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Bank of the West home equity review

Offers no-closing-cost HELOCs with competitive rates and discounts, but it's only available in the West and Midwest.

Bank of the West offers competitively priced HELOCs with rate discounts, but it doesn’t have home equity loans and you must live in select states to apply.

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Details

Loan products offeredHELOC
Minimum credit score660
APR rangeHELOC: 3.19% to 7.3%
Repayment terms10-year draw period and repayment periods of 10, 15 or 20 years
Loan limitsHELOC: $15,000 to $2,000,000
State availabilityAZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, WY

Pros and cons of Bank of the West

Pros

  • Competitive rates. Until September 30, 2021, Bank of the West is offering these rates on its HELOC product:
    • -Fixed 6-month intro rate of 3.00%
    • -Variable APR after intro rate of 3.19%

    Your rates may vary depending on your credit profile, home value and LTV ratio.

  • Relationship discounts. Borrowers can receive a 0.125% discount if they set up automatic payments from certain Bank of the West accounts. Additional relationship discounts are available.
  • Other discounts.
    • Energy efficient discount. A 0.25% discount for borrowers using a HELOC to pay for eligible renewable energy improvements.
    • Balance based discount. A 0.10% discount for every $10,000 drawn at closing on a new HELOC, up to 1.00%.

    Combined discounts can’t exceed 1.50% for the draw period or lower the rate below 3.00%.

  • Fixed-rate option. Allows you to convert all or a part of your variable rate balance to a fixed rate during your draw period.

Cons

  • No home equity loans. Bank of the West doesn’t offer home equity loans for those looking for a lump-sum payment instead of a line of credit.
  • Limited state availability. Mortgage offices are only available in states located in the West and Midwest.
  • Annual fees on HELOCs. Bank of the West’s HELOC attracts a $75 annual fee, which you can’t waive except during the first year.

What fees does Bank of the West charge?

Bank of the West doesn’t charge any origination fees or closing costs on its HELOC product. However, its HELOCs come with an annual fee of $75, which you can only waive during the first year.

But unlike some other lenders, there’s no prepayment penalty if you pay your Bank of the West HELOC off early — for example, within the first 12 months of opening it.

Bank of the West requirements

To find out if you’re eligible for a Bank of the West home loan, visit the company’s website. Basic eligibility for a mortgage with the company includes:

  • Residency in select states
  • Two years’ history of employment
  • A FICO credit score of at least 660
  • No history of bankruptcy in the past two years

Documentation

Be prepared to provide the following documents with your loan application:

  • State-issued ID
  • Two most recent pay stubs
  • W-2s for the past two years
  • Profit and loss (P&L) statements and balance sheets for the past two years for self-employed persons
  • Homeowner’s insurance declaration page
  • Last month’s mortgage statement

How to apply for a home equity loan with Bank of the West

Here are the steps to apply for a HELOC at Bank of the West. If you have any questions, call the bank’s HELOC department on 855-290-0065.

  1. Go to the Bank of the West website and select the Personal tab, then Loans, then Home Equity.
  2. Select the Apply Online button, then press the Full Application button to create a new account.
  3. Enter your name and contact information, then create a username and password and set up your security questions.
  4. Select Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) for loan type and enter your coborrower information, if any.
  5. Enter your contact information, personal information and living situation. Agree/disagree to a credit check authorization, then enter the HELOC information, loan and property information, your assets, liabilities, employment and income, demographic information and additional information.
  6. Review the application, submit and wait to be contacted by a loan officer.

If you have any questions in the meantime, you can call the bank on 855-290-0065 or 800-659-5495 for TTY.

What types of home equity products does Bank of the West offer?

Bank of the West only offers HELOCs, as detailed below.

  • HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit). An adjustable-rate line of credit offering interest-only payments during the draw period. Offers lines of credit from $15,000 up to $2,000,000 and investment properties are eligible.

Bank of the West also offers these types of mortgage products:

  • Conventional loans. Adjustable and fixed-rate mortgages with varying interest rates and term lengths.
  • Government-backed and first-time homebuyer loans. FHA, VA and Fannie Mae HomeReady Loans with more lenient eligibility requirements than conventional loans.
  • Jumbo loans. Nonconforming jumbo loans up to $4 million for eligible borrowers.
  • Mortgage refinance. Replace your current mortgage with a new one that has a better rate and terms.
  • Cash-out refinance. Replace your current mortgage with one of a higher amount, letting you receive the difference in cash.

How Bank of the West’s home equity products compare to other lenders

Compared to other banks, Bank of the West only offers HELOCs. But for borrowers looking for a line of credit to access their home’s equity, it features competitive rates and different ways to save on your interest rate.

Bank of the West also offers cash-out refinances and limited cash-out refinances if you want to tap into your home’s equity using a mortgage refinance instead of a home equity line of credit.

Compare home equity loan and HELOC options

Compare these lenders and lender marketplaces by the type of home equity product you're searching for, state availability and minimum credit score. Select See rates to provide the company with basic property and financial details for personalized rates.
Name Product Loan products offered State availability Min. credit score
SoFi
(NMLS #1121636)
SoFi
Conventional, Home equity, Refinance
Not available in: HI, MO, NM, NY, WV
620
No hidden fees, multiple loan terms, and member discounts available.
Figure
(NMLS #1717824)
Figure
HELOC
Not available in: DE, HI, KY, MD, NY, SC, TX, UT, WV
620
Speedy prequalification, minimal fees and a wide range of loans and terms with this HELOC lender.
LendingTree
(NMLS #1136)
LendingTree
HELOC, Home Equity loans
Available in all states
620
Connect with vetted lenders quickly through this free online marketplace.
Hometap Equity Partners
Hometap Equity Partners
Home equity investment
Only available in: AZ, CA, FL, MA, MD, MI, MN, NC, NJ, NY, OR, PA, VA, WA
600
Sell a portion of your home's equity for cash without monthly payments or hurting your credit score.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bank of the West reviews and complaints

As of June 2021, Bank of the West has a 2.7 out of 5 rating on Wallethub from nearly 700 reviewers. Fifty reviewers on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website give the bank a 1.06-star score out of 5, and 278 customers have registered complaints over the past three years. Bank of the West is not accredited with the BBB and has no business rating (NR).

Reviews paint a mixed picture of the bank. On Zillow, 74 reviewers give Bank of the West a solid 5 out of 5 rating for its mortgage services as of June 2021. These customers report being thrilled with the service, professionalism and dependability of their loan officers.

Conversely, many banking customers mention long telephone wait times, outdated online services and bill payment errors. One HELOC customer complained that the annual fee was charged after being waived. Another opened five additional services to get a discounted rate, only to end up with a delinquent account.

Our verdict

If you’re after a competitive interest rate on a HELOC, Bank of the West may be a good option. But to get a discounted rate, you’ll be required to sign up for other financial accounts that you may not need and possibly keep a minimum balance in your account.

If Bank of the West doesn’t have the type of home equity product you’re after, compare more HELOC lenders to find the perfect one for you.

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