Discover: 2022 Home Equity Review

Discover is a financial services company headquartered outside of Chicago in Riverwoods, Ill., that offers a variety of loans, as well as banking and credit card services.

You can apply for personal loans, student loans and home loans with Discover. The Illinois-based lender offers loans and mortgage refinancing, but does not offer lines of credit or HELOCs.

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If you are looking for a home equity loan, the website has easy-to-use calculators that can help you determine how much loan and interest rate you may qualify for in your personal financial situation. You can apply online or call a banker to apply for a home loan. Discover says it offers low, fixed APRs and has extended repayment terms of up to 30 years.

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Discover: At a Glance

Types of home equity loans

Home equity loans

APR is arranged

From 7.49% to 13.99%

Loan amount

$35,000 to $300,000

Credit score requirements

Minimum 620

Refund terms

10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year options

Average time for approval

Undisclosed

Homeowners with credit scores of 700 or higher will receive the best rates for a Discover home equity loan, though you may qualify with a score as low as 620. Although your credit score is the most important factor lenders use to evaluate if you are paying. To repay your loan, you must have enough equity built up in your home (as a result of making consistent mortgage payments over the years) to qualify.

An average customer can typically borrow up to 80% of their home’s combined loan-to-value ratio, or CLTV ratio, but qualified borrowers can borrow up to 90% CLTV in some cases, according to Discover. Your CLTV is the ratio of your total outstanding mortgage balance compared to the current appraised value of your property.

What we like

  • No fees: Discover keeps the process simple by taking care of all extra fees like origination fees, closing costs and home appraisals. This means you don’t have to worry about getting any cash during your loan application process or having to roll additional fees into your loan. However, if you pay off your loan in full within 36 months, you will have to reimburse Discover for your closing costs up to $500.
  • Fixed interest rate: In today’s rising interest rate environment, a fixed interest rate is attractive because your rate will not go up regardless of what happens in the economy and financial markets.
  • Flexible repayment terms: Discover offers loan terms of up to 30 years, which benefits homeowners who need to stretch their financing over a long period of time. You can repay your home equity loan in 10, 15, 20 and 30 years.

What we don’t like

  • Limited loan products: Discover only offers home equity loans and mortgage refinancing. It does not offer HELOCs, which are variable interest rate products, or mortgage purchases.
  • High minimum loan amount: You must withdraw at least $35,000 with a Discover home equity loan, which can be large for some homeowners, such as those who only need financing for a small project or consolidating a moderate amount of debt.
  • Maximum loan amount is low: You can only take out a maximum loan amount of $300,000, which may be too small for homeowners who need to finance more expensive, long-term projects, and it is especially limited compared to other lenders that offer home equity loan limits of up to $3 million. .

Home equity loan options

Currently, Discover offers home equity loans and mortgage refinancing, but it does not offer HELOCs or buy-to-let mortgages. The lender also offers a wide variety of other types of loans such as personal loans and credit cards.

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One of the benefits of a home equity loan is that it takes care of all the upfront fees that are typically associated with a home equity loan. Discover does not charge any application fees, and you will not be responsible for an origination fee, title fee, registration fee, mortgage tax or closing fee (unless you pay off your loan in full within 36 months, in which case you must repay the closing fee are up to $500).

In addition, as a borrower, no fees mean that you do not need to come up with any money when you submit your application, saving you thousands of dollars immediately.

How to qualify

You must have a minimum credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a home equity loan (although the lender prefers a score of 700 or higher). In addition to your credit score — which is usually the most important factor lenders consider when determining your interest rate — your rate will also depend on several factors such as your verifiable income, debt-to-income ratio, or DTI ratio, as well as the amount of equity you have built up in your home.

Get started

Once you’ve spoken with a banker, the Discover website provides a detailed list of documents needed to help you start your application. Be prepared to have these documents, such as your Form W-2, bank statements and other personal financial information. Once you have all your documents gathered, you can upload them using the Discover loan application portal, where you can manage the rest of the loan process.

Discover says that uploading your documents online (rather than sending them by mail or fax) will speed up your processing time. You can expect to receive your money within four full days after your loan closes, according to Discover.

Customer Service

To apply for a home loan, you can call a personal banker or submit your application online through the Discover website. Once you set up your online account, you can access the Discover loan portal to keep track of your application. Homeowners can find customer support on weekdays from 8 am to 12 pm ET and on weekends from 10 am to 6 pm ET.

Live phone support:

  • New loan applications and loan applications in progress: 855-361-3435
  • Home loan financing: 855-295-2193
  • General support: 855-361-3435

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