Can you borrow 100% of your home equity?
Many homeowners assume that 100% cash-out refinance loans disappeared in the late 2000s.
While many options vanished, there are still ways to take all of the equity out of your home, and you can use the cash for whatever you want.
The best part: you may not have to refinance your existing first mortgage if it has a low rate.
What’s in this article?
Where to find 100% LTV HELOC lenders
A 100% LTV HELOC (home equity line of credit) is a separate mortgage that goes on top of your existing first mortgage. With it, you can access more of your home’s equity.
One challenge to getting a 100% loan-to-value (LTV) HELOC is finding a lender that offers them.
The best place is typically a local credit union that operates in your state or area. Keep in mind that you’ll have to qualify as a credit union member to access programs.
Often, the only requirement for membership is being a resident of the state. Other credit unions require you to be an employee or member of an organization.
To make things easier on you, we’ve compiled a list of 100% HELOC lenders in each state at the time of this writing. Check with the lender on their guidelines and if you qualify for membership (if it’s a credit union) and for the loan itself. This list doesn’t contain affiliate links, and we’re not endorsing any lender. We’re just trying to be helpful. Lenders that don’t offer 100% financing are noted.
We found one 100% LTV HELOC lender that appears to lend nationwide, Signature Federal CU. On its website, it states it will sign you up for a membership with a participating organization for free, which qualifies you for membership to the credit union.
If a listed lender can’t help you, we can try to connect you with a 100% LTV HELOC lender here.
Alabama – Redstone Federal CU (95% LTV)
Alaska – Matanuska Valley CU (80% LTV)
Arizona – Arizona Central CU
Arkansas – Arkansas Federal CU (75% LTV)
California – Mission Fed CU
Colorado – CU of Denver
Connecticut – American Eagle Financial CU
Delaware – Dover FCU
District of Columbia – CommonWealth One
Florida – Florida CU
Georgia – Powerco FCU
Hawaii – HFS FCU
Idaho – America First CU
Illinois – U of I Community CU
Indiana – Elements Financial
Iowa – GreenState CU
Kansas – Mazuma
Kentucky – Commonwealth CU
Louisiana – La Capitol FCU
Maine – Infinity CU
Maryland – Tower FCU
Massachusetts – Freedom CU
Michigan – Consumers CU
Mississippi – Powerco FCU
Missouri – First Community CU
Montana – Whitefish CU (90% LTV)
Nebraska – Centris FCU
Nevada – Great Basin FCU
New Hampshire – Triangle CU
New Jersey – Greater Alliance FCU
New Mexico – America First CU
New York – Greater Alliance FCU
North Carolina – Coastal CU
North Dakota – Capital CU (90% LTV)
Ohio – Glass City CU
Oklahoma – Tinker FCU
Oregon – OnPoint Community CU
Pennsylvania – AmeriChoice FCU
Rhode Island – Rhode Island CU
South Carolina – SC FCU (90% LTV)
South Dakota – Black Hills FCU (above 90% LTV available)
Tennessee – Old Hickory CU (80% LTV)
Texas – Greater Texas CU (80% LTV)
Utah – America First CU
Vermont – Vermont FCU
Virginia – Signature Federal CU
Washington State – Evergreen Direct CU
Washington, D.C. – Commonwealth CU
West Virginia – Citizens Bank of WV (90% LTV)
Wisconsin – UW CU
Wyoming – WyHy FCU
There you have it. The ultimate state list of 100% loan-to-value home equity line lenders.
Advantages of a HELOC
You don’t lose your first mortgage rate: Most people refinanced their primary mortgage at 2-3% in 2020 and 2021. Now, rates are closer to 6%. To get a cash-out refinance, you have to replace your existing mortgage and lose your ultra-low rate.
Lower or no closing cost: HELOCs come with much lower closing costs than refinances. Some lenders offer zero closing cost HELOCs, while refinances cost thousands of dollars to complete.
