Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit are two products that let homeowners tap into their home equity. What’s the difference?
A home equity loan is a fixed-rate, lump sum loan that is secured by the borrower’s equity in their home. This type of loan enables a homeowner to borrow up to 85% of their home equity and pay it back in monthly installments over a period of five to 30 years, depending on the loan term.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a variable-rate second mortgage that utilizes a portion of your home’s value through a revolving line of credit. You can use, pay down and reuse the credit line during a set time period as needed.
Related: Best Home Equity Loan Lenders
$100K HELOC Rates
—Ideal for Medium-Sized Projects
A $100K HELOC is suitable for more extensive renovation projects or other significant financial needs. Compare the rates and terms to find the best fit for your situation.
$250K HELOC Loan Rates
—Access More Funds for Major Investments
For larger projects or investments, a $250K HELOC provides the necessary funds with various LTV options. Explore these rates to determine the right balance between borrowing capacity and risk.
$500K HELOC Loan Rates
—Maximize Your Borrowing Power
If you have substantial equity in your home and need significant financing, a $500K HELOC offers a great deal of borrowing power. Evaluate these options to find the optimal rate and term for your goals.
*Data accurate as of January 26, 2024
5-Year Home Equity Loan Rates (60 Months)
A 5-year term offers a shorter repayment period with typically higher monthly payments. These products are suitable for borrowers looking for a quicker payoff.
10-Year Home Equity Loan Rates (120 Months)
With a 10-year term, borrowers can enjoy a balanced monthly payment while still building equity quickly. Ideal for medium-sized projects or financial needs.
15-Year Home Equity Loan Rates (180 Months)
A 15-year term provides lower monthly payments compared to shorter terms, offering more affordability while still progressing toward your financial goals.
20-Year Home Equity Loan Rates (240 Months)
Offering longer repayment and lower monthly payments, 20-year home equity loans are suitable for larger investments and long-term financial planning.
30-Year Home Equity Loan Rates (360 Months)
The 30-year term maximizes affordability with the lowest monthly payments. These options are best for substantial borrowing needs and long-term investments.
*Data accurate as of January 26, 2024
Why Is Home Equity Important?
Two major ways you build home equity is when the value of your home goes up (appreciation) and the balance of your mortgage goes down. As you make ongoing, regular monthly payments to your mortgage, your home equity will increase and so will your wealth.
Borrowing against your home equity lets you use money for major financial needs, including:
- Home improvements, upgrades or repairs
- Consolidating debt
- Making large payments on high-interest debt
- Educational costs
How Does a Home Equity Loan Work?
A home equity loan is a lump-sum loan that allows you to borrow money by leveraging your home’s equity.
The maximum amount you’re allowed to borrow is based on how much equity you have in your home, up to the amount offered by that lender. These types of loans tend to have competitive interest rates since they’re secured loans. Your home is used as collateral to secure the loan, meaning if you miss or fall behind on payments, you could face foreclosure.
How Do I Calculate Home Equity?
You’ll calculate your home equity by taking your home’s current value—based on its most recent appraisal—and subtracting it from your current mortgage balance.
For example, say your home is valued at $500,000 and your mortgage’s outstanding balance is $250,000. This would mean you have $250,000 in home equity, and your loan-to-value ratio (LTV) would be 50%. If you’re looking for a home equity loan or line of credit, lenders usually only approve up to a certain LTV ratio. For example, some lenders require 80% LTV or less.
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