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HELOC Loans in Hardee County, Florida

A home equity line of credit, often known as a HELOC, is a fund that leverages your house as security. This line of credit can be helpful in various ways if you are looking to buy a home in Hardee County or currently own one.

To pay for the upfront expenses of buying a property, like the down payment and private mortgage insurance, you can use a HELOC as a piggyback mortgage.

Or perhaps you already own a home. If so, you can utilize a HELOC to borrow against the equity you have in the property to fund renovations, pay medical expenses, settle divorce expenses, or even consolidate your debts.

However, like other loan solutions, some requirements must be met to qualify for a HELOC. These include solid credit history and a substantial amount of equity in one's property.

If you're interested, here are the requirements and application process for a HELOC loan in Hardee County, Florida.

How does a HELOC work?

However, there are several distinctions between a HELOC and a credit card. Similar to a credit card, a HELOC allows you to make repeated draws and pay them back at a later time. Notably, your home's equity serves as collateral for a HELOC.

While terms may vary, HELOCs typically permit homeowners to use up to 80 percent of the value accumulated in their property for immediate cash.

Of course, the loan amount is determined by the difference between the prevailing market value of your home and the sum owed on the mortgage. The repayment period may extend to 30 years, depending on the lender.

But, unlike credit cards, HELOCs have drawing and repayment windows. During the drawing window, which may last between 5 to 15 years, you can pull funds repeatedly from your HELOC and are only obliged to make interest-only payments.

After that, you won't be able to pull funds from your HELOC. You'll instead be required to make interest plus principal payments over a period, usually 10–20 years.

Aside from interest, your HELOC may be subject to other expenses, such as processing, service fees, and cancellation or early closure penalties.

However, because you are borrowing against the equity in your house, your HELOC will most likely be less expensive than comparable-sized unsecured loans. Nonetheless, it's wise to try and find out about the related charges in advance. Ask your lender for a breakdown.

HELOCs usually have variable interest rates. But even if the rates change over time, they typically remain lower than those on unsecured loan solutions. Moreover, you might be able to claim your HELOC interest amount as a tax deduction.

Most HELOC providers allow customers to access their funds via online transfers, checks, or cards.

HELOC loan requirements in Hardee County, Florida

Although HELOC criteria differ depending on the lender, they often involve the following requirements:

Significant property equity

Equity is the amount left over after deducting the outstanding balance of all loans covered by the home from its current market value. It's usually represented as a percentage of the property's current market value.

Most creditors require HELOC applicants to have at least 10% to 20% homeowner's equity. However, your HELOC size will depend on your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, which is your home's outstanding mortgage divided by its current market value.


Apart from LTV, HELOC lenders will also look at your combined loan-to-value ratio. CLTV is the outstanding balance of all loans covered by the home divided by its current market value. That means it takes into account all loans borrowed against the house.

You should be lucky to locate a creditor that can tolerate high CLTVs because most accept up to 85% CLTV, and that's it.

Good credit

Of course, HELOC lenders will also consider your credit score. After all, it measures how likely you are to default on the loan payments.

Most lenders require scores of between 620 and 660. But the higher your score, the better. Naturally, borrowers with lower scores pay higher interest to compensate for the high likelihood of default.

Adequate income

Your income matters, too, because without sufficient earnings, how will you be able to make the loan payments? Prepare the following documents for submission:

  • Pay stubs
  • W-2 forms
  • Federal tax returns for the last couple of months
  • 1099 paperwork
  • Letters confirming retirement awards, social security benefits, etc.

Solid debt repayment reputation

Creditors will want to confirm that you have a strong history of settling your debts before approving your HELOC request since it's a supplementary mortgage.


A low DTI is ideal. A DTI is the ratio of your income to your outstanding monthly debt obligations.

A low DTI means you make enough to cover all your monthly debts and can take on additional financial obligations. Lenders typically accept DTIs of between 43 and 50%, but a lower figure is more advantageous.

The Advantages of a HELOC

A HELOC is a fantastic way to borrow against the equity you've accumulated in your home. Some of the advantages of this credit solution include the following:

Lower interest rate

Comparably lower interest rates are one of the reasons why HELOCs are a better solution than unsecured loans. As of this writing, the average interest rate on a $300K HELOC is 6.5%.

