Bank of Hawaii Home Equity Loan December 2023
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Trust – Remember, Newsweek ranked it No. 3 among America’s Most Trusted Companies in the banking industry.
Flexible HELOCs – Lots of choices are available, including discounted initial rates, many loan terms, and even a mortgage-refinance option.
Very helpful website – It’s packed with information and also offers a slick online application process.
It doesn’t offer home equity loans.
HELOCs are available only in Hawaii and Guam.
Does the Bank of Hawaii Offer Home Equity Loans or HELOCs?
There’s no sign on the bank’s website of a current home equity loan offering. But BoH certainly has a home equity line of credit (HELOC) product.
Reducing home-equity portfolios to just one product became common among lenders at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are yet to restore such portfolios. Borrowers who believe a home
According to the bank’s HELOC application page, the property securing a BoH HELOC must be “located in Hawaii or Guam.” BoH HELOCs are therefore not available to residents in the other 49 states at this time.
Who is the Bank of Hawaii?
From its headquarters in Honolulu, the Bank of Hawaii (BoH) celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2022. BoH was founded in 1897 and soon acquired the nickname “Bankoh.”
Also, in 2022, Newsweek ranked BoH No. 3 among America’s “Most Trusted Companies” in the banking industry. Don’t underestimate that accolade. When it comes to the financial sector, trust is a rare commodity and is invariably hard-earned. Bank of Hawaii has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, too.
equity loan is their best way forward will therefore have to get quotes from other lenders.
Bank of Hawaii Home Equity Loan
As explained, the Bank of Hawaii does not currently offer home equity loans. However, it might reintroduce them at some point in the future. Check the bank’s website to see whether such an offering has appeared since this article was written.
Bank of Hawaii HELOC
The Bank of Hawaii HELOC (a.k.a. the “Bankoh Home EquityLine”) is available only in Hawaii and Guam. Despite that important caveat, a BoH HELOC provides considerable flexibility. Customers can tailor their lines across a range of “terms” (lengths of loans) and may be able to borrow up to $400,000.
Individuals can also opt for a discounted introductory rate over the first five years, which can relieve pressure for new borrowers. However, that option also poses a danger in the form of much higher monthly payments when the introductory rate ends.
BoH HELOCs start out with variable rates. Yet it’s possible to fix the interest rate on some, or all, of a line’s balance. View the bank’s video to learn more about this option. The fixed-rate loan option (FRLO) promises a “low, fixed rate.” However, that rate is still likely to be higher than the variable rate, at least to start with.
Intriguingly, BoH also offers to refinance existing mortgages into fixed-rate HELOCs, if the mortgage balance is below $400,000. (When Bills.com visited the website, the rates on offer were significantly below current mortgage rates for equivalent loans.)
BoH also allows interested parties to download its free, 30-page ebook, Getting and Using a Home Equity Line of Credit in Hawaii. This ebook could be valuable, though some sections seem a little dated.
BoH HELOC essentials
Here are the basics for BoH’s HELOC:
- Maximum loan-to-value – Borrow up to 85% of the home’s market value, minus the existing mortgage, new HELOC, and any other borrowing (second mortgages) secured on the property.
- Interest-rate range – 5.1% for 15-year HELOC to 6.75% for loans with low introductory rates. Introductory rates from 3.75%. All rates are subject to change and depend on your credit score.
- Minimum credit score – Probably 680 or higher. One may need 750+ for the very best rates.
- Maximum and minimum loan amounts – Up to $400,000 without an appraisal. No minimum specified. The minimum amount in Guam is $20,000 and might vary in Hawaii. The maximum amount according to their calculator is $1,000,000.
- Length of loan terms – Up to 30 years.
- The bank’s ebook says: “There may be closing costs for your HELOC. Thesecan range from half a percent of the total line of credit to 2 percent or more.” BoH also warns of the possibility of continuing fees. Investigate further to establish all your potential liabilities.
How to Apply for Bank of Hawaii Home Equity Loans
One can apply for a HELOC using the Bank of Hawaii’s online SimpliFi portal. People who are technophobes can call 808-693-2222, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., for advice and to set up a face-to-face meeting with an adviser.
The Simplifi portal appears easy to use. Initially, be ready to provide information about income, the value of the home on which the line will be secured, and the value of the HELOC required. The bank will also later require documentation to support your claims. These will include:
- Income statements
- Bank statements and other assets
- Property insurance
- Trust documents, if the home is held in trust
- Closing or final settlement statements, if the applicant has bought or sold a home in the previous six months
Check out Documents You’ll Need for a Home Equity Line of Credit for a comprehensive list. Individuals applying online can scan these documents or use a smartphone to photograph them. They can then upload them through the bank’s secure portal.
Bank of Hawaii Expert and Consumer Ratings
There are far fewer consumer or expert reviews online about the Bank of Hawaii than for other large banks. That’s probably because so many of BoH’s products are available only in Hawaii and Guam.
Bills.com found only one expert review; that review awarded the bank 4.2 out of five stars, which is good and sounds about right. Consumers on Trustpilot awarded BoH 3.4 stars. That’s not surprising. Disgruntled consumers tend to be more vocal than happy ones. And every bank has some customers who don’t like it.
Bank of Hawaii Alternatives
However, the Bank of Hawaii does have a range of personal loans that might be an alternative for some borrowers. Unusually, the bank offers unsecured (no collateral) personal loans just for homeowners. These have published rates ranging from 5% for a one-year loan to 7% for a five-year loan; for unsecured loans for non-homeowners, rates range from 7% to 13.5%. A third option is a personal loan secured on your BoH savings or CD accounts. These come with rates of 5% to 5.5%.
(Please note that these rates were correct when this review was written. They may have changed since. So click the links above to see whether they have changed. Also, BoH says, “Interest rate is based on an individual’s credit report. This calculator is for educational purposes only.” Borrowers with weaker credit scores may thus pay more.)
The other main alternative to home equity loans and HELOCs used to be a cash-out refinance. And it may still be an option for some borrowers in exceptional circumstances.
However, a cash-out refinance involves scrapping the current home loan and replacing it with a new one. And recent rises in mortgage rates mean that a new mortgage will typically have a considerably higher rate than the existing rate.
That fact alone is often enough to make a refinance unviable. But add in the higher closing costs that come with a refinance and few homeowners today will find this an attractive option.
Alternatives to a Bank of Hawaii Home Equity Loan
People who want a home equity loan or who don’t live in Hawaii or Guam can’t use the Bank of Hawaii. What should they do instead? They should get quotes from multiple lenders who do offer the products they want — and where they want them. Getting several quotes is essential because interest rates and closing costs can vary hugely among lenders. And it’s the only way to be sure one is getting the best deal.