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The best home equity loan lenders in 2019
Tap into the equity in your home by borrowing from these top banks, credit unions and online-only lenders.
With so many lenders competing for your business, borrowers are in a great position when it comes to taking out a home equity loan. Beyond offering fixed interest rates, these lenders caught our attention for their lending criteria, loan amounts and rates.
Best home equity loan lenders
These lenders tailor their home equity loans to specific kinds of borrowers.
Best for: A broader view of credit
Citibank’s mortgage division offers home equity loans between $25,000 and $300,000, with repayment terms from five to 30 years. If you’re an existing customer who meets the income requirements, you could access interest rates or score closing cost credits. But for many people, the major perk of choosing Citi is its flexibility with credit.
- Considers nontraditional sources of credit, such as rent and child support payments.
- Flexible loan lengths — pay back your loan in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.
- Some borrowers can take out a loan of up to 80% of their home’s value.
- Accepts a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or less.
- Reserves its best rates for CitiGold and CitiPriority customers.
2. Navy Federal Credit Union
Best for: Military members
If you’re a homeowner who’s affiliated with the armed forces, Navy Federal is a solid choice. The credit union focuses on helping military members and their families, and offers a maximum loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 100% — which means qualifying borrowers can borrow for the entire value of their home.
- Pays the majority of closing costs for its members.
- Choose a repayment term of 5, 10, 15, or 20 years.
- Earn a rate discount for setting up auto payments.
- Caps its loans at $500,000, which is much higher than most lenders.
- Personalized service from a team who understands your needs as an active duty servicemember or retired veteran.
3. U.S. Bank
Best for: Large loan amounts
With this lending giant, you can borrow as little as $15,000 or as much as $750,000 — or $1 million if you live in California. Most lenders limit their home equity loans to $250,000, so U.S. Bank stands out in a saturated market. If you’re already a customer with a checking account, you could knock 0.05% off your interest rate.
- Lends up to 90% of a home’s value to qualifying borrowers.
- Allows second homes as collateral in some cases.
- Healthy loan lengths, so you can pay off your loan in 10, 15, 20 or 30 years.
- Waives the closing costs for customers with a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or less.
- Offers a 0.05% rate discount to banking customers who opt into automatic payments.
Best for: No closing costs
This online lender doesn’t charge closing costs or fees, and offers fixed rates that start at 4.99% — significantly below the national average. It has lower loan limits than many traditional lenders, so it’s best for those who only need to borrow $200,000 or less.
- Waives the typical application, valuation and origination fees, as well as closing costs.
- Willing to lend 70% to 95% of your home’s value.
- You can borrow between $35,000 and $200,000.
- Offers a range of repayment terms: 10, 12, 15, 20 and 30 years.
- You’ll be assigned a personal banker, who will be your main point of contact for your application and any questions you have.
5. Regions Bank
Best for: Low interest rates
With this bank, if you set up auto pay, you might be privy to interest rates starting at an aggressive 4.125%. Along with competitive rates, the bank also has a maximum LTV of 89% for primary residences, 75% for secondary residences, and 70% for investment residences, which is handy if you haven’t built up a lot of equity in your home. But like other regional banks, Regions only lends to borrowers in states with a brick-and-mortar location.
- Borrow between $10,000 and $250,000 depending on your property type, lien position and LTV.
- Pay back your loan in 7, 10 or 15 years.
- Apply by visiting one of the 1,700 branch locations across the country, mostly in the Midwest and Northeast.
How we picked the best providers
To create our list of the best home equity loans, we started by confirming each lender’s legitimacy, business practices and site security. We also scanned reviews from trade and consumer forums like the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot to get an idea of their customer service and engagement.
We weighed each lender’s rates, fees, discounts and loan limits, plus unique features such as offering home equity loans on second homes and accepting alternative forms of credit. We narrowed down a list of lenders that met multiple criteria, then further refined that list by thinking about what matters most to our readers.
While we make money from the partners we feature on finder.com, every lender had to meet our strict editorial standards to land on the list.
How to compare home equity loan providers
When you’re researching home equity lenders, work your way through these questions:
- Are the APRs competitive?
- What are the minimum and maximum loan amounts?
- What’s the acceptable debt-to-income ratio?
- What’s the maximum LTV?
- What credit score do I need to apply?
- Are there any closing costs or fees to consider?
- Are there prepayment penalties?
- Are home equity loans available in my state?
- How can I contact the lender, and what level of service should I expect?
The home equity loan market is competitive, so there are plenty of providers to choose from. In this roundup, we’ve honed in on the lenders that tailor their products to particular borrowers — including those who are hoping to skip closing costs, score the lowest possible rates or borrow large amounts against their home.
Get a better understanding of this mortgage product in our guide to home equity loans.
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