Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC)

When you're seeking a HELOC lender in Central or Northern PA, look no further than the local bank around the corner. JVB's friendly and knowledgeable mortgage team offers a stress-free way of putting your home equity to work in a line of credit. Our tradition of efficient and respectful service has made JVB the local mortgage company of choice for so many residents of Centre County, Huntingdon County, Juniata County, McKean County, Mifflin County, Perry County, and Potter County. Unlike bigger banks and online lenders, all of our employees live and work in your community, giving them local expertise in the real estate market. Our lending decisions are also made locally. With the convenience and flexibility of a HELOC from JVB, you can prepare for both planned and unexpected expenses.

What is a HELOC and how does it work?

A HELOC is a Home Equity Line of Credit. To calculate your home equity, subtract any mortgage loan balances from the current fair market value of your property. While equity tends to increase over time as your home's value goes up and your mortgage balance goes down, property values can also fluctuate with local demand, meaning that equity isn't a fixed number. Home equity lines of credit are based on the amount of equity you possess when you open the HELOC.

How do HELOCs work? The best comparison is a credit card. Whenever you open a credit line, whether with a card, a HELOC, or a business line of credit, funds are available when you need them but you only make payments on what you use. You can open a HELOC just for the peace of mind of knowing it's there in case the furnace breaks, but you won't have to make payments until you withdraw cash from the credit line. Many homeowners would rather use a HELOC than a credit card because interest rates are much lower. However, just as with a credit card, the rate on your HELOC can adjust over time according to national benchmarks.

How much can you borrow with a HELOC? Every application is different, but it's good to leave a cushion between the credit line limit and your total equity. This protects you from ending up "underwater" on your home loans if property values decline. JVB's HELOC experts can help you determine the optimal credit limit to apply for based on your current loan-to-value ratio and overall financial picture.

Benefits of HELOCs vs. home equity and personal loans

When homeowners want access to credit, there are several options. Here are the primary benefits of a HELOC as compared to a home equity loan or personal installment loan.


Many personal finance experts will recommend opening a HELOC as soon as you have enough equity in your home. Their rationale is that it's more affordable to borrow from a home equity line than a personal credit card. Therefore, when an unexpected expense or emergency arises, you can pay for it from your HELOC. In the meantime, you don't have to touch it and you won't make payments until you do. HELOCs are also convenient because they come with check-writing privileges and are linked to your checking account for easy transfers back and forth.

On the other hand, home equity and personal loans are delivered as a lump sum and you will start making installment payments right away.


The open-ended nature of a HELOC also provides flexibility. You can use a HELOC for just about anything, from a shortfall in your checking account balance to a major home improvement project such as central air. Pay it back as you go or make the minimum payments you can afford. Installment loans such as home equity and personal loans have fixed payments, so they don't offer the same flexibility.

Lower Interest Rates

Like a home equity loan, a HELOC is a type of secured debt in which your house acts as collateral. So while interest rates on a HELOC can fluctuate, they are almost always lower than the rate you'd pay with a personal loan.

Greater Borrowing Potential

The amount of equity you possess is the main factor to determine what you can borrow with a HELOC or home equity loan. Personal loans are usually smaller, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the borrower's credit score and finances. Therefore, a secondary home loan or home equity line of credit is more useful for financing bigger costs and a HELOC is especially helpful for bigger costs that are also unexpected.

Why Choose JVB for your home equity line of credit?

Partner with your local community bank for a pleasant and easy HELOC application process. Whether in person or online, the mortgage team at JVB is ready to answer your HELOC questions and help you start an application.

  • Call the JVB Customer Care Center to be connected to one of our experienced home loan lenders. 1-855-582-5101
  • Let us call you. Use our Schedule a Call form and someone will contact you on a date and at a time of your choosing.
  • Email our team to determine if a home equity line of credit is right for your needs.
  • Chat with us right now using the Live Chat link showing at the top of the page.
  • Visit your local JVB community office in Blairs Mills, McAlisterville, Mifflintown, Port Royal, Richfield, Port Allegany, Lillibridge, Burnham, Reedsville, Lewistown, Millerstown, Coudersport, or Liverpool or our loan office in State College.