Fifth Third Bank: 2020 Home Equity Review

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Fifth Third Bank is a full-service bank that can trace its roots back to 1858 in Cincinnati, Ohio, where it is still headquartered. The lender provides home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) in 10 states, plus home equity loans to existing Fifth Third customers.

Instead of automating the application process like newer online lenders, the bank assigns a loan specialist to each application to look at all of the options available and find the best solution for the customer.

Fifth Third Bank snapshot

Loan types offered Home equity loan, HELOC
APR range Home equity loan: Not specified
HELOC: 3.15% to 10.20% (with autopay)
Loan amount range Home equity loan: Not specified
HELOC: $10,000 to $500,000
Minimum credit score required Not specified
Repayment terms HELOC: 10-year draw period, 20-year repayment period
Average time to approval Not specified

Benefits

A Fifth Third HELOC may be a good option for an existing customer of the bank. Here are some of its biggest benefits:

  • Competitive rates: As of late May 2020, the average HELOC rate is 5.41 percent. With Fifth Third, you may qualify for an APR as low as 3.15 percent.
  • Fixed-rate option: If you prefer a HELOC over a home equity loan but don’t want the uncertainty of a variable interest rate, you can lock in a fixed rate at any time — just pay a $95 fee to convert some or all of your balance and unlock it at any time for free.
  • Flexible borrowing: Borrowers can get anywhere between $10,000 and $500,000 with Fifth Third, giving you a lot of flexibility for your needs.
  • Comprehensive customer service: If you need help at any time during the process, you can get help online, over the phone or at your local branch. Whether you prefer in-person service or help from a distance, you get your pick.

Drawbacks

Before signing up for a loan with Fifth Third, make sure to consider some of its drawbacks:

  • Not fully online: Unlike many lenders, Fifth Third does not have an online application; you’ll have to call the bank or visit a branch in order to apply. You may also have to visit a branch before closing, which makes the process of getting a home equity loan or HELOC much less convenient than with other lenders.
  • Limited availability: HELOCs are only available to borrowers in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia. Borrowers must also hold an eligible checking or savings account with the bank.
  • Annual fee: Fifth Third has a $65 annual fee after the first year. You can get the fee waived, however, if you’re an eligible Preferred checking customer.

Types of fees charged

Fifth Third doesn’t charge any closing costs. There is, however, an annual fee of $65 after the first year, although eligible Preferred checking customers with the bank can get that waived. Also, if you want to switch your interest rate from variable to fixed, you can do so by paying a $95 fee.

Loan products offered

Fifth Third Bank offers various mortgage loans, as well as HELOCs and home equity loans. HELOCs can range from $10,000 to $500,000. You’ll make interest-only payments for the first 10-year draw period, then payments on interest and principal for the following 20-year repayment period.

When you use the debit card tied to your HELOC, you’ll earn one rewards point for every $3 you spend. You’ll also get a rewards bonus of 5,300 points after your first qualifying purchase. Points are worth 1 cent apiece and can be redeemed for cash back.

Fifth Third does advertise a home equity loan, which is also available only to people with an existing Fifth Third checking or savings account. However, Fifth Third does not disclose any loan amounts or APRs for this product.

How to qualify for a home equity loan with Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third doesn’t disclose any of its eligibility requirements, though typically for home equity products you’ll want to have a credit score in the mid 600s or above. Lenders will also typically only accept borrowers with a debt-to-income ratio below 43 percent.

You can only apply if you live in one of the 10 states where Fifth Third operates: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia. Additionally, prospective borrowers must hold an eligible checking or savings account with the bank.

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 start the application process for a Fifth Third HELOC or home equity loan over the phone at 1-866-671-5353 or at a local branch. You’ll share the purpose for the loan, how much you want to borrow and a little information about the property. You’ll also need to provide your name and contact information.

Before you settle on the lender, however, be sure to shop around and compare rates and terms from several home equity lenders.

How Bankrate rates Fifth Third Bank

Overall Score 4.1
Availability 3.6
Affordability 4.9
Customer Experience 3.8

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.