Best Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) and Home Equity Loan Lenders in Massachusetts

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From Boston to Pittsfield, homeowners in Massachusetts have seen their home values skyrocket. According to CoreLogic’s Homeowner Equity Insights report for Q1 of 2022, Massachusetts homeowners with mortgages saw their equity increase by an average of approximately $62,000 during the past year. 

If your home’s value has increased, you can take advantage of it with a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). A home equity loan or HELOC lets you borrow against your home’s equity to access cash at lower interest rates than personal loans and credit cards. You can use the loan funds for almost any purpose, from debt consolidation to home improvements to college tuition

Available rates and terms vary by lender and depend on personal factors like your credit score, loan-to-value ratio (LTV), and how much you want to borrow. However, you can improve the odds of securing a competitive rate by shopping around and comparing rates from top home equity loan and HELOC lenders in Massachusetts. 

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 Massachusetts 

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 price transparency
TD Bank
TD Bank
Good for price transparency
TD Bank
  • Products offered:
    Home equity loan, HELOC, interest-only HELOC, rate-lock HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    5, 10, 15, 20, or 30 years
  • HELOC loan terms:
    10-year draw period, 20-year repayment period
  • Maximum LTV:
    89.99%

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Options to apply in person, on the phone, or online
  • 0.25% rate discount if you set up auto-pay from a TD account
  • No credit check required to see personalized rates and fees
  • Many products and options available
Cons
  • Only offered in 15 states
  • $99 origination fee for both home equity loans and HELOCs
The Bottom Line

Primarily operating on the East Coast,  TD Bank is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S. and serves more than 9.7 million customers. TD Bank offers Home Equity Loans and HELOCs in 15 states, with the option for interest-only and rate-lock HELOCs. Loan amounts for home equity loans start at $10,000, while line amounts for HELOCs start at $25,000.

For a home equity loan or HELOC with TD Bank, closing costs only exist on loan amounts greater than $500,000, but you will be required to pay a $99 origination fee at closing regardless of your loan amount. There is also an annual fee of $50 on HELOCs unless your loan amount is less than $50,000. You’ll be charged an early termination fee of 2% of the outstanding balance if your HELOC is closed within 24 months from opening. Additionally, you’ll receive a 0.25% rate discount if you set up auto-pay from a TD personal checking or savings account. 

If you decide to apply for a TD Bank home equity loan or HELOC, you can do so online, by phone, or by visiting a TD Bank in person. The online application includes a calculator that will tell you the maximum amount you can borrow based on the information you input, but you can also see a full breakdown of rates, fees, and monthly payments by entering some basic information online. No credit check is required for this service. 

Though its nationwide availability is limited, we like TD Bank because it has a wide variety of product offerings — including interest-only and rate-lock options on its HELOCs. The bank’s good online user experience and price transparency make it easy to work with this lender,  and the customer service is very accessible.

Good for wide range of customer service options
Connexus Credit Union
Connexus Credit Union
Good for wide range of customer service options
Connexus Credit Union
  • Products offered:
    Home equity loan, HELOC, interest-only HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    5 to 15 years
  • HELOC terms:
    15-year draw period, 15-year repayment period
  • Maximum LTV:
    90% for home equity loans

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • No annual fee
  • Available in 46 states
  • Excellent customer service options
  • Membership requirements are relatively easy to meet
Cons
  • Credit check required to get a personalized rate quote and product terms
  • Not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Maryland, and Texas
  • Potential for high closing costs
  • Must be a member of the credit union to get a loan
The Bottom Line

With over 420,000 members in all 50 states, Connexus Credit Union has a far reach in the United States. The credit union offers home equity loans and HELOCs in 46 states (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, Maryland, and Texas). Loan amounts for home equity loans and HELOCs range from $5,000 to $200,000. Within its HELOC product offerings is an interest-only HELOC which may allow you to pay a lower monthly payment. Since Connexus is a credit union, its products are only available to members. But, membership eligibility is open to most people: you (or a family member) just need to be a member of one of Connexus’s partner groups, reside in one of the communities or counties on Connexus’s list, or become a member of the Connexus Association with a $5 donation to Connexus’s partner nonprofit. 

