Young woman uses an orbit sander on a plank of wood held up by a blue wooden chair

Get Your Documents Ready

Once you’ve decided to pursue a loan and have chosen a lender, you’ll typically need to gather up some documents. Though each lender’s requirements can differ, you can usually expect to provide the same documents you did for a mortgage.

This includes:

  • Income and employment documents (W2s and 1099s)
  • Statements on assets in the bank, retirement accounts, and investments
  • Records of debts, including real estate
  • Proof of rent payment

A+ Tip: Most institutions will require a home value estimate or an appraisal as part of the process. Affinity Plus doesn’t require appraisals on the majority of applications.

What's Next

The next step is: Apply! Submit your application, and wait for approval. Timing on this will depend on the lender, but it's usually a quick process.

From there, you’ll receive disclosure documents to review and sign, and then the loan goes through the underwriting process. Again, timing on these aspects will depend on the financial institution you’re borrowing through, but it can range from days to weeks.

Closing & Repayment

Like a mortgage, a HELOC or home equity loan will require closing before the money's available. There are costs associated with closing, so be sure to account for that in your plans.

The HELOC typical repayment period begins after the draw period, which is the time when you can borrow against the line of credit.

There are various repayment processes for equity-based loans, with some financial institutions preferring interest-only payments during the draws. Others, such as Affinity Plus, allow principal repayment from the start, and won’t penalize you for paying off the balance early.

A+ Tip: To help you plan, ask your lender if they provide closing-cost amounts up front.