Chase is a national bank that offers an array of banking and other financial services. The lender is headquartered in New York City, but offers home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, in 47 states and the District of Columbia.
The lender offers flexible lending amounts and competitive interest rates with discounts for existing Chase customers. But homeowners with fair credit may have a hard time getting approved due to the bank’s higher credit standards. Here’s what to know about Chase HELOCs.
If you’re thinking about getting a HELOC with Chase, here are some lender highlights to consider before you apply:
- Chase offers HELOCs in 47 states and the District of Columbia, excluding Alaska, Hawaii and South Carolina.
- In most states, you can borrow between $25,000 and $500,000.
- Chase allows you to borrow up to a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 80 percent, though your actual LTV depends on your relationship with the bank.
- The lender has a minimum credit score of 680.
- There’s a $50 origination fee and a $50 annual fee.
Pros and cons
- Competitive interest rates: The HELOC has a variable interest rate ranging from 5.50 percent to 8.14 percent APR, and you can convert some or all of your balance to a fixed-rate loan. According to Bankrate, the average HELOC rate is 7.21 percent, as of late-August.
- Low fees: For most people, the only fees you need to worry about include a $50 origination fee and a $50 annual fee. There are no other application fees or closing costs in most cases.
- Interest rate discounts: If you’re an existing Chase customer, you can qualify for up to 0.62 percent in interest rate discounts, which can save you a lot of money over the life of the loan.
- High credit score minimum: Chase has a minimum credit score of 680, which is a bit high compared with some other home equity lenders. If you have fair credit, you may need to look elsewhere.
- High minimum loan amount: In most states, the lowest amount you can borrow is $25,000. If you need less than that, Chase’s HELOC isn’t right for you.
- No interest-only payments: Your monthly payment during the draw period will include both principal and interest — with HELOCs from other lenders you may only have to pay interest during that term.
- No home equity loan: The lender only offers HELOCs. If you prefer a home equity loan with a fixed rate and equal installment payments, you’ll need to apply somewhere else.
Chase offers mortgage loans to new home buyers, as well as mortgage refinance loans and HELOCs to people who already own a home.
You can borrow between $25,000 and $500,000 unless you live in Michigan, where the minimum is $10,000. The amount you can borrow also depends on how much you currently owe on your home relative to its value. Chase has an LTV limit of 80 percent, though that can vary based on your relationship with the bank.
The HELOC has a 10-year draw period and a 20-year repayment term after that.
A Chase HELOC has a variable interest rate ranging from 5.50 percent to 8.14 percent APR. However, you can choose to convert some or all of your balance to a fixed-rate loan if you want to avoid interest rate fluctuations.
Repayment terms on the fixed-rate option range from 12 months to the remaining term of the HELOC. You don’t have to pay a fee to convert to a fixed interest rate. However, there is a 1 percent fee if you cancel the lock more than 45 days after the lock date.
The bank allows you to get an interest rate discount of up to 0.62 percent on your line of credit, including:
- 0.25 percent if you have a qualified Chase checking, savings or investment account
- 0.25 percent when you provide contracts or bids for an upcoming $30,000 home improvement project, or you withdraw $30,000 at closing
- 0.12 percent when you make automatic payments from your Chase checking account
Chase charges a $50 origination fee and a $50 annual fee. There are no other closing costs unless you live in certain states, where you might be on the hook for government taxes or fees.
Chase has a minimum credit score of 680. You also can’t have certain negative items on your credit report, including a recent bankruptcy, foreclosure, repossession, mortgage delinquency and more.
The maximum debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to qualify is 50 percent, though you may need to meet additional requirements if your DTI is above 43 percent.
If you don’t qualify for a HELOC on your own, you may improve your approval odds by applying with a creditworthy co-applicant.
Eligible properties include single-family residences, attached single-family residences (including condominiums), cooperative shares and two-unit residences.
How to apply
You can apply for a HELOC online, via phone at 888-342-4273 or by visiting a local Chase branch. If you apply online, you’ll share information about yourself, your property and your desired loan amount and purpose.
After you apply, Chase will request that you upload certain documents to prove your income, such as your pay stubs, W2s, tax returns, investment income and other income sources.
After you submit your application and submit your supporting documents, it typically takes 45 days to close. After you close on the loan, you’ll get access to your initial draw funds on the fourth business day after closing.
A Chase HELOC may be a good fit if you’re an existing Chase customer and can benefit from the bank’s discounts. Before you apply, though, be sure to shop around and compare what Chase has to offer to what you can qualify for with other home equity lenders.
If you ultimately decide on Chase, apply online through the bank’s website or one of the other methods it offers. If you have any questions during the online application process, you can call 888-342-4273. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST, Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST.
You can also just walk into your local Chase branch to speak with a loan officer directly.