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Best Home Equity Loans of 2021

Tap into your home equity so you can borrow money and/or lower your interest rates. After reviewing each loan provider and comparing their fees, terms, customer service, and rates, our editors have selected the best cash-out refinance and home equity loan options to help you get the most out of your home.

Last Updated: November, 2021

Money’s Top Picks

  • Figure offers home equity lines ranging from $15,000 to $250,000 which customers can apply for completely online. The process requires no in-person appraisal and can be completed in as quick as five minutes, without having to leave home.

     

    Borrowers need only fill out a short online form to receive a personalized offer and rate. If a customer decides on one of the offers, Figure can verify income and assets through its automated system. Customers can speak with one of Figure’s eNotaries to get their documents signed and complete the application process.

    Borrowers could potentially receive funding in as little as five days.

    Figure’s Home Equity Line differs from traditional HELOCs in that the borrower must draw the complete amount of the loan during origination. Customers can make payments and then redraw from the repaid amounts.

    The initial APR, which can be as low as 3.00% for well-qualified borrowers, applies only to that first draw. Any future draws will have rates based on the current market APRs at the moment of drawing funds.

    HELOCs with Figure may have an origination fee that can be up to 4.99% of the initial draw, with amounts depending on several other factors. Other fees customers may encounter are recording fees (which may vary by county) and subordination fees if the company is requested to change its lien position.

    Some customers can opt to pay the origination fee in exchange for a reduced APR, though it’s not available in all states. Advertised APRs also included additional discounts given for credit union membership and autopay enrollment.

    • Fast approval and funding
    • 100% online application
    • Credit lines of up to $250,000
    • Rates as low as 3.00% for most qualified applicants
  • Qualifying veterans and military members can refinance their current mortgage loan to a cash-out VA loan and receive money back from the equity they’ve accumulated. They can then use this money for whatever financial needs they might have, including paying off high-interest debt, paying for college, or making home repairs and improvements.

    Cash-out refis are essentially a new mortgage that replaces the current one, with new rates and terms. This can be beneficial for borrowers who want to move from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed-rate one or those who want to reduce their monthly payments.

     

    VA cash-out refinance loans are available for qualified military members and veterans who either already have a VA loan or a conventional loan.

    Borrowers should remember that the refinancing process is similar to the purchasing process and requires an appraisal, underwriting and other time-consuming (and costly) actions. Although requirements can vary, there are certain factors that can determine whether you qualify for a cash-out VA refi, such as minimum credit scores (usually 640), loan-to-value (LTV) ratios, and an intention from the borrower to continue living in the property.

    Veteran’s United customers support can help borrowers navigate the refinance process and find the adequate product for their cash-out needs.

    • Qualified homeowners can refinance up to 90% of the home value
    • Current APRs as low as 2.375%
    • Closing costs and VA Funding Fee can be financed if guidelines are met
    • Use cash for paying down debt, home improvements, emergency expenses and others
  • The San Francisco-based Unison is a fintech company that focuses on offering homeowners alternative home equity solutions since 2013. Its team of financial and real estate professionals has developed the HomeOwner program as a way of co-investing in homes, providing customers with funds without the need of incurring debt.

     

    Homeowners can receive up to 17.5% of their home’s value (with a maximum of $500,000 and a minimum of $30,000) which they can use for up to 30 years without having to pay back the amount. There are no monthly payments and no interests accumulated. 

    By doing this, the company is buying into ownership of the home, and receives a portion of the home’s value when it’s sold. 

    Although home equity sharing, or co-investing as it’s sometimes called, may not be suitable for every homeowner, it may benefit those with a large amount of home equity built up. Applicants for Unison’s HomeOwner generally require a minimum FICO score of 620 and meet certain loan-to-value (LTV) and debt-to-income (DTI) standards.

    Unison, which holds an A+ rating with the BBB, is constantly expanding its product reach and is currently available in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

  • Bethpage Home Lending offers home equity lines of credit (HELOC) to existing Bethpage Federal Credit Union members with active personal accounts or non-members who apply for a HELOC and open a saving account simultaneously.

     

    Much in the same way home equity loans can be used for a variety of purposes, the money withdrawn from a HELOC can be used for home improvements, debt consolidation, tuition payments, or any other surprise expenses.

