Discover: 2022 Home Equity Review

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

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

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If you are looking for a home loan, the website has simple calculators that can help you determine what loan amount 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 annual interest rates and extends repayment terms up to 30 years.

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Discover: At a glance

Types of home loans

Housing loan

APR range

From 7.49% to 13.99%

Loan amounts

$35,000 to $300,000

Credit requirements

At least 620

Repayment terms

Options of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years

Average time for approval

Undiscovered

Homeowners with a credit score of 700 or higher will get the best rates on a Discover Home Loan, although you can qualify with a score as low as 620. While your credit score is the most important factor lenders use to assess whether you’ll pay back your loan, you must also have enough equity built up in your home (as a result of consistent mortgage payments over the years) to qualify.

The 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 all your outstanding mortgage debt compared to the current appraised value of your property.

What we love

  • No fees: Discover simplifies the process by taking on all additional fees such as the origination fee, closing costs and home appraisal. This means you don’t have to worry about coming up with cash during the loan application process or about adding extra costs to your loan. However, if you pay off your loan in full within 36 months, you will be required to reimburse Discover for your closing costs of up to $500.
  • Fixed interest rate: In today’s rising interest rate environment, a fixed rate is attractive because your rate won’t go up no matter what happens to the economy and financial markets.
  • Flexible repayment terms: Discover offers loan terms of up to 30 years, which benefits homeowners who need to extend their financing over a longer period of time. You can repay your home loan for 10, 15, 20 and 30 years.

Which we don’t like

  • Limited credit products: Discover only offers home loans and mortgage refinancing. It does not offer HELOCs, which are variable rate products, or purchase mortgages.
  • High minimum loan amount: You must withdraw at least $35,000 with a Discover home equity loan, which can be high for some homeowners, such as those who only need financing for a small project or to consolidate a moderate amount of debt.
  • Low maximum loan amount: 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 is especially limiting compared to other lenders that offer home loan limits of up to $3 million.

Equity loan options

Discover currently offers home equity loans and mortgage refinances, but does not offer HELOCs or purchase mortgages. The lender also offers a wide variety of other types of loans such as personal loans and credit cards.

fees

One of the benefits of a Discover 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 origination fees, title fees, recording fees, mortgage taxes or closing costs (unless you pay off your loan in full within 36 months, in which case you must reimburse closing costs up to USD 500).

Plus, as a borrower, no fees mean you don’t have to come up with any money when you submit your application, saving you thousands of dollars right away.

How to qualify

You must have a minimum credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a Discover 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 a number of factors such as your verifiable income, debt-to-income ratio, or DTI ratio, such as as well as how much equity you have built up in your home.

Start of work

Once you’ve spoken with a banker, the Discover website provides a detailed checklist of required documents to help you begin your application. Be prepared to have the following documentation such as your W-2 form, bank statements and other personal financial information. Once you’ve gathered all your documents, you can upload them through the Discover loan application portal, from which you can manage the rest of the loan process.

Discover says that uploading your documents online (instead of mailing or faxing them) will speed up processing times. You can expect to receive your funds in full four days after the loan closes, according to Discover.

Customer service

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

Live phone support:

  • New loan applications and ongoing loan applications: 855-361-3435
  • Financial Home Loans: 855-295-2193
  • General Support: 855-361-3435

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