Figure Loan Review: How Blockchain Might Help You Borrow Money [2019]

If you’re looking for a quick, streamlined approach to borrowing money, Figure might be worth considering.
11/21/19 | By Matt Miczulski
Figure Loan Review

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As more and more lenders emerge onto the scene, it’s easy to develop “analysis paralysis” — so many options to choose from that you can’t get yourself to pull the trigger. It’s more than the sheer quantity of lenders that can prevent you from choosing one though; you want to be sure the lender you go with is trustworthy, reputable, and dependable too.

Whether you’re just beginning your search or narrowing things down, this guide offers the insights you need to make an informed decision about Figure. Figure is a new lender that offers consumers alternatives for borrowing money, whether it’s for paying off debt or consolidating existing loans.

You may have never heard of Figure, but that doesn’t make the company any less viable of an option. This review will help you figure out whether or not Figure is best suited to meet your needs.

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An overview of Figure

Figure is a San Francisco-based financial technology startup that provides home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) in 39 states, as well as mortgage refinancing and student loan refinancing options.

Founded in 2018 by Mike Cagney, the former CEO and founder of the financial services company SoFi, Figure uses blockchain technology and artificial intelligence to offer a fully digital process that can get you money in as little as five days. This is significantly less than the four to six weeks it usually takes with many traditional lenders.

Since September of 2018, Figure has provided more than 1,500 home equity lines. While Figure Home Equity Line is the company’s flagship product, it also provides mortgage and student loan refinancing options with plans to add a checking account at some point in the near future.

Figure has over 200 employees and has raised more than $1.1 billion in funding since its founding in January of 2018, according to Crunchbase.

Which loan products does Figure offer?

Figure offers three loan products: Figure Home Equity Line (HELOC), Mortgage Refinance, and Student Loan Refinance.

Home Equity Line at Figure

The company’s flagship product, Figure Home Equity Line, delivers consumers a faster and simpler way to tap into their home’s value with a fully digital application and funding process. This takes a process that is normally paperwork-intensive and often drawn out for weeks and transforms it into one that delivers an approval in just five minutes, with funding following in as little as five days.

Borrowers can get a fixed-rate HELOC between $15,000 and $150,000 with a maximum combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio of 95%. The CLTV is the ratio of all secured loans on a property to the value of a property. The “secured loans” on a property could include the original loan amount of the first mortgage, the drawn portion of other HELOCs, the unpaid balance of a second mortgage, etc.

The CLTV ratio is used by lenders to determine a homeowner’s risk of default. Most lenders set this CLTV limit at 80%, so a maximum CLTV of 95% gives you more borrowing flexibility as it doesn’t require your home to have as much value. In other words, if you want a loan of $200,000, the value of your home has to be $210,750 to be within 95%. A CLTV of 80% would require your property to be valued at $250,000.

As of Oct. 31, 2019, interest rates with Figure start as low as 4.99% with repayment terms of 5, 10, 15, and 30 years. Besides the origination fee (which will be between 0-4.99% of the loan value depending on where you live), there are no application or on-going maintenance fees. To appraise the value of your home, Figure uses an automated system, which means there are no appraisal fees either.

Depending on your loan term, you can make additional requests for money (known as draws) on your home’s equity as you repay the initial borrowed amount for up to two to five years from the date your HELOC was originated. These draws can be up to 20% of your total credit limit. Eligible properties include single-family residences and townhouses.

Figure also allows you to check your interest rate before committing with a quick pre-qualification that won’t have any effect on your credit score.

Loan amount $15,000- $150,000
Loan term 5, 10, 15, and 30 years
APR Average of 4.99%-13.74% (as of Oct. 31, 2019)
Credit needed Minimum of 600

Mortgage Refinance at Figure

Figure’s Mortgage Refinance process, like the company’s HELOC, is fully online, so no trips to the bank or title company are needed. It takes just minutes to apply and a minimum of 10 days to close. And not only is the process quick and simple, but Figure provides an option to cash-out as well. This allows you to replace your existing mortgage with a new one for an amount that’s greater than what you currently owe. The difference between the new, higher mortgage and the amount you currently owe is then made available to you in cash. By converting home equity into cash, you can put the difference toward things like paying off high-interest debt or fixing up your home.

