KeyBank: Review on Home Equity Loans and HELOCs

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Good for wide range of product offerings
Good for wide range of product offerings
  • Products offered:
    Home equity loan, HELOC, interest-only HELOC, rate-lock HELOC
  • Home equity loan terms:
    5 to 30 years
  • HELOC terms:
    15-year draw period, 15-year repayment period
  • Maximum LTV:
    80% for standard home equity loans and HELOCs, 90% for high-value home equity loans and HELOCs

NextAdvisor’s Take

  • Interest-only and rate-lock HELOC options
  • Streamlined application process for existing KeyBank customers
  • Smooth online user experience and website
  • High closing costs if you plan to use a closing agent
  • Annual fee for HELOCs
  • Origination fee for home equity loans
The Bottom Line

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyBank has been around for nearly 190 years. KeyBank offers home equity loans to customers in 15 states and HELOCs to customers in 44 states. Aside from a standard HELOC, KeyBank also offers interest-only and rate-lock options. Home equity loan amounts of $25,000 and up are available, while HELOCs have line amounts of $10,000 and up. 

KeyBank HELOCs come with an annual fee of $50, but no closing costs unless your closing is performed by a closing agent. In that case, your closing fee could be up to $400. KeyBank offers a 0.25% rate discount for clients who have eligible checking and savings accounts with KeyBank. Additionally, home equity loans have an origination fee of $295.

The KeyBank application allows you to apply for multiple products at one time. If you’re not sure whether KeyBank loans are available in your area, the application will tell you once you input your zip code. If you’re an existing KeyBank customer, you’ll have the option to skim through the application and import your personal information from your account. 

We like KeyBank because of its extensive product offerings. The streamlined application process for existing customers is helpful, but both existing and new customers will likely be pleased with the online user experience and availability of customer service that KeyBank offers.

Editorial Independence

As with all of our home equity loan and home equity line of credit (HELOC) lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.

KeyBank Full Review 

KeyBank, a Cleveland-based financial institution with roots tracing back 190 years, offers both home equity loans and lines of credit, or HELOCs, to qualifying homeowners. While its home equity loans are limited to 15 states, its HELOCs are available in 44. Whichever product you choose, you can borrow up to $500,000 through KeyBank. With its extensive product offerings and streamlined application process, KeyBank made our list of best lenders for home equity loans and lines of credit.  

KeyBank: Home Equity Loan Products

KeyBank offers both home equity loans and HELOCs, although their availability varies. The bank’s home equity loans are only offered to customers in 15 states, while HELOCs are offered to customers in 44 states. 

Loan amounts vary, too — you can borrow a home equity loan between $25,000 and $500,000 or a HELOC between $10,000 and $500,000. Home equity loans come with repayment terms between five and 30 years. 

Along with its standard variable rate HELOC, KeyBank offers a rate-lock HELOC, allowing you to lock in a fixed rate during your draw period. The bank also gives you the option of making interest-only payments during this time. 

Expect to pay a $50 annual fee to keep your HELOC open, but otherwise you don’t have to worry about closing costs unless you work with a closing agent. If you opt for a closing agent, you may be charged closing costs up to $400. Home equity loans also have an origination fee of $295. You can get a 0.25% rate discount if you’re a KeyBank customer with an eligible checking and savings account. 

KeyBank allows a maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 80% for standard home equity loans and HELOCs. Loan-to-value ratio measures the amount of your loan compared to the value of your home. 

KeyBank: Home Loans Rate and Fee Transparency

KeyBank offers a streamlined and transparent application process. On its website, you can review rates and fees after entering your ZIP code. If KeyBank lends in your state, it will share its current range of APRs at different repayment terms (shorter terms get slightly better rates). 

When lenders share this information online, homeowners can make better borrowing decisions. You don’t have to share any personal information to track down these details, but instead can review them online before deciding whether to move forward. Plus, you can make sure a lender isn’t charging high fees that would offset the savings you’d get from a low interest rate. 

If you decide to apply, KeyBank offers a smooth and streamlined application process. Current customers can import their personal details directly into the application. You can also contact customer support 24/7 over the phone or via live chat during business hours if you have a KeyBank account. 

