A home equity loan enables you to access funds by leveraging your property as security. This entails receiving a one-time payment that you can repay through scheduled, fixed-interest installments over a specified period.

What Are Equity Loan Rates

Utilizing a home equity loan offers a means to access the value tied up in your home without the necessity of selling it. As you continue making mortgage payments and the value of your property increases over time, your ownership stake in the house, known as equity, also expands.

Opting for a home equity loan involves transforming this accumulated equity into borrowed funds, effectively converting ownership value into available cash.

Home Equity Loan

Homeowners often favor home equity loans when considering various home improvement ventures. While the usage of the funds is flexible, it is advisable to allocate them towards expenses that contribute to wealth accumulation. This might involve directing the funds toward renovations that have the potential to enhance your property’s value.

Given that your home is the collateral for an equity loan, neglecting to meet repayment obligations could expose you to foreclosure. If you are contemplating obtaining a home equity loan, it’s crucial to be well-informed about the following aspects.

What is a home equity loan?

With a home equity loan, you can access a portion of your home’s equity as cash. This sum is provided to you as a single, lump-sum payment that you must repay with a consistent interest rate over a predetermined duration—usually falling within a range of five to twenty years. However, specific lenders extend terms that can stretch up to thirty years.

Down Payment

Numerous lending institutions may stipulate a minimum of 20% equity in your property, although a few might permit borrowing exceeding 90% of your home’s value. Based on data from the National Association of Realtors, established homeowners typically made an average down payment of 17% in the past year.

Combined Loan To Value (CLTV)

This places them in a favorable position to quickly qualify for a home equity loan from various lenders following the property purchase. On the other hand, first-time homebuyers might encounter a more limited selection of lenders, often with higher combined loan-to-value (CLTV) thresholds, given their average down payment of 6%.

Consistently chipping away at your mortgage balance is a method to nurture the growth of your home equity. Furthermore, if property values in your locality have appreciated since your home acquisition, your equity might accelerate.

Home Equity Loan

Property data provider CoreLogic indicated that homeowners across the United States witnessed a noteworthy uptick of almost 16% in their equity during 2022 when compared year-on-year. This signifies that even individuals who made modest initial payments or those who have possessed their homes for a relatively brief period might already meet the criteria for a home equity loan.

How does a home equity loan work?

Frequently referred to as “second liens” or “second mortgages,” home equity loans effectively embody these designations. They contribute funding towards a fraction of the overall home value, with the property as a safeguard.

As a homeowner, this arrangement entails both advantages and disadvantages.

Securing a home equity loan typically affords you a more favorable interest rate than an unsecured loan. However, it’s essential to recognize that this also introduces a level of risk, given that the lender retains the option to initiate foreclosure on your property in case of payment difficulties.

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Should a home equity loan capture your interest, your initial step involves determining the precise amount you intend to borrow. In contrast to a home equity line of credit (HELOC), which provides the flexibility to draw funds as required, home equity loans mandate a clear projection of your project expenses from the outset.

Once you’ve established the necessary sum, the subsequent task entails assessing your equity’s value with the total value of your home.

The subsequent stage involves exploring different lenders.

It’s advisable to contact multiple lenders to ensure you secure the most favorable rate and terms. To commence this process, our compilation of leading home equity loan lenders could serve as an excellent starting point.

Upon closing, the entire sum will be disbursed to you, and subsequently, you’ll start repaying the home equity loan every month, encompassing both principal and interest.

Fixed Rate Repayment

This fixed-rate repayment will extend over a predetermined duration. It’s imperative to ensure you can comfortably manage this supplementary mortgage payment, your existing mortgage, and other monthly financial commitments.

What can I use a home equity loan for?

An ideal home equity loan application involves directing funds toward repairs, renovations, or projects that contribute to the property’s overall value. According to the 2021 American Housing Survey report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the average cost of a project (or a sequence of tasks) financed through a home equity loan stood at $11,240. The report further reveals that kitchen renovations typically rank as the most expensive endeavors, with homeowners spending a median amount of $35,000.

Homeowners can allocate a home equity loan for various purposes, yet it’s prudent to refrain from utilizing equity to fund expenses such as vacations. Such discretionary spending does not contribute to wealth accumulation and lacks the potential for recovery.

