To get the best rate on a HELOC, you will need to do quite a bit of shopping. You should talk to large national banks, community banks, credit unions, and online home equity lenders. The Home Equity Mart will introduce you to trusted lending professionals that have access to many home equity credit line programs with reasonable interest rates, so we may be able to assist you.
How To Get The Best HELOC Interest Rate
HELOCs have many aspects, such as variable interest rates, introductory rates and teaser rates, fees, closing costs, and maybe balloon payments. So, you should review your different HELOC programs from lenders before you sign.
Next, understand what your credit score is by ordering credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You are allowed to get a free report from each one annually. You should know your credit score before you apply and try to get it higher if necessary. That way, you can qualify for the best rate.
When you compare HELOC offerings from a few home equity loan lenders – including us, hopefully! – you should watch for these items:
• Teaser rates that are temporary: Most HELOCs have a low introductory interest rate that may last for a few months or a year. Teaser rates are fine, but you should make sure to know how long it lasts. You also should know what the rate will be when the introductory period is over. In many cases, it is a variable rate that could go up and down.
• Markups on the HELOC rates: Home equity lines are usually based on the prime rate, but for your line of credit, you will pay the prime rate plus whatever the lender’s markup is. Different lenders have various markups, so look around.
• HELOC Rate cap: Learn if the lender has a cap on how high the HELOC rate can go.
• What is the HELOC draw period? Most HELOCs have draw period between five and ten years.
• Learn about HELOC fees: Some lenders will charge different fees and you should understand what they are.
• Look for a balloon payment: A balloon payment at the end of the loan can be used to give you a lower payment. Know up front if there is a ballon payment so you can plan.
• Watch for prepayment penalties: If you can pay off the loan all at once, you don’t want to be charged a prepayment penalty.
Our loan professionals always offer competitive rates on many HELOC programs, so please contact us and we will lay out several affordable options.
HELOC Introductory Rates
To get you to sign up, the lender could use a teaser or introductory rate which could be below prime. There is nothing wrong with this, and the teaser rate could be well below anything you can get in 2024 with a credit card or personal loan. Many introductory rates last for six to 12 months, but some may allow the teaser rate for up to two years.
But at the end of the teaser period, the rate will always go up. It’s possible the rate and payment can double, so always know what you are getting into before applying.
What Will HELOC Rates Be Like in 2024?
As most Americans know, interest rates have climbed substantially since the pandemic. In early 2024, the typical HELOC has a 9-10% interest rate. This is much higher than in 2020, but a 9% rate is still much lower than you can get with any unsecured loan.
It seems that the Federal Reserve has gotten inflation down to about 3-4% in the last several months. This is why they are not planning on rate increases in 2024. They may even start to cut rates later this year, which would put downward pressure on HELOC interest rates.
It’s impossible to say what HELOC rates will be in six months or a year, but based on the Fed’s words and actions, it’s possible rates could start to fall for all mortgage products. HELOCs have a variable rate, so if you close on a loan soon, you could end up with a lower rate in the near future. But things can change.
If you aren’t comfortable with rate uncertainty, another option to get your equity in cash is to apply for a home equity loan. This is a fixed-rate loan with a defined payment schedule for the life of the loan.
Many homeowners enjoyed rising home values in the past three years, which means they have more equity in their homes. If you have large expenses and want to tap some of that equity, one option is a home equity line or credit or HELOC.
How to Shop HELOC Rates
This is a second mortgage loan that you can use to take out some cash for things you need, such as home renovations or paying off credit card debt. Learn about HELOCs below and how to shop for the best interest rate. If you have questions or want to apply, speak to one of our loan professionals today.
What Does a Home Equity Line Of Credit Do?
A HELOC is a second mortgage that is a line of credit similar to a credit card. The difference with a HELOC is the credit line is secured by your home and the equity you have built up. It’s a revolving line of credit that works like a credit card, and you can reuse the credit line when you repay it.
HELOCs are a good option in 2024 for homeowners who have at least 20% equity in their homes and want to pay for home repairs, paying down credit cards, or finance a college education.
More homeowners are turning to HELOCs in 2024 because they may have a lower first mortgage rate than they can get with a cash-out refinance. Many homeowners today have mortgages they took out in 2019, 2020, or 2021, when rates were sometimes 3% or lower. It doesn’t make sense to refinance your first mortgage from a 3% rate when current rates are about 7% (as of January 2024).
As of this writing, the average rate for a HELOC for $30,000 is approximately 10%. For the most part at the end of 2023 and in 2024, rates have held in the 10% range. This is higher than homeowners are accustomed to, but remember: Higher interest rates from the Fed have caused credit card interest rates to soar, sometimes over 20%. A HELOC at 10% still represents a considerable interest savings over many other loan products.
Why Get A HELOC?
If you own a home and want to tap some of your equity, you may wonder why you should consider a HELOC over the other options, such as credit cards or personal loans:
• Credit card rates will stay elevated: The Fed has hiked rates 11 times since early 2022, which made credit card rates soar. The average credit card rate is over 21%, so you can imagine how much interest you will pay if you have thousands in credit card debt. The Fed doesn’t seem to want to increase rates as much in 2024, but we can assume that credit card rates will stay high for some time. A HELOC may have a rate that is half of your credit card, so it’s a good deal.
• Cash-out refi’s are often off the table: You may have a lower first mortgage rate than you can get in 2024 by refinancing. It may be more logical to keep your mortgage in place and get a HELOC instead.
• There may be a recession: If there is a recession this year, it’s possible you could lose your job or have hours cut. It may be better to get your HELOC approved before a recession hits. An economic slowdown also could impact your home’s value, which could decrease the money you can get with a HELOC.
The HELOC is one of the best loan deals on the market right now. Credit cards and personal loans have high rates, and cash-out refinances aren’t viable for many people with first mortgages below 5%. It could be years before you can get a refinanced first mortgage with a lower rate than you have now.
Tips for Comparing HELOC Interest Rates
Like rates for everything, HELOC interest rates are higher than a few years ago. But HELOCs make sense for homeowners who want to access their equity at rates that are more affordable than the other options. Use the tips we mentioned above to find the best HELOC with the lowest rate. Also, check with our loan professionals because we have many HELOC options and programs that offer highly competitive rates.