If you’re a homeowner, making home improvements can be a good way to fix up your house and increase the value of your property. If you want to make changes to your home but are on a tight budget, consider getting a home equity line of credit from your local credit union or bank. A HELOC can be an attractive alternative to a reverse mortgage, which requires you to give up equity in your home in exchange for cash — you won’t lose your equity with a HELOC loan. It can also be a good alternative to using credit cards or taking out a personal loan or FHA 203(k) loan.
GOBankingRates identified seven of the best home improvement loans typically available from banks, local credit unions and online lenders. Whether you want to finance home improvement projects, apply for a cash-out refinance loan or construction loan, first decide how to leverage your home equity, then choose the best loan for your situation and location — some rates vary depending on where you live.
- U.S. Bank HELOC
- Bank of America HELOC
- TD Bank HELOC
- Citibank HELOC
- Chase HELOC
- Wells Fargo HELOC
- BBVA HELOC
|Home Loan||Rate (APR)||Terms||Limits||Fees|
|U.S. Bank HELOC||3.24% to 8.04%||Varies based on credit qualifications||$15,000 to $750,000||No application fees|
No closing costs
|Bank of America HELOC||Intro rate of 2.490% for 12 months, then 3.880%||10-year draw, 20-year repayment||$1 million for primary residence, $500,000 for second home||No application fees|
No closing costs
No annual fee
|TD Bank HELOC||3%, 3.25%, 4%, 5.75%||5 to 30 years||Up to $500,000||$99 origination fee|
$99 annual fee
|Citibank HELOC||4.24%||5- or 10-year draw period|
20-year repayment period
|$10,000 to $1,000,000||Varies by location|
|Chase HELOC||3.88% to 6.26%||Up to 20-year repayment period||$50,000 to $500,000||$50 origination fee|
$50 annual fee
No closing costs
|Wells Fargo HELOC||Prime rate plus capped rate||Fixed rate 1-20 years; 10 years + 1 month draw period||$25,000 to $500,000|
No limit on fixed-rate loans up to credit limit
|$75 annual fee waived in first year|
$400 prepayment penalty fee
Opening fees of $19 to $18,000, depending on property type and location
|BBVA HELOC||3.74%||Up to 20-year draw period|
10- or 15-year repayment period
|$25,000 to $1 million||Bank-paid closing costs availabl|
Rate: 3.26% to 8.04% APR
Terms: Varies with credit qualifications
Limits: $15,000 to $750,000, depending on credit score and loan-to-value amount
Fees: No applicant fee or closing costs
You can use the U.S. Bank HELOC to remodel your home or consolidate debt — and save money on closing costs and taxes. Some of the benefits of this HELOC include that you’ll get funding just four business days after you sign loan documents, plus 24/7 funds transfer and no closing costs or application fees. If you owe less than $150,000 on your home mortgage, you might be eligible for a U.S. Bank Smart Refinance that offers flexible terms at no additional cost.
Rate: 2.49% APR for 12 months, then 3.88% APR
Terms: 30 years
Limits: $1 million for primary residences, $500,000 for second residences
Fees: No application fee, annual fee or closing costs on credit lines up to $1 million
You can apply for a Bank of America HELOC in 15 minutes and check your application status online. If you set up an automatic payment plan with Bank of America you’ll get a 0.25 percent rate discount and a 0.10 percent discount for every $10,000 you initially withdraw when you open the account. If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you’ll be eligible for discounts of 0.125 percent to 0.375 percent based on your tier. Plus, you can eventually convert your HELOC into a fixed-rate loan.
Rate: 3.0% to 5.75% APR
Terms: Five to 30 years
Limits: $25,000 to $500,000
Fees: $50 annual fee after one year, $99 origination fee, $450 early termination fee if line is paid off in 24 months
If you want to refinance your mortgage, make home improvements or just take out some extra cash, a TD Bank HELOC might be a good option for you. If you have a TD Bank checking account, you can get a 0.25 percent interest rate discount. You can access your funds online, by phone, with checks or at a branch — or load money on a free Visa EquityAccess Card.
Rate: Prime rate + customer’s margin; currently 4.34% APR for HELOC, 6.74% APR for fixed-rate home equity loans
Terms: 10 or 30 years with five-year or 10-year draw period
Limits: $10,000 to $1 million
Fees: Varies by location
A Citibank HELOC or home equity loan can cover home improvement costs or help you consolidate debt. If you use Citibank Auto Deduct to repay your loan and take an initial draw of at least $25,000 at closing, you’ll get the lowest rate available. This home equity loan is not available for mobile homes. You can apply online, by phone or in person at a Citi branch.
Rate: 3.88% to 6.26% APR
Terms: Fixed-rate option up to 20 years; flexible HELOC options
Fees: No closing costs, $50 annual fee, no fee for Texas homestead properties, mortgage recording tax between 0.115 percent and 2.175 percent of your credit limit in some states
Chase banking customers or those willing to open a Chase personal checking account get a .25 percent rate discount. If you have a Premier Platinum checking account, that rate will increase to 0.5 percent. Chase offers the fixed-rate lock option, which enables you to switch from a variable rate to a fixed rate for up to 20 years. Your loan amount will depend on how much equity you have in your home.
Rate: Prime rate plus capped rate
Terms: 10-year draw period plus 1 month
Limits: $500,000 for HELOC, no maximum on fixed-rate home equity loan
Fees: $75 annual fee waived for first year; $400 prepayment penalty fee; $19 to $18,000 opening fees, depending on property type and location
You can apply for Wells Fargo HELOC or a fixed-rate home equity loan for any type of home improvement financing. The draw period is 10 years plus one month, unless you switch to a fixed-rate advance loan. If you have a Wells Fargo checking account and make automatic payments from any of your accounts, you can earn a 0.375 percent relationship discount on your HELOC.
Rate: 3.74% APR
Terms: Draw period up to 20 years; repayment period of 10 or 15 years
Limits: $25,000 to $1 million
Fees: Bank-paid closing costs option
A BBVA HELOC offers a competitive adjustable rate for financing home improvements. During your draw period you can make interest-only payments or pay down the balance, and you can lock a portion of your credit line with a fixed rate. You can access your funds over the phone, at a branch, and with a VISA Platinum credit card or checks.
Interest rates stated are as of Feb. 22, 2017. Rates are subject to change.