Best HELOC and Home Equity Lenders in Hawaii

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Home prices have risen significantly in the last few years all over the United States, and Hawaii is no different.

With enough equity in your home, you could be in a position to turn that increased value into cash.

The median sales price for a single-family home in the Aloha State rose more than 10% year-to-date through November 2022, compared to 2021, according to the Hawaii Association of Realtors. If you bought at least a year ago, there’s a good chance you now have significantly more equity in your home. 

Pulling equity from your home by taking out a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC) are two common methods to get cash for things like debt consolidation, funding home improvements, and more. 

Finding the best home equity loan and HELOC lenders in Hawaii can be tedious. To help you, we’ve done the research and compiled a list of our top picks for the best home equity loan and HELOC lenders in Hawaii. 

Editorial Independence

As with all of our home equity loan and home equity line of credit (HELOC) lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.

Best National HELOC and Home Equity Loan Lenders in Hawaii

Good for wide nationwide availability
U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank
Good for wide nationwide availability
U.S. Bank
  • Products offered:
    Home equity loan, HELOC, rate-lock HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    Up to 30 years
  • HELOC terms:
    10-year draw period, unspecified repayment period
  • Maximum LTV allowed:
    80%

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Rate discount for setting up autopay from a U.S. Bank checking or savings account (home equity loans only)
  • Extensive availability nationwide (47 states for both home equity loans and HELOCs)
  • Can apply online, over the phone, or in person at a branch
  • Good price transparency
  • Many customer support options
Cons
  • There may be an annual fee for HELOCs if you don’t have a U.S. Bank Platinum Checking Package
  • Not available in TX, DE, SC
  • Potential early closure fee if you close your HELOC within 30 months of opening
The Bottom Line

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. Bank is the fifth largest banking institution in the U.S. It offers both home equity loans and HELOCs in 47 states, with the option of interest-only HELOCs  available to qualified borrowers. You also have the option to lock all or part of your outstanding HELOC balance into a fix-rate option during your draw period. Available loan amounts for HELOCs and home equity loans range from $15,000 to $750,000, and up to $1 million for properties in California.

There are no closing costs on home equity loans or HELOCs from U.S. Bank, but you’ll be charged an early closure fee of 1% of the line amount ($500 max) if you close your HELOC within 30 months of opening. In addition, HELOC borrowers may be charged an annual fee of up to $90, which can be waived with a U.S. Bank Platinum Checking Package. U.S. Bank offers a rate discount of 0.5% for home equity loan borrowers who set up automatic payments from a U.S. Bank personal checking or savings account.

You can apply for a home equity loan or HELOC through an online application, by phone, or by visiting a U.S. Bank branch in person. If you want a loan estimate for a home equity loan — which includes the estimated interest rate, monthly payment, and total closing costs — without completing a full application, you can get one by speaking with a banker over the phone. 

We like U.S. Bank because of its extensive nationwide availability, many customer support options, and excellent price transparency — meaning you can get a personalized rate quote and fee information just by filling out some basic information, no credit check required. 

Good for wide range of product offerings
KeyBank
KeyBank
Good for wide range of product offerings
KeyBank
  • Products offered:
    Home equity loan, HELOC, interest-only HELOC, rate-lock HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    5 to 30 years
  • HELOC terms:
    15-year draw period, 15-year repayment period
  • Maximum LTV:
    80% for standard home equity loans and HELOCs, 90% for high-value home equity loans and HELOCs

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Interest-only and rate-lock HELOC options
  • Streamlined application process for existing KeyBank customers
  • Smooth online user experience and website
Cons
  • High closing costs if you plan to use a closing agent
  • Annual fee for HELOCs
  • Origination fee for home equity loans
The Bottom Line

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyBank has been around for nearly 190 years. KeyBank offers home equity loans to customers in 15 states and HELOCs to customers in 44 states. Aside from a standard HELOC, KeyBank also offers interest-only and rate-lock options. Home equity loan amounts of $25,000 and up are available, while HELOCs have line amounts of $10,000 and up. 

KeyBank HELOCs come with an annual fee of $50, but no closing costs unless your closing is performed by a closing agent. In that case, your closing fee could be up to $400. KeyBank offers a 0.25% rate discount for clients who have eligible checking and savings accounts with KeyBank. Additionally, home equity loans have an origination fee of $295.

The KeyBank application allows you to apply for multiple products at one time. If you’re not sure whether KeyBank loans are available in your area, the application will tell you once you input your zip code. If you’re an existing KeyBank customer, you’ll have the option to skim through the application and import your personal information from your account. 

We like KeyBank because of its extensive product offerings. The streamlined application process for existing customers is helpful, but both existing and new customers will likely be pleased with the online user experience and availability of customer service that KeyBank offers.

