Bank of America HELOC Review 2024

Good for: Borrowers who seek to tap into the equity of their homes through a national bank that offers several rate discount options and charges no annual fee.
Phil Metzger
By
Last updated on January 23, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Johanna Arnone
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

4.5

HELOCs
NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

Bank of America’s HELOC stands out for several types of rate discounts, especially for current Bank of America customers. It has a variable rate and offers a fixed-rate option, which can help keep payments predictable, and sample rates for residents of every state are easy to find. This HELOC has a maximum line amount of $1 million.

Jump to:Full Review
Bank of America
Bank of America: NMLS#399802

National / regional
National
Max LTV
85%
Min. credit score
660
Loan types and products
Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Charges no annual fee.
  • Publishes sample HELOC rates online.
  • Offers rate discount for autopay from an account with the lender.

Cons

  • Maximum APR is not published on the lender’s website.
  • Fined $12 million for reporting inaccurate mortgage applicant info to the federal government.
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Max LTV
Min. credit score
National / regional
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5.0
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at Bethpage Federal Credit Union
85%
670
National
Visit Lenderat Bethpage Federal Credit Union
at Bethpage Federal Credit Union
85%
620
National
Truist
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89%
660
National
80%
680
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89.90
620
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Full Review

Bank of America HELOC rates and discounts

Most home equity line of credit, or HELOC, interest rates are indexed to a base rate called the prime rate. The annual percentage rate, or APR, that you’re offered will include a margin the lender has added to the prime rate. Offered margins depend largely on factors like your credit score, your existing debt and the amount you wish to borrow, but they will vary by lender.

Current prime rate

Prime rate last month

Prime rate in the past year — low

Prime rate in the past year — high

8.50%.

8.50%.

7.75%.

8.50%.

Bank of America publishes sample HELOC rates on its website, and the rate you see may vary from state to state. On the day we checked, the lender’s California rate was 9.9% based on a $100,000 line of credit, with two types of rate discount applied. Maximum APR is not detailed on the lender’s website.

The lender offers a rate discount for:

  • Borrowers who set up automatic payments from certain Bank of America accounts. 

  • Borrowers who make an initial withdrawal when they open their accounts.

  • Borrowers who are members of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program.

Applying for a Bank of America HELOC

Borrowers can apply for a HELOC online in a process the lender says takes about 15 minutes to complete. A live chat on the lender’s website can help answer questions.

The lender also has a number dedicated to home loans and HELOCs for those who want to apply by phone. On the day we called, it took about two minutes to work through the automated system and wait on a brief hold to reach a loan advisor familiar with HELOC product details. You have the option to schedule an appointment on the website to receive a call from a loan advisor or to apply at a Bank of America branch.

To apply for a HELOC online, by phone or in person, you’ll need to supply some personal information as well as income data and financial and tax details about your home. HELOC information pages on the lender’s website offer an impressive level of detail, as well as FAQs about how the line of credit works and what borrowers can expect once approved.

Opening and using a Bank of America HELOC

Bank of America says the whole process, from application to closing, can be completed online. Once approved, borrowers can access HELOC funds for 10 years through online banking, by check, through a Visa card or in person at a bank branch. The lender also allows borrowers to transfer HELOC funds to other Bank of America accounts.

During the draw period, monthly payments are typically due on only the interest. After the withdrawal period ends, monthly payments will cover the principal and interest. Borrowers can repay the line of credit for up to 20 years by transferring funds online, setting up automatic bill payments or visiting a branch location. Bank of America allows borrowers to convert their variable-rate balance to a fixed rate without a fee, an option that’s especially attractive when rates are rising.

And though a discount is available for making a draw when the account is opened, an initial draw is not required, so you aren’t taking out cash you don’t need right away. The lender does not charge a fee for paying off the balance early but does charge a fee for terminating the account within 36 months of opening it.

Bank of America and consumer trust

Bank of America paid a $12 million fine in November 2023 for incorrectly collecting, recording and reporting required demographic data to the federal government. Accurate reporting allows regulators to monitor fair lending practices in the mortgage industry.

In agreeing to the civil penalty, the lender neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.

A lender’s NerdWallet star rating for HELOCs is negatively affected by recent regulatory actions for violations that harmed mortgage customers.

Alternatives to a Bank of America HELOC

PNC Bank offers a HELOC with flexible rate-lock options, and U.S. Bank offers a HELOC with the option to lock a rate.

HELOCs offer a flexible way to access home equity over a period of time and pay interest only on the funds you withdraw. However, rising interest rates can bump up your monthly payment, and, as with credit cards, it takes discipline to avoid overspending.

Alternatives to home equity lines of credit include a home equity loan, which offers a lump sum with a fixed rate, or a cash-out refinance, which replaces your existing mortgage with a larger loan.

Bank of America offers a cash-out refinance option but does not offer home equity loans.

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Methodology

NerdWallet’s HELOC star ratings are awarded by the editorial team based on the following evaluated factors: combined loan-to-value ratio, lender fees, transparency on key factors, whether a fixed-rate option is available, rate discounts, ease of application, whether a prepayment penalty may apply and whether an initial draw is required.

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