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HSBC Personal Line of Credit Review
While HSBC isn’t popular across the entire United States, it’s still one of the largest financial institutions in the world. This company serves over 39 million customers through its retail, commercial, and private banking services. They also have a meaningful presence in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, North America and Latin America.
In terms of personal banking, HSBC offers the typical products most small banks make available to consumers — checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards. But the bank also offers a popular personal line of credit that may work well for consumers with good or excellent credit.
If you’re considering HSBC for a personal line of credit or your other banking needs, you’ll want to know how their loans work, their pros and cons, and the best way to get started. Keep reading to learn more about HSBC personal lines of credit and all they offer.
HSBC personal lines of credit at a glance
- Lines of credit are available with a variable introductory APR as low as 8.24%.
- Credit limits are available in amounts up to $25,000.
- This account comes with no annual fee, no cash advance fees, and no balance transfer fees.
- Receive complimentary access to your FICO score.
HSBC line of credit overview
While HSBC doesn’t offer personal loans in the United States, they do offer a dynamic line of credit that works similarly to a credit card. Keep in mind, however, this product is only available to their existing checking and savings account customers. With an HSBC line of credit, which the bank refers to as “Select Credit,” you may be able to borrow up to $25,000 depending on your creditworthiness. The best part is, these loans come with no annual fee, no cash advance fees, and no balance transfer fees.
One big difference with a line of credit is the fact you don’t get a fixed interest rate. HSBC lines of credit come with variable introductory rates that start at 8.24% APR. However, their ongoing rates start at 10.24% and your rate may be as high as 18.24%, depending on your credit score and other factors.
You may be wondering why you would want a line of credit instead of a personal loan. While both options can work well in the right situation, a line of credit lets you borrow only amounts you want to. If you borrow less than your limit with a line of credit, you’ll only have to repay that amount.
With that in mind, a line of credit can work well for people who need access to cash but don’t know exactly how much — for example, if you’re taking on a series of home improvements or starting a business.
If you think a line of credit may be what you need, it’s important to understand the additional features HSBC offers. Added benefits include:
- Optional overdraft protection that can help you avoid overdraft fees and paying a higher APR on overdraft amounts.
- Complimentary access to your FICO score.
- Access to robust mobile platform.
Where HSBC comes up short
There are a few reasons you may want to look for another lender, but it all starts with the fact that HSBC doesn’t offer personal loans in the United States. While a line of credit can work well for the right consumer, many borrowers prefer personal loans because they come with a fixed interest rate, fixed monthly payments, and a fixed repayment schedule.
On top of the fact that HSBC lines of credit don’t come with a fixed interest rate or fixed repayment schedule, their basic “starting rates” are also higher than what you may get elsewhere. Remember that the top personal loans from lenders Marcus by Goldman Sachs come with fixed interest rates as low as 6.99% APR.
Another downside of an HSBC line of credit is the fact this product is only available in amounts up to $25,000. Many lenders let you take out personal loans for up to $50,000, so you may need to consider other options if you need to borrow a lot to consolidate high-interest debt or pay for a big home remodeling project.
Finally, HSBC doesn’t make it very clear who can qualify for their loan products. They don’t list a minimum credit score or any specifics regarding income, credit history, or employment. Also note that you cannot apply for this line of credit unless you have a HSBC checking or savings account.
HSBC lines of credit are best for:
- Consumers who want a line of credit to borrow against instead of a personal loan.
- Borrowers who may not be able to qualify for the best personal loan rates.
- Anyone who needs to borrow less than $25,000 for any reason.
- HSBC customers who need to borrow money.
How to apply for a line of credit from HSBC
If you’re interested in applying for a line of credit from HSBC, there are a few different paths you can take. Options include submitting an application via the HSBC website, calling into customer support to apply, or applying in person at an HSBC branch.
Obviously, applying online is the easiest way to get approved for this line of credit. To apply, you’ll need to have an existing HSBC account such as a checking or savings account. From there, you can log into your account and submit information for your loan application.
Information you’ll need to supply includes:
- Your name
- Home address
- Loan amount requested
- Social Security number
- Employment information
If you’re approved for this line of credit, you may receive the ability to borrow money within two weeks of submitting your application. Once your account is open, you’ll receive the variable APR for cash advance transactions (checks or transfers) that post to your account within 45 days. The introductory APR on those charges remains in effect until the initial qualifying balance is paid in full.