The Largest HELOC Lenders in the Nation

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Now that tapping home equity is back in fashion, I figured it’d be helpful to see who the top HELOC lenders are.

While 2022 was a mixed year for mortgage lenders, thanks to much higher interest rates, HELOC volume surged.

Banks and mortgage lenders doled out about 1.4 million home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), per the latest HMDA data.

This was 41.2% higher than the 962,000 HELOCs opened in 2021, and the second consecutive annual increase after several years of falling volumes.

I expect HELOC applications to show increases again in 2023 and 2024 since mortgage rates on existing mortgages are so low relative to what’s available today.

After all, homeowners can tap into their equity without losing that 2-4% rate on their first mortgage. The same can’t be said of a cash out refinance, in which you give up your old rate in the process.

Read on to see who the top HELOC originators were in 2022 (most recent year available).

Top HELOC Lenders: PNC Bank Is #1

Ranking Company Name 2022 Loan Count
1. PNC Bank 78,473
2. Citizens Bank 64,687
3. Bank of America 57,084
4. U.S. Bank 41,554
5. Truist Bank 37,186
6. Huntington Bank 32,027
7. Figure Lending 25,150
8. Fifth Third Bank 22,617
9. State Employees CU 17,687
10. Boeing Employees CU 16,921
11. Navy Federal CU 16,576
12. Third Federal 16,332
13. TD Bank 16,198
14. Regions Bank 15,916
15. Mountain America CU 15,236
16. PenFed 15,189
17. KeyBank 13,756
18. M&T Bank 12,596
19. America First CU 12,472
20. Spring EQ 11,820
21. Zions Bancorp 10,999
22. Ent CU 10,877
23. Flagstar Bank 10,220
24. BMO 9,872
25. First Citizens 9,528

In 2022, PNC Bank led all HELOC lenders with nearly 80,000 lines of credit originated, representing a solid 5.8% market share, per HMDA data from the CFPB.

They were followed by Citizens Bank with 64,687 HELOCs originated for a 4.8% share.

In third was Bank of America (57,084) with a market share of 4.2%. Back in 2020, BofA had been the #1 HELOC lender with a 5.6% market share before falling to fifth in 2021. So they’ve made up some ground.

U.S. Bank took fourth with 41,554 HELOCs opened and a 3.1% market share, followed by Truist Bank with 37,186 lines of credit opened for a 2.7% market share.

Huntington Bank grabbed sixth place with a 2.4% market share, newcomer Figure Lending came in seventh with a 1.9% market share, and Fifth Third Bank was eighth with a 1.7% share.

State Employees’ CU and Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) rounded out the top 10 with 1.3% and 1.2% of the market, respectively.

You can see the top 25 HELOC lenders in the table above for more details. These 25 institutions alone accounted for about 44% of the HELOC market overall.

Looking for a HELOC? Try a Bank or a Credit Union

If you’re in need of a HELOC, you should know that they’re mostly offered by depository institutions (DIs).

In 2022, 1,032 DIs, including 372 banks and 660 credit unions, originated 1.31 million HELOCs, per the HMDA data.

That represented 96.2% of all HELOC originations reported. In other words, practically every HELOC was opened by a bank or a credit union.

This differs from first mortgages, which have been dominated by nonbank lenders over the past several years.

These nonbank lenders, or non-DIs, accounted for just 4.6% of the HELOC market. This number has ticked higher in recent years, but still remains very low.

For the record, just two of the top 25 HELOC lenders were independent mortgage companies, including Figure Lending and Spring EQ.

It’s unclear if that will change in 2024 and beyond, though these companies are looking to get in on the action by offering HELOCs and home equity loans.

For example, Rocket Mortgage launched a closed-end home equity loan (HEL) in early August.

Meanwhile, wholesale lender United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) released three HELOCs, including a standalone and a piggyback.

Regardless, there’s a good chance a local credit union (or the bank you already do business with) will offer HELOCs.

Tip: Credit unions also seem to offer a wide selection of adjustable-rate mortgages as well, unlike big banks and nonbank lenders.

Who Are the Best HELOC Lenders?

We know it’s mostly banks and credit unions that offer HELOCs. The question is which one is the best of the bunch?

That’s hard to say because banks and credit unions offer lots of different products, not just HELOCs.

As such, reading their reviews probably won’t give us a lot to chew on. Sure, we can see how they’re rated on the whole, but that might mean nothing with regard to their home equity lending.

Ultimately, I would pay more attention to the interest rate and loan terms offered since HELOC rates can range significantly from bank to bank.

Keep your eye on the margin offered, which combined with the prime rate determines your rate. This is perhaps the best way to compare HELOCs.

Also take note of the loan term (how many years to draw and pay it off) and the starting interest rate, which is sometimes discounted for a promotional period.

There may also be unique perks, such as the ability to lock in your rate so it’s no longer adjustable.

Though the way things are going, HELOC rates might have already peaked in 2023. And could be slated to fall this year as the Fed stops raising rates and pivots to lower them.

Either way, be sure to exhaust all your options in your HELOC search to ensure you don’t miss out on a better deal.

Read more: How to compare HELOCs from one lender to the next.

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