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The Best HELOC Lenders for 2019

Homeownership is considered one of the foundations of wealth because of the ability to build something called “equity” — the difference between the balance of your current loan and the value of your home.

Equity grows as you make each mortgage payment, slowly paying down the balance. It also increases as home prices in your neighborhood rise.

There are several ways homeowners can access their equity, but one popular method is a home equity line of credit (HELOC). In many ways, it’s similar to a credit card. Rather than taking a lump sum, you can use the credit as you need using an access card to charge on the line of credit. The equity in your home provides the backstop for your lender.

LendingTree reviewed data from hundreds of lenders across the nation that offer 30-year home equity lines of credit to come up with the top five lenders of 2019. Our ratings are based primarily on the interest rate terms offered to borrowers on LendingTree over the last 12 months. Then we take into account the quality of information each lender provides on their websites. You can read up on our full methodology below.

Here are the top 30-year HELOC lenders for 2019:

| Caliber Home Loans


 

Caliber Home Loans started in 2008 and is licensed in 50 states to offer FHA, VA, and USDA loans, as well as jumbo loans up to $2.5 million and home equity products.

Caliber Home Loans offered a 30-year HELOC rate of 4.24% on the LendingTree platform.

The Caliber Home Loans home page provides extensive information about loan types and programs, as well as informational articles about topics related to homebuying and refinancing. The “Tools and Resources” section provides mortgage calculators, FAQs and even a weekly market commentary report that gives readers an idea of which way interest rates are headed.

There is an “Apply Now” button with a link to an online application.

Learn more

| J.G. Wentworth Home Lending, LLC


 

J.G. Wentworth Home Lending, LLC is a direct lender operating under its parent company, J.G. Wentworth. The company has branches in 16 states and has been in business since 1992.

J.G. Wentworth offered a median 30-year fixed rate of 4.49% on the LendingTree platform.

Information on the company’s loan options is easy to find from the homepage. There is also a wide variety of informational content on topics related to buying and refinancing different types of properties, plus blog posts that go into detail about specific mortgage-related topics.

There is no “Apply Now” button and there doesn’t appear to be a link for filling out an online loan application, but there are buttons for getting a rate quote, finding a loan officer or talking to a

specialist.

Learn more

| CBC National Bank


 

CBC National Bank Mortgage is a division of First Federal Bank. The company has been in business since 1999, offering mortgages through CBC National Bank and regular banking products through its parent company.

CBC National Bank offered a median 30-year HELOC rate of 4.49% on the LendingTree platform.

Information about the types of mortgages CBC National Bank offers can be easily found under the “Loan Types” tab on the website, with a wide array of informational articles under the “Categories” sidebar section. The topics in this section including homebuying and mortgage tips.

The “Advice” section provides updates on the mortgage market and specialized niche information about topics such as buying investment properties and how to shop for a real estate agent, and the homepage features several different mortgage calculators for a variety of homebuying and selling scenarios. There is no “Apply Now” button, but there is a “Find a Loan Officer” link option that allows a customer to view the profiles of loan officers in different parts of the country.

Learn more

| Third Federal Savings and Loan Association


 

Third Federal Savings Bank opened its first location in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1938, where it is currently headquartered. The bank offers mortgages in 25 states plus Washington, D.C.

Third Federal Savings Bank offered a median 30-year fixed HELOC rate of 4.49% on the LendingTree platform.

The homepage of the website features purchase and refinance links with basic information about loan programs. The “Resources” tab provides guides about mortgage and homebuying related topics, an assortment of mortgage calculators and an FAQ section with more in-depth explainers on a variety of home financing topics.

There is an “Apply Today” button on the homepage for HELOCs.

Learn more

| Lower


 

Lower is an online lender backed by Homeside and is headquartered in New Albany, Ohio. The company is licensed to do business in 27 states, plus Washington, D.C. and allows for customers to borrow up to 95% of the value of their home with its HELOC product.

Lower offered a median 30-year HELOC rate of 4.49% on the LendingTree platform.

The homepage of the website does not feature any loan product information. The “Blog” button at the bottom of the homepage, redirects to Medium, a blogging platform. This where Lower’s informational articles about mortgage and homebuying related topics is hosted.

There is an “Apply Now” button prominently featured in the upper right hand corner of the homepage.

Learn more

How we choose our “best” lenders

Our “best” winners aren’t chosen based on rate alone, but also with a unique rating developed by our editorial staff called “Online Information Quality,” or OIQ. We’ve taken extra time to review the information you can access online, including how easy it is to access loan product information, use mortgage tools like mortgage calculators and fill out a loan application.

To determine the best 30-year HELOC lenders, we analyzed data from actual loan terms offered by lenders to borrowers on LendingTree. We chose the top five lenders by rate for the last 12 months. Then we selected for lenders that originate mortgages in at least 25 states. From that list, we gave each lender an OIQ rating based on answers to the following when accessing the lender’s main website. One point was given for each yes answer.

Is there general product information on the website?

If the website features both basic terms of the loan (30 year, 15 year, adjustable rates) and program offerings (FHA, Conventional, FHA, VA), it scores a full point.

Is there general home loan information on the website?

Borrowers can make the most informed decisions if they have additional information regarding mortgages in the form of explanation articles, FAQ sections or links to an informational blog. Sites that have additional mortgage information score an extra OIQ point.

Is the general home loan information easy to find?

If the information is available with less than two clicks on the homepage, it scores an extra point, since a consumer will be able to get the information easily without having to search extensively through the site.

Are there any education tools (e.g. loan calculators) on the page or at least one click away from the homepage?

Mortgage calculators, home value estimators and other tools help consumers to make educated decisions, so landing pages that feature them score an additional OIQ point.

Is it easy to find the “apply now” button?

Mortgage users in the digital age want a quick online way to apply for a mortgage, so if the “Apply Now” button is easy to find on the homepage, it will be easy for a consumer to apply once they’ve gotten the information they need to proceed to the next step in the mortgage process.

The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.


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