Figure: 2022 Home Equity Review

This online lender provides quick access to funds and a speedy application process.

Figure is a San Francisco-based online home lender established in 2018. While Figure doesn't offer home loans in every state, it does have coverage in 42 states and the District of Columbia, and can get you access to cash in as little as five days, compared to 30 to 60 days from most lenders. Figure describes itself as one of the first "end-to-end blockchain solutions" in the financial technology lending space. 

Figure's home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, have a fixed-interest rate component that could be a good option for many homeowners in today's rising interest rate environment. Many other lenders don't offer fixed interest rates when it comes to a HELOC. However, Figure's best rates are available only to people with excellent credit scores of at least 760 or higher.   

Figure: At a glance

Types of home equity loans HELOCs, crypto mortgage plus (through its partner Homebridge Financial Services)
APR range Ranges from 5.81% to 14.03% (dependent on a 0.25% discount for enrolling in autopay as well as the payment of a higher origination fee)
Loan amounts $20,000 to $400,000 ($25,001 minimum in Alaska and Wisconsin)
Credit score requirements Minimum 640 in most states
Repayment terms 5-, 10-, 15- and 30-year options
Average time for approval Five minutes

Homeowners who need access to funds quickly will benefit the most from a Figure HELOC, as its five-day turnaround is one of the shortest available. However, Figure loans are best for people who have high credit scores, as the loan amount you can qualify for is highly dependent on your score.

A Figure HELOC is also only suited to homeowners who own certain types of properties. You can qualify for a Figure HELOC with single family residences, planned urban developments and most condos, but not "co-ops, commercially zoned real estate, multifamily real estate, manufactured housing, earth or dome homes, timeshares, log homes, houseboats, or mixed use properties," according to Figure's website

What we like

  • Fast access to funds: Figure says it can get you access to funds in just five days, and the application process takes just five minutes to complete online.
  • Fixed interest rates: Although your interest rate will vary per withdrawal, each withdrawal will be fixed at the rate you locked in at the time of that individual withdrawal. So, even if rates increase and you pay a slightly higher interest rate for your most recent withdrawal, the interest rate on that withdrawal won't rise or fall later on like it would with a variable interest rate HELOC. Monthly payments are consistent and manageable. 
  • No in-person home appraisal required: It's typical for lenders to request a new home appraisal for property, especially because home values have skyrocketed over the past two years, but scheduling the appraiser and waiting for the physical appraisal to happen can slow the approval process. Figure's HELOC avoids this delay by using its own algorithm to determine the most up-to-date fair market value of your property.
  • Primary and secondary residences qualify: Many lenders require that you occupy the property as your main residence, but Figure offers flexibility by allowing you to use a HELOC for secondary properties.  

What we don't like

  • You must withdraw the full amount of your HELOC: Although you're required to withdraw the entire HELOC (minus your origination fee), Figure provides a fixed interest rate for the balance of your loan, which helps you avoid paying a higher interest rate if rates continue to rise.
  • You must pay the origination fee: Many lenders waive the origination fee as part of their HELOC offering, but Figure requires you to pay an origination fee as high as 4.99% to qualify for its lowest available rates. If you don't have top-notch credit, you'll be asked to pay an even higher origination fee to receive a discount on your interest rate. 
  • Short loan term of five years to lock in the best rate: You must accept a short loan term of five years to qualify for Figure's lowest APR. A five-year loan term may be unrealistic for the average homeowner, as one of the benefits of taking out a HELOC is usually the long draw period of 10 years and repayment period of 20 years. 
  • Low maximum loan amount: Figure's loan offerings max out at $400,000 for its most qualified borrowers, which is significantly lower than some other lenders. Lenders such as PNC and Bank of the West cap their HELOC offers at $1 million and $2 million, respectively.  

Home equity loan options

Figure offers a handful of home loan products, but lacks a wide range of options. Currently, this relatively new fintech lender only provides HELOCs. Figure previously offered refinance and purchase loans directly to homeowners, but those two options are now provided through its partner, Homebridge Financial Services. 

For its HELOC, Figure offers a variety of loan terms ranging from five to 30 years with loan amounts ranging from $20,000 to $400,000 for qualified borrowers. While you can take out multiple home loans with Figure, the total combined amount cannot exceed $400,000. 

Fees

While there are no upfront fees to open or maintain your account with Figure, you must pay an origination fee of up to 4.99% to receive the best rate. Keep in mind, your fees and terms will vary depending on which state you live in, as well as personal financial factors such as your credit score. You're also required to have property insurance -- and flood insurance if your home is in a flood zone -- with a Figure HELOC, which is standard across most lenders.  

Figure APRs for HELOCs don't include any other fees or costs except interest. Figure says homeowners may also be asked to pay recording fees depending on location.

How to qualify

One of the major factors when qualifying for a Figure HELOC is your credit score. You can have a credit score as low as 640, but it will drastically limit the amount of money you can borrow against your home equity. The minimum loan amount you can receive is $20,000, even with a credit score as low as 640.

The loan limits and corresponding credit scores for five-, 10- and 30-year HELOC terms are as follows: 

Loan amounts based on credit score

FICO score Maximum loan amount
640 to 679 $125,000
680 to 699 $200,000
700 to 739 $250,000
740 to 759 $275,000
760 and higher $400,000

Getting started

Applying for a loan with Figure is purely online, with the process taking as little as five minutes, thanks to its streamlined digital application process (which includes an automatic home appraisal, too). After you supply your personal information -- home address, date of birth and contact information -- Figure will run a soft credit check for preapproval that won't ding your credit report, and provides you with your personal rate. If you're satisfied with your rate offer, you can proceed to the next step, which is the hard credit check. You will need to provide your banking information for this part of the process. 

Although Figure uses an e-notary service to have you verify and sign documents, some states and counties may require you to see an in-person notary.  

Customer service

Figure says its average response time for online support is less than 45 seconds, and live chat is accessible from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT daily (except for major US holidays). You can also email or call the digital lender for support. Below is a list of Figure's specific extensions and emails.

Live phone support 

  • HELOC and personal loan support: 888-819-6388
  • Active loan support: 888-527-1950

Email support