This is lower than the average rate on a similar-sized personal loan, which is 8.73%. The average annual percentage rate (APR) on a comparable credit card loan is 15.13 percent.

Of course, your credit score will factor into your HELOC interest rate determination. But even with that in mind, a HELOC is likely to be a better loan solution than an unsecured line of credit.

Rate locks

HELOCs typically come with variable interest rates. That said, you might be lucky to find a lender that allows rate locking so that you won't be exposed to a shifting interest rate once you've built up significant debt.

This option always involves extra upfront costs, particularly a higher starting interest rate. That said, it's worthwhile and offers protection, significantly when rates are rising fast.

In all cases, it's always wise to evaluate the overall loan cost (interest + upfront expenses) from several lenders before making a decision.

You only pay interest on the borrowed sum

The convenience of HELOCs is that they're a free credit solution. That means you only make draws when needed and pay them back later. You don't have to take out the entire loan sum if you don't need it all at once.

That means you avoid paying interest on the money you don't need. Other loan solutions force the total loan amount on you so they can reap more interest from you.

A HELOC is advantageous when you are unsure of a project's total cost upfront. You can draw funds repeatedly up to your set borrowing limit during the drawing window.

You are free to spend the loan however you see fit

HELOC funds can be used for a remodel or renovation, debt consolidation, medical expenses, etc. Some of the benefits of using a HELOC for remodeling are:

  • Lower up-front expenses.
  • Interest that is tax deductible.
  • Less restrictive borrowing guidelines.
  • Increased home value.

Promotional offers

Most creditors offer temporary promotional deals such as lower interest rates, fee waivers, and rate locks to entice clients to use HELOCs.

It's okay to try and take advantage of such incentives, but remember to keep the overall loan cost in mind when assessing lenders.

Bigger loan sum

HELOC loans are typically larger than conventional lines of credit. Your income, credit history, home equity, and LTV will all impact the size of the loan you get.

A paper with HELOC written on it and dollars

Great for Divorcees

Finding a way to compensate your ex-spouse for their equity stake in the matrimonial home might be difficult during a divorce. You might consider selling the home, settling the divorce expenses, and then buying a new one, but this could result in an expensive mortgage if the prevailing mortgage rates are high.

The same is valid for refinancing; you shouldn't do it while the market mortgage rate is high. However, a HELOC works just fine here. You can borrow against your equity in the home and settle the divorce expenses.

Advantages of a HELOC over selling or borrowing on a credit card to pay for a divorce.

  • The original mortgage remains intact.

  • Not selling means no agent commission and related expenses.

  • You might be offered a rate lock.

  • Lower interest rates than unsecured loan solutions.

HELOC versus Cash-Out Refinancing

Refinancing is another way to use your home for immediate cash. It entails replacing the current mortgage with a new one. Depending on the size of the new loan compared to the outstanding balance from the previous mortgage, you might be left with some cash out of the deal. You can use the profit however you see fit.

Refinancing has some advantages over a HELOC. But generally, you want to do it when prevailing mortgage rates are lower than what you are currently paying.

However, a HELOC typically has fewer upfront fees than refinancing, which always includes high closing expenses. Additionally, you will need private mortgage insurance if the refinancing reduces your equity stake in the property below 20%.

75-15 HELOC for Florida condos

Purchasing a condo is common among those coming to Florida. Most of these people have already been approved for mortgages in their previous states. However, Florida does not evaluate conventional condo loans using the same standards as other jurisdictions.

In Florida, typical condo loan transactions might have to undergo a full, limited, or PERS inspection depending on the type of property and the total amount of first and second mortgage financing.

An Overview of Florida's Limited Review Requirements:

  • Primary residence - Up to 75% financing on the 1st mortgage and 90% combined financing on the 1st and 2nd mortgages.

  • Second Home - 70% max financing on the 1st mortgage and a 75% combined financing on the 1st and 2nd mortgages.

  • Investment Property - 70% max financing on the 1st mortgage and a 75% combined financing on the 1st and 2nd mortgages.

The advantages of a limited condo review are as follows:

  • Lenders are not allowed to review the association's expenditures (including the number of reserves).

  • Lenders won't need proof of fidelity bond coverage while examining condo insurance.

  • The lender is unconcerned about the proportion of investor-owned condos to owner-occupied homes.

  • The condo application form is short and easy.

