If you’re currently on the search for financing, it might be worth looking a bit closer to home. In the form of a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you have the chance to obtain financing by releasing some of the equity you have built-up on your property.
The amount that you will be able to get will depend on a number of factors, notably the market value of your home, and the amount of money you have left to pay on your mortgage.
One such provider that is looking to tap into the home equity market is that of Figure. The newly launched FinTech platform claims to offer super fast home equity lines in a matter of days, at up to 95% of your home’s value.
If you’re keen to find out whether or not Figure is right for you, then be sure to read our comprehensive review. We’ve covered all of the fine points, such as how the home equity line process works, how much you’re likely to get, whether the loan is cost-effective, and anything else we think you should know before applying.
Let’s start by quickly finding out what Figure is.
What is Figure?
- 1 What is Figure?
- 2 Who is Eligible for a Figure Home Equity Line of Credit?
- 3 Size and Duration of Figure Home Equity Line
- 4 Financing Costs and Other Fees
- 5 How Does the Loan Process Work at Figure?
- 6 Figure Customer Service and Reviews
- 7 Figure Home Equity Line Review: The Verdict?
- 8 Figure
- 9 Pros
- 10 Cons
Launched as recently as 2018, Figure is an online FinTech platform that specializes in consumer financing. While the company’s hallmark offering is home equity line of credits, Figure is also involved in a number of other financial products, such as reverse mortgages.
One of the stand-out characteristics of Figure is that the company is a pioneer of innovative financial technologies. By utilizing blockchain and artificial intelligence within its decision-making portal, customers are often able to receive a decision within minutes.
Such technologies also enable the company to obtain and verify your personal information quickly and securely, subsequently protecting your sensitive data along the way.
In terms of the home equity line offering, the California-based company aims to attract a wide reaching US demographic. For example, loans range from $15,000 all the way up to $150,000, and its loan terms are as short as 5 years, up to a maximum of 30 years.
Moreover, Figure is also part of the ‘Soft Credit Check Club’, meaning that you have the chance to assess your eligibility and lending rates without it being marked on your credit report.
So now that you know what the company does, let’s breakdown its home equity loan service in more detail – starting with eligibility.
Who is Eligible for a Figure Home Equity Line of Credit?
While eligibility will ultimately depend on a number of factors – such as your creditworthiness and your current relationship with debt, let’s start with the basics.
As the name suggests, you will obviously need to be a homeowner, and thus, your name must be registered within county records. Next, you also need to make sure that Figure home equity loans are available in your respective state. At the time of writing, 37 states are covered, plus the District of Columbia.
In terms of your credit worthiness, you will need to have a FICO credit score of at least 600. The lender also takes your debt-to-income ratio into consideration. For those unaware, this is the amount of debt that you currently hold, in relation to your income. In order to qualify, you can’t have a debt-to-income ratio that exceeds 50%.
In terms of the property itself, your home needs to be a single-family residence or a townhouse. As such, condos and mobile homes are not covered. You also need to show proof that you have hazard insurance in place, and depending on your location, flood insurance.
If you’re not 100% sure on whether or not you meet the requirements listed above, then the good news for you is that Figure allows you to perform a soft application.
In layman terms, this means that by entering your details and applying for a home equity loan, you get to see whether or not you qualify without the application appearing on your credit report.
In this sense, you’ve got nothing to lose by applying, as even if you are pre-approved for a home equity loan, you are under no obligation to proceed.
So now that we’ve covered the lender’s eligibility requirements, in the next section we are going to explore the size and duration of the loans that Figure offers.
Size and Duration of Figure Home Equity Line
First and foremost, Figure facilitates home equity lines that range from $15,000 up to $150,000. The amount that you are able to get will of course depend on your current financial circumstances.
Notably, this will include the amount of equity that you currently possess on your property.
Figure permits a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of upto 95%. In order to calculate your current LTV, you need to assess the current market value of your property against the size of the outstanding mortgage.
For example, if the value of your property is $250,000, and you currently have $100,000 left to pay on your mortgage, then your LTV would be 40%. In this sense, the lower the LTV ratio, the more equity that you have available to release. It is also worth noting that you will still qualify for a Figure home equity loan even in the event that your property has been paid off in full.
In terms of assessing how much your property is currently worth, Figure uses an Automated Valuation Model (AVM). In a nutshell, this follows a similar principle to a Comparative Market Analysis. As such, the lender will seek to explore similar-sized homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood, alongside historical pricing trendings in your local housing market.
When it comes to the home equity loan duration, Figure offers loan terms of 5, 10, 15, and 30 years. It is somewhat strange that the lender does not allow you to choose a loan term outside of this perimeters.
