A Home Equity Line of Credit or HELOC is a way to tap into the equity of your home to cover large expenses like home renovations, debt consolidation, medical bills, and more. But not all HELOCs are created equal.

To help you find the best fit, we researched the top HELOC options and came up with this list of the best HELOC lenders. We’ll explore all of the features of each HELOC and outline the costs you could incur.

Best HELOC Lenders

In this article, we’ll look at 4 lenders (plus an honorable mention) that offer the best features of the available HELOCs. Each lender provides slightly different services which are beneficial to different borrowers.

  1. 🏆 Best Overall HELOC Lender – Connexus
  2. 🏆 Best Low-Fee HELOC Bank of America
  3. 🏆 Best HELOC from a Credit Union Bethpage
  4. 🏆 Best for Landing a Low APR PNC
  5. 🏆 Honorable Mention: Best for High CLTVs – Alliant

Below you can read about HELOC features each lender offers and which borrowers best benefit from them.

👇 Compare the Best HELOC Lenders

1. Connexus

🏆 Best Overall HELOC Lender

Connexus Fast Facts
Credit line amounts: $5,000 and up (no stated maximum)
Draw & repayment period: 15-year draw and 15-year repayment
Max CLTV: 90% (with a recommended max of 80%)
Transfer to fixed APR loan: No
Connexus HELOCs page

Connexus, an open-to-anyone credit union, offers banking and lending services, including home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.

The minimum loan amount of $5,000 and support of a combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio of up to 90% make Connexus a good pick for those with a small amount of equity in their home. The extended draw period of 15 years allows you to use the credit line longer than many HELOCs.

✍ Note: The Combined Loan-to-Value Ratio or CLTV is the ratio of all loans secured by a property to the current value of the property. The higher the CLTV, the more you can borrow against a given amount of equity.

The low APRs, flexible terms and quick online application make a Connexus HELOC attractive.

⚠ Connexus HELOCs are not available in Maryland, Texas, Hawaii, and Alaska.

Pricing & Fees

You’ll need to be a member of the Connexus Credit Union to qualify for the HELOC. If you don’t meet any of the base eligibility requirements, you can qualify by making a $5 donation to the Connexus Association.

Connexus also charges closing costs. The exact amount you’ll pay depends on the value of the credit line and the state you live in. The maximum charge is $2000, while the minimum is $175.

Connexus offers an introductory rate of 4.5% on its HELOCs for the first six months and 6.99% afterward (introductory APR on HELOCs above 80% CLTV is 6.99%). This rate is variable and can change semiannually, but the APR is capped at a maximum of 16%.

If you choose an interest-only HELOC, you’ll only need to make monthly interest payments for the first 15 years. If you choose a traditional HELOC, you’ll need to pay 1.5% of the utilized credit line each month.

Pros & Cons

➕ Pros:

  • High CLTV
  • Low interest rates
  • Long draw period
  • Online application

➖ Cons:

  • Closing costs
  • Short repayment period
  • No transfer to fixed rate option

2. Bank of America

🏆 Best Low-Fee HELOC

Bank of America Fast Facts
Credit line amounts: $25,000 – $1 million
Draw & repayment period: 10-year draw, 20-year repayment
Max CLTV: 85%
Transfer to fixed APR loan: Yes
Bank of America HELOCs page

This large institution, with more than 200 years of banking history, offers a wide variety of services, including mortgages and HELOCs.

Bank of America’s HELOCs have some of the lowest fees in the industry. There are zero application fees, annual fees, or closing costs, and the APRs offered are reasonably low.

With lines of credit up to $1 million, a 20-year repayment period, and rate discounts, Bank of America’s HELOCs could be a good option for those who wish to have a large credit line ( i.e., over $500,000).

Bank of America offers easy access to your funds, including checks, online banking, and using your ATM card.

Pricing & Fees

Bank of America charges zero fees or closing costs on HELOCs up to $1 million. But, if you close out your HELOC account within three years, you’ll need to pay a $450 early closure fee. The early closure fee is waived in Texas and Maryland.

The introductory APR for the first six months is 6.24%, changing to 9.6% after the six months are up. Bank of America offers several rate discounts.

  • 0.25% discount for automatic payments
  • Up to 1.5% discount for initial withdrawal (.10% for each $10k)
  • 0.625% for Preferred Rewards members

These discounts are not available during the introductory period.

These APRs are variable, and Bank of America sets the minimum rate at 1.99% and the maximum at 24%.

