Homeowners are sitting on a record amount of home equity. Coming off historic home price increases, there is over $22 trillion in untapped equity, looking only at homeowners with under 80% LTV. You read that right. $22,000,000,000,000. That’s a lot of zeros. We could pay off 2/3rds of the US national debt with the amount of value in home equity today.

Unfortunately, many financial institutions are not well-positioned to take advantage of this amazing opportunity. Prior to 2008, many banks and credit unions offered home equity loans or home equity lines of credit and they marketed them regularly. But, after the crash, when millions of equity was wiped out in the crash of the subprime and the rest of the housing market, home equity loans were shelved. Certainly, the marketing plans for home equity lines were shelved.

Well, the market and opportunity for home equity loans is back. HELOC’s are up 41% year over year and home equity loans are up 29%. Most of this growth is with just 10 financial institutions. That’s right, only a handful of banks, fintechs, and credit unions are reaping the rewards for this gargantuan opportunity.

I remember from my old Deluxe teller training days that a bank customer is 60% more likely to stay with a financial institution if they have at least one loan product with that institution. Not only is there an opportunity to affect the bottom line from interest income, there is also the halo affect of being able to decrease deposit attrition.

So, dust off those old home equity marketing plans. Start with your retail customer database and identify those customers who are homeowners with LTV’s under 80. You can even take it a step further and see which customers have significant high interest rate debt for payday loans and other flex loans that are out there. Get them back into your loan portfolio with a lower interest, home equity loan. They will appreciate it.