Truist Home Equity Loan Review March 2023
At Bills.com, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. While many of the products reviewed are from our Service Providers, including those with which we are affiliated and those that compensate us, our evaluations are never influenced by them.
|Amount||Not currently offered|
|Min. Credit Score||n/a|
Highly respected and trusted bank
Easy-to-use online application
Fast turnaround for HELOC applications
Customer service issues while the merger beds in
Competitive rather than industry-leading rates
No home equity loan
Does Truist Offer Home Equity Loans or HELOCs?
Currently, Truist offers HELOCs but not home equity loans.
The Truist Bank: General Information
Truist Bank may be a new name in financial services, but its roots go back to 1872. In December 2019, Truist Financial Corporation was formed through a “merger of equals” between BB&T Corporation and SunTrust Banks, Inc. Both merged companies began their corporate lives in the 19th century.
Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Truist today serves 15 million customers, according to its website. It has branches in 15 states and DC, mainly on the East Coast but as far west as Alabama. And it is one of America’s Top-10 commercial banks.
It is a full-service bank for consumers and businesses. And its many offerings include mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).
According to the online application form, Truist HELOCs are available in the following states: AL, AR, CA, DC, FL, GA, IN, KY, MD, MS, NC, NJ, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, V, and WV.
Truist’s Home Equity Offerings
Currently, Truist offers HELOCs but not home equity loans.
Truist’s basic HELOC has a variable interest rate. But it may be possible to fix a rate for some or all of a balance.
Setting the interest rate of a balance comes with a nominal fee of $15 each time someone exercises the option. And the bank says that the fixed rate will “vary” from the variable one. You may think it safe to assume that “vary” means “be higher than,” at least when interest rates are generally rising.
Borrowers can’t have more than five portions of their overall balance fixed at any one time. So they might want to reserve the use of this option for times when they “drawdown” (withdraw) sums from their line of credit.
Truist Home Equity Loan
Truist did not offer a home equity loan product when this was written. But that does not mean it won’t reintroduce one at some point. So, check its website.
Many banks reduced their home equity offerings soon after the COVID-19 pandemic started. They were worried “because of the pandemic and resulting economic uncertainty,” according to a 2021 article in The Wall Street Journal (paywall).
Although the pandemic’s uncertainty has – one hopes – largely passed, the economy still faces considerable problems. And several big banks are yet to reintroduce a full range of home equity products.
But home equity loans are still available for those who search for them. So, by all means, readers should apply to other banks and mortgage lenders if they require one of those.
Truist is not as forthcoming as some of its competitors when it comes to the details of its products. So some of the information Bills.com routinely supplies in reviews is unavailable. However, readers should know the following:
- Maximum combined loan-to-value (CLTV) – Unspecified, but the preset on the “How large of a line of credit can I obtain?” calculator is 85%. So Truist may allow the total borrowing secured on a home (first and second mortgage(s)) to be 85% of that property’s appraised value
- Interest rate range – 7.05% to 11.50% APR at time of writing
- Minimum credit score – Unspecified. Truist urges borrowers to keep their “credit score above 720” for the lowest rates. A borrower can still get approved with lower scores but will likely pay a higher rate
- Maximum and minimum loan amounts – Unspecified
- Length of loan terms – Variable for draw periods. Repayment periods can last 5, 10, 15, and 20 years.
- “The advertised rate will vary if the client chooses for the bank to pay their closing costs, which is an option in some states if the requested loan amount is less than or equal to $500,000. Other fees may be charged at origination, closing or subsequent to closing, ranging from $0 to $10,000, and may vary by state,” says the bank’s website
- If Truist pays closing costs and a borrower pays off their loan within 36 months of closing day, they’ll have to repay those costs
How to Apply for Truist HELOCs
Providing one has all the information required, completing the online application may take as little as 15 minutes. Applicants then have to upload all the required documents to support their applications.
Once all those documents are with the bank, it says closing usually takes 30-35 days. That’s a fast turnaround compared with many other banks.
Truist lists what’s required when applying:
- The applicant’s and, if relevant, any co-applicant’s personal details and contact info, including Social Security number(s)
- A U.S. cell phone number is necessary to complete digital applications
- Two years of address and employment history
- Financial history, including income, debts, or other personal obligations
- Details about the collateral property (purchase and property details and mortgage or lien information)
The bank also needs to access credit scores. And it asks applicants who have frozen their credit for security reasons to unfreeze it temporarily.
Applicants who prefer to apply by mail or in a branch can explore their options by calling 844-4TRUIST (844-487-8478). Their service hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.
Truist Bank Expert and Consumer Ratings
We compared expert reviews and online consumer ratings. It took the average Truist star rating for banking services across seven websites to come up with its own, which is 2.64 stars out of five.
Some experts noted that the merger of two large banks inevitably throws up temporary issues. And those may have contributed to lower customer satisfaction scores than the bank would like. A 2022 news report on 11 Alive Atlanta echoed that theory.
Still, 2.64 stars is a respectable rating. And customer review sites such as Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau pulled down Truist’s average. Consumers with complaints are likelier to be more vocal than satisfied ones on such sites.
The Better Business Bureau gives Truist its highest (A+) rating, and it’s a BBB accredited business.
In the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, Truist was again mid-range, scoring 825/1,000, a little below the 851, the industry average.
Here are three pros for Truist:
- Highly respected and trusted bank
- Easy-to-use online application
- Fast turnaround for HELOC applications
Those may be enough for applicants to wish to get a quote from this bank.
On the con side for Truist:
- Customer service issues while the merger beds in
- Competitive rather than industry-leading rates
- No home equity loan
Truist Alternatives to a HELOC
On its HELOC webpage, Truist mentions two other products in its portfolio that can help those needing to raise money.
Cash-out refinances can be attractive because they typically have a much lower interest rate than other forms of borrowing, even including HELOCs. However, borrowers are getting a whole new mortgage with one of these. And, unless they’re refinancing to a lower rate than they’re paying on their current mortgage (unlikely at the time of writing), their monthly payments across the entire loan will be higher. Closing costs, too, are typically much higher than for a HELOC or other loan.
Sometimes, a cash-out refinance is a smart choice, especially if someone needs access to a substantial sum. But applicants should run the numbers very carefully before committing. You need to receive big savings in your interest rate or need a lower monthly payment by extending your current loan.
The other product Truist mentions is a personal loan. Truist was advertising its personal loan rates within a more realistic 5.49% to 15.99% APR. And it says, “Excellent credit required for lowest rate.”
However, vanishingly few people qualify for such low rates. Someone would need an extraordinarily high credit score and the sorts of financial circumstances that mean they don’t need a loan. Lesser mortals almost always pay more for a personal loan than a HELOC.
Alternatives to Truist,
Even big fans of Truist should comparison shop for their HELOCs. They may save money if they get a better deal from another lender.