Skip to main content


map-marker-altLocations | ATMs

How to Use a HELOC for Unexpected Bills

How much do you have saved in your rainy day fund? If you're like most Americans, then the odds are that you don't have quite enough in your savings account to cover a month's of expenses. Unfortunately, a flooded basement, car accident, or an unplanned medical bill or injury can easily wipe that out—and then some.

If you're a homeowner, then we've got a way to help. Did you know that you could leverage and put to use the equity you've invested in your home? With a home equity line of credit or HELOC, you can use as much or as little as you need and pay interest only on the balance you've actually used for an emergency fund.

Mature woman reviewing paperwork.

What Kinds of Projects or Expenses Could Your HELOC Help Pay For

A HELOC is for much more than home improvement—you could use it for just about anything, and until you save up three to six months of expenses, a HELOC can be ready and waiting just in case.

  • Paying off credit card debt
  • Funding college education
  • Finishing a basement
  • Updating kitchen countertops
  • Paying for medical bills
  • Providing an extra cushion in your emergency fund for unexpected events

How to Use a HELOC As an Emergency Fund

After opening your HELOC, you won't need to do anything else. You'll have cash waiting for any emergency, and if something does come up, you'll have interest-only payments during the draw period. To find out more, read our article about How to Qualify For a HELOC and to learn a bit more about how a HELOC works.

Details of a WaFd Bank HELOC:

  • HELOCs for primary homes, second homes, and investment properties (this includes jumbo HELOCs up to $700,000)
  • No annual fee**
  • WaFd pays closing costs for existing WaFd home loan clients on lines of credit up to $250,000*
  • Discount of 0.25% on your interest rate when you make automatic payments from your WaFd checking account
  • Only pay interest on the amount you borrow
  • If you do borrow, you can make interest-only payments for 10 years (during the draw period)
  • Find out what your potential interest-only monthly payment could look like during your HELOC's draw period with our HELOC payment calculator.

Put Your Home to Work for You

Find a loan officer ear you to see if a HELOC is right for you or to learn more about our other home loan solutions.

All loans subject to credit approval. Texas HELOCs: Notice concerning extensions of credit defined by section 50(a)(6), article XVI, Texas constitution: Section 50(a)(6), article XVI, of the Texas constitution allows certain loans to be secured against the equity in your home. Such loans are commonly known as equity loans.

* Closing costs are paid only for primary homes, not for second, vacation, or investment properties.

** Interest rate and APR (Annual Percentage Rate) are variable based on the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate plus a margin subject to credit approval of your credit history, loan to value, occupancy, and EZ Pay requirements. Monthly interest only payments do not include property taxes and insurance. Consult your tax advisor. The rate will never exceed 17.99% APR. Fees Range: $354—$7,579. Your HELOC fees are included in the disclosure provided at loan application and again at closing. Property Insurance is required.


Find your local WaFd Bank Branch


Find your local WaFd Bank Branch

We're nearby, and we'll sit down with you and answer any questions you may have.