HELOC Questions, Considering PenFed 5/5

2 Replies

I'm looking at getting a HELOC on my primary residence, and am specifically considering the PenFed 5/5 because it locks in the current rate of 5% for the next 5 years. With the fed raising interest rates, I think locking in 5% for a few years is a good way to go, rather than having the rate adjust up with the prime rate. I'm likely to sell my primary residence in about 3 years, and there is a prepayment penalty on the HELOC if you close it within 3 years. Thus I'll want to get this HELOC asap. I would like to get as large of a HELOC as possible so that I can use it if and when a deal comes up in the high cost market I want to invest in, the greater Seattle area.

Do you have any experience with the PenFed 5/5 HELOC? How was your experience? Is there anything I should be aware of?

If I make a large additional principal payment to my primary mortgage today, and then apply for the PenFed HELOC tomorrow, will the up to date (lower principal) remaining mortgage amount show up in PenFed's underwriting (or does it take longer for it to show up on their end)?

Thank you for your help!

I did not end up going with the PenFed 5/5. We undertook a remodel to our primary residence that is converting it from a 2bd/1.5ba to a 3bd/2.5ba (with no changing of exterior walls or foundation/basement, thus lower cost than a bigger remodel), and will be aiming to get a HELOC with Alliant Credit Union as soon as the remodel is complete. We're waiting for the remodel to be complete with the expectation of a higher appraisal value considering the recent remodel, and thus a bigger HELOC. With Alliant, there will be a fee to keep the HELOC open each year (the fee is waived in the first year), but we won't be hit with a repayment penalty if the HELOC is closed within a couple of years due to sale of the home (which would have been the case with PenFed). PenFed 5/5 still looks like a great option if you're going to keep your home and the HELOC for more than 3 years though!