Strong Interest in HELOCs Highlights Homeowner Optimism in Economy and Housing Market, According to Citizens Bank Survey

An overwhelming 87% of homeowners with access to Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) say they are optimistic about their property’s current value, with 74% interested in starting a home improvement project in the next 12 months, according to research released today by Citizens Bank. In its new HELOC Survey, Citizens also found that younger borrowers are more apt to use HELOCs for purposes other than home improvement. According to the survey, those with a HELOC report that top drivers for optimism are:

  • Seeing value of home increasing in recent years (65%)
  • Affordability (50%)
  • Strong economy (43%)
  • Current national housing market (31%)

“Property values are at record highs across most of the U.S., driving increases in consumer optimism,” said Brendan Coughlin, President of Consumer Deposits & Lending at Citizens Bank. “Having access to a HELOC provides real-time access to their growing home equity, giving customers flexibility to improve their home, manage their finances, and peace of mind in case of an unexpected expense.”

The HELOC Survey also revealed that there are significant differences in how HELOCs are used across generations. It found that millennials preferred other financing options to HELOCs for their home improvement projects compared to older homeowners (60% vs 47%). While traditionally the majority of HELOCS are used for home improvement projects (70%), millennial homeowners are significantly more likely than those over 40 to use a HELOC for non-traditional uses, including:

  • Financing a new business venture (45% vs 19%)
  • Big-ticket purchases (44% vs 35%)
  • Taking time off work to support or care for family (44% vs 24%)
  • Taking a vacation (36% vs 17%)

“Whether consolidating debt, financing education or accessing emergency funds, HELOCs can enhance your life, not just improve your home,” says Coughlin. “While there are many borrowing options available, Citizens works closely with our customers to provide them with the information they need to make the best choice on how to access their capital.”

Citizens Bank is a leading home equity lender and is committed to helping consumers pay for home improvements, education costs, major expenses, cash management and more. With no application or set up fees, no closing costs and no appraisal fee, Citizens Bank wants to help make the process easier for consumers to open and access a HELOC.

Survey Methodology

This custom online survey was conducted among 1,003 HELOC engaged homeowners, 25+ in the U.S. who currently have or are planning to have a home equity line of credit in the next 12-18 months using the field services of YouGov. The survey was developed to garner novel insights on U.S. homeowners’ perceptions, behaviors, and experiences regarding HELOCs.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $160.5 billion in assets as of December 31, 2018. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 2,900 ATMs and approximately 1,100 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services, including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest rate products, and asset finance. More information is available at or visit us on TwitterLinkedIn or Facebook.




Rory Sheehan
781 655 3931

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