Connexus does not specify any rate discounts, but it does offer an introductory rate for the first six months of your loan term. You won’t have to pay an annual fee for a home equity loan or HELOC with Connexus, but closing costs can range from $175 to $2,000 depending on your loan terms and property location. 

To apply for a home equity loan or HELOC with Connexus, you can fill out a 3-step application online. Though the application process is quick, you won’t be able to see a personalized rate or product terms without a credit check.

Connexus offers expansive nationwide availability and has several product offerings, part of the reason this lender ranked highly for us. Its straightforward application process is another bonus that makes applying for a home equity loan or HELOC easy.

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 rate match guarantee
Third Federal Savings & Loan
Third Federal Savings & Loan
Good for rate match guarantee
Third Federal Savings & Loan
  • Products offered:
    Home equity loan, 5/1 home equity loan, HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    5 year, 10 year, 5/1 adjustable rate (6-30 years)
  • HELOC terms:
    10-year draw period, 20-year repayment period
  • Maximum LTV:
    80%

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • No application, closing, or origination fees
  • Lowest rate guarantee
  • Smooth online application process
Cons
  • Limited geographic availability for home equity loans
  • $65 annual fee on HELOCs (waived the first year)
The Bottom Line

Opened in the midst of the Great Depression in 1938, Third Federal Savings & Loan sought to help unemployed and underemployed Ohio residents achieve home ownership. Since its opening, Third Federal has expanded significantly, now offering HELOCs in 26 states and home equity loans in eight states. Home equity loans and HELOCs are available in amounts from $10,000 to $200,000.

Home equity loans and HELOCs with Third Federal come with an annual fee of $65 (waived the first year) but no application fees, closing fees, or origination fees. If you set up autopay from an existing Third Federal account before closing, you’ll be eligible for a 0.25% rate discount. Additionally, Third Federal offers a lowest rate guarantee on its HELOCs and home equity loans, meaning Third Federal will offer you the lowest interest rate relative to other similar lenders or pay you $1,000.

You can apply for a home equity loan or HELOC on the Third Federal website. Both applications are included on the same page along with multiple rate and term options, allowing the customer to assess what will be best for them. Third Federal also provides helpful tools and tips on its application page to answer questions that borrowers may have. You won’t have to register an account to apply, but you’ll still be able to save your application and return to it later.

We like Third Federal’s application process and the lender’s price transparency. If you’re not sure what kind of home equity product you’re looking for, the website provides useful information to help you decide. Third Federal also offers a unique product not commonly found among other lenders: a 5/1 adjustable-rate home equity loan, where the rate is fixed for the first five year and then adjusts annually, much like how an adjustable-rate mortgage works. However, you won’t be eligible for this product unless you live in one of the eight states in which Third Federal offers home equity loans.

Good for HELOCs with longer repayment periods
PNC Bank
PNC Bank
Good for HELOCs with longer repayment periods
PNC Bank
  • Products offered:
    HELOC, rate-lock HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    N/A
  • HELOC terms:
    10-year draw period, 30-year repayment period
  • Maximum LTV:
    89.90%

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Variable and fixed-rate HELOC options
  • 30-year repayment period on HELOC
  • Option to choose a custom loan term
  • User-friendly website
Cons
  • Don’t offer home equity loans
  • $50 annual fee on HELOCs
The Bottom Line

PNC Bank is the sixth-largest bank in the U.S. by consolidated assets, according to the Federal Reserve. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, PNC serves 44 states. Though the bank does not offer home equity loans, it offers both variable-rate HELOCs and fixed-rate HELOCs. You can even switch between variable and fixed-rate interest over the course of your draw period. Another benefit of a PNC HELOC is that the repayment period is 30 years, unlike most other lenders who have 20 year terms. A longer payment period generally means lower monthly payments (but more interest paid in the long run), which can be beneficial to those who want to borrow large amounts. Line amounts from $10,000 to $1,000,000 are available on a PNC HELOC.

PNC offers a 0.25% interest rate discount to borrowers who set up and maintain automatic payments from a qualifying PNC checking account. There is a $50 annual fee for HELOC borrowers, except in Texas. 

