How Long Does It Take to Get a Home Equity Loan or HELOC?

You might consider a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC) if you need cash for debt consolidation or large expenses. Home equity loans are second mortgage loans that allow you to borrow from the established equity in your home in a lump sum. A HELOC is a revolving credit line secured by your equity that you can draw against as needed.

Based on the lender, obtaining a home equity loan or HELOC often takes two weeks to two months. The speed of the process can depend on how much prep you do before applying and what the lender needs to gauge the home’s value and underwrite the loan.

If you’ve never applied for a HELOC or home equity loan, it helps to know what to expect concerning the application process and how long you may wait for funding.

In this guide:

  • How long does the HELOC application process take?
  • How long does the approval process take?
  • How long does the funding process take?
  • FAQ

How long does the HELOC or home equity loan application process take?

How long it will take to get a HELOC or home equity loan depends on your lender. Every lender has unique requirements and time frames for reviewing and approving home equity loan and HELOC applications.

The process is similar for home equity loans and HELOCs. Here’s a quick rundown of the typical steps:

  1. Preapproval. Getting preapproved or prequalified for a home equity loan or HELOC is not mandatory, but knowing whether and for how much you’re likely to be approved is helpful. Online preapproval is often quick, taking less than 10 minutes.
  2. Choose a lender.Shopping around is important to find the best home equity or HELOC terms. If you’re preapproved, you may already have rate quotes to work with. If not, it’s wise to check rates and terms with several lenders to make a final decision. You might spend a few hours to several weeks looking for the right lender. Consider starting with your current mortgage lender as a baseline.
  3. Application.Once you select a lender, you can submit your application. This step can take an hour or more, depending on how organized you are and what information you need to complete the application. Many lenders allow you to submit your application and upload supporting documents online to save time.
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>>Read more: HELOC vs. home equity loan

Note: If you need to go to a branch to apply for a home equity loan or HELOC, you may need to book an appointment with a loan officer beforehand.

Information your HELOC or home equity home lender needs may include:

  • Your name
  • Birthdate
  • Social Security number
  • Phone number and email address
  • Property address
  • Property type and age
  • Estimated value
  • Amount owed on your mortgage
  • Amount of equity you’d like to borrow
  • Proof of income

You may need to upload copies of your pay stubs, bank account statements, or tax forms when you submit your application. W-2 employees often have an easier time proving their income, while self-employed applicants may have to take additional steps to justify their income and payment ability.

The lender will also perform a hard credit check.

Every lender is different concerning how long it takes to get a home equity loan or HELOC. We’ve researched typical timelines to expect when applying with top lenders. Keep in mind these are estimates, and actual application times will vary.

Home equity loan or HELOC?Application time

How long does the approval process take?

Applying for a home equity loan or HELOC may take just a few minutes. Approval, however, can take longer since the lender has to verify your personal and financial information, as well as certain details about your home.

Two key steps are involved in the approval stage:

  1. Appraisal.If you’re getting a home equity loan or HELOC, the lender needs to know how much equity you have. That requires an appraisal, which may be acquired in person or digitally using an automated valuation model. A digital appraisal may shave time off the application process because you don’t have to wait for a spot to open up in a professional appraiser’s schedule.
  2. Underwriting. Once the appraisal is complete, the lender can proceed to the underwriting stage. This is where the lender finalizes the loan terms and verifies your information, including your credit scores and income. Underwriting is often the most time-consuming step in the application process and may take several weeks.
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During underwriting, your lender might request additional documentation to verify your home ownership, income, assets, and debts. It may also perform a title search to ensure no outstanding liens against the property.

Here are estimates of how long it takes to get approved for a home equity loan or HELOC with six lenders.

HELOC or home equity loan?Approval time

How long does the funding process take?

Once approved for a home equity loan or line of credit, you have one more step to check off. You need to sign off on the loan documents at closing, which can take an hour or two. You’ll often sign in person with the lender, but remote closings are more common now, especially with online lenders.

Once the paperwork is signed, the lender will arrange to pay the home equity loan proceeds or set up access to your HELOC.

When time is of the essence, you might be interested in getting a home equity loan or HELOC funding as fast as possible. Here’s how the funding process works with six lenders.

HELOC or home equity loan?Funding time

FAQ

How long does it take to get a home equity loan?

Getting a home equity loan can take two weeks to two months. It’s possible to apply for a home equity loan online in minutes, with initial approval following in as little as three business days. Underwriting may take a few weeks, and closing may follow within a week or two of final approval. Funds may be disbursed anywhere from three business days to two weeks after closing.

How long does it take to get a HELOC?

The time frame to get a HELOC is similar to a home equity loan. Based on the lender, the process may take two weeks to two months. You’ll need to shop around to find a lender, submit your application, complete the home appraisal, provide the lender with supporting documents, and sign off on the paperwork at closing before you can access your credit line.

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What factors affect the length of the process the most?

The most significant influences on how long it takes to get a home equity loan or HELOC are often the lender you’re working with, what’s required for underwriting, and whether an in-person appraisal is needed. Not having your supporting documents prepared beforehand can also slow you down.

It may be faster to apply for a home equity loan or HELOC with the lender that holds your current mortgage because it already has your personal and financial information on file. But consider whether that makes sense if you could get a lower interest rate or pay fewer fees elsewhere. Cost may outweigh convenience.

Are there ways to speed up the process?

If you’d like to get through the home equity loan or HELOC process as soon as possible, getting preapproved and organizing your paperwork could help speed it up.

You could also save time by choosing a lender that offers a shorter processing window from application to funding. For instance, you might choose a lender that allows digital valuations versus requiring an in-person home appraisal.

Is the interest on a HELOC or home equity loan tax-deductible?

The interest payments on these loans may be tax-deductible. We recommend consulting with your tax professional to ensure you understand the implications if you’re considering these loan options.

What are my options if I need faster access to funds?

If you need money fast and don’t have time to wait for a home equity loan or HELOC to process, consider other possibilities for borrowing.

For instance, if your credit card allows cash advances and you’ve set up a pin to use it at ATMs, you can withdraw cash in minutes. The downside is that a credit card cash advance can have a high APR, and you may be able to access just a small amount of money.

If you need to borrow a larger amount, you might consider an unsecured personal loan instead. Getting same-day approval and funding in just a few business days with online personal lenders is possible. Compare rates and terms to ensure you get the best personal loan.