Bethpage Federal Credit Union traces its roots back to 1941 and currently serves more than 390,000 members. Headquartered in Bethpage, N.Y., the credit union offers competitive interest rates and fees on HELOCs.
As a credit union, Bethpage is owned by its members and can offer better service than banks and other lenders. If you’re considering getting a HELOC, or home equity line of credit, through Bethpage, here’s what you need to know.
If you’re currently a member of Bethpage Federal Credit Union or want to become one, here are highlights of what the lender has to offer with its HELOC:
- Offers HELOCs from $10,000 up to $2 million
- Minimum credit score to qualify is 650
- Anyone can join the credit union
- HELOCs are available in 49 states (not available in Texas)
- Maximum combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio of up to 85 percent for all serviced states
- HELOCs come with terms of 30 years
- Borrowers can convert some or all of their HELOC balance to a fixed-rate loan
Pros and cons
A Bethpage Federal Credit Union HELOC may be a good option if you live in a state where the lender offers the product, and its features fit your needs. Here are some benefits and drawbacks to consider before you apply.
- Competitive rates: As of June 2019, the lender offers a fixed interest rate starting at 3.99 percent APR for the first year, then a variable rate as low as 5.50 percent APR after that on HELOCs of $500,000 or less. If you borrow more than $500,000, only the higher variable rate applies. The average industry HELOC rate is 7.32 percent, as of late June 2019, according to Bankrate.
- Low costs: If you borrow $500,000 or less on your HELOC, Bethpage will cover the closing costs for you. If you borrow more, the lender promises low costs.
- No restrictive membership requirements: While Bethpage Federal Credit Union primarily serves the Northeast, anyone can join by opening a savings account and depositing $5.
- No home equity loan option: While you can convert some or all of your HELOC to a fixed-rate loan option, there’s no separate home equity loan product you can apply for from the start.
- Not available in all states: Bethpage does not offer HELOCs in Texas.
Bethpage Federal Credit Union offers mortgage loans, refinance loans and HELOCs. If you’re applying for a HELOC, you can borrow between $10,000 and $2 million, depending on your needs, giving you plenty of options if you have a high-value home with a lot of equity built up.
Just keep in mind that the maximum CLTV is 85 percent. During the draw period, you’ll pay interest only for 10 years, then enter the principal and interest repayment period of 20 years after that. The total loan period is 30 years.
To qualify, borrowers are required to have hazard insurance, which is typically included in your homeowner’s insurance policy. In some cases, you might also need flood insurance.
There are no closing costs if you borrow $500,000 or less. However, you’ll need to repay the closing costs you would’ve paid if you close your HELOC within 36 months.
Bethpage offers a fixed interest rate for one year then a variable interest rate after that. However, you have the option to convert some or all of your current balance to a fixed-rate loan with a five-, 10- or 20-year repayment period. However, your term on one of these loans cannot exceed the maturity date on your HELOC.
To convert, you need to draw at least $10,000, and you can have up to three fixed-rate loan balances at a time.
If your HELOC is more than $500,000, you can qualify for a lower rate if you take an initial draw of at least $25,000 and maintain that balance for a year, and set up automatic payments on your HELOC from a Bethpage personal checking or savings account.
To qualify for a Bethpage HELOC, you need to become a member, which just requires opening a savings account with $5. You also need to have a credit score of 650 or higher and own property in an eligible state, excluding Texas.
How to apply
If you’re interested in applying for a Bethpage HELOC, you have two options. The first is called a “quick apply” and takes just a couple of minutes. You’ll provide your name, phone number, email address, loan amount requested and estimated home value. A loan specialist will call you within 24 hours to talk about your options.
The other option is filling out a full application online, which can take up to 30 minutes. To do this, you’ll share information about your property and the amount you’re requesting and the reason for the loan.
You’ll also provide information about yourself (and your co-applicant, if applicable), including date of birth, Social Security number and other personal data, your financial information and more. Then you’ll read the disclosures on the loan, review your application and submit it. You’ll then hear from a loan specialist at Bethpage with a decision.
If you’re interested in applying with Bethpage Federal Credit Union, start by visiting the lender’s website to get the most up-to-date information on its HELOC product. Then start the application process directly online.
If you have any questions, you can send a message through the website and get a call or email with an answer. You can also call 855-977-0237 or, if you live near a branch, you can stop by.
Before you apply, though, take the time to compare Bethpage’s offering with other HELOC lenders. This process can take time, but it can ensure that you get the best deal for your situation.