The Best HELOC Rates and Lenders in California

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a second mortgage that allows you to borrow money against the value of your home. Unlike a traditional loan, however, you can use this money for almost any purpose — including renovations, debt consolidation and investments.

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A HELOC can be used for any major expenses like college, medical or emergency bills. It's great for homeowners with equity in their homes who are committed to managing their credit responsibly and eliminating debt.

Home equity line of credit rates in California range from 0.99% to 18%, with Bank of America offering the most competitive rate. Even so, it’s important to shop around before applying for a HELOC to ensure that you find the best lender for your needs.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Rates for 2023

The table below provides an overview and comparison of home equity line of credit rates, along with details such as basic minimum credit score requirements and annual fees. The information displayed was updated as of May 2022. Please be aware, however, that the information in this table may change as lenders update their terms and conditions.

  • Lender
    APR
    Loan Amount
    Min. Credit Score Requirement
    Repayment Terms
    Annual Fees
    Pre-Approval Time
  • 0.99% introductory APR
    for six months;
    4.25% to 18% thereafter

    $25,000 to $1,000,000

    660

    10-year draw period and
    20-year repayment period

    None

    N/A

  • Not specified

    Not specified

    Not specified

    Not specified

    Not specified

    Not specified

  • 1.99% special
    introductory variable
    APR for 6 months,
    then as low as
    4.35% variable

    $25,000 to $1,000,000

    Not specified

    10-year draw period,
    20-year repayment period

    Not specified

    Not specified

  • 4.20% to 9.35%

    $15,000 to $750,000

    730

    10-year draw period,
    unspecified repayment period

    $90

    Not specified

  • 4.65% to 9.99%

    $35,000 to $300,000

    620

    10 to 30 years

    None

    1 to 2 weeks

  • Starting at 3.99%

    $10,000 to $500,000

    Not specified

    10-year draw period
    and 20-year repayment period

    $75

    Not specified

  • Starting at 4.64%

    $10,000 to $500,000

    Not specified

    10-year draw period
    and 20-year repayment period

    None

    24 hours

  • Starting at 3.24%

    $15,000 to $400,000

    620

    5 to 30 years

    3% to 4.99%

    24 hours

  • Starting at Prime - 0.50%

    Starting at $17,500

    Not specified

    10-year draw period,
    15-year repayment period

    $50

    Not specified

  • Starting at 3.34%

    Starting at $25,000

    740

    Not specified

    $50

    Not specified

  • 3.49% for 6 months
    (4.08% thereafter)

    Starting at $5,000

    Not specified

    15-year draw period with
    15-year repayment period

    None

    24 hours

  • 3.75% to 10.63% variable

    $10,000 to $500,000

    Not specified

    10-year draw period,
    and then 20 years for repayment

    None

    Not specified

MoneyGeek’s Picks for Best HELOC Lenders in California

At MoneyGeek, we help you find the best HELOC lender for your financial needs. If you're interested in getting a home equity line of credit, it's important that you learn about the different lenders offering HELOCs. Not all banks offer this type of loan, and those that do tend to be national banks rather than local ones. MoneyGeek recommends checking with your local credit union if a national bank turns you down.

Best Overall HELOC Lender in California: Bank of America


  • Bank of America

    Bank of America offers a special introductory rate of 1.99% for six months.


    • 1.99% special introductory variable APR for 6 months, then as low as 4.35% variableAPR Range
    • $25,000 to $1,000,000Loan Amount Range
    • 10-year draw period; 20-year repayment periodRepayment Terms
    • NoneAnnual Fees
    • Not specifiedPre-Approval Time

    on Bank of America Website

Best HELOC Lender for Good Credit in California: U.S. Bank


  • U.S. Bank

    Borrowers can opt to lock in a fixed interest rate.


    • 4.20% to 9.35%APR Range
    • $15,000 to $750,000Loan Amount Range
    • 10-year draw period; unspecified repayment periodRepayment Terms
    • $90Annual Fees
    • Not specifiedPre-Approval Time

    on U.S. Bank Website

Best HELOC Lender for Bad Credit in California: Figure


  • Figure

    Figure has a low minimum credit requirement of 620 — one of the lowest among lenders in California.


    • From 6.55% to 15.54%APR Range
    • $15,000 to $400,000Loan Amount Range
    • 5 to 30 yearsRepayment Terms
    • NoneAnnual Fees
    • 24 hoursPre-Approval Time

    on Figure Website

Best HELOC Lender for Competitive Rates in California: PenFed


  • PenFed Credit Union

    PenFed offers the lowest introductory APR of 0.99% for six months.


    • 0.99% for 6 months; 4.25% to 18% thereafterAPR Range
    • $25,000 to $1,000,000Loan Amount Range
    • 10-year draw period; 20-year repayment periodRepayment Terms
    • $99Annual Fees
    • N/APre-Approval Time

    on PenFed Credit Union Website

HELOC vs. Home Equity Loans

Both home equity loans and home equity lines of credit allow you to borrow money using your home as collateral. You can determine which type of loan will work best for you by comparing the two.

A home equity loan is a loan that gives you access to the equity in your home. The interest and monthly payments are usually fixed during the life of the loan. If you like consistency, then you should consider this.

Meanwhile, a home equity line of credit works like a credit card, where you can borrow up to a certain amount during the draw period. The interest rate is variable, so you won’t pay the same amount every month.

To learn more about the differences between the two, you can use the table below.

  • HELOC
    Home Equity Loan
  • Interest Rate

    Adjustable interest rate
    but a fixed-rate loan
    is also an option

    Fixed interest rate

  • Monthly Payment

    Changes depending on
    the amount of money borrowed

    Fixed monthly payments

  • Repayment Terms

    During the draw period,
    borrowers pay interest
    on the money they borrowed;
    after the draw period,
    they repay any principal owed
    in addition to interest

    Repayment starts
    as soon as the money
    is given to the borrower

  • Fund Disbursements

    Borrowers can withdraw funds
    whenever financially necessary

    Lump sum

How to Apply for a HELOC

Nowadays, applying for a HELOC is easy. You can fill out an application online and avoid the hassle of applying in person at a physical branch. To qualify, you'll generally need to provide your personal details and contact information. After that, it's just a matter of waiting for approval.

1

Determine how much you need

Preparing a HELOC application requires that you determine how much money you need and consider if a HELOC is the appropriate loan for your situation. If you’re a responsible homeowner looking to consolidate loans, renovate your house, pay for or save up for college expenses or invest in the stock market, then a HELOC is probably right for you. However, if you only need a small amount of money for house repairs, then you should consider alternative funding options.

2

Assess your financial standing

Before applying for a home equity line of credit, you should consider your financial stability and your credit score. Lenders want to see that you have a clean credit history as well as a good credit-to-income ratio before granting you a HELOC.

3

Shop around and compare lenders

After you’ve determined how much money you need and assessed your capacity to pay off the debt, it's time to search for a lender. When researching HELOC options, you should carefully read their terms for any prepayment penalties or inactivity fees. Proper research will help you find the right lender for your needs and save you money in the long term.

4

Apply

Nowadays, applicants for HELOCs can choose to apply online, over the phone or in person at one of the lender’s physical branches. Borrowers should have all their application materials prepared, including verification documents.

5

Use funds wisely

When using a home equity line of credit, be sure to remember that it’s still a loan that must be repaid. If you fail to repay it, you may lose your home or incur more debt in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions About HELOCs

If you're interested in taking out a home equity line of credit, MoneyGeek is here to guide you through the process. We've answered some frequently asked questions about HELOCs below.

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