Good for high loan-to-value ratio options
BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank
Good for high loan-to-value ratio options
BMO Harris Bank
  • Products offered:
    Home equity loan, HELOC, interest-only HELOC, rate-lock HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    5 to 20 years
  • HELOC terms:
    10-year draw period, 20-year repayment period
  • Maximum LTV:
    85% for HELOCs; 89.99% for most home equity loans

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Available in 48 states
  • No hard credit check required
  • Flexible product offerings
  • Option for 100% CLTV for borrowers who meet certain qualifications
Cons
  • Limited customer service options
  • Can only receive personalized rates on the phone
  • $75 annual fee for HELOCs
The Bottom Line

As the 8th largest bank by assets in North America, BMO Harris Bank (a subsidiary of the Canadian financial services company Bank of Montreal) serves more than 12 million customers globally.  Currently, BMO Harris products and services are available in 48 states (all but New York and Texas). BMO Harris offers home equity loans and three variations of a HELOC. Loan amounts for home equity loans start at $5,000 and up while HELOC lines start at $10,000 and up. 

The normal maximum combined loan-to-value ratio allowed is 85% for HELOCs and 89.99% for home equity loans, but a 100% max CLTV option is available for low-to-moderate income borrowers or Low to Moderate Income Census Tract customers who need to make home improvements.

There is no application fee for a home equity loan or line of credit with BMO Harris. In addition, BMO Harris will pay closing costs for loans secured by an owner-occupied 1 to 4-family residence, but borrowers will have to pay a $75 annual fee for a HELOC. If you authorize auto pay from a BMO Harris checking account, you’ll be eligible to receive a 0.50% rate discount.

You can apply for a home equity loan or HELOC online or in-person, but in order to get personalized rates, you’ll have to speak with a representative on the phone. Getting personalized rates does not require a hard credit check. 

We like that BMO Harris offers both home equity loans and three types of HELOCs almost nationwide, but the lender fell short because of its low price transparency. Additionally, the online application requires your social security number and has some elements that could be confusing for customers. 

Good for 24-hour customer support
Flagstar Bank
Flagstar Bank
Good for 24-hour customer support
Flagstar Bank
  • Products offered:
    Home equity loan (in some areas), HELOC, interest-only HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    10, 15, or 20 years
  • HELOC terms:
    10-year draw period, 20-year repayment period
  • Maximum LTV:
    80%

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Available in 49 states
  • Accessible customer service, including 24-hour phone support
  • Flexible product offerings
Cons
  • No online application (can only request a phone call)
  • Unable to get personalized rate quote through website
The Bottom Line

Flagstar Bank has the highest nationwide availability yet, offering home equity loans and HELOCs in 49 states (all but Texas). Though both products are offered in 49 states, the availability of home equity loans may be limited depending on your area. Available loan amounts for home equity loans and HELOCs are $10,000 to $1,000,000.

HELOCs with Flagstar require a $75 annual fee, but it is waived the first year. To avoid closing fees, you’ll have to keep your HELOC open for at least 36 months. Additionally, there is a 0.50% rate discount for borrowers who have monthly automatic payments set up from a Flagstar Bank deposit account.

Flagstar doesn’t have a full online application, only a form where you can submit your information to be contacted by a representative later.  Flagstar does not provide rates on its website, you can get a custom rate based on a soft credit check and some additional information. 

While its nationwide availability for HELOCs is strong, Flagstar’s tedious application process and lack of transparency may be frustrating for customers seeking a quick, easy process. The lender does offer several customer service options, including 24-hour loan support via phone, so this may be appealing to those who enjoy accessible communication with customer service. 

Good for no fees or closing costs
Discover
Discover
Good for no fees or closing costs
Discover
  • Products offered:
    Home equity loan
  • Home equity loan terms:
    10, 15, 20 or 30 years
  • HELOC terms:
    N/A
  • Maximum LTV:
    Not specified

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • No origination fees or closing costs
  • Home equity loans are available in 48 states
Cons
  • Limited customer service options available
  • Home equity loans not available in Iowa and Maryland
  • Does not offer HELOCs
The Bottom Line

A financial services company known primarily for its credit cards, Discover also offers home equity loans as part of its suite of banking products. Home equity loans are available in 48 states, but the lender does not offer home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) at all. For Discover’s home equity loans, possible loan amounts range from $35,000 to $300,000. The lender charges no origination fees, application fees, appraisal fees, and mortgage taxes. 

You can apply for a home equity loan from Discover online or over the phone. The application process takes approximately six to eight weeks in total, according to Discover’s website. 

Discover offers wide nationwide availability for its home equity loans and good price transparency, but its lack of HELOC offerings may be a limiting factor for consumers looking for additional product options. In addition, Discover offers limited customer service options — your only option to get help is by phone, with no in-person service or online options like email or live chat. 

