Many or all companies we feature compensate us. Compensation and editorial research influence how products appear on a page. Home Equity Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union Home Equity Review Updated Jun 19, 2023   |   10-min read Reviewed by Stephanie Colestock Reviewed by Stephanie Colestock Expertise: Loans, insurance, real estate investing, credit, debt Stephanie is an experienced personal finance writer with more than a decade of experience as a freelancer. Learn more about Stephanie Colestock San Antonio-based Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU) provides banking services, loans, insurance, credit cards, investment portfolios, and home equity products to eligible members. This not-for-profit credit union was founded on Randolph Air Force Base and is owned by its million-plus members in Texas and worldwide. RBFCU operates more than 60 branches in Texas, and it provides home equity loans and lines of credit (HELOCs) to eligible members who own property in the Lone Star State. Here’s a look at what Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union offers, who is eligible for membership, and how much you may be able to borrow against your home’s equity. In this review: How does RBFCU help me access my home equity?Pros and cons of an RBFCU HELOC or home equity loanWhat do RBFCU’s customers say?Do I qualify for a HELOC or home equity loan from RBFCU?How do I apply with RBFCU?How does RBFCU determine how much I can borrow?What does the appraisal process look like?Does RBFCU charge any fees?Does RBFCU have a customer service team? How does RBFCU help me access my home equity? RBFCU allows eligible homeowners to borrow as much as 80% of their home’s total value with the help of a home equity loan or HELOC. As long as you have equity—your home’s current value is greater than what you owe on the property—you may be eligible to tap into it. These home equity products are only available to RBFCU members. You can qualify for membership through your employer, military affiliation, place of worship, and more. It takes less than 15 minutes to apply. The timeline to close on an RBFCU home equity product is around 45 days, putting funds in your hand in a few weeks. RBFCU home equity line of credit A Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union HELOC allows you to borrow a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of up to 80% on your home. RBFCU doesn’t specify a loan maximum; your limit depends on your home value, your creditworthiness, and what you owe on the property. With a HELOC, you’ll take out an open line of credit against your primary home’s equity. You can then pull from this line of credit any time during the 10-year draw period. Once that draw period ends, your repayment period begins. You cannot withdraw more funds during this 15-year period, which you’ll use to satisfy any outstanding balance. With an RBFCU HELOC, your minimum draw (or withdrawal) amount is $4,000. Interest rates are often variable, increasing or decreasing over time. Your minimum payment due depends on your interest rate and outstanding balance. During the draw period, the estimated monthly payment per $10,000 borrowed is $140 if you qualify for the lowest rate available in November 2022 (6.564%). RBFCU HELOC termsRates (APR)Starting at 6.564%Rate discountsNone disclosedLoan amountsUp to 80% of your home’s appraised valueDraw period10 yearsRepayment period15 yearsMaximum LTV80%Minimum credit scoreNot disclosedMinimum incomeNot disclosedFeesMinimal closing costs, and no application or appraisal fees for loans under $175,000 RBFCU home equity loan With a home equity loan from Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, you can borrow a single lump sum against your home’s available equity. You’ll pay this installment loan monthly over several years (four, seven, 10, 15, 20, or 30). Rates are as low as 4.961%, depending on the repayment term you choose. As with HELOCs, RBFCU allows you to borrow up to 80% of your primary home’s appraised value, but the actual dollar limit depends on factors including your credit score, current debt obligation, and remaining mortgage balance. For loans up to $175,000, you’ll pay no appraisal or application fees. You can expect to pay higher upfront costs for loans over $175,000. RBFCU will disclose the exact amounts during the underwriting process. RBFCU home equity loan termsRates (APR)Starting at 4.961% Rate discountsNone disclosedLoan amountsUp to 80% of your home’s valueRepayment periods4, 7, 10, 15, 20, or 30 yearsMaximum LTV80%Minimum credit scoreNot disclosedMinimum incomeNot disclosedFeesMinimal closing costs, and no application or appraisal fees for loans under $175,000 Pros and cons of an RBFCU HELOC or home equity loan Pros Borrow up to 80% of your home’s value Competitive rates on both product options Wide range of repayment terms on home equity loans Cons Only available in Texas Membership is required Borrowers pay some closing costs Only offered on primary homes What do RBFCU’s customers say about the company? SourceRatingNumber of reviewsBetter Business Bureau1.36 out of 5 stars50 Ratings collected on November 30, 2022. Researching a lender’s products, services, and company history is an important first step. Next, it’s wise to see what customers say about their own experiences with the company. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one of the most reliable consumer review and industry rating organizations. Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union is not accredited through the BBB, but it has issued the credit union an A+ rating. However, between the 50 consumer reviews posted on the platform, RBFCU has a poor rating of 1.36 out of 5 stars on BBB. Most reviews center around negative experiences with customer service representatives, and many are from banking customers, not home equity borrowers. Do I qualify for a HELOC or home equity loan from RBFCU? Qualifying for a home equity loan or line of credit through RBFCU starts with becoming a member. There are many ways (RBFCU’s website claims “more than 4,000”) to qualify for membership, including military service, attending certain schools, working for specific companies, or RBFCU member referral. To take out a home equity product with RBFCU, you must borrow against a primary home in Texas. Secondary homes, vacation homes, or investment properties are not eligible. You can borrow against your home if you have equity established in the property. Since RBFCU allows you to borrow as much as 80% of your home’s total value (minus any other liens, such as an outstanding mortgage balance), you’ll need a minimum of 20% in available equity. Find out how to calculate your home equity. Equity requirements may vary depending on your credit score, income, and other factors. RBFCU doesn’t publish its specific credit score or minimum income limits. How do I apply with RBFCU? To apply for an RBFCU home equity loan or HELOC, you can visit a local branch—of which Texas has more than 60—or apply online. You can only access the online application for an RBFCU home equity loan or line of credit if you’re a current member with an online login. The exact details of the application requirements are only available to RBFCU members, but you can expect to provide standard information about yourself and your home. This often includes: Contact information: Your name, address, phone number, and email address.Personal identification: Your birthdate, Social Security number, and driver’s license number.Information about your home: Location, remaining mortgage balance, monthly mortgage payment, its estimated current value, and whether you have other liens on the propertyYour assets and liabilities: A rundown of major assets you hold (such as other real estate properties) and your monthly obligations (including credit card debt, personal loan payments, and student loans) Once RBFCU has all this information, it will review and underwrite your application. If approved, you can sign for and fund your home equity loan. How does RBFCU determine how much I can borrow? The maximum amount you can borrow with an RBFCU HELOC or home equity loan depends on how much equity you have in your home, or how much of your property’s current value you own after subtracting all outstanding liens on the property. At RBFCU, you can borrow as much as 80% against your home’s total value, as long as it’s your primary property and is in Texas. So if you own your home without a mortgage loan, and that property is worth $350,000, you can borrow up to $280,000. $350,000 value x 80% maximum LTV = $280,000 borrowable equity A remaining home mortgage loan balance or other liens on the property (such as another home equity loan or a reverse mortgage) will reduce your borrowable equity. So if you have $100,000 left on your mortgage in the example above, you can borrow $180,000 against your home equity: $350,000 value x 80% maximum LTV = $280,000 borrowable equity $280,000 borrowable equity – $100,000 mortgage balance = $180,000 max HELOC/home equity loan Beyond that, personal factors such as your credit score and DTI can reduce your maximum LTV. What does the appraisal process look like? To determine the market value of your home—which the lender will use to calculate your current home equity and allowed home equity loan—it will likely require a home appraisal. This report, which an unbiased third-party inspector conducts, considers your home’s quality, location, size, and other details. It compares your property to comparable recently sold homes in the area (“comps”) to see how much buyers are willing to pay. The lender will use this report to calculate your maximum loan amount. Borrowers taking out less than $175,000 against their home won’t need to pay appraisal fees. However, requesting larger home equity loans and lines of credit may mean paying for some or all of the home appraisal. Does RBFCU charge any fees? Depending on the size of your loan, you may encounter several fees to take out an RBFCU home equity product. No application or appraisal fees apply if your loan is less than $175,000. Borrowers are responsible for minimal closing costs, which cover underwriting, disbursing, and formally filing the loan. If your RBFCU loan exceeds $175,000, you may need to pay application and appraisal fees. You can expect your closing costs to be higher than if you took out a smaller loan, though RBFCU does not disclose the exact amounts. Loans under $175,000Loans over $175,000Application fee?NoYesAppraisal fee?NoYesClosing costs?LimitedYes Does RBFCU have a customer service team? You can reach the Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union customer service team whether you want more membership information, are interested in a new home equity loan, or need help managing your account. Contact a representative by: Visiting a local branch. Walk in to or make an appointment at one of the 60-plus RBFCU branches in Texas for face-to-face help.Calling. Customer service representatives are available by phone from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central on Saturdays. Reach them at 210-945-3300.Live chatting. Current members with an online login can chat with customer service representatives during regular business hours.Emailing. Email [email protected] for answers to questions about a new or existing membership or loan.Sending a secure message. If you’re an RBFCU member, you can send a secure message to the team by logging in to the online portal. If you’re unsure whether RBFCU is the best fit for your home equity needs, check out our list of home equity companies.