My Perfect Mortgage
How Long Does it Take to Get a Home Equity Loan? Get the Facts Here
4 minute read
May 2, 2024

Dreaming of a home renovation, debt consolidation, or funding a child's education? How quickly do you want to meet this goal?

A home equity loan can be a tempting solution. But before you dive in,  understanding the timeline is crucial.

This guide explores the factors influencing how long it takes to secure a home equity loan, ensuring you're prepared for the process.

What is a Home Equity Loan?

A home equity loan is a type of secured loan that lets you borrow against the value of your home. It works by allowing you to borrow from the equity you've built up in your home.

Your equity is the difference between your home's current market value and your remaining mortgage balance. Equity is paid out in a lump sum of cash, typically repaid by the borrower at a fixed interest rate over a set term, much like a traditional mortgage.

Benefits and Risks of Using Your Home as Collateral

One benefit of using your home as collateral for a home equity loan is that you can typically get a lower interest rate compared to other types of loans.

However, a major risk is that if you fail to make payments on the loan, you could risk losing your home to foreclosure.

It’s essential to carefully consider the risks and benefits before deciding to use your home as collateral.

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Qualifying for a Home Equity Loan

Obtaining a home equity loan hinges on having sufficient home equity, calculated by subtracting your remaining mortgage balance from your home's current market value.

Lenders set minimum equity requirements, which can vary depending on the loan type and lender itself.

Understanding loan amount requirements is essential before applying for a home equity loan.

Lenders typically require a certain amount of equity in the home to qualify for the loan. Your credit score and employment history will also play a role in determining the amount you can borrow. A higher credit score can increase your chances of loan approval and may result in a lower interest rate.

Lenders will also look at your employment history and income to determine if you have the means to repay the loan.

Process Timeline for Home Equity Loans

Since your home serves as collateral, securing a home equity loan can be a faster process than other loan options. The process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your situation.

It’s important to have all the necessary documentation ready when applying for a home equity loan, as this can speed up the process and help you close the loan faster.

Overall, the time it takes to get a home equity loan can vary depending on the lender and the complexity of your financial situation.

Factors Affecting Home Equity Loan Approval Time

Several factors can affect how long it takes to get a home equity loan. If you already have a second mortgage on your home, it may take longer to get approved for a home equity loan, for example.

Additional factors include:

  • The amount of equity in your home
  • Your credit score and Income
  • Lender loan requirements

Some lenders may be able to process your application more quickly than others, so it's important to shop around and compare options before deciding on a lender

What Are The Steps to Secure a Home Equity Loan

The home equity loan process takes several steps, including:

  • Filling out an application
  • Providing documentation
  • Getting an appraisal
  • Waiting for approval

Once approved, you can typically close the loan within a few weeks. You will need to pay closing costs to close the loan, which can include appraisal fees, loan origination fees, and other expenses.

Home Equity Loan vs. HELOC

While both home equity loans and HELOCs (Home Equity Line of Credit) tap into your home's equity, they differ in structure:

  • Home Equity Loan: Provides a lump sum of cash repaid at a fixed interest rate over a set term, similar to a traditional mortgage.
  • HELOC: Functions like a credit card with a revolving line of credit. You borrow what you need, up to a maximum limit, and only pay interest on the amount used.

What to Consider When Choosing Between Home Equity Loan and HELOC?

  • Time to Approval: Processing times can take longer than HELOCs, but some borrowers prefer them for debt consolidation or home improvements.
  • Interest Rates: Home equity loans offer fixed interest rates, while HELOCs typically have variable rates. This impacts long-term interest costs and monthly payments. Consider these factors when choosing between a home equity loan or HELOC.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Home Equity Loan? Final Thoughts

While securing a home equity loan can be a relatively fast way to access cash, the exact timeframe depends on several factors.

By understanding the influence of your credit score, home equity, loan type, and chosen lender, you can be more prepared for the process. Remember, gathering documents efficiently and staying organized can significantly expedite the approval process.

With a little planning, you can unlock the potential of your home equity and reach your financial goals.

Our advise is based on experience in the mortgage industry and we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of owning a home. We may receive compensation from partner banks when you view mortgage rates listed on our website.