December 5, 2022

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Contributing Writer
Andrew Wan has over 10 years of experience in the mortgage industry, having held roles as a…
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Colorado homeowners can add one additional perk to the beautiful scenery of lakes and mountains in the state: more home equity thanks to rising home values. 
The Centennial State has seen a nearly 11% increase in home values over the past year, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors
Rising home values gives homeowners more equity that can be turned into cash to use on things like home improvements, financing educational expenses, and paying off debt. 
You’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to home equity loan and HELOC lenders. The best companies will offer rates and fees, knowledgeable loan officers, an easy-to-use website, and more. To help save you some time, we’ve done the research with our picks for the best HELOC and home equity loan lenders in Colorado. 
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.
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. 
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.
Spring EQ may be a relatively new bank founded in 2016, but it has already earned a positive reputation from customers across the 38 states it serves. Spring EQ offers home equity loans, HELOCs, and interest-only HELOCs, providing borrowers with flexible loan options. Home equity loan amounts range from $5,000 to $500,000, while HELOC line amounts range from $50,000 to $500,000.
Spring EQ loans may be subject to an origination fee of $995 and an annual fee of $99 in some states. Spring EQ does not specify any rate discounts.
The Spring EQ loan application process is transparent and easy to understand. Customers can see an extensive breakdown of their loan term and rate options without needing to undergo a credit check or provide their social security number. To be eligible for a home equity loan or HELOC with Spring EQ, you’ll need a credit score of 620 or higher, along with a debt-to-income ratio of 45% or less.
We ranked Spring EQ highly because of the lender’s price transparency, which allows potential borrowers to get pre-qualified for a loan with only basic information. This makes it easy to compare rates without needing to provide sensitive personal information or undergo a hard credit check. Additionally, the online experience is user-friendly and the application’s breakdown of rates, fees, and terms is easily digestible for customers.
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.
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.
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.
Lenders who are based in your area are more likely to understand the nuances of your local market and might offer services that are streamlined for Colorado borrowers.
Here are two based in Colorado.
Vectra Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, which operates under different names in several different states. Vectra Bank Colorado offers many of the same services and products you would find at another full-service financial institution, including deposit accounts, investment products, and personal loans. Vectra Bank offers both a HELOC and a home equity loan. Although some basic information is provided on its website about each of these products, you’ll have to call or submit an application online to get more information about rates, terms, and closing costs. 
Founded in 1936, Bellco Credit Union has more than 340,000 members with over $6.5 billion in assets. Like many credit unions, you’ll need to meet certain eligibility criteria to become a member if you want to take advantage of the lender’s products and services. Bellco’s eligibility criteria can be satisfied based on where you live or work, whether you have family who are an existing Bellco member, or if you have an affiliation with certain employers or other professional organizations. 
Bellco offers its members deposit accounts, loans, business products and services, and wealth management services. Bellco does not offer a home equity loan, but it does offer a HELOC. You can lock up to three portions of your balance at a fixed interest rate, similar to what you would get with a home equity loan. 
Many financial institutions offer their products and services in Colorado. If you’re trying to find the best HELOC or home equity loan rate, shop around with multiple lenders to see what’s being offered. You may find a wide range of offerings when it comes to rates, fees, loan terms, and loan programs. You could also find certain lenders that have more flexible underwriting criteria, and they could be a good backup option to consider if you’re not able to get financing elsewhere.  
Read customer reviews of lenders to see what the experience was like for others. For instance, a lender that offers a low rate may seem attractive, but you may think twice if other borrowers encountered hidden fees. Watch for lenders that do not provide this information through their website or require a hard credit pull to get a quote, and always ask for something in writing.  
Keep an eye on the total cost of a loan. A lender may offer low rates, but may simply charge additional fees to get that rate. In some cases, you could end up saving money by taking a higher interest rate if the fees are low enough. You can use a calculator to determine the total cost of the loan over the long run to see which is a better deal. 
If you’re looking to pull equity out of your home, you will come across two common options: a home equity loan and a HELOC. While similar, they do have different features and characteristics, and some lenders may only offer one or the other.  
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) allows you to draw funds up to the maximum credit limit for a specified time frame. If you’re uncertain how much money you need, or would like the flexibility to continue to access funds for several years, a HELOC can be a good choice. The interest rate, however, is usually variable, meaning it changes with the market. 
A home equity loan does not allow for the flexibility of drawing funds over a specified time frame. Funds are disbursed all at once, and you’ll have to apply for another home equity loan if you need more cash. However, interest rates are typically fixed, which can be beneficial if you want to know your payments will not fluctuate. 
To be sure you’re getting a loan with a favorable interest rate, fee structure, and terms, check with multiple lenders. They can sometimes offer temporary incentives, making them more competitive than they normally would be. Think about the rates and fees, but also the conditions of the loan. Even with a competitive interest rate, a loan may not be the best fit if there are things like prepayment penalties, inactivity fees, or minimum draw amounts.
If you’re thinking about taking out a loan against your property, make sure you can afford the monthly payments. Lenders may not know about monthly expenses that do not appear on your credit report. These expenses might include utilities, phone bills, child care expenses, groceries, and gas for the car. Just because a lender approves you for a loan does not mean you can afford the payments. You’ll need to take a look at your own budget to determine how much of a loan you actually need and whether you feel okay with how the loan fits with the rest of your monthly expenses. 
When a loan is issued by a lender, there is always a risk that the borrower may not be able to pay it back on time or in full. To offset this risk, lenders will often charge higher rates or fees to those who are a higher risk and have lower credit scores. If you have a high credit score, you’ll typically be able to qualify for the most competitive rates offered by the lender. 
Here are a few things you can do to boost your credit score:
Unless you have first-hand experience working in the mortgage industry, getting a HELOC or home equity loan in Colorado can seem like a complex process. However, getting a loan can be broken down into a handful of stages. 
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:
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