In a Nutshell
- No fees or cash to pay at closing
- Personal banker support
- Straightforward loan application process
- No clear information about how long process is
- No live chat
- Application process cannot be done entirely online
Discover at a Glance
Loan Types: Home equity loans
Loan Features: No fees or closing costs
Repayment Terms: 10, 12, 15, or 20 years
Best For: Home owners with good credit scores looking for better interest rates
Discover is a direct lender for home equity loans that focuses on personal service and making an informed choice. The website is easy to navigate and important information like loan rates and FAQs are prominently displayed. The application process is straightforward and every borrower is connected with a personal banker for individual support. However, there is no live chat available and Discover only offers lump sum home equity loans, not HELOC loans.
- Borrow $35,000 - $150,000
- Fixed rates from 4.49% - 11.49%
- Terms are 10, 12, 15, or 20 years
- No origination fees, home valuation fees, or application fees
- No cash required at closing
Discover home equity loans are ideal for anyone with a good level of home equity, a credit score of at least 620, and who isn’t planning on moving house for at least 36 months after taking out the loan. A Discover home equity loan is also good for anyone who wants to refinance their mortgage to consolidate debt, pay for education, a wedding, or other major expenses, or obtain lower interest rates. Discover doesn’t charge any loan origination or application fees and doesn’t ask for any cash up front. Discover’s personal banker advisor system brings reassurance to confused borrowers.
Discover does not charge any fees for loan application, valuation, or origination and it doesn’t ask for any cash on closing since it pays all the closing fees itself, making it a cost-effective option for first time home equity loans or to refinance your home. The ability to talk to a personal banker who will take time to understand your financial situation is extremely valuable and the application process is straightforward and mostly done online. Once your application is complete, monthly payments are generally low and you have the reassurance of knowing exactly how much you’ll pay each month thanks to a fixed interest rate.
- No application, home valuation, or origination fees
- Discover pays all the closing costs so you don’t need any cash at closing
- Low fixed rates from 4.49% APR
- Straightforward application process
- Direct line to your personal banker for support
The Application Process
Discover’s application process is straightforward and clearly explained. You can begin the application online by answering a few standard questions about your property value, the size of your current mortgage, your name and address, and the amount you want to borrow. Or you can move straight to calling Discover to talk to a personal banker who will ask the same questions plus a few more, to decide how much you’re eligible to borrow. Your personal banker will give you a tailored quote at this point.
Once you’ve received your home equity loan quote, you’ll be asked to send the following documents:
- A copy of your driver's license or other government issued photo ID
- A current mortgage statement
- Homeowner's insurance and flood insurance (if relevant) declarations page
- Recent paystubs, W-2s, and tax returns or profit and loss and balance sheet statements if you are self-employed
- Voided check or ACH form, if you will be receiving cash out
Discover isn’t clear about how long it will take until your loan is processed, which is disappointing since that information would be helpful.
Pros and Cons
Discover’s biggest attraction is the promise of a personal banker who’ll be available during extended working hours to help you with your home equity loan. This way you’ll have a support person who thoroughly understands your unique financial situation and is committed to helping you find the best loan setup for your needs. On the down side, communication is only through phone or email, there’s no live chat for when you have a short question outside of extended working hours.
It can be frustrating to have to talk to a personal banker before getting pre-approval and a quote, instead of being able to do the whole process online. However, this is the way that Discover is able to offer much more suitable refinancing deals. The loan application process is still straightforward and the explanations on the site make it all seem to be entirely uncomplicated and simple. Discover sends you all the documents that you need to sign and you can send in your documents through its secure site section. Although Discover shares plenty of valuable information on the website, one piece that’s missing is a guide to how long the loan process takes.
Loan Terms – The Bare Basics
Discover offers fixed rate only home equity loans for between $35,000 and $150,000. APRs range from 4.49% and 11.49% depending on your type of lien and credit rating.
Discover doesn’t charge any fees on your loan, which means zero application fees, origination fees, and home valuation fees. It covers all closing costs including title fees, recording fees, and mortgage/transfer taxes, but if you move house or pay off the loan within 36 months you will have to repay some of those costs.
To be eligible for a Discover home equity loan, you need to:
- Have a credit score of at least 620
- Have a history of responsible credit use
- Be able to prove your employment and sufficient income to cover your debts
- Be a citizen or a permanent resident of the USA
- Your home needs to be owner occupied and have enough equity in the property
Discover’s fixed-rate home equity loans have APRs between 4.49% and 8.49% for a loan in the first lien position and 4.99% to 11.49% for a loan in the second lien position. You can choose the length of your term from a range of options – either 10, 12, 15, or 20 years.
Help & Support
Discover has a very easy to navigate website with plenty of information and educational resources about taking out a home equity loan and refinancing your home. The FAQ section is comprehensive but there could be more information about how long the loan process takes.
Customer support is available only by phone, with no email address provided on the website and no live chat. Although the level of personalized support is impressive, it’s a shame that there isn’t any 24/7 service.
So, Should you Borrow with Discover?
Overall, Discover offers an attractive deal for homeowners with good credit who want to refinance their homes for debt consolidation, education, or to make a major purchase. The low fixed rates and zero fees make it appealing to many borrowers and Discover’s personal bankers smooth the way.
2500 Lake Cook Road