Rates on home equity lines of credit haven’t changed much since mid-October — and that’s a good thing.
Homeowners with pretty good credit and a chuck of equity in their homes should be able to get a HELOC for 5% or less in most parts of the country.
While that isn’t as cheap as they were last spring, when you could get one for 4% or less, they’re still the least expensive consumer loans available.
Here are some of our favorite deals from big and small lenders:
Third Federal Savings & Loan is charging 3.25% for credit lines up to $49,999 and 2.99% for lines of $50,000 to $150,000. These loans are available in 18 states from Oregon to Florida and there’s no annual fee.
BB&T Company, headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C. with 1,500 financial centers in 11 southeastern states and Washington, D.C., charges 4.25% with a $50 yearly fee and a $5,000 minimum.
US Bank, which serves 24 states nationwide, has rates as low as 3.99% and as high as 9.25% in parts of California, Nevada and Arizona — states that have suffered the steepest declines in home prices. A $90 annual fee is assessed on some loans.
Bank Financial, which serves Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, has HELOCs for as little as 4.0% and a modest $20 yearly fee.
Salem Five offers a 3.25% introductory rate that increases to 4.0% after six months in five New England states — Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire. The $50 annual fee is waived for some checking account holders.
To qualify for one of these HELOCs you need:
- A credit score of at least 660, with the exceptions of Nationwide Bank and Third Federal Savings, which require a minimum score of 720.
- To retain 20% equity in your home after the line of credit is added on to the balance of your primary mortgage.