The PNC website is user-friendly, giving customers the ability to estimate their home equity with an easy-to-use calculator. It also provides several useful graphics and videos to help borrowers better understand how their HELOCs work. PNC allows potential borrowers to see their rate and term options early on in the application process, indicating good price transparency. PNC also gives customers the option to choose a custom loan term. 

We like PNC Bank because its application is straightforward and the bank is very transparent about its rates, fees, and terms without requiring a credit check. Though PNC doesn’t don’t offer home equity loans at all, its wide nationwide availability for HELOCs is noteworthy.

Honorable mentions

Good for existing Citizens Bank customers
Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank
Good for existing Citizens Bank customers
Citizens Bank
  • Products offered:
    HELOC, interest-only HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    N/A
  • HELOC terms:
    10-year draw period, 15-year repayment period
  • Maximum LTV:
    Not specified

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Rate discount options for existing and new customers
  • No application or closing fees
  • Good online user experience
Cons
  • Does not offer home equity loans
  • Limited nationwide availability
The Bottom Line

Based in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens Bank is a regional bank that serves 19 states across New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest regions. Citizens offers standard and interest-only HELOCs to borrowers in 19 states. However, the bank does not offer home equity loans at all. HELOC line amounts start from $17,500. 

Opening a HELOC with Citizens Bank won’t require any application fees or closing costs, but you will have to pay a $50 annual fee every year except the first during the draw period. According to Citizen Bank’s website, obtaining the best rate requires having a Citizens consumer checking account with automatic monthly payments set up. In states where Citizens does not offer checking accounts, customers can get the same discount with automatic payments set up from any checking account. 

You can apply for a HELOC on the Citizens Bank website, but you also have the option to speak to a loan specialist on the phone. You’ll need to sign up with a phone number and email to access the application. 

Citizens has good price transparency and responsive customer service, but its products are limited to 19 states. In addition, though Citizens offers multiple HELOC options, it does not offer home equity loans at all.

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 unique product offering
Figure
Figure
Good for unique product offering
Figure
  • Products offered:
    Non-traditional HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    N/A
  • HELOC terms:
    5, 10, 15, or 30 years
  • Maximum LTV:
    95%

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Wide nationwide availability
  • Good online user experience
  • 0.75% discount for qualifying customers
  • Flexibility of a home equity loan/HELOC hybrid
Cons
  • Only one product offered
  • Limited price transparency
  • Potentially high origination fee
The Bottom Line

At only three years old, Figure uses a unique combination of technology and banking to provide customers in 41 states with HELOCs. Though officially called a home equity line of credit, Figure’s HELOC product has characteristics of both a traditional HELOC and a home equity loan. Borrowers will withdraw the full line amount (minus the origination fee) at the time of origination. Once they repay the initial balance at a fixed rate, they will be able to make additional draws over a specified draw period. Available line amounts range from $15,000 to $400,000.

A HELOC with Figure has no closing costs, but the borrower will be responsible for an origination fee of up to 4.99% of the initial draw, depending on the state the property is located in and the borrower’s credit profile. You may also have to pay a recording fee if your county requires it. Borrowers may receive a rate discount of up to 0.75%; 0.50% for opting into a credit union membership and 0.25% for enrolling in autopay. 

You can apply for a Figure HELOC 100% online, in only a few minutes, according to the website. You’ll be prompted to fill out some basic personal information, but you may have to wait for your application to be reviewed before you can continue with the application process.

Figure’s main draws are its fast funding — it advertises funding in as few as 5 days — and easy-to-navigate website with an accompanying chatbot. However, its downsides include the fact that you can only fill out the first part of the application before you’re told you must wait for your information to be reviewed before you can continue. In addition, Figure only offers a single product which might not be right for everyone. If you don’t want a unique HELOC/home equity loan hybrid and want to go with a traditional HELOC or home equity loan, you’ll need to find another lender. 

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

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.
  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.

Best Massachusetts HELOC and Home Equity Loan Lenders 

Rockland Trust Bank

Founded in 1907, Rockland Trust Bank is a full-service community bank serving customers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The bank has over 120 branches across Massachusetts. 

