Table of Contents In this article

Why You Can Trust CNET Money

Our mission is to help you make informed financial decisions, and we hold ourselves to strict . This post may contain links to products from our partners, which may earn us a commission. Here’s a more detailed explanation of .
Editorial Guidelines

Writers and editors and produce editorial content with the objective to provide accurate and unbiased information. A separate team is responsible for placing paid links and advertisements, creating a firewall between our affiliate partners and our editorial team. Our editorial team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers.

How we make money

CNET Money is an advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We’re compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and services, or when you click on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact where and in what order affiliate links appear within advertising units. While we strive to provide a wide range of products and services, CNET Money does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.

Advertiser Disclosure

CNET editors independently choose every product and service we cover. Though we can’t review every available financial company or offer, we strive to make comprehensive, rigorous comparisons in order to highlight the best of them. For many of these products and services, we earn a commission. The compensation we receive may impact how products and links appear on our site.

LoanDepot: 2023 Home Equity Review

Its digital application process makes it possible to be approved for a HELOC in days, not weeks.



Products offered
Min. credit score
Contact info
Call 888-337-6888 ext. 6789 or email

LoanDepot is the country’s second-largest nonbank retail lender. Founded in 2010, the Irvine, California-based online mortgage lender has originated more than $275 billion since it opened for business more than a decade ago.

Although LoanDepot doesn’t offer a traditional fixed-rate home equity loan, it has a variable-rate home equity line of credit, or HELOC, with a conventional 20-year repayment period. Its application process is “100% digital” making it possible to be approved for a HELOC in days rather than weeks.

LoanDepot: At a glance

Type of loan offeredHELOC
Loan amount$50,000 (or legal state minimum) to $250,000
Credit score minimumN/A
Repayment terms10-year draw period followed by a 20-year repayment period
Average time for approvalAs little as seven days

A LoanDepot HELOC is ideal for homeowners with excellent credit who need a high minimum loan amount and a long repayment period. It’s also a good option for people who want fast access to cash, as LoanDepot says it can close on your loan in as little as seven days. Although not offered in every state, LoanDepot’s HELOC is typically widely available.


  • Long repayment period: Thirty years is the longest repayment schedule you can have with a HELOC (10-year draw and 20-year repayment periods), which helps keep your monthly payments low over time as they’re stretched out over a longer period.

  • Low minimum monthly payments: The minimum monthly payment is $100 -- that’s 1/240th of your unpaid outstanding balance at the end of your draw period.

  • Fast access to funds: You can be approved and close on your loan in as little as seven days. This is faster than the average lender turnaround time, which typically ranges from two weeks to two months.


  • High minimum loan amount: $50,000 could be a lot for a homeowner who only needs funds for a small project, such as renovating a home office, compared with paying college tuition, for example. If you take out more money than you actually need, you’ll end up paying costly additional interest on those funds that will increase the total cost of your loan.

  • No fixed-rate option: A variable rate HELOC provides flexibility, but in today’s rising interest rate environment, it could be detrimental to have an interest rate that fluctuates in reaction to economic conditions.

  • Digital application only: For people who prefer speaking with a loan officer in person, there are no physical locations (although LoanDepot provides in-person services for mortgages and refinancings).

Home equity loan options

LoanDepot offers a variable rate HELOC, but not a fixed-rate home equity loan at this time. It also offers mortgages and refinancings.


You’ll pay an origination fee of 2.5% of your total loan (unless otherwise limited by state law) for any application that was received by Dec. 15, 2022. LoanDepot says there’s no additional third-party fees.

How to qualify

LoanDepot doesn’t advertise its minimum credit score requirements, but the higher your score, the better your chances are of being approved for a loan with a lower APR and more favorable terms. In addition to having sufficient home equity available, most lenders prefer to see a debt-to-income, or DTI, ratio of 36% or less, to ensure you can comfortably afford a second monthly mortgage payment. 

Property insurance is required with LoanDepot, and flood insurance is required where necessary. Although the application process is digital, in some cases you may need to be prepared to have your documents notarized in person.

Getting started

Because a HELOC is a second mortgage on your house, you’ll need to gather all of your personal and financial documentation for your lender to review, just as you did for your original mortgage. You’ll need to show proof of adequate income and stable employment through documents such as your Form W-2, pay stubs and tax returns, plus any paperwork related to your existing mortgage to show that you’ve been making payments consistently on time.

Customer service

You can reach customer service at 888-337-6888 ext. 6789 from Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET (7 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT) or email at

Alix is a former CNET Money staff writer. She also previously reported on retirement and investing for and was a staff writer at Time magazine. Her work has also appeared in various publications, such as Fortune, InStyle and Travel + Leisure, and she also worked in social media and digital production at NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and NY1. She graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and Villanova University. When not checking Twitter, Alix likes to hike, play tennis and watch her neighbors' dogs. Now based out of Los Angeles, Alix doesn't miss the New York City subway one bit.