After our research on every lender, our best overall choice is Figure to get funding quickly.
Home equity loans are valuable financing tools that turn the equity you own in your home into cash.
Home equity loan rates tend to be lower than other loan options, and you can use them to cover home improvements, medical bills, debt consolidation, college tuition, or any number of other expenses, but they’re not the fastest form of financing.
If you need funds for an emergency—like a plumbing issue or sudden car repair—this guide will break down some of the fastest home equity loans available to you, as well as some other financing options.
In this guide:
- How soon can you get a home equity loan?
- Where to get quick home equity loans
- Where to get a fast home equity line of credit (HELOC)
How soon can you get a home equity loan?
With most lenders, it will take you anywhere from two to five weeks to see your home equity loan funding come through. The exact timing really depends on the lender you choose and how prepared you are for the process.
To get approved, the lender will need to verify the value of your home with an appraisal, evaluate your credit report and loan-to-value ratio, and process all your financial documentation.
Having all your paperwork ready can help speed up the process, so be sure to have your tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, W-2s, and more gathered up and organized before submitting your application.
You can also speed things up by getting prequalified quotes from several home equity lenders at once. This allows you to quickly narrow down your options, find the best deal for your budget and credit score, and submit a full application with just one quick click or call.
If you need money now, a personal loan may be better
If your tub flooded the entire upstairs or your roof caved in, even the fastest home equity lender might not make the cut. Some lenders offer financing faster than the industry average (see below for a recommendation), but if you need cash in a pinch, a personal loan may be your best bet.
Some personal loan lenders can issue funds within just a day or two. You can typically apply for a personal loan online, and your lender will review your application quickly before making a decision.
Personal loans also require less documentation, since they’re unsecured and nobody needs to appraise your home’s value. This helps speed up the process, and with less work for the lender upfront, there are often no origination fees or closing costs to detract from your loan balance.
If you’re in need of fast funding and aren’t sure which personal loan lender is the best fit, check out our guides to quick loans, home improvement loans, and the best personal loans for help.
Where to get a fast home equity line of credit (HELOC)
A home equity line of credit is an option if you’re looking to tap your home’s equity for cash. These are similar to home equity loans, only they function more like credit cards, with a set credit limit you can borrow from during your draw period rather than a lump-sum of cash.
HELOCs can be a good option if you’re not sure how much money you need, or if you have ongoing costs to deal with (a long-term renovation, a home addition, etc.).
Some HELOCs come with variable rates, which can make your monthly payments hard to predict—especially given your ever-changing balance. And some lenders offer interest-only HELOCs if you need to reduce monthly payments until the repayment period begins.
Figure is an online, tech-based lender that helps you tap your home equity fast. Though it doesn’t offer home equity loans, it does have home equity lines of credit—and fast ones, too.
The lender claims to offer a five-minute pre-approval process and funding in as little as five days. For comparison’s sake, it usually takes other HELOC lenders at least a few weeks for funding.
Figure also offers fixed interest rates, which is different from many other HELOC lenders on the market, and could help stabilize your payments over the life of the loan. You can get a discounted rate by setting up auto payments.
- Credit line amounts: $15,000 – $150,000
- Term lengths: Draw for 10 years. Repayment for 5, 10, 15, or 30 years.
- APRs: 3.49% – 13.25%
- Origination fee: Can go up to 4.99% of your initial draw amount
- Prepayment penalty: $0
- Annual fee: $0
- Max LTV: 80%
- Minimum credit score: 640
- Full review: Figure Home Equity Review
Hitch is a new HELOC lender that claims to offer the fastest way to access your home’s equity. Funds can be received in days. While only available in three states right now, the lender plans to add more states in the near future.
Interested borrowers will be connected with a dedicated loan officer that can help throughout the application process.
- Credit line amounts: $25,000 – $150,000
- Term lengths: Draw for 10 years. Repayment for 20 years.
- APRs: 7.75% – 13.00%
- Origination fee: Not disclosed
- Prepayment penalty: Not disclosed
- Annual fee: None
- Max LTV: 95%
- Minimum credit score: 640
Where to get quick home equity loans
If you’re set on getting a home equity loan and need faster-than-average funding, Spring EQ might be a good fit. See our review below to learn more.
Spring EQ is a dedicated home equity lender offering home equity loans and lines of credit. The lender also offers fixed rates, long-term loan options, and loans up to $500,000.
- Loan amounts: $20,000 – $500,000
- Loan term: 5 – 30 years
- APRs: Start at 5.205%
- Origination fee: $700 – $2,000
- Max LTV: 90%
- Minimum credit score: 680
- Full review: Spring EQ Review
Can you access funds from a HELOC or home equity loan faster?
HELOC offers a faster way to access funds than a traditional home equity loan. Home equity loans can take two to six weeks for processing, but certain lenders advertise they can finalize HELOCs in less than 10 days. But this time depends on the amount you borrow, your property values, and creditworthiness.
Once approved for a HELOC, you can access funds during the draw period (often five to 10 years) without delays. You only pay interest on the amount you withdraw, which can reduce interest charges if you use a portion of the available funds versus the lump sum you get approved for on a home equity loan.
Are there ways to speed up the application process for a HELOC?
As the borrower, you can influence the speed it takes your HELOC to close. The most effective way to expedite the process is to opt for an automated valuation model (AVM) instead of a full appraisal. Unlike an appraisal, which could take two weeks, an AVM can provide an estimated property value within seconds. However, not all lenders allow AVMs. Some only use them in certain situations, and others only rely on full in-person appraisals.
You could also consider exploring local credit unions for your HELOC needs instead of national bank branches.
Are there better options than a HELOC for an emergency?
Certain options could be better than a HELOC for an emergency. Using a HELOC for emergencies means putting your home at risk if you can’t repay. This risk might not be worth taking if your income is unstable or you don’t have solid job security.
Instead, consider creating a cash savings fund for three to six months’ worth of expenses. You can start with $500 or $1,000, and add to it every time you get paid. You could also use credit cards—but beware of high interest rates.
Exploring 401(k) loans, if available to you, is another option. But be sure to assess their impact on your retirement savings and repayment terms, especially if you might change jobs. You’ll need to repay the loan in full if you leave your employer, and if you can’t do so, the IRS will treat it as a full distribution which means it could be subject to income tax (depending on Roth or Traditional composition of the account) and a 10% penalty if you are below age 59 ½.
Bottom line: Fast home equity loans exist, but alternatives may be better
There are quick home equity loans out there, but they might not be fast enough if it’s truly an emergency. If you can’t wait at least a few weeks for your cash, you may be better served by a personal loan.
Just make sure you compare your options to get the best deal before beginning the application process.