Good for borrowers outside the continental U.S.
PenFed Credit Union
PenFed Credit Union
Good for borrowers outside the continental U.S.
PenFed Credit Union
  • Products offered:
    HELOC, interest-only HELOC, rate-lock HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    N/A
  • HELOC terms:
    10-year draw period, 20-year repayment period
  • Maximum LTV:
    90%

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Offered in all 50 states as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, and Okinawa
  • Flexible HELOC product offerings
  • Credit union membership easy to obtain
Cons
  • No online application
  • Poor price transparency
  • Does not offer home equity loans
The Bottom Line

Established in 1935, Pentagon Federal Credit Union (widely known as PenFed) offers HELOCs in all 50 states as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, and Okinawa. PenFed is a credit union so its products are only available to members, but you can easily become a member by opening a PenFed savings account and funding it with at least $5. With PenFed, you’ll have the flexibility to choose between a standard, interest only, or rate lock HELOC with line amounts ranging from $25,000 to $1,000,000. But, the lender does not offer home equity loans at all.  

HELOCs with PenFed will have an annual fee of $99 unless you have paid $99 in interest during the preceding year. PenFed will pay most closing costs, but for credit lines greater than $500,000, the borrower will likely be responsible for closing costs. No rate discounts are specified. 

If you’re interested in applying for a HELOC with PenFed, you’ll have to request a callback over the phone or online. This feature may be a major drawback for customers who prefer online services and applications.

While PenFed may be a good option for borrowers in U.S. territories who don’t have many other alternatives when it comes to home equity lenders, the lender’s lack of an online application and lack of price transparency earned it a low score in our ratings. If you prefer communication via telephone, however, PenFed may be a good option for you.

How We Chose These Lenders

Our Methodology

NextAdvisor developed a framework to evaluate home equity lenders using a weighted average score between 1 and 5 based on the following criteria. A higher weight was given to the criteria we determined to be most important:

  1. Nationwide availability: We rated lenders on a scale of 1 to 5 based on how many states their home equity products were offered in. For lenders that only offered either home equity loans or HELOCs, we looked at how many states offered that specific product. For lenders that offered both home equity loans and HELOCs, we looked at how many states each individual product was offered in, and then took the average. A lender scored a 5 if it offered home equity products in at least 45 states which equates to 90% of U.S. states. Nationwide availability counted for 10% of the composite score. We eliminated any lender from this list that does not offer a home equity product in Pennsylvania.
  2. Online user experience: We rated lenders on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the user experience of their online application process. A 5 was given to lenders who had a clear, easy-to-navigate online application process with no technical issues or confusing instructions. A score of 1 was given to lenders who did not offer an online application at all, instead requiring customers to apply in person at a branch or over the phone. Online user experience counted for 20% of the composite score.
  3. Products offered: We rated lenders on a scale of 1 to 5 based on how many types of home equity products they offered. Product offerings were categorized into the following types: home equity loans; standard variable-rate, interest-and-principal HELOCs, interest-only HELOCs, HELOCs with fixed-rate or rate-lock options, and miscellaneous products that did not fall into any of the previous categories. Lenders who offered at least 4 types of products received a 5. Products offered counted for 20% of the composite score.
  4. Price transparency: We rated lenders on a scale of 1 to 5 based on their price transparency, which we defined as how much information you could get about rates and fees without a hard credit check. Comparing rates and fees from multiple lenders is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting the best deal, and we gave high scores to lenders who made it easy to do so. On the other hand, lenders who kept detailed rate and fee information behind a hard credit check — which can slightly lower your credit score and should only be done when you’re serious about moving forward with a particular lender — scored lower. Lenders who provided personalized quotes for rates, fees, and important loan information with only basic information (and no hard credit check) required received a 5. Price transparency counted for 30% of the composite score.
  5. Customer service options: We rated lenders on a scale of 1 to 5 based on how many different customer service options were available to consumers needing help with their loan application or loan servicing. Examples of customer service options we counted included, but were not limited to, online live chat, phone, email, visiting an in-person branch, in-person or virtual appointments with dedicated loan officers, and social media direct messaging. Lenders who had five or more customer service options received a 5. For each option that was available only to existing customers (and thus would not be available to new customers needing help with the application process), we deducted 0.5 from the score. For any lender that had a 24/7 customer service option, regardless of what form that option took, we added 1 to the score. We did not evaluate the quality of the customer service itself, as that can be subjective and highly dependent on the specific customer service representative a borrower is working with. Customer service options counted for 20% of the composite score.

Local Hawaii HELOC and Home Equity Loan Lenders 

Central Pacific Bank

Central Pacific Bank was founded in 1954 by veterans who wanted to fight social inequities faced by immigrant families in Hawaii. The lender offers services for personal and business consumers, including wealth management services, deposit accounts, and loans. 

