Citizens Bank HELOC Review 2024

Good for: Borrowers who want a fairly fast closing or are looking for flexible credit and income requirements.
Taylor Getler
By
Last updated on January 24, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Johanna Arnone
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

Some or all of the mortgage lenders featured on our site are advertising partners of NerdWallet, but this does not influence our evaluations, lender star ratings or the order in which lenders are listed on the page. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

  • 50+ mortgage lenders reviewed and rated by our team of experts.
  • 40+ years of combined experience covering mortgages and financial topics.
  • Objective, comprehensive star rating system assessing 120+ categories and 5,000+ data points.
  • Governed by NerdWallet's strict guidelines for editorial integrity.
NerdWallet's mortgage content, including articles, reviews and recommendations, is produced by a team of writers and editors who specialize in home lending. Their work has appeared in The Associated Press, USA Today, The Washington Post, MarketWatch, Newsweek and many other national, regional and local publications. They have been cited in publications including The Wall Street Journal, and appeared on NerdWallet's "Smart Money" podcast as well as local TV and radio.

Our Take

4.0

HELOCs
NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

Citizens Bank stands out for offering closing within seven days and funding within two weeks, as well as having no minimum draw requirement. The lender also offers a specialized HELOC product called GoalBuilder with a credit line up to $25,000, which is designed for borrowers who make less than the median income in their area and who have a credit score of at least 620. To qualify for a standard HELOC, borrowers must have a credit score of at least 680. The lender does not specify the maximum loan amount for standard HELOC borrowers.

Jump to:Full Review
Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank: NMLS#433960

National / regional
National
Max LTV
80%
Min. credit score
N/A
Loan types and products
Home Equity

Pros

  • No minimum draw.
  • No closing costs.
  • Borrowers can open and fund their line of credit in as little as two weeks.
  • Offers a flexible loan solution called GoalBuilder for borrowers who would not meet standard credit and income requirements.

Cons

  • $50 annual fee after the first year, during the draw period.
  • Lender does not provide information about maximum loan amounts.
  • No fixed-rate option.
Compare great home equity lenders
Lender
Max. loan amount
Max LTV
Min. credit score
Spring EQ
4.5
Visit Lenderat Spring EQ
at Spring EQ
$500,000
95%
640
$750,000
80%
580
$400,000
85%
640
$350,000
90%
680
$500,000
90%
680
Get more smart money moves — straight to your inboxBecome a NerdWallet member, and we’ll send you tailored articles we think you’ll love.

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 week

Prime rate in the past year — low

Prime rate in the past year — high

8.50%.

8.50%.

8.0%.

8.50%.

Citizens Bank doesn’t post sample rates for its standard HELOC; however, the interest rate for a GoalBuilder HELOC is the prime rate + 3.25 percentage points. If the borrower enrolls in autopay from a Citizens Bank checking account, they receive a discount, and their rate is the prime rate + 3 percentage points.

Applying for a Citizens Bank HELOC

Borrowers can apply online, over the phone or in person at a branch location. Customers can also request a call from an agent to review home equity options and answer any questions.

Citizens Bank has an online chat feature that connects users with a live agent. When we tried it, we were immediately connected with a representative.

The lender’s site lists several phone numbers for its home equity lending team, depending on where the borrower is in the application process.

Opening and using a Citizens Bank HELOC

Borrowers can open an account within five days of applying and can access cash within two weeks. According to the representative that we spoke to, there is no fixed-rate option; all draws have a variable rate.

The minimum line amount for a standard HELOC is $17,500, or $5,000 for a GoalBuilder HELOC. Both HELOC options have a 10-year draw period and a 15-year repayment term. Ten years is a typical draw period, but 15 years is slightly shorter than some other lenders’ repayment periods of 20-plus years.

Borrowers can connect a Citizens Bank checking or savings account to their HELOC account to access their funds. If borrowers want to make a deposit from their HELOC account to an account at another bank, they’ll have to request a transfer, which could take longer. Borrowers cannot write checks from a Citizens Bank HELOC.

Alternatives to a Citizens Bank HELOC

Borrowers who prioritize fast access to their HELOC may be interested in Figure, which offers funding within five days. For borrowers who haven’t built much equity in their home yet, Navy Federal Credit Union allows homeowners to have a combined loan-to-value ratio up to 95%. (Be aware, though, that Navy Federal members must meet eligibility requirements.)

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 offers a cash-out refinance, but does not advertise a home equity loan.

Find the best lender

Best mortgage lendersBest lenders for first-timersFind the best mortgage rateHow much house can I afford?
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.

NerdWallet Pixel