HELOC Closing Costs: Tips and Insights for Homeowners

Banner image
fact checked icon
Reviewed byTimothy Manni
fact checked icon

Updated: February 9, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a flexible loan where your home serves as collateral. These have unique costs at the start, known as closing costs. Homeowners should understand these because they affect the total loan expense. Unlike standard mortgages, HELOCs often have varied cost structures, so knowing what fees you'll encounter is important. We’ll explore HELOC closing costs, providing clear insights into what they include and how they impact your financial choices.

Loading...

Do HELOCs Have Closing Costs?

Closing costs are the fees and expenses paid during the process of securing a loan. Closing costs for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) typically range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. That means, on a HELOC of $50,000, you could expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,500 in closing costs. The actual amount varies depending on factors like the lender and the specifics of the loan, so the impact on the overall cost can differ for each borrower. Understanding these costs is crucial as they directly affect the affordability and value of your line of credit.

What are No-Closing-Cost HELOCs?

No-closing-cost HELOCs are a type of home equity line of credit where the borrower isn't required to pay the upfront fees typically associated with closing a loan. Now, that doesn't mean you're receiving lender services for free. Instead, they might recover these costs through other means, such as higher interest rates or increased annual fees.

While there are benefits to choosing a no-closing-cost HELOC, it's essential to consider the potential trade-offs. Here's a table outlining the benefits and risks of no-closing-cost HELOCs:

Loading...

A HELOC with no closing costs can offer immediate financial relief and simplicity. However, weighing these benefits against the potential for higher interest rates and hidden fees is crucial. Understanding the full scope of these trade-offs will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals.

What Fees are Included in HELOC Closing Costs?

Understanding the different fees included in HELOC closing costs is essential if you're considering getting one. Knowing these can help you budget effectively and even negotiate some fees. Here's a breakdown of standard fees:

  • Origination Fee: The lender charges this for processing the new HELOC application. It's typically a percentage of the total loan amount, often ranging from 0.5% to 1%.

  • Appraisal Fee: This covers the cost of a professional appraiser to assess your home's value. In turn, lenders use the appraisal results to determine how much credit to offer. Appraisal fees can vary but usually range between $300 and $600.

  • Application Fee: This fee covers the administrative costs associated with processing your HELOC application. It may fluctuate considerably between lenders, occasionally amounting to a few hundred dollars.

  • Credit Report Fee: Lenders charge this fee to access your credit report from credit bureaus. It's generally a small fee, around $30 to $50, and is used to assess your creditworthiness.

  • Title Search Fee: This fee is charged for a background check on your property to ensure there are no ownership issues. It typically costs between $75 and $100.

  • Record Fee: This covers the cost of recording your HELOC with the local government. Fees can vary based on locality but generally range from $25 to $250.

  • Notary Fee: This fee is for the services of a notary public who verifies the identity of the signers and witnesses the signing. This fee is typically under $50.

  • Documenting Fee: This fee covers the cost of preparing and handling the HELOC documentation. It varies by lender but is usually a nominal amount.

  • Attorney Fee: If legal services are necessary during the HELOC process, this fee covers that cost. It can vary greatly depending on the complexity and the attorney's rates, often ranging from $500 to $1,000.

Fees can vary depending on the lender, location, company and attorney involved, leading to cost variations. Some, like the origination or application fees, might be negotiable or even waivable in some cases. By understanding these fees and discussing them with your lender, you can better manage the overall cost of your HELOC.

Other HELOC Expenses

Aside from the initial HELOC closing costs, you might encounter other ongoing expenses that can impact your finances over time. Distinguishing between one-time closing costs and recurring fees is crucial for long-term financial planning. Not understanding these fees could lead to surprise costs that may put pressure on your budget.

This table details other HELOC expenses:

Loading...

Managing these additional expenses involves vigilance and proactiveness. Regularly reviewing your HELOC statements helps you stay informed about any fees or charges. Open communication with your lender can also be beneficial. If you have a good repayment history, your lender might be open to waiving or reducing some of these fees.

mglogo icon
MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

If you're pursuing a HELOC, you should shop around between HELOC lenders just as you did for your first mortgage. Closing costs for any loan typically contain negotiable elements. — Timothy Manni, Mortgage and Real Estate Consultant

Tips to Reduce HELOC Closing Costs

HELOC closing costs can significantly impact your finances immediately and over the long term. In the short term, these affect the amount of cash you need upfront. Over time, they can influence the total cost of borrowing. Having strategies to minimize these costs can help you manage your finances effectively. Whether you're considering a HELOC for a large project or debt consolidation, reducing these costs can make a big difference.

Here are some tips to consider:

Loading...

Implementing these strategies can significantly decrease your HELOC closing costs, easing immediate financial strain and enhancing the long-term cost-effectiveness of your line of credit. Remember, saving on closing costs is a step towards smarter financial management.

Frequently Asked Questions About HELOC Closing Costs

We answered some of the most common queries about HELOC closing costs. Whether you're looking to refinance or fund a home improvement project, these answers will provide you with deeper insights and help you make informed decisions.

HELOC closing costs are the fees and expenses you pay when you secure one. These can include application fees, appraisal fees, attorney fees and more. It’s best to know what they are because they add to the total amount you'll spend on your loan, affecting the initial outlay and the overall loan cost.

The average closing costs for a HELOC typically range from 2% to 5% of the total loan amount. For instance, on a $50,000 HELOC, you could expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,500 in closing costs.

HELOC closing costs often vary more than those of traditional mortgages. While both include similar types of fees, the amounts and structures can differ. For instance, HELOCs might have lower application fees but higher ongoing costs like annual charges.

Typically, there are fees that are required to close a HELOC. These can include notary fees, recording fees and a possible early termination fee if the line of credit is closed before a set period.

Common fees in HELOC closing costs include origination fees (for processing the loan), appraisal fees (to assess home value), application fees, credit report fees and attorney fees. Each of these serves a specific purpose in the loan process and varies in cost.

While not explicitly hidden, some less apparent fees may include annual maintenance charges, transaction fees for each draw from the line of credit or penalties for early closure. It's crucial to read your loan terms to identify these potential costs.

No-closing-cost HELOCs don't require you to pay upfront fees when securing the loan. However, lenders might recover these costs through higher interest rates or other fees, which can increase the overall cost of the HELOC over time.

Closing costs can significantly increase the initial amount you need to pay when taking out a HELOC, affecting its overall value. Lower closing costs mean less money out of pocket upfront, making the HELOC more accessible.

Some strategies to avoid or reduce closing costs include negotiating with the lender, comparing offers from multiple lenders or considering no-closing-cost HELOCs. However, be aware of the trade-offs, such as potentially higher interest rates.

Yes, in some cases, you can roll the closing costs into the HELOC, meaning you don’t pay them upfront. However, this increases the total amount borrowed and, consequently, the interest you'll pay over the life of the HELOC.

Loading...
sources