One of the largest banks in the U.S., Wells Fargo has a presence in nearly every state. Its products and services include the following:
- Checking and savings accounts
- Credit cards
- Personal loans
- Home loans
Until early 2020, Wells Fargo also offered home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).
As of April 30, 2020, Wells Fargo is denying all new home equity applications and has suspended issuing new HELOCs. This has left borrowers looking for other lenders to tap into their home’s equity while they own the property.
Here’s why Wells Fargo stopped issuing home equity products—and how to find an alternative.
In this review:
- What happened to Wells Fargo home equity products?
- What if I already have a Wells Fargo home equity product?
- Alternatives to Wells Fargo home equity products
What happened to Wells Fargo home equity products?
The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many industries and introduced unprecedented uncertainty.
Housing prices skyrocketed to record-high levels in the U.S. market while interest rates dropped to historic lows, which led many homeowners to consider refinancing their home mortgages or tapping into their equity with a home equity loan or line of credit.
Before May 2020, Wells Fargo offered HELOCs to eligible homeowners across the country.
But citing the uncertainty of the housing market and the worldwide pandemic, the bank suspended its home equity products. As of this writing (November 9, 2022), home equity lending still hasn’t resumed, and Wells Fargo hasn’t said when (or whether) it will make these types of products available again.
What if I already have a Wells Fargo home equity product?
If you had a Wells Fargo home equity product before April 30, 2020, the bank honored its agreement.
Wells Fargo HELOC customers could keep their open lines of credit and continue borrowing as needed, according to the agreed terms. You could continue borrowing through the end of your draw period if you hadn’t maxed out your line of credit and were paying on any borrowed funds.
Wells Fargo automatically denies new applications for new home equity loans or lines of credit. You’ll need to look into an alternate bank or home equity product to borrow against your home’s value.
Alternatives to Wells Fargo home equity products
If you’re interested in a new home equity product, many other big-name banks still offer loans and lines of credit.
Depending on where you live, the equity you’ve established in your home, and how much you want to borrow, you may be able to lock in competitive home equity terms and get the money you need.
We’ve researched two alternatives to Wells Fargo home equity products. Keep reading to find out what they offer and how they measure up.
Figure Home Equity Line
- Borrow up to $400,000; redraw up to 100%
- 100% digital app and online appraisal
- Checking your rate won’t impact your credit
- Rates (APR): 6.10% to 14.74% APR
- Rate discounts: Autopay discount of 0.50%
- Draw period: 5 years
- Repayment period: 5, 10, 15, or 30 years
- Maximum LTV: 85%
- Minimum credit score: 640
- Minimum income: Not disclosed
- Fees: Up to 4.99% origination, possible recording, and possible subordination fees
Founded in 2018, Figure is a 100% online home equity lender that offers quick funding and a simple loan process. With Figure, you can borrow as little as $15,000 and up to $400,000 against your home’s value without an in-person appraisal, and the entire application process takes about five minutes.
This newer online lender now provides HELOCs in 42 states and the District of Columbia, with a draw period of five years and repayment terms ranging from five to 30 years. Complete funding in as little as five days. Figure allows a maximum loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of up to 95%.
Figure’s fees may include the following:
- Origination fee of up to 4.99%, paid when you make your first draw.
- Subordination or recording fees (depending on where you live and the details of your HELOC), which you can roll into the new debt with no upfront costs in many cases.
Read our review of the Figure Home Equity Line to find out more.
- Use funds for home improvement, debt consolidation, or other expenses
- Borrow up to $1 million
- Rates (APR): 12-month introductory rate of 7.49% APR for VantageScores of 720 and up1; then variable starting at 8.00% APR2 thereafter
- Rate discounts: 0.25% for automatic payments if from a Bethpage Checking or Savings account
- Draw period: 10 years1
- Repayment period: 20 years1
- Maximum LTV: 75% to qualify for the introductory rate
- Minimum credit score: 670
- Minimum income: Not disclosed
- Fees: No origination, application, or appraisal fees2
Another home equity lender alternative is Bethpage Federal Credit Union, a small New York-based credit union. Though Bethpage locations are limited to the Tri-State area, it offers HELOCs in all states except Texas and the process can be done completely online.
The Bethpage HELOC offers $10,000 to $1 million against your home’s equity with a 10-year draw period.1 Repayment terms are 20 years1, and you won’t pay origination, application, or appraisal fees on lines up to $500,000.2
Income requirements aren’t disclosed, but a minimum credit score of 670 and an LTV below 85% are required.
Typical HELOCs have variable rates, but Bethpage borrowers can convert some or all of their HELOC debt to a fixed-rate option.3 This gives you a consistent monthly payment and allows you to lock in a predictable interest rate.
Read our Bethpage home equity review to find out more.