    Homeowners can apply for HELOCs up to a maximum of $500,000, although the amount allowed depends on several factors, including credit history and the loan-to-value ratio (LTV), which is the home’s value minus the amount still owed on the mortgage. Rates are determined the same way.

    The HELOC offers an introductory APR of 2.99%, contingent on meeting certain requirements including, among others, a maximum LTV of 75%, an initial draw of $25,000 with the balance maintained for 12 months, and automatic monthly payments deducted from a Bethpage personal account.

    Despite the fact that it doesn’t offer standalone home equity loans, a notable feature of Bethpage HELOCs is the fixed-rate loan option, which allows customers to convert any amount of money from the line of credit into a fixed rate and term, with stable monthly payments. Customers can have up to three different balances as fixed-rate loans at the same time with 5-, 10-, or 20-year repayment terms.

    Moving from a variable rate to a fixed one provides stability in knowing exactly how much will be paid each month and provides protection against rising rates even though, in general, fixed rates are higher than variable rates on a HELOC.

    Bethpage customers can begin the application online but will need to speak with a loan representative to continue the process. Nonetheless, the loan specialists can guide the customer to the right home equity product and help complete the application in a smooth and timely manner.

    • $0 closing costs
    • Interest-only payments for the draw period
    • Flexibility to lock in variable-rate HELOC into a fixed-rate loan
    • Introductory rate as low as 2.99% APR for the first 12 months
  • Quicken Loans is an industry leader in purchase mortgages and refinancing. Although it does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit, it does offer a cash-out refi option as part of its refinancing products.

    A cash-out refinance is taking out a new mortgage on your home to replace the previous one, while at the same time getting a better rate and receiving some of the equity back as cash. This differs from home equity loans and HELOCs which are essentially a second loan on your home.

     

    Cash-back refis are available for several loan products:

    • FHA loans can refinance up to 80% of the home’s value
    • 30-year fixed-rate loans
    • Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs)
    • VA loans that allows borrowers to refinance up to 100% of the home’s value

    Quicken Loans, along with its online portal Rocket Mortgage, offer resources and tools for borrowers to understand the ins and outs of the refinance process and determine the best possible loan for their needs.

    Customer support is Quicken Loan’s forte, having been named highest in customer satisfaction for mortgage servicing for seven consecutive years. Mortgage experts can guide borrowers through the process of accessing their home equity to achieve their financial goals.

    • Lower the interest rate from your current mortgage
    • Receive cash for home improvements, college tuition, or paying off debt
    • FHA, 30-year fixed-rate, ARMs, and VA loans options available
    • 24/7 access to your loan through the Rocket Mortgage app
  • Homeowners may want to tap into their home equity for a variety of reasons, including paying off debt, funding an education, home renovations, or even less common reasons such as retirement, investing, or buying other properties.

     

    Hometap provides a novel way of using home equity to secure funds you might need now. Hometap is not a lender. Instead of offering home equity loans, lines of credit, or cash-out refinancing, the company makes an investment in your property, providing cash at the moment for a share in the home’s future value.

    With Hometap’s services, homeowners can access cash from their accumulated equity without having to make monthly payments and with no interests against the borrowed money. They have 10 years to either buy out Hometap’s investment or sell the home and pay the company the percentage they own.

    The Hometap Investment process is completed in four easy steps. Homeowners need to:

    • Fill out the investment inquiry with personal and ownership information.
    • Speak with the assigned Investment Manager to go over the Investment Estimate and talk numbers, as well as going over any questions related to the process.
    • Complete and submit the application after uploading documents online.
    • Sign the documents after a physical appraisal has been completed and the investment details have been finalized.

    The website offers homeowner resources and tools such as calculators so that they can better understand their financial situation, what home equity options are available, and how to best use Hometap services.

    Hometap services are currently available in 14 states (AZ, CA, FL, MD, MA, MI. MN, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA, VA, WA) with more on the way.

    • Secure funds without taking on debt
    • Dedicated Investment Manager to guide the process
    • No monthly payments and no interest
    • 10-year terms to settle, sell or refinance

To Summarize: Best Home Equity Lenders of 2021

Ultimately, choosing the best home equity lender in 2021 depends on your specific financial needs and which company offers the best interest rates with the lowest fees.

Our list of top picks provides a good basis for you to start your search, giving you the tools to choose a lender that lets you maximize home equity to your benefit.