To maximize your home equity loan and get the lowest rates possible, you should ensure your credit score is the best it can be. Check your credit report for any errors that could pull down your score.
If you have overdue bills or your credit cards are maxed out, settle your debts before applying for a home equity loan. You will be rewarded with better rates if you can bump your credit rating from fair to good or good to excellent. This could result in thousands of dollars in savings.