bank rates

Pay as little as 3.25% for the best HELOCs

Home equity lines of credit are still the cheapest consumer loans you can get — if you can get one.

Although the national average for a HELOC is 5.62%, in many parts of the country you can get a $30,000 line of credit for 3.25% to 3.75%.

These are adjustable rate loans that typically charge the prime rate plus — or sometimes minus — a percentage point or two. (The prime rate is 3.25% right now.)

So the rates on these loans will go up when interest rates start to climb again.

HELOC rates

You’ll need a credit score of at least 680, and enough equity in your home, to qualify for these loans. In most cases that means you must retain at least 20% equity after taking out your line of credit.

If you have what it takes, here are some of the great deals that are available:

Nationwide Bank, which is owned by Nationwide Insurance, is charging 3.25% for borrowers with credit scores above 720. There’s no annual fee.

Third Federal Savings & Loan is charging 3.25% for borrowers with credit scores above 720 in 18 states from Oregon to Florida. There’s no annual fee.

Colonial Bank, which serves parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Nevada and Texas, is also charging 3.25% with an annual fee of $75.

Dollar Bank, with branches in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, offers credit lines for 3.74% with a $50 annual fee.

Bank Financial in Chicago is charging 4% with a $20 annual fee.

BB&T, which operates in 11 southeastern states, is charging 4.25% and no annual fee.

Nevada State Bank with branches throughout the state, also charges 4.25% with a $50 annual fee.

Bankruptcy CourtA new study says 62% of all bankruptcies were caused by medical bills in 2007. And the great majority of those families had insurance. Read more on Bankaholic Personal Finance Blog, which you can always reach by clicking on the “finance” tab above.

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