Homeowner Investment Property Tips

HELOCs on Investment Properties: Should I Get Them?

Unlocking the value in your investment property might seem tricky. A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, could be a solution. 

This article will explore the ins and outs of using HELOCs on investment properties to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Key Takeaways

  • A HELOC lets you borrow against your property’s equity, much like a credit card, and you only pay interest on the amount used.
  • Before applying for a HELOC, check your credit score, ensure you have a low debt-to-income ratio, and gather financial documents to show stability.
  • Compare different lenders when looking for a HELOC to find competitive rates and terms; don’t forget to negotiate before finalizing any deal.
  • Alternatives to HELOCs include home equity loans with fixed payments, cash-out refinancing for lower rates or more funds, personal loans from various lenders, or using credit cards for short-term financing.
  • Carefully assess the pros and cons of getting a HELOC on an investment property considering your personal financial situation and market conditions.

What is a home equity line of credit (HELOC)?

A home equity line of credit, often called a HELOC, is a loan where lenders allow you to borrow against the equity in your property. Think of it like a credit card; you have a certain limit you can draw from whenever needed and only pay interest on the amount used.

Your house serves as collateral for this flexible borrowing option, which means that if you don’t make payments, there’s risk involved as the lender could take your home.

You tap into this line of credit during a set period known as the draw period. During this time, usually 5 to 10 years, you can withdraw funds up to your credit limit and make minimum payments on the interest accrued.

Afterward, you enter the repayment phase where no further withdrawals are allowed and you must start paying back both principal and interest.

Pros and cons of HELOCs on investment properties

Now that we’ve covered what a HELOC is, let’s explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of using a HELOC on your investment properties.

Access to capitalHigher interest rates
Flexibility in usageRisk of foreclosure
Interest may be tax-deductibleStricter lending requirements
Only pay interest on what you useVariable interest rates
Potential for high credit limitsMay impact personal credit
Can improve property valueComplex setup and fees

Discovering whether a HELOC is suitable for your real estate investment ventures requires a careful look at these points. Keep them in mind as you weigh your financing options.

How to get a HELOC on an investment property

To get a HELOC on an investment property, first make sure you qualify, then shop around for lenders and negotiate the best terms. 

Make sure you qualify

Before you dive into the HELOC process, check your credit score. Lenders typically look for good to excellent credit when considering a home equity line of credit. Your investment property’s value and the amount of equity you have in it will also play a big role.

Be prepared with recent tax returns, proof of rental income if applicable, and an up-to-date mortgage statement to show lenders that you’re financially stable.

Keep your debt-to-income ratio low as this is a crucial factor for approval. This means limiting new debts and keeping current liabilities manageable before applying for a HELOC on your investment property.

Pay down existing balances where possible and avoid taking on additional financial obligations that could hinder your qualification chances.

Shop lenders

After ensuring that you qualify for a HELOC on your investment property, it’s time to shop lenders. Begin by researching and comparing different financial institutions that offer HELOCs.

Look for competitive interest rates, low fees, and favorable terms. Engage with multiple lenders to understand what they can offer and negotiate the best deal possible.

When shopping for lenders, pay attention to customer service as well. You want a lender who is responsive and helpful throughout the application process and beyond. Additionally, consider the reputation of the lender in terms of reliability and transparency.


When negotiating for a HELOC on an investment property, research the current market rates and terms offered by different lenders. Use this information to leverage better terms with the lender you choose.

Be prepared to negotiate both the interest rate and fees associated with the HELOC. It’s important to advocate for yourself and ensure that you are getting the best deal possible.

After determining your eligibility and shopping around, it’s time to negotiate with potential lenders in order to secure favorable terms for your HELOC. Inquire about any potential incentives or discounts available specifically for investment properties, as well as any flexibility in repayment terms or grace periods offered by various institutions.

Alternatives to HELOCs on investment properties

If a HELOC isn’t right for you, there are other options to consider — like a home equity loan, cash-out refinance, personal loan, or credit card. 

Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to carefully weigh your choices before making a decision.

Home equity loan

Consider a home equity loan as an alternative to a HELOC on your investment property. With this option, you receive a lump sum of money based on the equity in your property. This provides a fixed interest rate and predictable monthly payments, making it easier for budgeting and planning.

Additionally, with a home equity loan, you can use the funds for various purposes such as renovation or debt consolidation. It’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of both options before making a decision that aligns with your financial goals.

Cash-out refinance

Considering a cash-out refinance? This option allows you to replace your current mortgage with a new one for an amount higher than what you owe. The difference is then distributed to you in cash, giving you the opportunity to access the equity in your investment property.

By refinancing at a lower interest rate, it’s possible to decrease your mortgage payments and free up more funds for other investments or expenses. However, keep in mind that this process involves paying closing costs and fees, so weigh the benefits against these additional expenses before making a decision.

Personal loan

A personal loan is a viable alternative to a HELOC for investing in properties. You can acquire this type of loan from banks, credit unions, or online lenders. It’s an unsecured loan with fixed interest rates and predictable monthly payments.

If you have good credit, securing a personal loan may be easier than other options.

By considering the qualifications, interest rates, and terms offered by different lenders, you can make an informed decision about whether a personal loan is right for your investment property needs.

Credit card

Consider using a credit card as an alternative to a home equity line of credit (HELOC) for financing investment property expenses. With a credit card, you can access funds quickly and easily for short-term investments or unexpected costs.

However, be mindful of high interest rates and strict repayment schedules that come with credit cards. It’s essential to use this option responsibly and ensure you have a solid plan for paying off the balance regularly to avoid accumulating excessive interest.

Should you get a HELOC on an investment property?

At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong answer to this question.

If you’re considering going this route, evaluate the potential benefits and risks of obtaining a HELOC on your investment property. Consider your financial situation, the property’s value, and your ability to handle additional debt. Research current interest rates and terms for HELOCs to compare with other financing options.

If you’re confident in your ability to manage the associated risks, a HELOC might provide flexibility and funds for further investments or property improvements. However, if market conditions change or rental income fluctuates, it could strain your financial stability and put the property at risk.

At the end of the day, you are always best off consulting with financial advisors or real estate professionals before making a decision. When you’re ready to learn more about whether a HELOC makes sense for you, take that important first step of discussing it with your financial advisor.

HELOCs on investment properties: FAQs

1. What is a HELOC on an investment property?

A HELOC on an investment property is a credit line you can borrow against the equity of your rental or investment real estate.

2. Can I qualify for a HELOC if my credit score isn’t very high?

You may need a good credit score to qualify for a HELOC, but requirements can vary so it’s best to check with lenders.

3. How much money can I get from a HELOC on my investment property?

The amount you can borrow with a HELOC depends on the value of your property and how much equity you have.

4. Will getting a HELOC affect my other loans or mortgages?

Getting a HELOC may impact your ability to take out other loans as it increases your debt level.

5. Are there risks to taking out a HELOC on my investment property?

Yes, there are risks including possible foreclosure if you cannot make payments, so be sure to consider this carefully before proceeding.

To learn more about HELOCs on investment properties and whether they’re right for you, consult with an experienced financial advisor you trust.


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