Financing Costs and Other Fees
It is important to remember that although you are releasing equity in your home, you are still obtaining financing in the same way you would with a conventional bank loan. As such, you need to assess how much the home equity loan is going to cost you throughout the duration of the agreement.
First and foremost, while Figure claims not to charge any maintenance or account opening fees, you will still need to pay an origination fee. This is typical in the financing scene, and it is charged to cover the costs of arranging the loan.
Although the amount that you pay will vary depending on a number of factors, the charge is capped at 4.99%. If you do end up paying the highest amount, this can end up being quite costly.
For example, if you were to get a home equity loan of $100,000, you’d pay a whopping $4,990 in fees. As origination fees are subtracted from the amount you borrow, in this example you would receive $95,010.
On top of the origination fee, you will of course need to consider the actual APR charged on your home equity loan. Much like in the case of the origination fee, the amount you pay will be based on your financial circumstances.
At Figure, this will range between 4.99% and 13.74%.
Whether or not this is good value will depend on the rate you actually get. As a pointer, it’s well worth considering that at the time of writing, the average home equity loan costs 7.40% in the US. As such, if you’re able to get less than this, then you’re likely getting a good deal.
The only way to assess what you will end up paying is to go through the prequalification application. That way, you can evaluate how much the home equity loan will cost you without it impacting your FICO credit score.
How Does the Loan Process Work at Figure?
As Figure is an online-only lender, you can complete the entire loan application process from the comfort of your own home, or via your mobile device.
Here’s what you need to do.
- Once you’re on the Figure homepage, look out for the ‘Find my rate’ button.
- Next, you will then need to enter some personal information. This will include your full name, address, date of birth, social security number and telephone number, followed by some questions on your current financial circumstances.
- Expect to tell the platform about your current assets, income, and relationship with debt.
- You will also need to upload some identification to prove who you are, so have a copy of your passport or driver’s license handy.
As the entire application process is automated, you should receive an instant pre-approval decision. This once again highlights the benefits of using innovative technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence.
This will outline how much you are able to borrow, alongside the APR rate and origination fee. In fact, you’ll likely be offered a number of APR rates, depending on the length of the term you want to go with.
Once you’ve assessed the rates on offer and decide that you want to proceed with the home equity loan, you will then be connected with an ‘eNotary’. The purpose of this is to further verify your documents, and thus, get them officially notarized. On top of your government issued ID, you will also need to have your mortgage documents, deeds, and proof of insurance validated.
On the one hand, it is great that you are able to facilitate the entire end-to-end home equity loan process within a matter of minutes. This really is the future of financing in its finest form.
However, it is absolutely fundamental that you do not rush into the application without taking some time to consider all of the fundamentals. You are effectively entering into a legal loan agreement, which, if it isn’t quite right for you, could lead to financial complications further down the line.
Nevertheless, Figure claims that on average, you should receive your funds within about 5 days of having your application approved.
Figure Customer Service and Reviews
As Figure is an online-only platform, you need to remember that you won’t have the chance of meeting an advisor face-to-face.
If you do need to assistance, you have a number of options to choose from.
The support team works Monday-Saturday, between the hours of 6am and 6pm, Pacific Time. The easiest way to make contact is via the platform’s live chat facility.
Alternatively, you might want to consider calling the customer service team directly, which you can do at 888-819-6388.
If your line of enquiry is outside of business hours, then you can send the support team an email at email@example.com.
As is common practice at MoneyCheck, we assessed the TrustPilot score currently held by Figure. At the time of writing, the platform holds an ‘Excellent’ TrustPilot score of 9.5/10. However, this is only across 273 individual reviewers thus far, so the score should be taking with an element of caution.
Figure Home Equity Line Review: The Verdict?
In summary, the Figure platform once again shows us just how far modern-day financing has come. In just a matter of minutes, you can apply for a HELOC without needing to speak with a real-world human. Instead, the platform relies on innovative technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence.
With a minimum FICO credit score of 600, and a maximum LTV ratio of 95%, home equity loans at Figure are extremely inclusive. Moreover, with APR rates starting at just 4.99%, the loans are of very good value if you are able to get financing in and around this figure.
Despite its convenient, fast and super user-friendly offering, the only gripe that we do have with Figure is its origination fee. With a maximum origination fee of 4.99%, this could be very costly in the long run, especially if the size of your home equity loan is a six-figure sum.
Nevertheless, the great thing about the application process at Figure is that you can assess your financing rates without it having an impact on your credit score. As such, you’ve got nothing to lose by spending the few required minutes filling out the pre-approval application.