Amplify Credit Union: 2022 Home Equity Review

This Texas credit union offers home loans with flexible maximum amounts and minimal fees, but you must live in the Lone Star State to qualify.

Amplify Credit Union is based in Austin, Texas and was founded in 1967 by employees of IBM. Although Amplify's home equity loan products are only available to homeowners in Texas, the credit union offers low fees and flexible maximum loan amounts for those who qualify.

Amplify Credit Union logo with blue background
Amplify Credit Union

The credit union has five branches across Texas. You must become a credit union member to qualify for its home equity loan and home equity line of credit, or HELOC. Although its branches are only in Texas, it offers other banking services across all 50 states. 

Amplify Credit Union: At a glance

Types of loans offered Home equity loan HELOC
APR range Starting at 6.17% Starting at 6.75%
Loan amounts Starting $25,000. Maximum amount depends on amount of your home equity Starting $25,000. Maximum amount depends on amount of your home equity
Credit score requirements N/A N/A
Repayment terms Five to 20 years 10-year draw, 10-year repayment
Average time for approval 12-day minimum 12-day minimum

Amplify is best suited for borrowers who live in Texas and are willing to become a credit union member. There are many ways to join, from living in the Lone Star State to becoming a member of the American Red Cross.

You can borrow up to 80% of your home's value with Amplify. If you're looking to receive a lump sum of cash at a fixed interest rate, a home equity loan may be right for you. However, if you need varying amounts of money over an extended period of time -- to fund a major home renovation, for example -- a variable interest rate HELOC makes more sense.

Keep in mind, Amplify's home equity loan interest rates increase with the length of your loan term. So, for example, if you want to pay back your loan over an extended period of time, your interest rate may increase as high as 7.20% for a 20-year (240-month) home equity loan. 

You can use the "Help Me Choose" tool on Amplify's website to determine which type of loan best suits your needs.

What we like

  • Flexible maximum loan limit: A homeowner who has exceptional credit and a significant amount of equity in their home has more flexibility on the maximum amount they can borrow. 
  • Minimal fees: As required by Texas law, a lender can only charge fees of up to 2% of your loan amount, which benefits you as the borrower because, in some cases, lenders can charge as much as 5% of your total loan amount in fees.

What we don't like

  • Only available in Texas: Amplify home loans are only available to members who live in Texas. The credit union, however, offers banking services nationwide.
  • Short repayment period: Amplify's HELOC option only has a 10-year repayment period, which is short compared with the 20-year repayment period that's typically offered by many lenders. 
  • Minimum withdrawal requirements: Your initial HELOC withdrawal must be no less than $10,000 and every subsequent withdrawal has to be at least $4,000, giving you limited flexibility. Even if you don't need all of the cash you're required to withdraw, you'll still have to pay interest on it, making your loan more costly over time. 

Home equity loan options

Amplify offers both home equity loans and HELOCs. For qualified borrowers, the credit union also offers home improvement loans at lower interest rates if you're working with a contractor to remodel your house. Amplify also originates purchase mortgages. 

Fees

Although there aren't any application fees or prepayment fees with Amplify, you'll be required to pay a $325 closing fee regardless of the size of your loan. One benefit of taking out a home equity loan in Texas is that the total amount of fees you'll pay can't exceed more than 2% of your loan.

How to qualify

Your credit score and credit history are the main factors Amplify uses to decide whether or not you qualify for its home equity loans (the credit union, however, doesn't disclose its minimum credit score requirements). In addition to your FICO score, you'll want to have enough equity built up in your home as well as verifiable, adequate income and a low debt-to-income, or DTI, ratio (most lenders prefer to see a DTI of 36% or less, but no more than 43%).

Getting started

You can apply in minutes using Amplify's website. If you're approved for a loan, funds will be available to you four days after closing your loan. Before you get started, be sure to have all of your financial documentation ready to submit on Amplify's website. Also, be expected to provide the standard paperwork needed to verify your income, such as pay stubs, your Form W-2 and tax returns. You'll also need supporting documentation to show you're current on your existing monthly mortgage payments. 

Customer service

Amplify Credit Union has a live chat option available on its website, as well as live phone support available Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. PT and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. PT. When the time comes to close on your home equity loan, you'll be required, by Texas law, to close in person at an Amplify branch. 

Live phone support is available for general inquiries at either 512-836-5901 or 800-237-5087.