Citi: 2020 Home Equity Review

Citi’s roots date as far back as 1812. It’s now one of the world’s largest financial institutions, offering a number of consumer-facing products, including home equity loans and lines of credit, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, banking products and investing products.

Headquartered in New York, the bank operates nearly 700 branches in the U.S. and more than 1,800 overseas. The national lender offers home equity products in every state but Alaska.

Consumers can apply for a home equity loan or home equity line of credit, or HELOC, from Citi online, by phone or in person at a branch.

Citi snapshot

Loan types offered Home equity loan, HELOC
APR range Home equity loan: 6.59% to 8.79% (with autopay)
HELOC: 4.09% to 6.99% (with autopay)
Loan amount range Home equity loan: $25,000 to $300,000
HELOC: $10,000 to $1,000,000
Minimum credit score required Not specified
Repayment terms Home equity loan: 5 to 30 years
HELOC: 10-year draw period, 20-year repayment period
Average time to approval Not specified

Benefits

Here are some of Citi’s biggest benefits:

  • High borrowing limits: Borrowers are able to take out up to $1 million with Citi’s home equity line of credit and up to $300,000 with its home equity loans.
  • No application or closing cost fees for HELOCs: Citi doesn’t charge any application fees or closing costs on its home equity lines of credit or home loans, although you may receive a discount if you elect to pay closing costs.
  • Rate discount opportunities: Customers who opt to automatically deduct payments from a Citibank deposit account can qualify for a rate discount. Citi doesn’t specify how much of a rate discount is available.
  • Interest-only payment option on HELOCs: Citi offers an interest-only payment option during the draw period on its home equity lines of credit.

Drawbacks

Citi isn’t the right option for everyone. Here are a few of its downsides:

  • Minimum loan amount: Home equity loans from Citi have a minimum borrowing limit of $25,000. That may be too much for some borrowers. HELOCs have a lower minimum of $10,000.
  • Annual fee: Citi charges an annual fee of $50 for its HELOCs during the draw period unless you are a Citigold or Citi Priority customer at the time of account opening. Many other lenders have begun waiving all fees, including annual fees.

Types of fees charged

There are no application or origination fees for HELOC products or home loans. While the lender doesn’t charge closing costs for its home equity lines of credit, customers who opt to pay them receive a rate reduction. Closing costs for HELOCs through Citi can range from approximately $680 to $32,000. In New York, that range increases to $680 to $38,000.

Citi’s HELOC product has an annual fee of $50 during the draw period, unless the property is located in Texas. But no annual fee is charged if you’re a Citigold or Citi Priority customer, or if you’re an employee of Citigroup or its subsidiaries.

It may charge an early closure release fee if you close your HELOC or home equity account within 36 months of opening an account to recover any costs associated with originating your loan.

Loan products offered

In addition to its mortgages and refinance options, Citi offers competitive home equity loans and two different types of HELOCs.

Home equity loan

Fixed-rate home equity loans from Citi start at 6.59 percent APR. In order to receive the lowest rates, borrowers must be Citibank customers with a Citigold Account Package or Citi Priority Account package, be enrolled in auto deduct and have an “excellent” credit score.

Customers can borrow $25,000 to $300,000 with repayment terms ranging from five to 30 years.

Citi will order an appraisal to determine the value of your property before approving you for a loan. You can decide at closing how to receive your funds — by wire transfer, direct deposit or check. Funds are held for three days after closing.

HELOC

Citibank offers two types of HELOCs: one with a principal and interest draw period and one with an interest-only draw period.

You need $200,000 or more in personal assets with Citi in order to be eligible for the interest-only draw period. The requirement moves up to $1 million if your assets are not held at Citi.

Both types of HELOC offer variable rates as low as 4.09 percent APR. As with Citi’s home equity loan product, borrowers must be Citibank customers with a Citigold Account Package or Citi Priority Account package and be enrolled in auto deduct in order to receive the lowest rates. Customers must also take out an initial draw of at least $25,000 and close on a line amount of at least $100,000 for the most attractive rates.

Lines of $10,000 to $1 million are available for Citi’s HELOC products with a 10-year draw period and a 20-year repayment period.

How to qualify for a home equity loan with Citibank

While Citi doesn’t advertise its eligibility requirements, you will likely need good to excellent credit to be approved for a home loan or line of credit from Citi, as well as a low debt-to-income ratio.

Applicants will also need to provide proof of financial information, go through a home appraisal and submit other documents at the lender’s request.

View home equity rates

Tap into the value you have in your home to get the funds you need.

How to get started

You can apply for Citi home equity product online, by phone at (877) 362-9100 or by visiting a branch. Here’s what the home equity process looks like through Citi:

  1. Apply online, by phone or in person.
  2. Submit required documentation to the lender, including tax statements, pay stubs, bank statements and details about the property you own.
  3. Get an appraisal and title report. Citibank will order an appraisal to determine the value of your property. It will also order a title report to verify that you own the property. Citi uses a local and approved licensed appraiser to complete the appraisal of your property.
  4. If you are approved, Citi next verifies your employment and homeowners insurance.
  5. Close on your home equity loan. You’ll need to present a photo ID and sign paperwork.
  6. Receive your funds.

Current customers can also log in to their online account to chat with Citi.

How Bankrate rates Citi

Overall Score 4.3
Availability 3.3
Affordability 4.5
Customer Experience 5.0

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.