As part of its home loan products, Central Pacific Bank offers a HELOC product. It provides fixed-rate options, carries no annual fee, and even offers to pay up to $500 in early closure fees to bring over your HELOC product from a different lender. 

Bank of Hawaii

The Bank of Hawaii has been around since 1897. Consumers can find many products and services at this bank, including deposit accounts, loans, wealth management services, credit cards, and more. 

The bank offers a HELOC, which comes with an introductory rate for up to the first 60 months. HELOCs are available up to $400,000, and borrowers who are interested can submit applications online. 

How to Find the Best HELOC or Home Equity Loan Rate in Hawaii 

To find the best HELOC or home equity loan rate in Hawaii, you’ll need to check with multiple lenders. In addition to the rates and fees offered, also consider the terms of the loan, such as the expiration of an introductory rate, prepayment penalties, inactivity fees, or other items that could make it difficult to use. 

Here are a few other items to consider:

Rate and Fee Transparency

When shopping lenders, try not to focus entirely on the rates or fees offered. Consider what the lender’s process looks like, as well as user reviews from other borrowers on what they thought of the process. 

For instance, a lender that is able to fund loans more quickly could be an important deciding factor depending on how quickly you need the cash. Similarly, you may not want to go with a lender that is not transparent in its rates or fees. This can sometimes happen with lenders that require a hard credit pull prior to providing any information, as well as those that do not publish any information on rates or fees on their website.

Some lenders may also advertise low rates in combination with higher fees. In these cases, it’s best to use a calculator to determine the total cost of the loan. Depending on the fees, it’s possible that you may end up saving money over the long run by choosing a higher interest rate. 

Products Offered 

A home equity loan and HELOC can both be used to pull equity from your home. The best one will depend on your specific circumstances, and how you intend on using the funds. 

With a home equity loan, you’ll typically receive a fixed interest rate. Monthly payments usually will not change, and all of the cash will be deposited into your account at once. 

A HELOC will usually have a variable interest rate, which changes with the market rate. A HELOC also allows you to continuously draw funds up to the maximum credit limit, so you can access more funds as you pay down the balance. 

If you’re unsure of how much cash you’ll need, or believe that you may need funds on a recurring basis, a HELOC can offer that flexibility. A home equity loan can offer peace of mind knowing that the payments will not change. 

Shop for Multiple Lenders 

Checking with different lenders will give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of rates and fees. Shopping rates with multiple lenders can also shed light on the terms of the loans being offered. 

For instance, some lenders offer a HELOC product that allows you to lock in a portion of the balance at a fixed interest rate, similar to that of a home equity loan. Others may offer a low introductory rate, or offer to cover early closure fees from another lender.

Home equity loans and HELOCs can vary significantly when it comes to rates, fees, and terms offered, so it’s important to compare at least several lenders. 

Only Borrow What You Need 

Tapping into your home equity can give you much-needed cash, but before you take out any loan, make sure you can afford the monthly payments. Home equity loans and HELOCs use your home as collateral, which means that the bank could take the house away from you if you are unable to make payments. 

Don’t rely on a lender’s loan approval as a sign that you can afford the monthly payments. Lenders usually focus only on debt that appears on your credit report, so they may not know about other expenses you have. This can include things like groceries, utility bills, child care expenses, and more. 

Go through all of your monthly expenses, especially those that do not appear on your credit report, and compare it to your monthly net income after taxes and payroll deductions have been made. If you’re not comfortable with the amount left over, you may want to think twice before signing on the dotted line for the loan. 

Improve Your Credit Score

To get the best interest rate, you’ll have to demonstrate you are not likely to miss a payment. A high credit score can accomplish that, and many lenders use your score in determining what rate you qualify for. 

Credit scores are calculated based on five main categories: your payment history, how much debt you owe, the length of your credit history, the types of credit you have experience with, and your recent credit activity. 

Here are some tips to give your credit score a boost:

  • Review your credit report and remove any inaccurate information
  • If you miss a payment, ask the lender for a goodwill adjustment to avoid reporting you as late to the credit bureaus
  • Keep the balances on your credit cards below 30% of the account’s credit limit

How to Get a HELOC or Home Equity Loan in Hawaii

The process of getting a HELOC or home equity loan may seem confusing, especially if you’ve never done it before. And while the process can differ slightly from lender to lender, many of the steps are similar regardless of who you decide to apply with:

  • Choose a lender that offers the product you need
  • Submit an application 
  • Sign preliminary disclosures
  • Provide any requested documentation to the lender 
  • Order and schedule any required inspections
  • Provide any additional documentation requested by the lender’s underwriting department for full approval
  • Upon receiving a full approval and clear to close from the lender, schedule a notary to sign final loan documents 
  • Once final loan documents are signed and reviewed by the lender, funds are disbursed and typically available for use within 24 hours