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Citizens Bank: 2023 Home Equity Review

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At a glance

4.7
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
  • Availability
    Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5

About Citizens Bank

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    HELOC: Starting at $17,500 GoalBuilder HELOC: $5,000 – $25,000

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • Rates

    Repayment terms

    10-year draw period and 15-year repayment term

  • Funds available in

    Not specified

Citizens Bank features

Here's a breakdown of some of the benefits and drawbacks of Citizens Bank home equity loans.

Citizens Bank overview

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 1,200 branches in 14 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 looking to consolidate debt, plan a home renovation or simply need funds for large expenses.

Amplify Credit Union snapshot

Home equity loan types Home equity line of credit (HELOC), including proprietary GoalBuilder HELOC
Loan amounts Starting at $17,500 (or $5,000-$25,000 for GoalBuilder)
Credit score minimum Undisclosed
Repayment terms 10-year draw period and 15-year repayment term
Average time to approval Undisclosed

How Bankrate rates Amplify Credit Union

Bankrate Score 4.7
Affordability 4.6/5
Availability 4.5/5
Borrower experience 5/5

Methodology

To create our Bankrate Scores, we evaluated lenders based on availability, affordability and borrower experience. Availability was assessed based on the minimum loan amount required, time to approval, days to close, minimum draw requirements, minimum credit score requirements and loan types offered. Affordability was assessed based on minimum APR, discounts and promotions offered and associated fees. Borrower experience was assessed based on online application and account availability, customer support, auto payment availability and mobile app availability and ratings.

Benefits

  • There are no closing costs or application fees for a HELOC from Citizens Bank, and you won’t pay an annual fee (normally $50) for the first year. The GoalBuilder HELOC doesn’t impose this fee, nor a prepayment penalty.
  • During the 10-year draw period, you can choose to make interest-only payments or payments that include principal and interest.

Drawbacks

  • You’ll only be able to apply for a HELOC with Citizens Bank if you’re a borrower in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia or Washington, D.C.
  • The bank charges an annual HELOC fee of $50 after your first year.

Types of fees charged

While Citizens Bank doesn’t 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. Its GoalBuilder HELOC doesn’t come with the annual fee or a prepayment penalty.

Home equity loan products offered

Citizens Bank offers a standard HELOC and the GoalBuilder HELOC. Both have variable interest rates.

Among the benefits of the standard HELOC, you can get a 0.25 discount off your rate if you sign up for automatic payments from a Citizens checking account (or auto-withdrawal from any checking account, depending on where you live). The line of credit has a 10-year draw period and a 15-year repayment term. While you can pay both principal and interest during the draw period, you only have to make payments on interest at that time. You’ll need to take out a line for a minimum of $17,500.

The bank’s GoalBuilder HELOC, in contrast, allows you to take out as little as $5,000 and up to $25,000. It has no annual fee or prepayment penalty, but is only available in some states.

How to qualify for a HELOC 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 ratio 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.

You can apply for a HELOC on Citizens Bank’s website or by calling 888-333-1206, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Once you’ve submitted a HELOC application, a loan officer will respond to you within one business day. From there, they’ll provide next steps for your application.