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Published: Apr 06, 2023 9 min read

Connexus is a regional credit union that provides banking services to communities in the Upper Midwest. The company has 16 physical branches and an efficient mobile banking app.

Connexus offers savings and checking accounts as well as a wide range of loans, including home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.

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Best for introductory rates

Connexus made it to Money’s best home equity loans for 2023, because it offers some of the lowest introductory rates on home equity lines of credit of $5,000 or more.

As of April 2023, Connexus HELOCs feature a competitive 4.50% six-month introductory rate for its traditional HELOCs and 4.95% for interest-only HELOCs. After the six-month period, customers can get a rate as low as 6.99%.

Connexus Credit Union home equity loans pros and cons

Pros
  • Convenient online application process
  • Low HELOC introductory rates
  • You can borrow up to 90% of home's equity
Cons
  • Credit union membership required
  • Home equity loan services not available in all states
  • Closing costs range from $175 to $2,000
  • Limited branch locations

Pros explained

Convenient online application process

Connexus provides a short online application form for home equity loans, and it also takes applications over the phone. To seek out a face-to-face meeting with a banker, you can visit one of the credit union's branches in Minnesota, Wisconsin or Illinois. On its website, Connexus claims a fast and efficient approval process and a decision within 24 hours.

Low HELOC introductory rates

As of February 2023, Connexus offers a six-month introductory rate as low as 4.49% on HELOCs of at least $5,000, available until October 2023. After the six-month period, the rate increases to 6.99%.

The actual rate offered may vary based on your credit history and loan term.

Up to 90% of home equity can be borrowed

With Connexus, you can borrow up to 90% of your available home equity. If you have $50,000 of equity, for example, you would be able to borrow up to $45,000.

Cons explained

Credit union membership required

Only Connexus members are eligible for the credit union's home equity products.

Membership is open to employees, retirees, family members and students of select companies and groups, such as Honeywell, Liberty Mutual Insurance, the Minnesota Consumer Council and Harley Owners Group.

Residents in particular communities of the Upper Midwest are also eligible, whereas general applicants need to donate at least $5.00 to the Connexus Foundation to become a member.

You can consult Connexus’ membership eligibility for a complete list of the companies, groups and communities that are eligible to become members.

Home equity loan services not available in all states

Connexus home equity products are not available in Maryland, Texas, Hawaii and Alaska.

Closing costs range from $175 to $2,000

Connexus advertises closing costs ranging from $175 to $2,000, depending on the terms of the home equity loan and the location of the property.

Limited branch locations

Connexus has only 16 physical branches, located throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. However, the credit union offers online applications and can be contacted via email or phone.

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Connexus Credit Union home equity loan offerings

Home equity loans

Connexus offers fixed-rate home equity loans with terms ranging from 60 to 180 months. Its rates, as of this writing, start at 7.74% up to 15.90%.

Like most lenders, Connexus home equity loans can be used to pay for major purchases, credit card debt, cover tuition expenses or for home renovation and repairs.

Connexus doesn’t require a home appraisal in most cases. However you can only borrow up to 90% of your home’s equity and must have at least 20% equity to qualify.

Connexus’ loan application process can be done completely online and within a few minutes. After applying, a representative is typically appointed to handle your application, evaluate documents, answer your questions and guide you throughout the process.

HELOCs (Home equity lines of credit)

Connexus standard HELOC terms have a 15-year draw period and a 15-year repayment term at a variable interest rate. During the draw period, Connexus requires minimum payments of at least 1.5% of the amount borrowed . If you've drawn $2,000 of home equity from the HELOC, including interest charges, you'd have a minimum monthly payment of $30. If you sell the property, then the HELOC balance will be paid off from the proceeds.

Interest-only HELOCs

Connexus’ interest-only HELOC is similar to its standard HELOC but only requires payment of outstanding interest. This arrangement delays payment of principal until a 15-year repayment period, which follows the 15-year period during which funds can be drawn.

A borrower who is approved for an interest-only HELOC enjoys a bit more flexibility on repayment. If convenient, you can pay down the principal at any time, but you only need to make payments on the principal. If you sell the home at any point, all outstanding principal and interest are paid from the sale proceeds.

Connexus Credit Union home equity loans pricing

Connexus charges closing costs on all its home equity loan products. These can range from $175 to $2,000, depending on the loan term and your location. It also charges fees for returned payments on the loan, as well as a convenience fee if you pay over the phone or online with a debit or credit card. The credit union may also submit the borrower to a forced-place insurance processing fee, which covers the loan in case homeowners insurance is not adequate to cover a loss.

Connexus Credit Union home equity loans accessibility

Availability

Connexus home equity loans, like most loans of this type, are available to homeowners with at least an 80% "loan-to-value" ratio in their primary residence.

To apply, a credit union membership is required. The credit union accepts as members employees of certain companies but is also open to anyone who makes a $5 donation to the Connexus Foundation.

However, Connexus’ home equity loan products are not available in Alaska, Texas, Maryland and Hawaii.

Contact information

Connexus is available for inquiries via phone, email, chat and mail. For general information, you can call 800-845-5025.

Its member contact center hours are Monday through Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT, Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT, Fridays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT

The general information email address is info@connexuscu.com. Its website, connexuscu.org, also offers a contact form for inquiries.

User experience

Connexus offers a fully-online application process and a digital banking app that allows users to make deposits and loan payments on mobile devices. In addition,the app features online bill payments, external transfers and a storage system for tax and banking documents.

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Connexus Credit Union home equity loans customer satisfaction

While Connexus only lends to members, they make it easy to join, requiring just a $5 donation to its own charitable foundation.

Customers can avail themselves of digital tools, including a voice-activated assistant accessed via Alexa and Google Assistant. Its mobile app has several useful features, including the ability to pay bills online and link accounts to avoid overdraft fees. The Connexus customer service line is open past normal business hours during the week as well as Saturdays. The website also offers a chat feature and an online inquiry form, which promises a response within 24 hours.

Connexus Credit Union home equity loans FAQ

What is a home equity loan?

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A home equity loan, also called a "second mortgage," is a method of borrowing against your home equity — the appraised value of your home less your outstanding mortgages. Home equity loans can be used for anything from home improvements and remodeling to paying credit card debts or educational expenses. Since these loans are secured with your home, rates are quite competitive and somewhat lower than unsecured loans and credit cards.

How does a home equity loan work?

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A home equity loan lets you borrow a specific amount of money against your home's equity. After approval, lenders distribute the cash to you. The loan is then repaid at a fixed interest rate for the length of the loan, which can range from five to 20 years.

Does Connexus Credit Union work with bad credit?

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Connexus does not specify a minimum credit score to qualify for a home equity loan. The credit union will only consider applicants with an 80% or lower loan-to-value ratio (your outstanding loan balance divided by the appraised home value). Connexus may take into account income, employment history and personal assets as well as debt-to-income ratios when considering an application.

What is the average time that it takes Connexus to approve a home equity loan?

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You can complete the application process over the phone or online, and you'll usually get a decision within 24 hours.

How we evaluated Connexus Credit Union Home Equity Loans

Our review of Connexus is based on a survey of the credit union's website and those of similar credit unions and banks offering home equity loan products. We also accessed third-party ratings, compared loan terms,and checked customer satisfaction and the financial condition of Connexus compared to other lending institutions.

Summary of Money's Connexus Credit Union Home Equity Loans review

Connexus offers both home equity loans and home equity lines of credit with competitive introductory rates. Borrowers can complete loan applications online, over the phone or in person, and get a response within 24 hours. The credit union also offers promotions that make its loan terms even better, such as waiving closing costs and offering interest rates discounts.