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Citibank home equity loan review

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finder.com’s rating: 2.9 / 5.0

★★★★★

Borrow between $25,000 and $300,000 with this large-scale lender.

Citibank’s mortgage division, CitiMortgage, offers home equity loans ranging from $25,000 to $300,000. Its repayment terms stretch from five to 30 years, and customers can unlock lower interest rates. But the lender charges some closing costs, and home equity loans aren’t available in Alaska.

Details

Name Citibank
Description The equity in your home can help you pay for home improvements, consolidate debt or give you peace of mind knowing that cash is available if you need it.
Minimum credit
Origination fee N/A
Other fees Citibank charges an application fee of $100, and property insurance and origination fees vary between states. It covers all other closing costs.

If you close your home equity loan or sell your home within 36 months, you’ll have to pay an early closure release fee — which reflects the third-party closing costs Citibank incurred when you opened the loan.

Pros

  • Access to funds via check, transfers to linked accounts, plus the convenience of Citibank Auto Deduct for payments
  • No application or closing cost fees
  • Flexible credit when you need it

Cons

  • Not available in Alaska
  • Early payment penalty
What do customers say about Citibank?
Despite being in business for over 200 years, Citibank isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau. It holds an F-rating from its involvement in the mortgage crisis of 2008, and other government actions since.

The BBB has received 4,063 complaints in the last three years, most of which related to problems with the product, service and billing. The BBB gives the bank a one-star rating based on 134 customer reviews.

However, it’s worth noting that these reviews and complaints are for the bank as a whole, and not just its home loans division.

What makes Citibank unique?

These are Citibank’s major selling points:

Rewards for customers

If you’re a Citibank customer, it may offer lower interest rates along with closing cost credits. To qualify, you’ll need to meet credit and income requirements and set up automatic monthly payments from your Citibank deposit account.

CitiGold and CitiPriority banking customers have access to the best rates.

Accepts alternative credit sources

Citibank is flexible with its credit requirements. When reviewing your application, the lender will consider nontraditional sources of credit, such as rent and child support payments.

Do I qualify for a loan with Citibank?

To apply for a loan, you’ll need a Citibank account, credit card or mortgage with a positive balance, and a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or less.

Like most lenders, Citibank doesn’t reveal the finer eligibility requirements online. However, the website says the lowest rates are reserved for customers with excellent credit who set up automatic payments from their Citibank deposit account.

Depending on where you live, the bank accepts home equity loans for single-family homes, condos, coops and two- to four-unit homes. The property must be complete and not under any kind of construction.

What are the benefits of getting a home equity loan through Citibank?

Citibank offers fixed-rate home equity loans with predictable monthly payments. You’ll also be privy to these benefits:

  • Incentives for customers. To score the lowest rate, enroll in automatic payments from your Citibank deposit account.
  • Flexible loan lengths. Choose a repayment term of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.
  • Lending criteria. Depending on your credit and lien position, you may be able to borrow up to 80% of your home’s value.
  • Accepts other credit sources. Citibank considers nontraditional sources of credit, such as a positive history of paying rent.
  • Handy online tools. The site has a rate calculator that crunches your estimated monthly payments.
  • Solid loan range. Eligible borrowers can take out a loan between $25,000 and $300,000.

What to watch out for

These drawbacks may affect your decision:

  • Not available in Alaska. Is your property in Alaska? You’ll need to look to other lenders.
  • Early payment penalty. If you pay off your loan or sell your home within the first 36 months, you’ll pay a fee. This doesn’t apply to collateral properties in Texas.
  • Some restrictions. The lender imposes limits on property types. For example, mobile homes are exempt, and in Texas, home equity loans are only available on collateral properties that are single-family primary residences.
  • No second homes. With this lender, you can’t put up a second home as collateral.
  • Limited loan offices. Outside of major cities like New York and LA, loan officers are scarce.
  • Two-loan maximum. You can have two open loans at a time with Citibank.

Compare to other lenders

Name Product Min. credit score State availability Loans offered
600
Not available in: AK, DE, HI, IA, KY, MD, NY, SC, TX, UT, VT, VA, WV
Home equity
Fast turnaround and competitive fixed rates for qualified borrowers with only an origination fee.
620
Available in all states
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How do I get started?

You can apply for a home equity loan online, over the phone or in person.

Phone. Call 877-362-9100 between Monday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

In person. On the Citibank site, you can search for a branch near you. Type in your ZIP code, and then filter the results by checking the box for Home lending officer. To save time, you can schedule an appointment online.

Online. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Citibank website. Hover over Lending, and tap Home Equity.
  2. Click Apply Online.
  3. You’ll be asked to select a product. Press Apply for Fixed-Rate Home Equity Loan.
  4. Enter your full name, phone number and email address. Click Next.
  5. Continue filling out the form with your personal and contact details, income, property type and value, the purpose of your loan, and how much you’re hoping to borrow.
  6. Submit your application.
  7. You could be conditionally approved immediately. Either way, a loan officer will contact you to discuss the next steps.

Required documentation

The lender will ask for the following documents:

  • Recent pay stubs
  • Bank or asset statements
  • Tax returns
  • W-2 forms
  • Details about any property you own
  • Driver’s license or government-issued photo ID
  • Current mortgage statement
  • Property tax bill
  • Homeowners insurance declarations page
  • Flood insurance information, if your property is in a flood zone
Citibank will order an appraisal to determine the market value of your property and a title report to verify ownership. The loan officer confirms your employment details and homeowners insurance coverage before approving the loan.

I got the home equity loan. Now what?

Keep tabs on your home equity loan with these tips:

Monitor your account. Manage payments, view statements and download tax documents online.

Contact customer service. There are a few ways to reach the loans team.

  • Phone. If you’re applying for a new home equity loan, call 877-362-9100. If you want to chat about your existing loan, call the team you receive statements from:
    • CitiMortgage: 800-283-7913
    • Citibank, N.A.: 800-685-0935
    • Cenlar: 855-839-6253
    • In Puerto Rico? Dial 866-280-2050.
  • Live chat. Log into your Citibank account to get real-time help online.
  • In person. Visit a local loan officer, or schedule an appointment online.

Make timely payments. Skirt late fees by choosing a payment method that suits you.

  • Phone. Call the best number from the options above.
  • Bank transfers. Set up automatic transfers from your Citibank account, or wire funds from an external account.
  • Mail. Send paper checks to the most relevant address.
    If you receive statements from CitiMortgage:
    • CitiMortgage Inc, PO Box 78015, Phoenix, AZ 85062
    • If you receive statements from Cenlar for properties in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming: Central Loan Administration and Reporting, PO Box 54040, Los Angeles, CA 90054-0040
  • For all other properties: Central Loan Administration and Reporting, PO Box 11733, Newark, NJ 07101-4733

Bottom line

Citibank’s home equity loans are best for customers with excellent credit who want to borrow less than $300,000. The lender offers repayment terms in five-year increments, but it charges closing costs and doesn’t fund home equity loans for all types of properties.

Frequently asked questions

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