While the number of home equity lines of credit saw a 20 percent gain in the East Bay, South Bay and Peninsula last year, banks aren't throwing these loans around. They require top credit scores, good loan-to-value ratios and a convincing ability to pay. Here's what two big banks said they want to see before approving a HELOC. Wells Fargo Mortgage: "The credit considerations on home equity loans can vary depending on the borrower's overall financial situation. We know each borrower's circumstances are unique so we look at a variety of factors when determining credit eligibility. Credit score and equity position are important considerations, as are other criteria such as employment status, the borrower's ability to repay, and debt-to-income just to name a few." JP Morgan Chase: "We consider the amount the customer wants to borrower, their credit score and the combined loan to value. Our maximum combined loan to value is 80 percent, and customers typically have to have a credit score of approximately 700.''
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