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Citibank Review

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PROS / This lender provides excellent customer service.

CONS / Citibank does not always let you use a second home for collateral and does not offer certain loans in some states.

 VERDICT / Citibank offers both home equity loans and HELOCs at competitive interest rates. We found the online application process straightforward and the customer service very good, making this a strong choice for home equity financing.

Citibank offers both home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOC). The amount it can loan is less than most banks, and the loan-to-value ratio it requires is tighter, but it has excellent customer service, a smooth loan process in most cases and competitive interest rates.

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It does not allow a second home as collateral and only lets you collateralize a one- or two-family residence if you live in New York, Illinois, District of Columbia, New Jersey and Maryland. HELOCs and loans are not offered for collateral properties located in Alaska.

To qualify, your residence needs to meet or exceed a specific LTV, which you can find on the website or by calling. The LTV, or loan-to-value ratio, is the amount you owe on your home divided by its value.

You can also check the website for the most current interest rates and terms for both the home equity loans and HELOC loans. The information on the website is only a best-case average; your actual rates will depend on your credit history, qualifications and collateral. The online application process was straightforward and complete. You can find a checklist online detailing the documents and information you need for the application.

Calling a large bank can be a frustrating experience, but Citibank's system was one of the best we experienced. When the department isn't too busy, you can reach a loan officer immediately by calling the number on the website – there are no automated menus. At busier times, we were connected immediately to a live operator who connected us with the next available agent. The loan officers were some of the most knowledgeable we spoke to and quickly answered all our questions. One took time to fully explain how LTV worked.

Summary

Citibank has good customer service and a smooth online application process. The home equity loans and lines of credit are overall on par with those of other lenders; although, the maximum you can borrow is less than most allow. Nonetheless, it has fewer fees than most of the home equity lenders we reviewed and is a bank worth pricing for your home equity financing.

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