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News Every Day |

Citizens Bank Home Equity Review

As a homeowner, tapping into your property’s available equity can be a way to fund home renovation projects, cover significant expenses, purchase another property, or give yourself a cash cushion in an emergency. 

Citizens Bank is one financial institution that offers home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) for homeowners with available equity; here’s a look at what these products provide.

Citizens Bank logo
on Citizens Bank’s website
Editorial Rating

Editorial Rating

What we like:

Take out a line of credit up to $2 million with many fees waived.

Rates (APR)Starting at 6.00%
Loan amounts$17,500 to $2 million
Repayment terms15 years
Minimum credit scoreNot disclosed
See how Citizens Bank compares to other HELOC lenders.

In this review:

How does Citizens Bank help me access my home equity?

Two primary types of products you can use to tap into your home’s available equity are a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and a home equity loan. A home equity loan provides a lump sum that you pay back in equal monthly installments. A HELOC gives you an open line of credit you can pull from, similar to a credit card, during a defined draw period. 

Citizens Bank offers HELOCs to qualified homeowners but not lump-sum home equity loans. With a Citizens Bank HELOC, you can borrow between $17,500 and $2 million against the equity in your primary or secondary home, as long as the property is in one of the 18 states Citizens Bank services (listed below) or the District of Columbia.

This HELOC offers a draw period of 10 years, during which you can pull from the line of credit as needed, up to your total maximum. You can opt to make payments of interest only or principal plus interest if you withdraw funds. You can also repay the borrowed amount and free up your line of credit for future borrowing.

Once the draw period ends, you can no longer borrow against the HELOC without renewing the line of credit. You’ll then enter the 15-year repayment period of your HELOC and will be responsible for paying down the borrowed amount plus interest.

Citizens Bank HELOC terms
Rates (APR)As low as 6.00% variable
Rate discountsAutopay discount available to checking account customers in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Loan amounts$17,500 to $2 million
Draw period10 years
Repayment period15 years
Max. LTV80% (85% in Michigan)
Min. credit scoreNot disclosed
Min. incomeNot disclosed
Fees$50 annual fee (waived the first year)

Pros and cons of a Citizens Bank HELOC

Pros

  • Borrow up to $2 million against your home’s equity (or as little as $17,500)
  • No closing costs, application fees, or appraisal expenses. 
  • Citizens waives annual fees for the first year.
  • Can apply online, by phone, or in person at Citizens Bank.
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 85% in Michigan and 80% in all other eligible states.

Cons

  • Not available in all states; only in 18 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Repayment term is limited to 15 years. (Many other lenders’ maximum repayment terms are 20 – 25 years.)
  • Only HELOCs—no lump-sum home equity loan option.
  • Limited customer ratings available.

If you’re unsure whether Citizens Bank is the right fit for your HELOC needs, consider other institutions. Check out our guide to the best HELOC lenders for more recommendations.

What do Citizens Bank’s customers say about the company?

SourceRatingNumber of reviews
Better Business Bureau1.04 out of 5 stars202
Trustpilot1.30 out of 5 stars187
Ratings collected on November 1, 2022

Before choosing a bank, it’s wise to see what customers say about their experience. 

One trusted platform is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). When looking at BBB ratings, two aspects to consider are the business’s accreditation and consumer reviews or complaints. 

Through the BBB, Citizens Bank has an A+ accredited rating, the highest possible. It has 202 customer reviews listed, resulting in a rating of 1.04 out of 5 stars. The BBB reviews of Citizens Bank primarily relate to the bank’s checking and savings accounts, so it’s challenging to gauge HELOC customers’ satisfaction with this lender.

Another source is Trustpilot, which allows customers to rank their experience with a business between one and five stars. Citizens Bank has just 187 Trustpilot reviews at the time of writing. Like the BBB, many relate to customers’ experiences with checking accounts and in-branch banking services.

Do I qualify for a HELOC from Citizens Bank?

Not all homeowners will qualify for a home equity line of credit through Citizens Bank. Those who do may access as much as $2 million in home equity throughout a 10-year HELOC draw period.

To qualify for a Citizens Bank HELOC, you must:

  • Borrow against a primary, owner-occupied home with one to four units, a condominium, or a secondary property. Investment properties, mobile homes, co-ops, manufactured homes, and other non-owner-occupied properties are ineligible.
  • Plan to take out between $17,500 and $2 million from the property’s current equity, up to a maximum LTV of 80% (or 85% in Michigan).
  • Meet certain income and credit score requirements (not disclosed and may vary by location).
  • Own a property located in one of the following:
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Kentucky
    • Massachusetts
    • Maryland
    • Maine
    • Michigan
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • New York
    • Ohio
    • Pennsylvania
    • Rhode Island
    • Virginia
    • Vermont
    • Washington, D.C.

If your home was listed for sale, it needs to be off the market for a minimum of 90 days before you can apply for a Citizens Bank HELOC. 

How do I apply with Citizens Bank?

Depending on your location and preferences, you can apply for a HELOC through Citizens Bank online, by phone, or in person at a local brick-and-mortar branch. 

If you apply online, the process is straightforward:

  1. Provide Citizens Bank with your name, email address, phone number, marital status, and property address.
  2. Enter your estimated home value, current mortgage payment (if applicable), property type, and how the property is used.
  3. Choose the amount you wish to borrow against the property, your purpose for the line of credit, and your payment preference during the draw period (interest only or principal and interest).
  4. Input your Social Security number, date of birth, income, and optional demographic information.
  5. Answer questions about your property: current mortgage balance, insurance, and property tax information.

You’ll need to submit your application to get loan options and interest rate offers. This requires a hard credit inquiry; Citizens Bank does not allow for pre-qualifications with a soft credit check, so there is no way to rate-shop without affecting your credit report.

How does Citizens Bank determine how much I can borrow?

Several factors determine how much you can borrow using a HELOC from Citizens Bank:

  • Your current home equity: You can only borrow against your home’s equity, or the difference between its market value and any remaining mortgage balances against the property. 
  • The lender’s HELOC limit: At Citizens Bank, you can borrow between $17,500 and $2 million against your home’s equity with a HELOC.
  • The lender’s LTV limit: Regardless of how much equity you have in your property, you can’t borrow all of it. Citizens Bank will give you a line of credit for up to 80% of your property’s loan-to-value ratio (LTV), or 85% if you’re in Michigan.
  • Your credit score and income: Though Citizens Bank doesn’t disclose its income or credit score limits for borrowers, these factors affect your HELOC limits. The higher your credit score and income, and the lower your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), the more you may be allowed to borrow.

What does the appraisal process look like?

A home appraisal may not be necessary depending on your home’s estimated value, projected equity, and other factors. Citizens Bank will let you know whether an appraisal is required once you submit your application, but you won’t need to pay appraisal fees either way.

Does Citizens Bank charge any fees?

Fees are limited on HELOCs from Citizens Bank. The annual fee of $50, whether you borrow from your line of credit, is waived for the first year. Other fees—including appraisal fees, closing costs, and application fees—do not apply.

Does Citizens Bank have a customer service team?

If you have questions, want to start a HELOC application, or are curious about the status of your application, you can contact Citizens Bank’s customer service team in the following ways:

  • By phone: Citizens Bank HELOC customers can call the Consumer Finance Servicing department at 800-340-5626. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern.
  • In person: You can request an appointment online or visit your local branch to start an in-person application or to get more information about your HELOC options.

The post Citizens Bank Home Equity Review appeared first on LendEDU.









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