Fifth Third Bank is a Cincinnati, Ohio-based consumer bank that was founded in 1858. The lender offers several home equity products, including home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and home equity loans. Loans are flexible and you can use them for home renovations, paying off high-interest debt and other planned or unforseen expenses.
Not only does Fifth Third Bank offers a rate discount for making automatic payments, it imposes less rigorous borrower criteria than other lenders. Read on to learn more about Fifth Third and whether it offers some of the best home equity loans.
Fifth Third Bank home equity pros and cons
- Ability to convert to a fixed-rate loan for $95
- 0.25% rate discount available with autopay
- Only available in 11 states
Ability to convert to a fixed-rate loan for $95
If you open a HELOC through Fifth Third Bank, your default interest rate will be variable. However, Fifth Third allows you to convert your balance to a fixed-rate loan for a one-time fee of $95.
This makes your Fifth Third Bank home equity loan more adaptable. It allows you to begin with the flexibility of a HELOC and transition to a more traditional fixed-rate home equity loan whenever you wish to do so.
0.25% rate discount available with autopay
If you use Fifth Third Bank services for your home equity loan, you can automatically get a 0.25% interest rate discount by using autopay. This discount is available regardless of your credit score or available initial interest rates. You’ll get immediate savings just for making it easier to pay your bill on time.
Only available in 11 states
Perhaps the biggest downside to Fifth Third Bank is that it only offers home equity loans to residents of 11 states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Fifth Third Bank home equity offerings
Fifth Third Bank offers three ways to get cash out of your home, each of which is covered below.
Equity Flexline is Fifth Third Bank’s version of a HELOC. This revolving line of credit has no closing cost and is available in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $500,000. You can use as much or as little of your approved HELOC as you want as long as you keep the account open.
Equity Flexline plans have variable interest rates that fluctuate based on the prime rate.
You’ll also have the option of converting any Equity Flexline balance into a fixed-rate loan at any time for a fee of $95. This locks in your interest rate long-term but could also increase it slightly.
Home equity loan
You can also get a more traditional home equity loan through Fifth Third Bank. These loans also have no closing costs but feature fixed rates by default. Rather than accessing funds on an as-needed basis, you’ll receive the total loan amount as a lump sum.
Traditional home equity loans can be advantageous because of their predictability. Your minimum monthly payment will remain the same no matter how the Federal Reserve adjusts interest rates in the future. However, you may be offered a higher initial interest rate to account for this.
Easy Home Refi
If your main goal is lowering your monthly mortgage payment, a Fifth Third Easy Home Refi may be the best option. This involves revisiting the terms of your mortgage — ideally, to receive a lower interest rate and reduce your monthly payment amount.
That said, refinancing your home could reset its payment clock. For example, if you’ve already made five years of payments on a 30-year loan, refinancing could leave you with 30 more years of payments to make rather than 25.
Fifth Third Bank home equity pricing
Fifth Third Bank home equity loan rates range from 7.72% to 15.65% as of this writing. However, these rates fluctuate as the prime rate changes in response to inflation and changing economic conditions.
There are also a few fees to consider when deciding whether Fifth Third Bank is the right provider for your home equity needs. These include:
- A $65 annual fee for keeping your home equity line of credit open
- A one-time $95 fee for converting a HELOC balance to a fixed-rate loan
- Up to $600 for a condominium questionnaire fee if you have a multi-family property that you want to use to secure a home equity loan
Fifth Third Bank financial stability
Fifth Third Bank has received a stable financial outlook rating from each of the following rating agencies:
- Standard & Poor’s
These ratings don’t guarantee that Fifth Third Bank will remain financially stable throughout your relationship with the institution. But they do demonstrate that the bank safeguards its customers’ deposits well enough to avoid major concerns.
Fifth Third Bank accessibility
Home equity loans through Fifth Third Bank aren’t as accessible as those offered by other providers because home equity products are only available in 11 states.
The company also has fewer online resources available than many other financial institutions and only offers Spanish-language support over the phone rather than online. Here’s more information about the company’s accessibility.
There are Fifth Third Bank locations in 11 states:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
If you don’t live in one of these states, you won’t be able to use Fifth Third Bank for a home equity line of credit or loan.
Fifth Third Bank makes customer service representatives available from Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Customers can also contact customer support on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fifth Third Bank’s phone number for home loan and refinance applications is (866) 351-5353. The company also offers support through online messaging and its mobile app.
Fifth Third Bank’s user experience is largely positive. You can visit the company’s website to schedule a lending appointment online. The company also offers helpful resources to aid in decision-making, such as home equity payment calculators and answers to frequently asked questions.
Still, Fifth Third Bank won’t give you a personalized quote online instantly. You’ll need to answer a few questions online, and then a customer service representative will contact you to finish the process.
Fifth Third Bank home equity customer satisfaction
There aren’t many customer reviews that focus on Fifth Third Bank’s home equity products. However, the bank has a 1.4-star rating on Trustpilot, based on 103 reviews. The bank has a similarly low rating from reviewers on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, where it has earned a 1.09-star rating based on 416 reviews.
Positive reviews highlight the helpfulness of customer service representatives and the bank’s convenient online and mobile financial tools. Negative reviews lament poor customer service and unexpected charges. These mixed reviews signify that your experience with Fifth Third Bank could be hit or miss.
Fifth Third Bank home equity FAQ
Which of Fifth Third's home equity products is the best?
The best home equity product from Fifth Third depends on your goals. If you want a revolving line of credit secured by your home's equity, the company's Equity Flexline product is the best fit. But if you prefer the predictability of a fixed-rate loan, you're likely better off with a standard home equity loan.
One thing to note when making this decision is that it's possible to transition from an Equity Flexline account to a fixed-rate loan — but not the other way around. That means even if you're leaning toward a traditional home equity loan, it may be worth starting with a Fifth Third Bank HELOC to leave the option open. Just remember that a $95 conversion fee will apply if you decide to make the switch.
Are there any application fees or closing costs involved?
You will only encounter an application fee if you want to use a condo to secure your home equity loan at Fifth Third Bank. In this case, the lender charges a one-time fee of up to $600 during the application process. There are no closing costs.
Also consider that Fifth Third Bank's HELOCs have an annual fee of $65. You have to pay this fee to keep the line of credit open, and it could be charged against your HELOC balance if you don't pay it yourself.
What's the difference between a variable-rate and fixed-rate home equity loan?
The interest rate on a variable-rate loan fluctuates based on changing economic conditions, such as the prime rates set by the Fed. If you take out a variable-rate home equity loan, your minimum payment amount and interest rate can vary from month to month.
Fixed-rate loans feature interest rates that never change. The rate you qualify for during the application process is the rate you'll pay throughout the life of the loan. This rate may be slightly higher than your variable-rate offer, but it will come with the benefit of predictability.
How we evaluated Fifth Third Bank home equity
We created our Fifth Third Bank home equity review by evaluating each of the following factors:
- Product offering information from the bank’s website
- Financial stability ratings from trusted third-party institutions
- Fee information from the company’s website
- User submitted reviews
Summary of Money’s Fifth Third Bank home equity review
Fifth Third Bank home equity loans may be a fit for you if you have fair credit and live in one of the 11 states that the institution serves. The bank’s rates are competitive, and its fees are reasonable compared to the competition.
However, Fifth Third Bank doesn’t have the strongest customer satisfaction ratings and its service area is limited. But if you fit the criteria, Fifth Third Bank can be a solid home equity loan provider.