HSBC Review

HSBC at a Glance

Loan TypesPurchase, refinance, HELOC
Featured LoansFamily-assisted, streamline refinancing, First Home Club, SONYMA, HSBC CommunityWorks
Repayment Terms   5, 7, 10, 15-30 years
Minimum Down PaymentFrom 3% (fixed-rate) and from 5% (ARM)
Minimum ScoreVaries
Best ForInternational buyers; first-time buyers who need help buying a home

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​Overview

HSBC is one of the top leading international banks. Thanks to its size, it can offer an extremely large range of mortgages. These stretch from Premier Deluxe and Advance Deluxe mortgages, which cater to buyers with larger down payments and existing relationships with HSBC, to the SONYMA, CommunityWorks, and First Home Club mortgages which assist first-time buyers who struggle to find an affordable mortgage. HSBC offers VA and FHA mortgages, refinancing programs, and HELOC home equity loans, as well as aiding international home-buyers.

  • Borrow up to $3 million
  • 15-30 year fixed rate loans and ARM mortgages, with ARM rates fixed for the first 5, 7, or 10 years
  • Mortgage loans for international buyers
  • Multiple mortgage plans offering assistance to first-time buyers
  • Deluxe plans for existing HSBC Premier, Jade, or Advance customers with a minimum balance in HSBC accounts
  • HELOC up to $350,000, or up to $1 million for Premier customers, with an option to fix your interest rate for the duration of the loan

Best For?

HSBC offers so many different mortgage products, almost anyone could find a suitable mortgage. International buyers will appreciate having tailored expert support in getting a mortgage in the US, as well as being able to access many of the same mortgage products as US citizens.

First-time buyers who need help buying a house will benefit from one of HSBC’s 3 special mortgages -- CommunityWorks, First Home Club, and SONYMA, each of which provides a different form of financial assistance. You can also choose a mortgage that makes it easy for family members to help you buy your property.

HSBC is also the best choice for existing HSBC Premier, Jade, or Advance customers who have HSBC savings and investment accounts and want VIP mortgage service.

Types of Loans/Products

- Premier and Advance Deluxe Mortgages

HSBC Premier, Jade, or Advance customers can get preferential rates and terms on their HSBC fixed or ARM mortgage.

  • Minimum down payment 10% or 20%
  • Maximum loan amount $3 million
  • APR from 4.686% for fixed-rate and 4.654% for 5/1 ARM
  • Up to $1,500 towards closing costs
  • Can use family assisted financing
  • Lower interest rates

- Family Assisted Financing

This allows buyers to list up to 4 borrowers on the mortgage agreement so that family members or close friends can help you buy or refinance a single family residential property. In addition to as lending money for a down payment, Family Assisted Financing lets buyers combine the annual income and debt of all of the borrowers, which could help you to be eligible for a lower interest rate or better mortgage terms.

  • List up to 4 borrowers
  • Use a family member or friend’s higher credit status to get a better rate
  • Can be used for purchase or refinance
  • At least one borrower must be an HSBC Premier, Jade, or Advance customer

- Standard Fixed Rate and ARM Mortgages

HSBC offers standard mortgages with either fixed rates or variable ARM rates. If you choose an ARM mortgage, you can fix your interest rate for the first 5, 7, or 10 years.

  • Minimum down payment 3% for fixed-rate, or 5% for ARM mortgages
  • Terms of 30 years for ARM, and 15 or 30 years for fixed-rate mortgages
  • Fix your interest rate for 5, 7, or 10 years with an ARM mortgage
  • Maximum loan amount $453,100 for a single-family residence, or up to $679,650 in some area

- Special Mortgages

  • HSBC offers government-backed VA and FHA mortgages for qualifying applicants. It also has its own range of 3 mortgage programs for first-time buyers.
  • CommunityWorks offers a lower interest rate and enables borrowers to make a lower down payment. You could also get grants towards your housing costs and up to $7,000 of assistance for closing costs. It’s available in Washington, D.C., and specific counties in CA, CT, DE, FL, MD, NJ, NY, PA, VA, WA. Typical APR is 4.969%.
  • First Home Club is a matching program for your savings, with grant funds of up to $7,500.
  • SONYMA provides affordable mortgage rates and terms for buyers in NY. Typical APR is 5.221%.

- Refinancing

HSBC offers both cash-out and rate/term refinancing to help you lower your monthly payments, shorten your term, access home equity, or switch from an ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage.

