Bank of America (BOA) is an American investment bank that offers home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) in addition to its other mortgage products. While the bank does not offer home equity loans, it does allow you to convert qualifying withdrawals into fixed-rate loans.
Keep reading to find our full analysis of the top home equity loan options from Bank of America, including the pros and cons of this provider and eligibility requirements.
Best for high HELOC loan limits
Bank of America home equity loans are best for borrowers interested in large home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). This type of home equity product is slightly different from standard home equity loans in that it functions as a revolving line of credit rather than a fixed-rate loan, but HELOCs are still backed by the value of your house.
Bank of America offers HELOCs ranging up to $1 million for primary residences and allows you to convert these into fixed-rate loans without additional fees. This review takes a closer look at home equity loan pros and cons for Bank of America products.
Bank of America home equity pros and cons
- Interest rate discount with autopay
- Variable-rate HELOCs can be converted into a fixed-rate loan
- Mobile app and online banking
- Preferred rewards members obtain an interest rate discount just over 0.6%
- Home equity loans not available
- Loan closing only offered at brick-and-mortar locations
Pros of BOA home equity loans
Interest rate discount with autopay
When you take out a HELOC through Bank of America, you can reduce your interest rate by 0.25% if you set up automatic payments from your BOA account. This deal is available to everyone, regardless of credit score.
Preferred Rewards members obtain an interest rate discount just over 0.6%
If you’re an existing Bank of America customer, you may be a Preferred Rewards member. If so, you could qualify for an interest rate discount of up to 0.625% on your HELOC.
To become a Preferred Rewards member at Bank of America, you must maintain a minimum account balance of at least $20,000 over three months. You’ll get extra cashback on credit card purchases and a higher interest rate percentage on your savings account. BOA Preferred Rewards scale as your average daily balance increases, with the highest tier of rewards unlocking at an average balance of $1 million or more.
Variable-rate HELOC can be converted into a fixed-rate loan
One of the most unique features of Bank of America’s HELOCs is that they can be converted into fixed-rate loans with no additional fee. You can convert your HELOC when you open your account or at any time after withdrawing at least $5,000 and not more than 90% of your total line of credit.
The bank allows you to have up to three fixed-rate loans active at any given time. So you can convert an initial withdrawal into a fixed-rate loan and do the same thing twice more if you decide to pull more funds out of your HELOC.
Mobile app and online banking
Bank of America also makes it easy to apply for a HELOC and manage the line of credit after you’ve been approved. The company offers a convenient mobile app and online banking options to manage your HELOC from anywhere.
Remember that you can’t go through the entire loan approval process online or through the mobile app. Eventually, you will need to visit a brick-and-mortar location to activate your HELOC and receive final approval from Bank of America.
Drawbacks of a BOA home equity loan
Home equity loans not available
Bank of America doesn’t offer traditional home equity loans. However, HELOCs are very similar in that they allow you to get cash upfront by using the equity in your home as security for the loan.
Plus, unlike other providers, BOA will let you convert your outstanding HELOC balance into a fixed-rate loan. This strategy provides the same level of payment predictability as a standard home equity loan.
Loan closing only offered at brick-and-mortar locations
Bank of America has online and mobile solutions for account management, but you can’t close a new loan unless you go into a branch. That said, this shouldn’t be very challenging, as BOA has nearly 4,000 retail financial centers across the U.S.
Bank of America home equity offerings
Bank of America only offers home equity lines of credit. It doesn’t have traditional equity loan options but does allow outstanding HELOC balances to be converted into fixed-rate loans.
Home equity line of credit (HELOC)
Bank of America’s HELOCs are flexible enough to suit the needs of a diverse range of homeowners. The maximum loan amount for primary residences is $1 million, while for second or vacation homes it’s $500,00. Since it’s a revolving line of credit, you don’t have to access all that money at once.
For example, if you need $5,000 and you want to use your home equity to secure the loan, you can open a HELOC for $25,000 through Bank of America. Then, only draw $5,000 from the revolving line of credit on an as-needed basis.
HELOCs from BOA have a draw period of 10 years and a repayment period of 20 years. This means you can pull funds from the line of credit you open for up to 10 years after opening it and will have up to 20 years to pay back the amount you withdraw.
Any withdrawal of $5,000 or more can be converted into a fixed-rate loan with no fee. Your APR may go up in the process, but your payments will be the same every month. Plus, your interest rate won’t change, making it a predictable choice.
Bank of America home equity eligibility requirements
If you’re interested in taking out a home equity line of credit through Bank of America, you’ll need to meet the institution’s equity and credit rating requirements.
Equity in your home
The first eligibility criterion you need to meet is having equity in your home. But exactly how much equity you’ll need isn’t clear. You may want to reach out to the bank directly if you’re unsure about whether you have enough equity in your home to qualify.
Bank of America doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score requirement for HELOCs. However, according to Experian, most HELOCs require a minimum score of 680, although there are some exceptions.
If you’re concerned about your credit score derailing your application, consider your options for taking out a home equity loan with bad credit. You may also have a better chance of approval at Bank of America if you’re an existing customer with a history of on-time payments.
Bank of America HELOC fees
Bank of America doesn’t charge any application fees, closing fees or ongoing annual fees. You also won’t have to worry about incurring fees if you transition your HELOC balance into a fixed-rate loan.
The only fee you should be aware of is the institution’s early termination fee, which is $450. You will incur this fee if you close your HELOC account within 36 months of opening it. In this case, you may also need to reimburse Bank of America closing fees it paid while originating your home equity line of credit.
That said, there’s no real reason to close your HELOC early. There are no fees for keeping the account open, so even if you decide not to use it, you’re still unlikely to face this fee.
Bank of America home equity customer satisfaction
Bank of America HELOC reviews are not widely available online. The company as a whole does have an A+ rating and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Its poor customer reviews and complaints are numerous but those include all of BOAs lines of business with tens of millions of clients.
Bank of America home equity FAQ
How much equity do you need for a HELOC?
What are the interest rates for home equity loans?
What can home equity loans be used for?
You can use home equity loan funds on practically anything you choose. You use them for home renovation costs and past-due balances on high-interest loans or use them to accomplish other goals.
However, using home equity loans for non-essential purchases is unwise. These loans are secured against the value of your home, so if you can't pay, you'd be putting your home at risk.
How long does it take to get approved for a Bank of America HELOC?
You can complete your Bank of America HELOC application online in as little as 15 minutes. Once you do, a representative from the bank will review your application and request further documentation or information before making a lending decision.
It can take between one and two weeks to get approved for a HELOC through Bank of America. Once approved, it may take a few additional business days to activate the HELOC and make your first withdrawal. All in all, you should be able to access the money you want in under a month and often sooner.
How we evaluated Bank of America home equity
We created our review of Bank of America’s home loans by considering the following factors:
- HELOC loan minimums and maximums
- Average interest rates
- Opportunities for interest rate reductions
- Approval process
- Reviews from existing customers
- Account management convenience
- The flexibility of payment options for borrowers
Summary of Money’s Bank of America home equity review
If you want a traditional home equity loan, Bank of America isn’t a great option, as it only offers home equity lines of credit. However, HELOCs also let you get cash upfront by securing your loan with the equity you’ve built up in your home. For that reason, HELOCs are a viable alternative to a standard home equity loan for many borrowers.
As you decide whether a Bank of America home equity loan is right for you, compare your offer to several alternatives to ensure you find the best rate. Remember, you can convert amounts borrowed through your HELOC to fixed-rate loans if you choose to do so.