Aven HELOC review: A credit card for home equity spending

A couple sit on the floor of their home, one person holds their dog while the other holds a laptop and their Aven HELOC card.Image: A couple sit on the floor of their home, one person holds their dog while the other holds a laptop and their Aven HELOC card.
Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.

Aven HELOC at a glance

  • Fixed or variable rate: Variable, but fixed available for balance transfers and cash-outs (additional 2.5% fee)
  • How to withdraw funds: Credit card or cash out to bank (for a 2.5% fee)
  • Origination fee: None
  • Loan-to-value ratio: Varies
  • Time to fund: About 10 business days

The Aven home equity line of credit combines features of a traditional HELOC and a credit card, allowing you to tap into your home equity and take advantage of lower interest rates than you’d typically find with a credit card.

Pros

  • Earn 1.5% cash back on purchases
  • Prequalification application doesn’t affect your credit scores
  • Fast application
  • Credit limit of up to $250,000

Cons

  • Need strong credit for lowest rate
  • Variable interest rate can be risky if rates are rising
  • 2.5% fee on cash-outs and balance transfers

5 things to know about an Aven HELOC

Let’s take a look at some of the features of the Aven HELOC credit card.

1. Combines features of a HELOC and a credit card

The Aven HELOC allows you to access your home equity using a credit card. As part of the approval process, the company evaluates the amount of equity you have in your home, as well as other factors such as your credit, income and debt obligations.

Using your home as collateral allows Aven to provide competitive rates compared to many standard credit cards.

2. You can transfer cash or use your Aven HELOC to pay off other debts

In addition to accessing your home equity using a credit card, the Aven HELOC also allows you to transfer cash to your personal bank account and repay it at the same rate as purchases made with the card. You can also use the Aven HELOC to pay off other debts, such as personal loans or high-interest-rate credit cards.

But keep in mind that a one-time 2.5% transfer fee applies. That number can add up if you’re transferring a large amount.

3. It comes with flexible repayment options

Unlike a home equity loan, an Aven HELOC allows you to pay only for the amount you actually use. Charges made using the credit card are subject to a variable interest rate and require a minimum monthly payment of 1% of your statement balance, plus interest.

For balance transfers and cash-outs, you can choose fixed monthly installment payments instead of monthly payments based on a variable rate. Aven offers fixed payments with terms of 5, 10 or 15 years, depending on the amount you’ve borrowed. A one-time 2.5% transfer fee applies.

4. Easy to get started

You may be able to qualify for an Aven HELOC in as little as 15 minutes, according to the company. If approved, you can expect to get your card within 10 business days and start using it to make purchases right away.

5. No annual fee

With the Aven HELOC, you won’t pay an account closing fee, applications fee, prepayment penalty or annual fee. However, there is a $29 late fee if you fail to make your minimum monthly payment on time.

Is getting a HELOC a good idea?

A home equity line of credit can be a convenient way to access the equity in your home. It allows you to use a checkbook or card to pull out money as you need it, up to a predetermined maximum amount. You’ll want to consider if it makes more sense than a cash-out refinance, which will depend on current rates, your credit and the amount you want to borrow.

You can use a HELOC for a variety of purposes, such as financing home repairs or paying off higher-interest debt. Since a HELOC allows you to take out only what you need, when you need it, it may help you to avoid paying unnecessary interest.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. For example, variable rates and payments can make it difficult to budget for your monthly payments. Plus, since your home serves as collateral for the loan, the lender could foreclose on it if you fail to make your payments.

Who is an Aven HELOC good for?

An Aven HELOC may be a good option for homeowners who have equity in their home, excellent credit and the need to access funds quickly. The transfer option may be appealing to people who want to pay off higher-rate debts. And the credit card is likely to attract people who are looking for competitive rates and a convenient way to tap into their home equity.

How to apply for an Aven HELOC

The process of applying for an Aven HELOC is fairly straightforward.

To be eligible for an Aven HELOC, you must:

  • Be a U.S. resident aged 18 or older and have a steady income.
  • Have a minimum credit score of 620
  • Have a combined loan-to-value ratio of no more than 89%.

To receive a credit line of more than $100,000, you must have a FICO credit score of 760 or higher. And to be eligible for the lowest interest rate, you’ll need a FICO credit score of at least 800.

For some borrowers, the application process is automated, only requiring you to answer some questions online and link your bank account. Other methods of income verification include submitting the first page of your tax return, your most recent pay stub or proof of retirement income. In most cases, you’ll only need to submit one form of income verification.

Not sure if Aven is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Alliant Credit Union: Alliant may be worth considering if you prefer no closing costs or appraisal fees.
  • Figure: Figure is a good option for people who want fixed-rate HELOCs with high credit limits.

About the author: Beth Deyo is a personal finance freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of South Florida. She is also a Certified Financial Planner™ with 14 years of wealth management experience. She … Read more.