Table of Contents

Republic Bank & Trust: 2023 Home Equity Review

If you live in the South or Midwest, you may be able to secure a larger HELOC with this bank -- but look elsewhere for a home equity loan.

Why You Can Trust CNET Money
Our mission is to help you make informed financial decisions, and we hold ourselves to strict . This post may contain links to products from our partners, which may earn us a commission. Here’s a more detailed explanation of .
Republic Bank & Trust

Republic Bank & Trust

Highlights
Products offered
HELOC
APR
7.50% to 18.00%
Min. credit score
N/A
Contact information
Republic Bank’s HELOC line is 866-758-3970 and its website has a live chat feature

Founded in Kentucky, Republic Bank & Trust, also known as Republic Bank, is a financial institution with branches mainly in the South and Midwest of the United States. The bank has 42 full-service banking centers and two loan production offices throughout Kentucky, southern Indiana, Florida, Tennessee and Ohio. 

Republic Bank offers both personal and business banking. Its financial products include checking accounts, credit cards, mortgages and home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs. According to a customer service representative we reached out to, customers must live within 30 miles of a branch to qualify for a HELOC. Customers can bank through mobile banking, online banking, or in-person banking. 

Republic Bank: At a glance

Types of loans offeredHELOC
APR7.50% to 18.00% variable APR (introductory 3.99% fixed APR rate for 6 months)
Loan amountUp to $500,000
Credit score minimumNot specified
Repayment termsNot specified
Average time for approvalNot specified
As of Jan. 26, 2023.

Republic Bank’s HELOCs may be a good option for customers who live within 30 miles of a branch in specific areas of Kentucky, southern Indiana, Florida, Tennessee or Ohio. The bank’s high maximum combined loan-to-value ratio, or CTLV, is higher than many other competitors, which makes it worth considering if you need a larger line of credit. On the downside, you may face a prepayment penalty if you pay off your home equity line of credit early. 

Pros

  • Convenient access to funds with HELOC access card: Republic Bank provides a card to access your HELOC funds conveniently. This card works like a credit card, allowing you to spend your HELOC funds directly.

  • Borrow up to 90% CLTV: Your combined loan-to-value ratio, or CLTV, is calculated by dividing the total loans secured by your house -- including your primary mortgage and any home equity loans or HELOCs -- by your home’s value. Most lenders will set a cap on your CLTV to ensure you’re not borrowing more than your home is worth. Republic Bank’s 90% CLTV cap is higher than many other lenders, potentially allowing you to take out a larger loan if you qualify.

  • Physical branches in five states: While Republic Bank doesn’t have the geographical footprint of a large, national lender, if you live in Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Tennessee or Ohio, you can get in-person assistance at one of the bank’s 42 full-service banking centers or two loan production offices.

Cons

  • Prepayment penalty: Paying off your HELOC early -- if you can afford it -- can help you save on interest and get out of debt faster. A HELOC from Republic Bank may come with a prepayment penalty, which charges you a fee for paying off your debt faster, according to the bank’s website.

  • Limited geographic availability: Republic Bank has branches in just five states, and its loan products are only available to customers within 30 miles of a branch. The bank has a tool on its website that shows whether it offers HELOCs in your zip code.

  • Minimal information provided online: Information about Republic Bank’s HELOCs, including the length of both the draw and repayment periods, and a full schedule of fees, is scarce on the website. You’ll need to reach out to a representative to learn more.

Home equity loan options

Republic Bank offers home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, in select areas. A tool on the bank’s website will tell you whether HELOCs are available in your zip code. Republic Bank does not offer home equity loans. 

While both home equity loans and HELOCs borrow against the home equity you’ve built in your home, a HELOC offers you a line of credit you can borrow against during a draw period, typically 10 to 15 years. During this time, you typically only pay for any interest that accumulates on your line of credit -- though you may be required to make some principal payments depending on your lender agreement.

Republic Bank offers an interest-only HELOC, which means you only have to worry about paying accrued interest or $50 per month, whichever is greater, during your draw period. If you can, you should still try to pay down your principal during the draw period to prevent a sharp spike in your monthly payments and to save on interest during the repayment period.

Fees

A Republic Bank HELOC comes with a annual fee after the first year, comparable with most HELOC lenders. Some HELOCs from Republic Bank may also come with a prepayment penalty. 

How to qualify

Republic Bank does not provide the exact requirements needed to qualify for a HELOC. However, there are a few factors the bank will look at when evaluating your application, including your home value, available equity and credit history

Your CLTV will also determine the amount of your loan. You can calculate your CLTV by adding your remaining mortgage balance to the amount of your home equity line of credit, then dividing this number by your home’s current value.

For example, let’s say your remaining mortgage balance is $150,000, your HELOC amount is $50,000 and your home value is $250,000. Your CLTV would be 0.80 or 80% ($200,000 divided by $250,000).

Most lenders require a CLTV of 85% or less, but Republic Bank allows up to 90%, with a maximum loan amount of $500,000 -- meaning you may be able to take out a larger HELOC with this lender.

Getting started

You can apply for a HELOC with Republic Bank online or in person at a local branch as long as you live in one of the areas this bank services. You’ll need to provide your name, address, phone number, email, social security number and, potentially, proof of employment or income. 

You can access the online application from the HELOC information page on Republic Bank’s website. 

To apply in person, contact your local branch to set up an appointment. 

Customer service

If you need help with your loan or application, you can contact Republic Bank customer service in a few ways. 

The website has a live chat feature available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You can also get help by phone between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, excluding holidays. The bank has several customer support phone numbers, but its HELOC line is 866-758-3970. Finally, you can email customer support at EasySupport@republicbank.com.

There’s also an online form to send comments or questions to the bank’s CEO, but this avenue is better for sending general feedback about the bank rather than getting personalized help for your issue. 

Emma Woodward is a personal finance writer with a passion for simplifying tricky financial concepts. She has covered loans, budgeting and credit cards for Bankrate, The Financial Diet, Finch, Gusto and Human Interest. When she's not helping you balance your budget, you can find her writing about real estate, food and restaurant tech.
Advertiser Disclosure

CNET editors independently choose every product and service we cover. Though we can’t review every available financial company or offer, we strive to make comprehensive, rigorous comparisons in order to highlight the best of them. For many of these products and services, we earn a commission. The compensation we receive may impact how products and links appear on our site.

Editorial Guidelines

Writers and editors and produce editorial content with the objective to provide accurate and unbiased information. A separate team is responsible for placing paid links and advertisements, creating a firewall between our affiliate partners and our editorial team. Our editorial team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers.

How we make money

CNET Money is an advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We’re compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and services, or when you click on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact where and in what order affiliate links appear within advertising units. While we strive to provide a wide range of products and services, CNET Money does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.