American Housing Survey

Home equity loan rates in 2023

Most home equity loan interest rates are tied to a foundational benchmark known as the prime rate within the financial sector. This premium rate signifies the lowest interest rate lenders extend to their most creditworthy borrowers. However, lenders typically incorporate a margin atop the prime rate to establish the ultimate interest rate they propose.

when a lending institution adds a margin of 1.45% to a base rate of 7.75%, the outcome is an effective interest rate of 9.20% for the homeowner’s equity loan

The extent of this margin differs from one lender to another, underscoring the importance of obtaining multiple quotes. Regardless of the lender you select, individuals boasting elevated credit scores and lower debt-to-income ratios are more inclined to meet the criteria for the most favorable interest rates.

Ways to get the best home equity loan rates in 2023

When seeking a home equity loan, it’s prudent to optimize your financial situation. This entails obtaining credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies  Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion and rectifying any identified inaccuracies.

Additionally, reducing substantial balances can be advantageous, simultaneously enhancing your debt-to-income ratio. Such efforts may potentially lead to improved interest rates being presented to you.

After establishing a sense of assurance in your application, take the time to assess mortgage rates from a minimum of three home equity loan lenders. Minor disparities in the interest rate you agree upon can accumulate significantly throughout your loan.

Exploring alternative funding options, such as home equity lines of credit, cash-out refinances, and personal loans, is also worth considering. These alternatives might provide more favorable rates or terms that align better with your preferences.

How much can you borrow with a home equity loan in 2023

A home equity loan typically enables you to borrow approximately 80% to 85% of your home’s appraised value after subtracting your outstanding mortgage balance. Specific lenders might offer the possibility of lending more substantially, reaching even up to 100% in particular cases.

Consider a scenario where your residence holds an estimated value of $350,000, your existing mortgage stands at $200,000, and your lender permits borrowing up to 85% of your home’s appraised value. Begin by multiplying your home’s value ($350,000) by the allowed borrowing percentage (85% or 0.85). This calculation yields a potential borrowing capacity of up to $297,500.

Deduct your outstanding mortgage amount ($200,000) from this value, resulting in an estimated maximum sum attainable through a home equity loan of $97,500.

Home equity loan requirements

Criteria for eligibility concerning home equity loans can differ from one lender to another, yet here is a general outline of what is typically necessary for approval:

  • Minimum home equity of approximately 15% to 20%.
  • A credit score reaching 620 or higher.
  • A debt-to-income ratio at or below 43%.

To establish your home’s equitable market value, your lender might request an appraisal to ascertain the extent of your borrowing eligibility.

Are home equity loans a good idea?

Determining whether a home equity loan is a sound decision hinges on your financial circumstances and your intentions for the borrowed funds. The substantial risk associated with leveraging your home as collateral underscores the importance of carefully assessing the advantages and disadvantages of a home equity loan.


  1. Fixed rates ensure consistent payments, simplifying budget management.
  2. Potential for a lower interest rate compared to personal loans or credit cards.
  3. Retaining your existing low mortgage rate is possible.
  4. Interest on the loan could be tax-deductible if utilized for home improvements or renovations.


  1. Limited flexibility compared to a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC).
  2. Interest accrues on the entire loan sum, irrespective of gradual usage, like for ongoing renovations.
  3. Failure to meet payments punctually can endanger your home, similar to other home-secured loans.
  4. Closure of a home equity loan might entail upfront closing costs.
  5. If you sell your home before loan repayment completion, the remaining balance of the home equity loan becomes due.

Should I choose a home equity loan

Dissimilar to a home equity loan’s fixed lump sum structure, a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) offers versatility. While a total loan amount is established, you only draw what is required, subsequently repaying it before borrowing anew.

This dynamic approach entails gradual repayment of a HELOC, contingent on the utilized amount, diverging from the conventional method of repaying the entire loan sum, akin to a credit card.


Another significant distinction lies in the often adjustable rates associated with HELOCs. These rates fluctuate during the loan’s duration, leading to less predictable payments. At the outset, HELOC rates might receive a discount, but the interest rate usually increases after an initial period spanning roughly six to twelve months.

If you find yourself attracted to the dependable payment structure of a home equity loan yet desire the adaptable balance attribute of a HELOC, it might be worth considering lenders offering HELOCs with a fixed-rate alternative.

A cash-out refinance entails substituting your current mortgage with a fresh, more substantial loan, enabling you to utilize the surplus funds. This implies acquiring a new interest rate on your primary mortgage, which might not be advantageous if interest rates have escalated since your initial home purchase. Moreover, you’ll be obliged to cover closing costs.

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