You can receive a quote online without any effect on your credit score, so feel free to compare Figure with other mortgage refinancing options to ensure you’re getting the best rate. You can borrow up to 80% of your home’s value, up to $1,500,000. If you opt for a cash-out, the max amount of cash that can be taken out is $500,000, but this will depend on your situation. Eligible properties include single-family homes and townhouses.

Loan amount Up to 80% of your home’s value, up to $1,500,000
Loan term 30 years
APR Fixed, as low as 3.75% (as of Oct. 31, 2019)
Credit needed A median score across all three credit bureaus of 640
Cash-out amount Up to $500,000

Student Loan Refinance at Figure

If your original student loan doesn’t have the best of terms or you’re looking to consolidate, Figure offers student loan refinancing solutions as well. As you may have guessed, the application process is fully digital and you can check your potential interest rate without any effect to your credit score.

The process is quick and is completed by linking your existing student loan account to Figure, who then handles the rest. There are no prepayment, origination, or late fees, but keep in mind that missing a payment can affect your credit score. Figure offers up to 12 months of forbearance in case something happens that prevents you from making your payments, and you can enjoy a 0.25% APR discount simply by setting up auto pay.

Borrowers can receive anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000 with repayment terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-years.

Loan amount $5,000-$250,000
Loan term 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year terms
APR Fixed-rate depending on credit score
Credit needed Minimum of 680

What Figure customers are saying

It depends where you look. While Figure isn’t accredited by the BBB, there are a handful of reviews for the company on the BBB website. Many of the negative reviews have to do with the company’s marketing campaigns and the fact Figure requires you to link your bank account to transfer funds, with many feeling uneasy about turning over this sort of information. On the other hand, the positive reviews on the site applaud the company's simple online process.

If you look elsewhere, Figure is consistently rated very highly. Reviews on Trustpilot, for instance, give Figure a five-star rating, with 93% of reviews giving the company an “Excellent” rating. Again, customers are impressed by the quick turnaround time for receiving funds, how easy and streamlined the entire process is, and how professional Figure employees are. If you look at some of the negative reviews, most complaints are from those who have been denied. This, of course, has much to do with an applicant’s personal financial situation and the reasons for denial can vary from person to person.

FAQs about Figure

How do I apply for a Figure loan?

Figure’s application process is 100% online, so there’s usually no need for visiting banks or title companies in person. Depending on where you live, though, you may need to have your documents signed by an in-person notary, as some counties don’t accept an eNotary.

How long does it take to get approved for a Figure loan?

Most applicants can complete the application in 5 minutes and will receive approval immediately. All steps must be completed in 14 days, or you’ll have to restart your application.

What are the benefits of a Figure home equity lines of credit?

When you choose a Figure Home Equity Line, you get a handful of benefits you might not receive with other lenders. This includes a fully-online, streamlined application process, fast approval, funding in 5 days, competitive fixed rates, and full transparency — no hidden fees. There are very few fees at all actually. Aside from the origination fee, there are no application, appraisal, or ongoing maintenance fees.

What are the downsides of a Figure home equity lines of credit?

While a fixed rate can mean you won’t be subject to higher interest if rates increase, it also means you won’t benefit from lower interest if rates decrease.

Also, if you prefer working face-to-face with your lender, you may find Figure’s fully digital process to be unfavorable.

Additionally, not all properties are eligible. You can’t qualify for a HELOC on co-ops, commercially zoned real estate, multifamily real estate, manufactured housing, earth or dome homes, timeshares, log homes, houseboats, or mixed-use properties.

Who is a Figure loan a good fit for?

A Figure loan is a good fit for those who see the value in a streamlined process and who want to take advantage of low fees. If the ability to lock-in a competitive rate for the duration of your loan is what you’re looking for, a loan with Figure might be a good fit. Contact Figure directly and have all your mortgage questions answered to determine if their product is right for you.


The final word on Figure

Figure provides consumers a new, streamlined alternative for HELOCs, mortgage refinancing, and student loan refinancing, with more products likely on the way. While the company is new, it’s generally highly rated. Ultimately, Figure gives consumers more financial options, and more options means a better chance of finding the best fit for you.

Despite all of this, Figure might not be for everyone. In that case, there are still plenty of loan products to consider that could work for you. At the end of the day, you have to choose what is best for you and your current situation.

Disclaimer: All rates and fees are accurate as of Oct. 31, 2019.

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