Higher LTV maximums: Most cash-out refinance loans have a maximum 80% LTV. As shown in the above list, most many HELOC and home equity loan (HEL) lenders go up to 100%.
HELOCs are “open-ended”: A HELOC gives you an available limit from which to borrow. You can borrow and pay down the balance as needed over a set period of time.
Pay interest only on what you borrow: If you have a $100,000 home equity line, but you only borrow $50,000, you only pay interest on $50,000.
Great for emergencies. Once you need emergency cash, you can no longer qualify for it. That’s why it’s smart to open a HELOC while you don’t need it. If you don’t draw anything from it, you don’t pay interest. That way you have it for an unexpected job loss or another unforeseen event.
Cons of a 100% LTV home equity line
Makes selling more difficult: If you have no equity in the house, you will have to pay money at closing to sell the home. Selling a home costs about 9-10% of the sales price for agent fees and third-party fees like title and escrow.
Harder to refinance the first mortgage. You’ll have to obtain a subordination agreement from the HELOC lender if you ever refinance the primary mortgage. That’s a document allowing title to put the HELOC back in 2nd position behind the new primary loan.
Variable rate: Most HELOCs come with a variable rate that’s based on the prime rate. For instance, the rate could be prime + 0.25%. At the time of this writing, prime is 5.5%, so the rate you pay would be 5.75%. However, the Federal Reserve is trying to slow inflation and is raising rates by 0.50-0.75% every few months. The rate could easily jump to 6.5% soon, and keep going up. Be sure you can afford the payment, even at higher rates.
HELOC vs home equity loan (HEL)
A HELOC is like a credit card. You have an available limit. You charge and pay off the balance as needed, and only pay interest on what’s currently borrowed.
A HEL gives you a lump sum upfront, and you start paying interest on the full amount immediately.
The typical advantage to a HEL is that it can come with a fixed rate, and eliminates the risk of the variable HELOC rate.
100% LTV home equity line alternatives
It’s not always the best choice to take out a home equity line or loan. Here are alternatives.
VA cash out: Military veterans may have access to a 100% cash-out refinance. This replaces your current first mortgage with a bigger loan, issuing you the difference at closing.
Reverse mortgage: For those 62 and older, a reverse mortgage pays off existing loans and gives you a lump sum or monthly payment, or simply eliminates your monthly mortgage payment.
Personal loan: These loans are not attached to any hard asset, so they may come with higher rates. Still, it’s a viable solution for those who don’t need a large balance and do not want to encumber their property with more loans.
Hard-money loan: You can receive a hard money loan quickly without all the hoops of traditional financing. These are best for situations in which you’ll pay the loan back quickly.
Estimating your maximum loan amount
It’s fairly easy to calculate the amount of money you might get from a 100% HELOC.
Formula for 100% HELOC loan amount:
Home value – Existing loan – Closing costs = HELOC amount
|Existing loan balance||$350,000|
|HELOC closing costs||$500|
|HELOC loan amount||$149,500|
Keep in mind that the home value will be determined by the lender, either via an appraisal or an automated valuation model (AVM) used by the lender. Also, you must qualify for the full payment to be eligible for the full amount.
100% HELOC FAQ
Most states have at least one credit union that offers 100% LTV HELOCs. See our list of 100% HELOC lenders in every state here.
It’s often easier to qualify for a HELOC than a traditional loan. Often, less income and asset documentation is needed and closing costs are typically lower compared to a standard refinance.
A simple formula is: Home value – Existing loan – Closing costs = HELOC amount and cash available. You must qualify for the payment and meet other guidelines to be eligible for the full amount available.
You will likely need decent credit to be approved for a 100% HELOC. Each lender’s minimum score will vary. Because you’re borrowing 100% of your home’s value, a lot of emphasis is placed on your creditworthiness.
Check your 100% HELOC eligibility
If this loan program sounds right for your situation, move to the next step and check your eligibility.