Bank of America HELOC Review 2023
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The bottom line:
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. This HELOC has a maximum draw of $1 million and charges no annual fee.
Pros & Cons
- Charges no annual fee.
- Publishes sample HELOC rates online.
- Offers rate discount for autopay from an account with the lender.
- Maximum APR is not published on the lender’s website.
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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, and 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
Bank of America publishes sample HELOC rates on its website. The lender’s introductory rate was 6.49% based on a $100,000 line of credit on the day we checked and was good for six months, at which point it would increase to 8.90%. 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 90 seconds to reach a loan advisor. 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.
Closing and managing 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.
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.
» MORE: Best HELOC lenders
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 at the time of withdrawal, as well as a home equity loan.
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.
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.