Rockland Trust offers both home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. Its home equity loans come with loan terms ranging from 5 to 20 years. Its HELOCs come with a fixed rate loan conversion option that lets you convert part or all of your outstanding HELOC balance into a fixed-term loan with terms up to 20 years. Each conversion comes with a $50 lock fee. You’ll typically need an LTV of less than 75% to be eligible for a home equity loan or HELOC, according to the website. 

To apply for a home equity loan or HELOC, you can complete an application online or schedule an appointment at one of the bank’s physical branches. The bank will follow up with you within three to five business days, according to the website. 

Middlesex Savings Bank

Based in Natick, Massachusetts, Middlesex Savings Bank is a mutual bank that serves customers across Massachusetts. It’s one of the largest mutually owned banks in the country and has branches in 30 towns across Massachusetts.

Middlesex Savings Bank offers both home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. Home equity loan amounts start at $20,000 and loan terms of five, 10, 15, 20, and 30 years are available. HELOC credit lines start at $20,000. There are no application fees and no closing costs on home equity loans and HELOCs, but a $50 annual fee (waived with a Freedom Gold Checking or Freedom Platinum Checking account) applies to HELOCs. There’s also a $400 early termination fee if a HELOC is closed within the first 24 months. 

You can apply for a home equity loan or HELOC online, or visit one of the bank’s local branches for in-person help. 

How to Find the Best HELOC or Home Equity Loan Rates in Massachusetts 

Because home equity loans and HELOCs are secured loans,  they typically offer lower interest rates than unsecured loans like personal loans. Home equity loan rates are typically fixed for the duration of the loan, while HELOC rates are typically variable and fluctuate based on the prime rate for the duration of the draw period and repayment period. 

Home equity loan and HELOC rates can vary by lender, and factors like the amount of money you want to borrow and your credit score and credit history can affect what rates you qualify for on a home equity loan or HELOC. To get the best possible rates in Massachusetts, follow these steps:

Improve your credit score

Lenders look at your credit score to determine how likely you are to repay your loan or line of credit. Each lender has its own standards for the minimum credit score required to take out a loan. In general, home equity loan and HELOC lenders look for borrowers with good to excellent credit, meaning a score between 670 and 850. The higher your score, the better — and the more likely you are to qualify for a competitive interest rate. 

The average FICO credit score in Massachusetts in 2021 was 732, according to credit bureau Experian’s 2021 Consumer Credit Review. If your score isn’t that high yet, you can improve your score with the following tips: 

  • Sign Up for Automatic Payments: Your history of making on-time payments is the biggest factor affecting your credit score. Sign up to have monthly payments automatically deducted from your bank account for all of your recurring bills — such as your credit card bill, mortgage, student loan, or car loan payments — to minimize the risk of missing a payment and damaging your credit. 
  • Reduce Your Balances: Your credit utilization — the percentage of available credit you use — has a major impact on your credit. Ideally, keep your credit utilization low. Lenders like to see credit utilization ratios under 30% (but under 10% is even better!). 
  • Limit New Credit Inquiries: Every time you apply for a new credit card or loan, the creditor will perform a hard credit check. Each hard credit inquiry can cause your score to drop by several points, so limit new credit inquiries until after you secure a home equity loan or HELOC. 
  • Check your credit report: regularly checking and monitoring your credit can help you spot and fix errors that may drag down your credit score. You can get a free copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com, the only site federally authorized to provide consumers with free credit reports. If you notice an error on your credit report, immediately contact the credit bureau to dispute it.  

Only borrow what you need

With a home equity loan or HELOC, you can typically qualify for a loan or line of credit that is up to 80% of your home’s appraised value, minus the balance on your original mortgage. 

While it may be tempting to take out the maximum since it’s a relatively low-interest form of credit, think twice before taking out more money than you really need. The larger your loan amount for a home equity loan, the more interest you’ll pay in the long run. HELOCs are a little different since you only pay interest on the money you draw rather than your entire credit line, but having a larger credit line than you need can make it easier to overspend. 