When attempting to purchase a condo in Florida, securing up to 10 % HELOC funding allows you to restrict the LTV on your 1st mortgage to 75%, qualify for a limited inspection, and avoid high-interest rates and private mortgage insurance with higher LTV ratios.

The HELOC application process

Begin by evaluating offers from multiple creditors. Give promotional offers a thorough examination. While taking advantage of incentives isn't bad, don't forget to keep the overall loan cost (interest plus upfront expenses) in mind.

Once you find a suitable lender, complete the paperwork and submit your application. It might involve visiting their local branch or taking care of things online.

Allow the lender to conduct an appraisal of your home to establish its current market value. Be ready to pay for the appraisal yourself.

If the creditor agrees to your loan request, you will be informed of the amount and interest rate.

Prepare to sign the contract. You'll have three working days to accept or reject the offer. If you accept, you'll be asked to sign a contract. Finally, the upfront costs will be subtracted from the HELOC amount, and you can begin using the fund.

A typical HELOC request and processing take 2 to 4 weeks, while a complex application can take up to 6 weeks.

About Hardee County, Florida

Hardee County was established in 1921 and named after Cary A. Hardee, a former state governor who, among other things, abolished state inheritance and income taxes.

The county has a total area of 638 sq. miles. Wauchula serves as the county seat and is known as the world's cucumber capital, but it also exports a lot of citrus fruit.

The state experiences sultry summers and cool and mild winters, which draw a lot of tourists and those wishing to relocate here. The county has 27,731 residents.

The county has a 5.2% unemployment rate; the latest job growth has risen by 2.1%, and the cost of living is 18% lower than the national average. Some of the top employers in the county include Lakeside Neurological, Walmart, Wauchula State Bank, Advent Health, and Old Castle Mulch (a manufacturing business).

The median home is $81,800, while the median rent is $709. Meanwhile, the median income is $37,594.

Many good schools are spread across the county, and the pupil-to-teacher ratio is about 15:1. There are also plenty of outdoor activities and attractions, including Zolfo Springs, Pioneer Park, Cracker Trail Museum & Village, boating trips, and historic walking tours.

You can enjoy some of these attractions, then check out the following shops and parlors for some tasty ice cream later in the day.

  • Jack's Shack - Jack's Shack is located at Sun City Centre boulevard and is well-known for its homemade rolled ice cream. Over 20 different ice cream flavors are on the menu, all served fresh.

  • Kimi's Ice Cream and Sweets - This ice cream parlor at 143 Harbor Village Ln, Apollo Beach, FL 33572, is well-known for its constantly evolving and seasonally-inspired ice cream flavors and a top-notch coffee service offering cappuccino, espresso, and iced variations.

  • La Michoacana Paleteria - Everything on the menu at this restaurant is homemade. If you ever find yourself close to 960 US-27 S, Lake Placid, FL 33852, stop here for some delicious afternoon treats, including smoothies, corn on the cob, popsicles, and fresh fruit cups.

  • A Better Scoop Ice Cream Shoppe - The name speaks for itself. The shop offers mouthwatering ice cream flavors in big scoops with a selection of toppings. The service is fast and friendly.

  • Frostbite Ice Cream & More - If you're looking for a complete meal solution, stop by this establishment at 801 N Scenic Hwy, Frostproof, FL 33843, for some ice cream, burgers, and sandwiches. The place has a retro-style vibe that attracts a lot of folks. They have excellent burgers and wonderful ice cream.

Is getting a HELOC an intelligent move?

Wondering whether to apply for a HELOC? There are various scenarios where this credit solution could work out well.

For instance, if you want to buy a residence but lack enough funds for a down payment, you can utilize a HELOC to piggyback on your primary mortgage, boost the down payment fund, and expedite the closing process. Furthermore, it will expand your choices, allowing you to consider bigger houses or even those in wealthy neighborhoods.

On the other hand, if you own a home and have accumulated significant equity in it, a HELOC allows you to borrow against the equity if you need cash for a remodel or renovation, medical expenses, debt consolidation, divorce expenses, etc.

Nonetheless, it's important to remember that a HELOC isn't the only credible solution. Other loan solutions might be cheaper depending on the interest rate plus upfront expenses. Speak with a decent local lender and have them crunch the numbers so you can make an informed decision.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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