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Home Equity Lines of Credit Frequently Asked Questions

What is a home equity line of credit, also known as a “HELOC”?

A HELOC is a form of revolving credit in which your home serves as collateral. Because a home often is a consumer's most valuable asset, many homeowners use home equity credit lines only for major items, such as education, home improvements, or medical bills, and choose not to use them for day-to-day expenses.

How can I apply for a HELOC at Union Savings Bank?

You can apply in one of two ways, You can apply online, completing an online application which should take approximately 20 minutes. You will be asked questions about your home and finances.

Or, you can apply at any of our branches.

If I apply online, what should I expect after completing my application?

A USB Consumer Loan Representative will contact you to introduce themselves and to answer any questions you may have. Your Consumer Loan Representative will provide help and guidance during the processing of your application.

We will send you a loan package, which will contain papers that you will need to sign and a list of items for you to review, to help us verify the information you provided about your finances during the online application process.

What should I bring with me when I apply at a branch?

You will be asked for information verifying your income so if you are a W-2 wage earner, you should bring copies of your most recent two years W-2’ and copies of your 2 most recent paystubs.
For Self Employed persons, or if you are using rental income, you will need to bring copies of your two most recent years signed copies of your tax returns (all pages and schedules).

Can I take out a HELOC on my Second Home?

Yes, both primary residences and owner occupied second homes are eligible for HELOCs.

Investment properties are not eligible.

What is the maximum percentage of my home's value that I can borrow?

The maximum percentage that you can borrow is 80% of your home’s value including any existing mortgages (this loan to value ratio is the LTV).

To determine the current value of your property, we will require an appraisal.

  • If your loan amount is $250,000 or less, there will not be a charge for the appraisal, which will be done as a “Drive By” appraisal.
  • If your loan amount is over $250,000, we will require a full appraisal and the cost of such will be charged to you. You will be told an estimated cost for the full appraisal prior to ordering the appraisal.

Will the bank require that I hire an attorney?

  • If you apply for a loan of $250,000 or less, we will not require that you hire an attorney.
  • If you select a loan amount exceeding $250,000, we will require you to hire an attorney.

Will the bank require title insurance?

  • Generally, we will not require title insurance on HELOCs that are $250,000 or less.
  • We will require title insurance on HELOCs that exceed $250,000.

What is your Home Equity Line of Credit Rate Lock Policy?

  • If you select a Variable Rate HELOC product, which is based on an index equal to Prime Rate, the interest rate will change anytime the value of the index changes – whether your loan has closed or not.
  • If you select a Fixed Rate HELOC, the interest rate available at the time of approval is automatically locked for the life of your loan.

How can a HELOC be used?

You can use a home equity line of credit for almost anything. Common uses include debt consolidation, home improvements, purchasing or refinancing a home, paying for educational expenses, and buying luxury items.

What are the primary advantages of a HELOC?

The advantage of borrowing with a HELOC is lower interest rates.

The interest rate you pay on the average home equity line of credit is generally lower than the interest rate you will pay on the average credit card or other type of non-secured debt. In some cases, interest paid on a HELOC is tax deductable; you should seek advice from a tax professional, if you are looking for tax benefits.

How do I access my line of credit?

You can request an advance in person at any one of our USB branch locations. Or, you can also obtain an advance by writing a check directly drawn on your line of credit account. HELOC checks are welcome anywhere a personal check is accepted.

What is the minimum amount I can draw down on my HELOC?

The minimum amount that you can draw down is $500.00.

Can I make additional principal payments in order to pay off my line early?

Yes. Include the additional amount with your regular monthly payment or visit your local USB branch to have the additional payment applied to your account. If you wish to close your account, check your documents to determine if a fee will apply.

How long will a home equity line of credit take to close?

A HELOC should close in approximately 30 days after the application is submitted.

Who do I contact if I have questions about HELOCs?

For questions concerning Home Equity Lines of Credit or personal loans, emailconsumerlending@unionsavings.com or call us at 203.730.5039 .

All loans are subject to credit approval.