Request quotes from multiple lenders

Massachusetts residents shopping for a home equity loan or HELOC may find that rates and terms vary greatly between lenders. It’s wise to shop around and request personalized rate quotes from multiple lenders so you can find the best deal. Many lenders only require some personal information and a soft credit check — which won’t affect your credit score — to give you a preliminary rate quote. 

Pay attention to fees and terms

When evaluating quotes from lenders, make sure you are taking into consolidation the total repayment cost since lenders can charge very different fees. For example, some lenders may charge annual fees or inactivity fees for HELOCs, and they often have variable interest rates that can change over time. 

With home equity loans, repayment terms can be as long as 30 years and usually have fixed interest rates. Depending on the lender, home equity loans may come with upfront fees and closing costs

You can use the loan calculator to determine how rate changes affect your total repayment cost. 

How to Get a Home Equity Line of Credit or Home Equity Loan in Massachusetts

To get a home equity loan or home equity line of credit in Massachusetts, follow these steps: 

  1. Establish equity In your home: To qualify for a home equity loan or HELOC, you typically need at least 20% equity in your home. You can establish equity faster by making extra payments toward your mortgage, putting down a larger down payment when you buy the house, or completing renovations that increase the value of your home. 
  2. Collect documentation: Just like applying for a mortgage, applying for a home equity loan or HELOC requires you to submit a large amount of paperwork. You can save time by collecting the necessary documents — such as your pay stubs, copy of your home insurance policy and recent mortgage statements — before applying for a loan. 
  3. Compare quotes: Rates can differ between lenders, so request quotes from multiple lenders. Besides interest rates, pay attention to any additional fees that can add to your overall cost. 
  4. Complete an application: Once you find a home equity loan or HELOC that works for you, you can complete an application. Most lenders allow you to fill out and submit an application entirely online, but some might require you to call a loan officer or visit a branch. To complete an official application, you’ll need to submit to a hard credit inquiry. You may also be asked to submit additional documents depending on your lender’s exact requirements. 
  5. Get a property evaluation: Your lender will typically require a property evaluation to determine your home’s value, but it may not be as intensive as the appraisal and inspection that was done when you took out the initial mortgage. In Massachusetts, lenders may use an automated appraisal or a more streamlined option. 
  6. Set a closing date: after the appraisal, the lender’s underwriting team will finalize a decision about your application and determine the exact terms for your loan or HELOC. If you agree with the terms, you’ll work with the lender to set a closing date. At closing, you’ll fill out the loan paperwork, pay closing costs and fees, and discuss how the funds will be disbursed to you. 

Comparing Home Equity Loans vs. HELOCs vs. Cash-Out Refinancing

Home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and cash-out refinancing are three of the most common ways to get equity out of your home and turn it into cash. Here’s how they compare:

Home Equity LoanHELOCCash-Out Refinance
How the loan pays outLump sum of cashRevolving credit lineLump sum of cash
Variable or fixed interest rate?FixedVariableFixed
Secured or unsecured?SecuredSecuredSecured
Tax-deductible interest if used for qualified home improvements? YesYesYes
Alters your primary mortgage?NoNoYes
Minimum monthly paymentPrincipal + interestPrincipal + interest OR interest-only, depending on your HELOC termsPrincipal + interest
Where to get oneHome equity loan lenderHELOC lenderMortgage lender
Benefits• Fixed interest rate won’t go up unexpectedly

• Fixed monthly payment makes it easier to plan
• Flexible access to funds

• Only pay interest on what you use during the draw period

• Transition from draw period to repayment period can be difficult if the borrower isn’t prepared
• One monthly payment to manage instead of two

• Can save money if you can get a mortgage rate lower than your original
Drawbacks• Interest rates typically slightly higher than HELOCs

• Must reapply for a new loan if you need to borrow more funds
• Variable interest rate makes for less stability

• May be charged an annual fee to keep line of credit open
• Market refinance rates are currently very high

• New interest rate applies to the entire mortgage balance, not just the extra cash you’re taking out

• May have to pay private mortgage insurance premiums if you have less than 20% equity after refinancing