Lines of Credit

Flexible borrowing options with variable and fixed rate loans, including lending against the available equity in your home or eligible securities in your Merrill investment accounts.

Managing both sides of your balance sheet with judicious use of lending can help you do more with your wealth — and better manage planned and unexpected expenses.

A line of credit can help you access funds when you need them, through a convenient structure and without having to disrupt your investment strategy or incur capital gains taxes by selling assets.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) offered through Bank of America1

If you have available equity in a home you own, this option allows you to borrow against that available home equity without disrupting your financial strategies. A HELOC can:

  • Provide you with convenient on-demand access to the cash you need, up to your available credit limit.
  • Help you avoid selling assets or depleting your cash reverse to pay for large purchases or expenses.
  • Offer generally lower rates than credit cards or personal loans, with no application fees, closing costs (on lines of credit up to $1,000,000) or annual fees.

Loan Management Account® (LMA® account) offered through Bank of America2

Use eligible investments in your Merrill brokerage account as collateral for one or multiple loans from Bank of America. If you have a significant portfolio of eligible investments, this option allows you to borrow against the value of your pledged securities. An LMA account can:

  • Give you on-demand access to the cash you need for taxes or other large purchases without having to sell your investments.
  • Help you avoid the tax consequences of selling appreciated investments.
  • Offer competitive interest rates with no application fee or annual fees.

Margin Lending Program offered through Merrill

The Margin Lending Program (margin) provides an extension of credit based on eligible securities used as collateral from your qualified Merrill accounts. Margin offers a source of liquidity with competitive rates that allows for timely market investments, diversification, stock option financing or short selling.

Understanding Risks

Borrowing does have inherent costs and certain risks as well as benefits. It is important to factor in borrowing costs as well as potential market volatility, the possibility of collateral calls and other covenants and restrictions on collateral in deciding to use leverage.

LMA Borrowing

Securities-based financing involves special risks. Clients should review their LMA Loan Agreement and related documents and disclosures carefully and consult with their own independent tax and legal advisors.

Some risks to consider include:

  • A decline in the value of collateral assets may require you to provide additional funds or securities to avoid collateral maintenance calls. You can lose more funds than are held in the collateral account. The LMA account is a full recourse loan and the account holder will be liable for any deficiency.
  • The Bank can force the sale or other liquidation of any securities or other investment property in the collateral account and, unless otherwise required by law, can do so without first contacting the account holder.
  • The account holder is not entitled to choose which securities in the collateral account are liquidated or sold.
  • The Bank can change its collateral maintenance requirement at any time without notice to you.
  • You are not entitled to an extension of time to satisfy the Bank’s collateral maintenance requirement.
  • There may be adverse tax or other consequences to you if securities are sold or otherwise liquidated by the Bank.
  • The LMA account is an uncommitted facility, although loans to individuals and trusts may be committed in an amount not to exceed $100,000. The Bank may demand full or partial repayment at any time, and any commitment may be immediately terminated.
  • For fixed-rate advances and term loans, principal payments made in advance of the end of the applicable fixed-rate period, whether voluntarily or involuntarily (due to demand or liquidation by the Bank), may be subject to a substantial breakage fee as determined by the Bank.
  • Some restrictions on the use of LMA account proceeds may apply under the terms of loan documents and applicable laws and regulations. The LMA account cannot be used to purchase marketable securities unless specifically agreed by the Bank.


  • Interest rate risk — As a variable-rate loan, interest rates and payments can change. You should carefully consider these risks before borrowing.
  • HELOC funds may not be used to purchase, carry or trade securities or repay debt incurred to purchase, carry or trade securities.


Before opening a margin account, you should carefully review the terms governing margin loans. For Individual Investor Accounts, these terms are contained in the Margin Lending Program Client Agreement. For all other accounts, the terms are in your account agreement and disclosures. It is important that you fully understand the risks involved in using margin. These risks include the following:

  • You can lose more funds than you deposit in the margin account. A decline in the value of securities that are purchased on margin may require you to provide additional funds to use to avoid the forced sale of those securities or other securities or assets in your account(s).
  • We can force the sale of securities or other assets in your account(s). If the equity in your account falls below the maintenance margin requirements or Merrill’s higher “house” requirements, we can sell the securities or other assets in any of your accounts held by us to cover the margin deficiency. You also will be responsible for any shortfall in the account after such a sale.
  • We can sell your securities or other assets without contacting you. Some investors mistakenly believe that they must be contacted for a margin call to be valid, and that securities or other assets in their accounts cannot be liquidated to meet the call unless they are contacted first. This is not the case. We will attempt to notify you of margin calls, but we are not required to do so. Even if we have contacted you and provided a specific date by which you can meet a margin call, we can still take necessary steps to protect our financial interests, including immediately selling the securities or other assets without notice to you.
  • You are not entitled to choose which securities or other assets in your account(s) are liquidated or sold to meet a margin call. Because the securities or other assets are collateral for the margin loan, we have the right to decide which securities or other assets to sell in order to protect our interests.
  • We can increase our “house” maintenance margin requirements at any time and are not required to provide you advance written notice. These changes in our policy may take effect immediately and may result in the issuance of a maintenance margin call. Your failure to satisfy the call may cause us to liquidate or sell securities in your account(s).
  • You are not entitled to an extension of time on a margin call. While an extension of time to meet margin requirements may be available to you under certain conditions, you do not have a right to the extension.

Connect with a Merrill Private Wealth Advisor.

1 Before taking out any mortgage or line of credit, borrowers should consult their tax advisor to understand the implications of each of their options.

2 The Loan Management Account (LMA account) is a demand line of credit provided by Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. Equal Opportunity Lender. The LMA account requires a brokerage account at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and sufficient eligible collateral to support a minimum credit facility size of $100,000. All securities are subject to credit approval and Bank of America, N.A. may change its collateral maintenance requirements at any time. Securities-based financing involves special risks and is not for everyone. When considering a securities-based loan, consideration should be given to individual requirements, portfolio composition and risk tolerance, as well as capital gains, portfolio performance expectations and investment time horizon. The securities or other assets in any collateral account may be sold to meet a collateral call without notice to the client, the client is not entitled to an extension of time on the collateral call and the client is not entitled to choose which securities or other assets will be sold. The client can lose more funds than deposited in such collateral account. The LMA account is uncommitted and Bank of America, N.A. may demand full repayment at any time. A complete description of the loan terms can be found within the LMA account agreement. Clients should consult their own independent tax and legal advisors. Some restrictions may apply to purpose loans and not all managed accounts are eligible as collateral. All applications for LMA accounts are subject to approval by Bank of America, N.A. For fixed-rate and term advances, principal payments made prior to the due date will be subject to a breakage fee.

Merrill, its affiliates and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

Banking, mortgage and home equity products offered by Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Home Icon for Equal Housing Lender Equal Housing Lender. 

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