Founded in 1828, Citizens Bank is one of the country’s oldest banks and its 13th largest. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, it has about 1,000 branches and 3,000 ATMs in 11 states in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest.
The bank offers small business banking solutions and wealth management services, in addition to a suite of consumer banking products, like home equity lines. Its home equity line of credit (HELOC) is an option for homeowners who are looking to consolidate debt, planning a home renovation, or simply need funds for upcoming large expenses.
Citizens Bank snapshot
|Loan types offered||HELOC, GoalBuilder HELOC|
|APR range||HELOC: Starting at Prime* -.50%
GoalBuilder: Prime* +3.25% or +3.00% with auto pay from a Citizens checking account
|Loan amount range||HELOC: Starting at $17,500
GoalBuilder HELOC: $5,000 – $25,000
|Minimum credit score required||Not specified|
|Repayment terms||HELOC: 10-year draw period, 15-year repayment period|
|Average time to approval||Not specified|
*Prime rate as reported by The Wall Street Journal’s bank survey, which is based on the federal funds rate set by the Federal Reserve.
There are several benefits to working with Citizens Bank for a home equity loan or line of credit:
- Minimal up-front fees: There are no closing costs or application fees for home equity loans or HELOCs.
- Flexible repayment options: Borrowers can choose between interest-only payments and payments that include principal and interest during a HELOC’s 10-year draw period.
- Convenient application process: You can apply for a HELOC online.
There are also a few drawbacks to consider before choosing Citizens Bank.
- Annual fee: After the first year, HELOCs have a $50 annual fee.
- Limited availability: Citizens Bank limits lending to 18 states and Washington, D.C.: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- Application options: You can apply for a HELOC online, but you must contact a representative to apply for a home equity loan.
Types of fees charged
While Citizens Bank does not charge an application fee or closing costs on HELOCs, it does charge late fees, as well as a $50 annual fee after the first year. It’s GoalBuilder HELOC doesn’t incur a repayment fee or annual fee.
Loan products offered
Citizens Bank offers two home equity products: a standard HELOC and a GoalBuilder HELOC. Rates for standard HELOCs are discounted 0.50 percent with automatic monthly payments from a Citizens Bank checking account.
Citizens Bank’s standard home equity line of credit has a 10-year draw period and a 15-year repayment term with a variable interest rate between 3.0 percent and 21 percent. The APR can never be lower than 2.50 percent. While you can pay on both the principal and interest during the draw period, you only have to make payments on the interest. Loan amounts start at $17,500.
The bank’s GoalBuilder HELOC, which has undisclosed income limits, offers loan amounts from $5,000 to $25,000 and has a rate of 3 percent with auto pay set up.
The GoalBuilder HELOC has no annual fee or prepayment penalty. It’s only available in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
How to qualify for a home equity loan with Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank looks at three main factors when determining eligibility for a HELOC: your credit history (FICO score), your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. The bank doesn’t disclose credit score requirements, but to get the best HELOC rates, you’ll need an LTV of 80 percent or less.
How to get started
During the online application process, you’ll need employment details and the date of birth and Social Security number for you and your co-applicant, if you have one, along with two of your most recent pay stubs. Additionally, you’ll need information on the property, including its current value, the year it was built, the purchase date and price, your current mortgage payment and details on any existing liens. You’ll also need your homeowner’s insurance and property tax information.
Once you’ve submitted a HELOC application online, a Citizens Bank loan originator will respond to you within one business day. From there, they’ll provide next steps for your application
You can apply for a HELOC on Citizens Bank’s website or by calling 888-333-1206. Loan officers are available by phone from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To apply for a home equity loan, you’ll need to speak directly with a loan officer. You can call 888-514-2300, visit your local branch or make a request on the website for a loan officer to call you. Loan officers are available by phone from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
How Bankrate rates Citizens Bank
|Bankrate Score||4.6||Scoring factors|
|Availability||4.4||Low minimum loan amounts but takes 45 days to close|
|Affordability||4.4||Minimum 3.0% APR across all HELOC products with auto-pay discount|
|Customer experience||5||Online access, 7-day customer service and highly rated apps|
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.