KeyBank Compared to Other Home Equity Lenders

KeyBankTD BankPNC Bank
HELOC Standard variable rate HELOC, rate-lock HELOC, interest-only HELOC Interest-only HELOC, Rate-lock HELOCFixed rate HELOC, variable rate HELOC 
Home Equity Loan Yes, with terms from 5 to 30 years Yes, terms of 5, 10, 15, 20, or 30 yearsNo
States Available15 for home equity loans, 44 for HELOCs15 states 44 states (not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, Mississippi, South Dakota)
Loan Amount Range$10,000 – $500,000 for HELOCs; $25,000 – $500,000 for home equity loans Loans start at $10,000, HELOCs start at $25,000$10,000 – $1 million
HELOC Loan Terms15-year draw period; 15-year repayment period 10-year draw period, 20-year repayment period Repayment period of 5 – 30 years (5 – 20 years in Tennessee)
Max LTV80% for standard home equity loans and HELOCs, 90% for high-value home equity loans and HELOCs89.99%89.9% (80% or 85% in some states)

How to Get the Best Home Equity or HELOC Rate  

There’s no shortage of lenders out there when it comes to home equity loans and HELOCs. Here are some tips for choosing a lender and finding the best rate on a loan. 

Check Out the Products Offered 

You can narrow down your options by selecting which loan type, a home equity loan or HELOC, is right for you. Some lenders only offer one or the other, so knowing which product you’re after can focus your search. 

A home equity loan is an installment loan that you pay off over time. You’ll get a lump sum amount all at once and make fixed, monthly payments, typically between five and 30 years. You’ll also probably get a fixed interest rate that will stay the same over the life of the loan. 

A HELOC, on the other hand, is a line of credit that you can draw on as you need it. You might have to pay an annual fee to maintain your HELOC, and you’ll typically have a 10-year draw period during which you can access it. HELOCs typically have variable interest rates, but some lenders let you lock in a fixed rate if you prefer. 

Home equity loans may be preferable if you want a fixed, monthly payment that you can budget for and know the amount you need upfront. HELOCs, on the other hand, could be the superior option if you want greater flexibility or are financing a project with variable costs. 

Shop with Multiple Lenders 

Anytime you’re going after a loan, it’s a good idea to pound the pavement. Shop around with multiple lenders and compare offers. One lender might offer better rates and fees than another. Lowering your rate even a small amount could save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. 

Some lenders let you check your rates online via prequalification, which won’t impact your credit score. Take advantage of these rate check opportunities so you can find a home equity loan or HELOC with the best rate. 

Only Borrow What You Need 

When you’re borrowing against the equity of your home, it’s crucial not to over-borrow. Home equity loans and HELOCs are secured loans that use your home as collateral. If you can’t pay them back, you risk losing your home through foreclosure. And if home values drop, you could end up underwater, or owing more on your home than it’s worth. 

While some lenders will let you borrow up to 80% or 90% of your available equity, that doesn’t mean you should. Try to keep borrowing to a minimum, and avoid overextending yourself by taking on too much debt. 

Consider Your Budget 

Before taking out a home equity loan or HELOC, check your budget to make sure you can afford the monthly payments. With a home equity loan, you can see upfront what your monthly payments will be. If you opt for a HELOC, your payments could change over time if your rate fluctuates or you switch from interest-only payments to full payments. Either way, make sure you can comfortably afford the bills before taking out the loan. You might use a loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments and see your long-term interest charges. 

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score has a big impact on the interest rate you’ll get on a home equity loan or HELOC. Lenders see borrowers with good credit as less risky and award them better interest rates as a result. If you can improve your credit before you apply, you’ll have a better chance of scoring a low rate. 

Your credit score is based on a number of factors, including the amount of money you owe and your payment history. Paying down debts and making on-time payments, therefore, can help boost your score, as can reducing your credit utilization ratio. If you find any errors on your credit report, you can also dispute them in an attempt to have them removed. 

If you don’t have an immediate need for a home equity loan or HELOC, taking a few months or a year to improve your credit score could save you money in the long run.