Citizens Bank HELOC Review 2023

Good for: Borrowers who want a fairly fast closing or who do not have much equity in their home yet.
Taylor Getler
May 10, 2023

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Our Take


NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

Citizens Bank's HELOC stands out for its fairly fast closing and time to fund. According to the lender, borrowers can close in as few as seven days and access their line in as soon as two weeks. The lender also offers a specialized HELOC product with a limit of $25,000, designed for borrowers who have not built up much equity in their home yet.

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Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank: NMLS#433960

National / regional
Min. credit score
Loan types and products
Home Equity

Pros & Cons


  • No minimum draw.
  • Borrowers can lock in some or all of their loan amount at a fixed interest rate.
  • Offers a loan solution for borrowers who have not built up much equity yet and wouldn’t qualify for the lender’s standard HELOC.
  • Borrowers can close and fund their line in as little as two weeks.


  • $50 annual fee after the first year, during the draw period.

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Full Review

Citizens Bank 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





Borrowers can get a personalized rate quote via Citizens Bank’s online FastLine portal. The lender estimates this should take about two minutes to complete, and it does not affect your credit score.

On the day we checked, the lender’s GoalBuilder line of credit — which allows borrowers with less equity to draw between $5,000 and $25,000 from their home — had a rate of prime plus 3.25%.

Borrowers can also take advantage of a rate discount of 0.25 percentage points by enrolling in autopay from an existing Citizens Bank checking account.

Applying for a Citizens Bank HELOC

Borrowers can apply online, over the phone or at one of the lender’s branches. According to the lender, this process can be done in a few minutes. There is no application fee.

When we tried Citizens Bank’s chat feature, we connected with a live agent almost immediately. She thoroughly answered all of our questions. Borrowers who prefer an in-person experience can use the chatbot feature to schedule live appointments as well. And borrowers should note that this live chat feature is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time weekdays and is not available on weekends.

There was no wait to talk to a representative when we called the lender. Certified home loan originators are available to speak by phone from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST on Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST on Saturday.

Closing and managing a Citizens Bank HELOC

Customers will have to close the loan at a branch; according to a representative whom we spoke with by phone, e-closing is not available. The lender could send a notary to a borrower’s home if extenuating circumstances prohibit them from visiting a branch.

Once you’ve closed on your HELOC, you can access your funds via check or by transferring funds within Citizens Bank’s online banking portal. Borrowers can expect to receive their checks within 10 days after closing.

After the first year of the draw period, borrowers will have to pay a $50 annual fee for the remaining nine years.

Borrowers have the option to lock some or all of their loan amount at a fixed interest rate. If you lock in a rate, the minimum amount is $5,000. The repayment period for a Citizens Bank HELOC is 15 years.

For borrowers who have not built up significant equity in their home and would not qualify for a standard HELOC, Citizens Bank offers a specialized HELOC called GoalBuilder. This enables borrowers to tap between $5,000 and $25,000 of their equity and charges no annual fees. Qualified borrowers may be able to tap up to 100% of the equity they do have, up to the $25,000 limit. As with the standard HELOC, borrowers have a 10-year draw period and a 15-year repayment period, and they can access their funds via online banking or with checks.

Alternatives to a Citizens Bank HELOC

Borrowers who want a lender that offers fast closing may be interested in Guaranteed Rate, which offers funding within five to 10 days. For borrowers who are interested in HELOCs with a fixed-rate option, Bank of America's HELOC can be a strong choice.

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.

Citizens Bank does not offer a home equity loan or cash-out refinance.

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NerdWallet’s HELOC star ratings are awarded by the editorial team based on the following evaluated factors: whether a fixed-rate option is available, combined loan-to-value ratio, annual fees and transparency on key factors.

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