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 home equity lines of credit (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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660

Minimum credit score

Only available in: AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, WY

State availability

Details

Loan products offeredHELOC
Minimum credit score660
APR range3% to 18%
Repayment terms10-year draw period and repayment periods of 10, 15 or 20 years
Loan limits$15,000 to $2,000,000
State availabilityOnly available in: AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, WY

Our take on Bank of the West

If you’re after a competitive interest rate on a HELOC, Bank of the West may be a good option, with rates as low as 3%. The account allows you to convert specific amounts of your credit line to a fixed rate during the draw period and offers interest rate discounts.

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. And you have to live within the bank’s limited footprint to apply.

Special discounts

Borrowers can receive a 0.125% APR discount if they set up automatic payments from particular Bank of the West accounts and another 0.25% discount if they have at least $100,000 in assets in deposit or investment accounts.

You can get an additional 0.10% discount for every $10,000 drawn at closing on your new HELOC, up to 1%. And if you use at least $5,000 of your credit line to pay for eligible renewable energy improvements to your home, you can get an additional 0.25% off your interest rate.

Your combined discounts can’t exceed 1.5% or take your rate below 3%.

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

Bank of the West only offers a home equity line of credit (HELOC), an adjustable-rate line of credit from $15,000 up to $2,000,000. You pay interest-only payments during the draw period and investment properties are eligible. Rates start at 3% and will never go higher than 18%.

Pros and cons of Bank of the West

Pros

  • Competitive rates. Your rates may vary depending on your credit profile, home value and LTV ratio.
  • Rate discounts. Borrowers can receive up to 1.5% in interest rate discounts as customers of the bank and based on how they use their line of credit. But your discounts can’t move your interest rate below 3%.
  • 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.

Bank of the West requirements are standard

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.

You’ll also be required to carry homeowners insurance for the life of your HELOC account.

Fees are similar to its competitors

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. You’ll also be charged a $100 fee if you decide to take the fixed rate option on your HELOC or decide to revert that option to a variable rate.

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 reviews are standard for a bank its size

BBB rating A+
Trustpilot rating Bad
Customer reviews verified as of 03 May 2022

As of May 2022, Bank of the West has a 2.5 out of 5 rating on Wallethub from 735 reviewers. Over 100 reviewers on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website give the bank a 1.03-star score out of 5, and 444 customers have registered complaints over the past three years. Bank of the West is not accredited with the BBB but has an A+business rating.

Reviews paint a mixed picture of the bank. On Zillow, 76 reviewers give Bank of the West a solid 5 out of 5 rating for its mortgage services. 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.

How to get a HELOC with Bank of the West

Apply by calling the bank’s HELOC department at 855-290-0065. But the easiest way to start your application is to apply online. You’ll be asked to fill out your personal and financial information, and once you submit, you’ll be contacted by a Bank of the West loan officer.

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

Other home loan products Bank of the West offers

This bank offers a variety of mortgage products. They include the following:

  • 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.

Compare interest rates for home equity loans, HELOCs and cash-out refinancing

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