Bank of America also allows you to move some or all of your outstanding balance on your HELOC to a fixed-rate loan with a set repayment period. You can have up to 3 of these fixed-rate loan plans open simultaneously.

Pros & Cons

➕ Pros:

  • Low fees
  • Low APRs
  • High credit line
  • Easy access to funds

➖ Cons:

  • High minimum credit line
  • High max APR

3. Bethpage

🏆 Best HELOC from a Credit Union

Bethpage Fast Facts
Credit line amounts: $10,000 – $1 million
Draw & repayment period: 10-year draw, 20-year repayment
Max CLTV: 75% (for best APRs)
Transfer to fixed APR loan: Yes
Bethpage HELOCs page

This full-service credit union offers various lending, investing, and banking products, including mortgages and HELOCs. Based in the New York area, membership at this credit union is open to everyone except Texas residents.

The HELOCs Bethpage offers come with a 12-month introductory rate lock and no fees, making it an attractive option for those looking to save money on their HELOC.

Credit lines are available as low as $10k and as high as $1 million. Still, you’ll need decent equity as Bethpage requests a CLTV ratio of 75% or less to qualify for the introductory APR.

Pricing & Fees

Bethpage does not charge for appraisals or closing costs on credit lines up to $500,000. Above that, you might need to pay fees, though Bethpage does not state what these will be.

If you choose to close out your credit line within three years, you will need to reimburse Bethpage for the closing costs. Depending on the value of your credit line, this can range from $500 to $15k.

Bethpage offers an introductory rate of 6.99% for an unheard of 12 months (6 months is usually standard). To qualify for this rate, your CLTV needs to be 75% or less, and your credit line needs to be at least $25k.

Once the introductory period is over, the variable rate is 7.5%. Bethpage advertises that the minimum rate is 3.25% and the maximum is 18%.

Additionally, Bethpage offers to convert your HELOC balance to a fixed-rate loan. You can have up to 3 of these fixed-rate plans on your HELOC with repayment periods of 5, 10, or 20 years.

Pros & Cons

➕ Pros:

  • Wide range of credit lines
  • Long introductory period
  • Low fees

➖ Cons:

  • Low max CLTV
  • High closings costs for high-dollar credit lines

4. PNC

🏆 Best for Landing a Low APR

PNC Fast Facts
Credit line amounts: $10,000 – $1 million
Draw & repayment period: 10-year draw, 20-year repayment
Max CLTV: 90% depending on the state (i.e., max is 80% in Texas and 85% in New Mexico)
Transfer to fixed APR loan: Yes

This bank offers various services to individuals, small business owners, and large corporations. These include mortgages and HELOCs.

PNC offers HELOCs up to $1 million and supports a CLTV ratio of up to 90%. But where they really stand out is in helping you get the best APR. They offer you the option to switch between variable and fixed rates at will, and they offer a rate reduction for automated payments.

This can help you save money on interest throughout the life of your credit line. Unfortunately, there is a transfer fee for switching from variable to fixed and vice versa.

Pricing & Fees

PNC charges a $50 annual fee on all HELOCs. This fee is waived in Texas.

If you close out your credit line within 3 years, you will need to pay back any closing costs PNC incurred.

While PNC doesn’t advertise a specific interest rate, it offers conversion to a fixed-rate plan. PNC also offers reverse transfers from fixed-rate plans back to variable. This lets you take advantage of rising and falling interest rates.

For instance, let’s say interest rates are rising, so you convert your credit line balance into a fixed-rate plan at 8%. When the variable goes up to 10%, you are protected. If rates then fall to 6% variable, you can convert your 8% fixed plan back to variable.

The downside is that PNC charges $100 for each transfer, so you’ll want to ensure your potential interest savings outweigh the fee.

Pros & Cons

➕ Pros:

  • High CLTV
  • Reverse transfer from fixed to variable
  • Wide range of credit line amounts

➖ Cons:

  • Transfer fee
  • Annual fee

5. Honorable Mention: Alliant Credit Union

🏆 Best for High CLTVs

Alliant Credit Union Fast Facts
Credit line amounts: $10,000 – $250,000+
Draw & repayment period: 10-year draw, 20-year repayment
Max CLTV: 90% depending on individual state laws
Transfer to fixed APR loan: No
Alliant HELLOCs page

If you are looking for an alternative lender that offers high CLTVs and a wide range of credit line amounts, then the HELOCs offered by Alliant Credit Union might be a worthwhile option.

