is currently worth. The lender will typically assist with this.
  • Closing. You’ll need to meet with a lawyer in order to sign, seal and deliver the documents.

Can my credit score affect timing?

A low credit score could slow down the underwriting process, which is when lenders determine whether or not you’re eligible for a loan. If your credit score is lower than 650 – which is typically considered the point between a “fair” and a “good” credit rating – it could signal that a more in-depth review of your financial history is required. A credit score lower than 600 may outright exclude you from being approved – a sign that you’re a risky borrower.

What documentation will I need?

Staying organized throughout the process will help speed things up. Documentation you might need to provide includes:

  • Copy of valid ID
  • Copy of the property’s title deed
  • Three months worth of paycheques
  • Tax returns from the last two years
  • Mortgage statement
  • Copy of property tax bill

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How soon after approval can I receive funding?

Exactly how long it’ll take to get your money after approval depends on the lender. However, typical turnaround time for the cash to hit your account is about three to five business days.

Bottom line

Getting a home equity loan can take anywhere from one to four weeks, depending on a number of factors. And since your home is on the line as collateral, the process shouldn’t be rushed. Take some time to learn all you need to know about home equity loans and understand how they are different from home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). Compare different lenders in order to find the best loan for your needs.

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