- HELOC

HSBC’s HELOC stands for Home Equity Line of Credit. There are no application or annual fees, and no closing fees on lines of up to $500,000. Unlike regular HELOC loans, the HSBC version allows you to convert all or part of it to a fixed-rate loan, so you won’t need to worry about rising interest rates.

  • Borrow up to $350,000. Premier customers can borrow up to $1 million
  • No closing costs on loans up to $500,000
  • No application or annual fees
  • Convert your HELOC to up to 3 fixed-rate loan segment

The Application Process

HSBC doesn’t share a lot of information about the application process for a standard mortgage. Online application isn’t available — you’ll have to call a representative or visit a branch to apply.

It's not clear how long it could take or exactly what you'll need to provide, but you'll probably be asked for:

  • Your Social Security number, or passport number for international buyers
  • Your name, date of birth, and address
  • Proof of employment
  • Proof of income
  • If you already found the property you want to buy, you’ll be asked about its location and value
  • Any existing debts, such as car loans or student loans

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Wide range of mortgages for first-time buyers and existing customersNo information about application fees, closing costs, or extra charges
Plenty of help for international buyersApplication can’t be done online

HSBC’s biggest strength is in the mortgage types it offers to people at the top and bottom of the customer market. Existing HSBC users who have a certain minimum balance in their HSBC accounts can access preferential rates, credits against their closing costs, and borrow larger amounts. At the other end of the range, first-time buyers with low down payments, or who need assistance to reach their down payment, can access mortgages with lower rates, get grants towards their down payment, and bring in family members and friends to help them qualify for a better rate on their mortgage.

HSBC lives up to its reputation as an international bank by providing plenty of support for international buyers. They can also get credits toward closing costs, low rates, and access Family Assisted Financing.

On the other hand, HSBC is frustratingly shy about sharing hard information. There’s no information online about minimum credit scores, closing costs, application fees, or extra charges.

It’s similarly disappointing that you can’t apply for a mortgage or HELOC online. All applications have to be made over the phone, or in person at an HSBC branch.

Rates and Fees – The Bare Basics

HSBC’s rates are reasonable for a big mortgage lender. The APR on a sample 30-year fixed-rate mortgage begins at 4.859%, higher than an equivalent mortgage with LendingTree, which begins at 4.125%.

HSBC doesn’t reveal how much you’ll have to pay in closing costs, application fees, or other charges, which is a drawback. It does state closing costs as $1,300 in its example of a standard ARM mortgage. Premier Deluxe mortgages come with up to $1,500 in credits against your closing costs.

If you take a HELOC through HSBC, you won’t have to pay any fees at all on lines of up to $500,000. Above that amount, closing costs can come to anything between $270 and $19,900.

 Premier deluxeStandard mortgageFHA
Fixed-rate 30-year term APR4.686%4.859%5.437%
5/1 ARM APR4.654%5.023%N/A

Repayment Terms

All HSBC mortgage loan terms are basically the same. Fixed-rate mortgages have terms of 15 or 30 years, and ARM mortgages have terms of 30 years, with rates fixed for the first 5, 7, or 10 years. HSBC shows all mortgage rates clearly on the website, so you can keep track of your current rate.

Help & Support

HSBC offers mortgage calculators and tables showing sample mortgage rates, but otherwise, there are few online resources. It does offer plenty of personal customer support— – live chat is available 24/7, and customers are encouraged to call. You can also access customer support through Twitter, using @HSBC_US, but there’s no email address for support.

Summary

HSBC offers a full range of mortgages, including HELOC and refinancing. Its special mortgages are ideal for veterans, first-time buyers, and buyers getting assistance from family members. HSBC also stands out for offering help to international buyers, and for a uniquely flexible form of home equity loan that lets borrowers fix their interest rates.

FAQ

  • What is the maximum I can borrow for a home mortgage?

You can borrow up to $3 million with a Premier or Advance Deluxe mortgage, or up to $453,100 with a standard mortgage. If you're buying in some high-cost areas, your loan amount can reach $679,650.

  • Can I use Family Assisted Financing if I'm not an existing HSBC customer?

Yes, you can access Family Assisted Financing as long as one of the borrowers listed on the loan agreement is an HSBC Advance or Premier customer.

  • Do I need a US credit history to get a mortgage as an international buyer?

No, HSBC will order an international credit report for your loan. You don't need a US credit report.

  • Can I switch my ARM mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage?

Yes, you can refinance your mortgage to change it to a fixed rate instead of a variable one.

Physical Address

452 Fifth Avenue

New York City, New York

USA

Visit HSBC

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