Chase Home Equity Loan Review
Chase is a well-respected bank that offers a HELOC product without an application fee. However, there is no Chase home equity loan, and you do need to pay an annual maintenance fee on the HELOC.
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What we like:
|Variable APR||5.75% to 8.14%|
|Loan Amounts||$50,000 – $500,000|
|Minimum Credit Score||680|
Chase is a full-service bank, offering a variety of products and services including bank accounts mortgages, credit cards, and personal loans. The bank was founded in 1799 and is one of the oldest banks in the U.S. as well as one of the largest banks in the country. It’s also one of the largest home equity line of credit lenders.
Home equity lines of credit allow you to tap into the equity in your home to help finance a big expense such as home improvement, debt consolidation, or medical bills. A Chase home equity loan or HELOC might help you do this with lower rates than you’d get with credit cards and even some personal loans.
In this review:
Getting a Chase HELOC
A Chase home equity line of credit allows you to tap into the equity you’ve built in your home, withdrawing a flexible amount of money at reasonable rates. Any HELOC acts similarly to a credit card with a revolving line of credit. You can borrow up to your limit, which is based on your home value. And, as you make payments, you free up new credit. This allows you to continue to draw on your home’s value without applying for a new loan.
When applying for a Chase home equity credit line, you do need to meet certain requirements. The most important requirements involve:
- No more than 80% loan-to-value ratio
- A credit score of at least 680
- DTI of no more than 50%
- Live in the home you’re using as collateral
While there are some exceptions to these requirementss, Chase will consider them on a case-by-case basis. Understanding that you need relatively good credit and that you’ve build up enough equity in your home to accomplish your goals are the biggest things to consider as you move forward.
You can apply for a Chase home equity line of credit by submitting an application online, calling the mortgage hotline, or by going into a Chase branch. You provide all the documentation needed to prove your home’s value, your income, and your credit. It takes about 45 days to go through the entire process and close on your Chase HELOC — although it might take a little bit longer depending on the situation.
The Basics: Chase HELOC Rates & Fees
Chase home equity loan rates vary based on various factors including your credit score, how much you borrow, what you owe on your home, and where you’re located.
There are also some other details you should know about the terms of a Chase home equity line of credit including the following:
- Standard Variable APR range: 5.75% to 8.14%
- Fixed APR: It’s possible to switch from a variable rate to a fixed APR later on all or a portion of the Chase HELOC
- Credit limit: Depends on your home’s value and your LTV ratio
- Application fee: $0
- Origination fee: $50
- Annual fee: $50
Remember, the Chase home equity loan rates and terms you receive will depend on your financial and credit situation and your home’s value.
When you use a Chase home equity product, you know that you’re getting access to the staying power and expertise of one of the oldest and largest banks in the United States. Additionally, there are benefits that come if you’re already a Chase customer and you can also potentially benefit from a tax deduction if you use the Chase HELOC for home improvements.
Here are some of the other benefits of a Chase home equity line of credit.
More Flexible Than Home Equity Loans
Taking advantage of a HELOC can help you finance big purchases without incurring costly bills such as credit card debt. There isn’t a Chase home equity loan product beyond a HELOC, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
A “regular” home equity loan gives you a set amount of money in a lump sum when you take out your loan and requires you to apply for a new loan if you need more funding. However, a home equity line of credit allows you to keep borrowing without re-applying. This can be a big advantage if you need more money down the road.
Chase Fixed-Rate Lock Option
You can choose to freeze your rate on a portion or all of your Chase home equity line of credit, but there are conditions:
- Minimum lock amount: $1,000
- Maximum lock amount: Up to 95% of your Chase HELOC
- Minimum lock term: 12 months
- Maximum lock term: Depends on remaining HELOC term
- All locks must be paid in full not later than two months before the final maturity date
You do have the option to cancel a lock within 45 days for no fee. If you cancel after 45 days, though, and before the lock term ends, you’ll be charged 1% of the original amount.
If you’re a Chase customer already, you can get a discount off your standard variable APR. You can get a discount of up to 0.62% off depending on the products and services you use. Here are the discounts you could be eligible for:
- 0.25% discount with a qualified Chase saving, checking, or investment account
- 0.12% discount when you make payments to your Chase home equity account from a Chasechecking account
- 0.25% discount if you withdraw $30,000 cash at closing or if you can show $30,000 in bid contracts for home improvements
Getting these discounts on Chase HELOC rates can make a difference in the final amount you pay over the life of your loan.
Home Equity Calculators
You can test out a number of scenarios and estimate how much you could borrow by using one of the calculators provided by Chase. These calculators include tools to estimate your home’s value and your loan-to-value ratio, as well as to help you figure out whether a Chase HELOC can assist with debt consolidation or other financial goals.
You can easily apply online, without the need to visit the local branch. However, it’s also nice to know that you can make a phone call or visit a branch if you get stuck or need a little extra help.
A Chase home equity loan product isn’t going to be right for everyone. There are some downsides that might mean a Chase home equity line of credit isn’t worth it to you. For example, you might end up incurring fees and you could potentially find a better deal elsewhere. Before you make your choice, check online customer reviews to get an idea of how others have been treated.
No Chase Home Equity Loans
While you can get a Chase HELOC, there isn’t a more traditional home equity loan option. It’s possible to do a cash-out refinance, but that’s not the same thing.
Even though fees are pretty low — you’ll owe just a $50 origination fee and a $50 annual fee — some lenders, such as Bank of America, don’t charge these fees.
Additionally, if you choose the lock option and you decide to cancel it before the term ends, you might end up paying a fairly hefty fee.
Anytime you get a home equity product, you run the risk of losing your home. Any HELOC uses your house as collateral so if you default on your monthly payments at any time during your repayment period the lender could come after your home. It’s important to realize that your most valuable asset is at risk, so you don’t want to use a Chase home equity line of credit to finance irresponsible spending.
In the end, a Chase home equity product isn’t a bad deal. You can get flexible funding for a number of different financial goals at a reasonable price. However, it’s important to double-check the fine print and shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your situation.
Author: Miranda Marquit