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BECU home equity review

Get fixed- and variable-rate options in a HELOC, if you qualify for membership.

BECU only offers one home equity product, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) with flexible terms and no lender fees. But while this HELOC comes with many advantages, as a credit union product, you have to be a member to take advantage. And BECU’s membership is limited mostly to the Pacific Northwest.

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Details

Loan products offeredHELOC
Minimum credit scoreNot listed, but most banks require at least a 620 FICO score
APR range3.25% to 18%
Repayment termsDraw: 10 years
Repayment: 15 years
Loan limits$100 to $500,000
State availabilityOnly available in: ID, OR, SC, WA

BECU pros and cons

Pros

  • No upfront bank fees. BECU doesn’t charge the normal lender fees, such as application, origination, appraisal or title fees.
  • Low minimum draw amount. Withdraw as little as $100.
  • Fixed-rate option. If you want to draw a large sum of $5,000 or more, take it as a fixed-rate advance with a locked interest rate to save you money if interest rates increase before the repayment period.

Cons

  • Limited availability. BECU is only available to residents of Washington state and select counties in Idaho and Oregon. The credit union also provides services to Boeing employees in South Carolina.
  • Strict membership requirements. You must meet the credit union’s membership eligibility rules and open a Member Advantage, Member Share or Early Saver savings account just to apply for a HELOC.

What types of fees does BECU charge?

BECU doesn’t charge any of the normal lender fees associated with home equity products and even covers the cost of attorney fees in South Carolina, where an attorney is required. You also pay no maintenance fees, and there aren’t any costs associated with taking a fixed-rate advance.

Under normal circumstances, the only fee you’ll face from BECU is after the HELOC is paid off — a reconveyance fee to remove BECU from the lien on your title.

You might have to pay third-party fees, such as state and local mortgage taxes and recording fees. BECU estimates those fees could range from $150 to $775.

BECU requirements

BECU doesn’t list its requirements to qualify for a HELOC, but you must be a member of the credit union to access your credit line. You must meet one of the following membership requirements:

  • Live in Washington State or one of the select counties in Idaho or Oregon.
  • Be a civilian or federal employee, volunteer or retiree of Boeing Company, BECU or any other credit union.
  • Be a member, employee or volunteer of the University of Washington or Washington State University alumni associations, the NW Credit Union Foundation or KEXP.

Documentation

You’ll need to have access to the following information before you apply:

  • Income and employment information
  • An estimate of your home’s value
  • Information about your co-applicant if applicable, such as Social Security number, date of birth, contact information and a valid state-issued photo ID.

How to apply for a HELOC with BECU

You don’t need to be a member to apply for a HELOC on the phone or in person, but you need to be eligible because you must open an account to access your funds if you’re approved. To apply online, you must have an existing account or open a new one.

  1. Go to the BECU Home Equity page, select Apply Now and choose whether you are an existing customer or need to create a new account.
  2. Create an account by choosing your eligibility and entering your personal information, selecting Next at the end of each page.
  3. Choose the account you want to open. To be a member, you need to open a Member Advantage, Member Share or Early Saver savings account.
  4. Fund your account. BECU doesn’t require a minimum balance to open the account, so this step is optional. But some savings accounts require a monthly transaction to stay open.
  5. Confirm your details and sign in to your online banking account.
  6. Apply for a HELOC through your online banking portal.

What types of home equity products does BECU offer?

BECU only offers a variable-rate home equity line of credit (HELOC) but with a fixed-rate option built in. Once you’re approved for your HELOC, you can choose to take out lump sums of $5,000 or more as fixed-rate advances.

You’re allowed up to three active advance subaccounts at once, and you can select your own term to pay them off, up to 15 years. And you don’t have to pay a fee to take the advance or to pay it off early.

Other mortgage products BECU offers

In addition to home equity products, BECU offers the following home loans:

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
  • First-time home buyer loans
  • Home improvement loans
  • Mortgage refinance

How BECU’s home equity products compare to other lenders

BECU’s HELOC is pretty standard for a credit union its size. While several lenders have variable-rate lines of credit with the option to make a portion of your draw a fixed-rate amount, most also charge fees for the privilege, and BECU doesn’t. But to take advantage, you’ll need to draw at least $5,000, which is a higher amount than some of its competitors.

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

BECU reviews and complaints

BECU is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and, as of July 2021, has an A+ rating for answering 77 complaints in the last three years. The lender scores 1.03 stars out of 5 from 32 BBB customer reviews but has a 3.5 TrustScore at Trustpilot from only six reviews.

Customers praised BECU’s customer service and smooth loan processes but complained of having trouble resolving fraudulent charges and the difficulty working with the bank when the customer lives far away from a physical branch.

Our verdict

BECU’s home equity line of credit provides both the traditional variable-rate option and the option to draw larger sums into a fixed-rate advance. The biggest obstacle to taking advantage of this product is the credit union’s limited membership requirements. But if you qualify, this could be a great option to tap into the equity you’ve earned.

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