The main downside to Alliant – and the reason why they are not featured higher up on our list – is limited availability. HELOCs from Alliant are only available in 25 states plus Washington DC. That leaves half the nation unserved.

If you are in their coverage area, a HELOC from Alliant could be a good alternative to one from Connexus.

Pricing & Fees

Alliant doesn’t charge any charge closing costs on credit lines up to $250,000. Above that threshold, they will charge a flat fee of $1000. Alliant does not advertise a maximum credit line.

Alliant does charge a $50 annual fee which is waived during your first year. They also charge a $200 termination fee if you close the account within one year. Compare this to other lenders who charge for closing within the first 3 years.

Alliant advertises APRs starting as low as 7.75%. This rate is variable and, according to Alliant, can change monthly, as opposed to the semiannual schedule other lenders use.

And while Alliant doesn’t offer a fixed rate plan, they will refinance your HELOC, which could help you lower your interest rate and increase your credit line. You’ll need to pay a $250 fee if you don’t increase your credit line.

Pros & Cons

➕ Pros:

  • High CLTV
  • No early closure penalties

➖ Cons:

  • Not available nationwide
  • No fixed rate option
  • APR could go up every month

Comparing the Best HELOC Lenders

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the 5 top HELOC lenders we covered in this article. All of these lenders offer an interest-only HELOC, but aside from that, many of the HELOC features differ.

Max Credit Line Starting APR Annual Fee? Closing Costs Charged? Max CLTV* Fixed Rate Plan?
Connexus Undisclosed 4.5% $0 Up to $2,000 90% No
Bank of America $1 million 6.24% $0 $0  85% Yes
Bethpage $1 million 6.99% $0 Up to $15,000 (on credit lines over $500,000) 75% Yes
PNC $ 1million Undisclosed $50  $0 90% Yes
Alliant $250,000+ 7.75% $50 (waived the first year) $1k on credit lines over $250,000 90% No

* It is worth noting that the advertised CLTVs will be dependent on your state laws (i.e., Texas sets a maximum CLTV of 80%) and your creditworthiness.

Choosing the Best HELOC Lender?

What are you looking for in a HELOC lender?

Low APRs are usually a good selling point, but since HELOCs are variable APR products, the APR you get today could easily increase next month.

👉 Instead of trying to score the lowest APR, you could choose a lender that:

  • offers a locked introductory rate
  • offers a rate discount
  • offers conversions to fixed-rate plans

It is also worth noting that per National Credit Union Association (NCUA) law, credit unions have to cap the interest rate on HELOCs at 18%.

Don’t forget about the fees. Annual fees and closing costs can eat away at low APR offers.

Home equity is another important factor to consider.

For instance, a homeowner in California with significant equity may need to choose a lender with credit lines up to $1 million. Whereas a homeowner in a rural area with very little equity will need to choose a lender that offers low starting credit lines and high CLTVs.

And if variable APRs make you uncomfortable, or you don’t have sufficient equity, you can always look at HELOC alternatives like home equity loans and cashout refis.


While there are a few features all of these HELOC lenders share, like offering online applications and interest-only HELOCs, many of the services and features differ.

Below is a summary of which features we reviewed and how we used them to choose the best HELOC lenders.

HELOC Repayment Options

All of the lenders we chose offer 30-year HELOCs. Lenders that offered 10-year or 20-year HELOCs were excluded from our list.

Additionally, all of the lenders on our list offer interest-only HELOCs, with only a few also offering traditional HELOCs. With interest-only being more popular, lenders offering only traditional HELOCs were excluded from our list.

Closing Costs & Fees

A few lenders on our list do charge closing costs or fees, but in most cases, these fees are reasonable or waived.

Some lenders charge much higher fees or require appraisals, origination fees, etc. These lenders were specifically excluded from our list.


While we focused on lenders that offer high CLTVs, it is important to note that not all states legally allow a lender to offer you a high CLTV. 80% is the lowest maximum CLTV that any state has legislated, so we primarily focused on lenders who offer at least 80% CLTV.


Since HELOCs use variable APR, we looked at this factor differently. Instead of just searching for the best APRs, we prioritized introductory APRs, discounts, recalculation periods, and maximum APRs.

Lenders that had predatory APRs didn’t make the cut.

Product Availability

Not all lenders operate in all states. This is especially true with credit unions.

All of the lenders that made the cut serve the majority of the U.S. This is why Alliant was added as an honorable mention. Despite great HELOC terms, this credit union only serves half the U.S.

The post Best HELOC Lenders of March 2023: Fees, Pros & Cons appeared first on FinMasters.


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