The Best Way to Obtain a Home Equity Line of Credit

The Best Way to Obtain a Home Equity Line of Credit


A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is type of revolving credit. When selecting a HELOC, your residence serves as collateral for your loan. If you have accumulated equity in your home and have a good credit rating, a HELOC can be easy to obtain. But first, you will want to get organized and create a strategy to help you secure financing through a financial institution.

Shop carefully for a line of credit.

Consult with your accountant. You may think that a particular, low-rate HELOC may be the most effective approach for you, nevertheless your accountant may not share your view. For some property owners the tax benefits of a HELOC may not be advantageous while a home equity loan (HEL) or other funding arrangement may be worthwhile over time. Talk to your financial adviser to come up with a borrowing strategy with the best tax implications.

Evaluate your needs. Your financial adviser will probably persuade you to borrow only what you may need. What this means is creating a spending plan outlining how much money to access. Even though a HELOC does not require you to tap all of your available funds, you may want to consider a line only large enough to pay for the money necessary for refurbishments or other work you need to have done on your house.

Check around for lines of credit. Your financial institution and your mortgage broker are two resources to seek out your HELOC. You will also want to examine their particular rates and compare those with what other lenders have to offer which means broadening your search accordingly. The majority of lines of credit offer adjustable interest rates; compare those rates along with fees and closing costs to figure out the best HELOC for you. Have potential lenders explain the terms of their contracts; negotiate for a lower rate or fees wherever possible.

Apply for a HELOC. Once you have found the HELOC you want, then apply for it. Your lender will obtain your credit information before granting approval and may ask for other documentation prior to closing.

Close on your credit line. Once you are satisfied with the terms of your line of credit, then arrange with your lender to close the deal. Consult with your financial adviser as needed.


The Truth in Lending Act (TLA) may allow you to cancel your HELOC within three business days if you change your mind. Your contract should explain the procedure for invoking a rescission.


Be careful of lines of credit with an initial teaser rate. You may pay more for your HELOC over the long term once the rate resets.


The Federal Reserve Board: What You Should Know About Home Equity Lines of Credit

    Bankrate: 4 steps to take before borrowing


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      About Author

      Matthew C. Keegan

      Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".