Figure HELOC review: An online lender with flexible terms to tap your home equity

A woman sits on her backyard deck enjoying a glass of wine while taking in the new landscaping she put in using a Figure HELOC.Image: A woman sits on her backyard deck enjoying a glass of wine while taking in the new landscaping she put in using a Figure HELOC.
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.

Figure HELOCs at a glance

  • Fixed or variable rate: Fixed
  • How to withdraw funds: Unclear
  • Origination fee: Up to 4.99% of initial draw (depending on your state and credit)
  • Loan-to-value ratio: Up to 95%
  • Time to fund: As soon as five days

Figure is an online lender that offers home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, with competitive rates and flexible loan terms.

But keep in mind that Figure’s HELOC works a little differently than many others you will come across. Figure requires you to withdraw the full amount of your credit line when you first take it out in exchange for a fixed rate.

You can take out more money down the road during your draw period as you make repayments on your credit line — but you’ll face a new interest rate on any new amount borrowed.

That can be a pro if you are planning a large renovation, but a con if you only want to borrow smaller amounts of your credit line at a time.

Pros

  • Online application with potentially fast approval
  • No in-person appraisal required
  • Ability to check potential rate with a soft credit inquiry
  • Offers HELOCs for primary and secondary residences

Cons

  • Longer loan terms have higher interest rates
  • Maximum loan amount varies by credit score
  • Not available in all states

5 things to know about a Figure HELOC

Here are a few important features of Figure’s HELOC.

1. Requires 100% initial draw

A typical HELOC allows you to tap into your home equity by withdrawing funds as you need them. But Figure’s HELOC is similar to a home equity loan or a cash-out refinance, since it requires you to initially withdraw 100% of your approved amount.

Since you’ll owe interest on the entire amount even if you don’t need it all at once, this could be a drawback for some borrowers.

2. New draws lock in new rates

Figure’s HELOC is a fixed-rate product. When you take out your initial draw, your rate is locked in.

But as you pay down your equity line, you are also able to take out additional draws during the draw period. Each draw will lock in a new rate. Depending on current market conditions, your new rate could be higher or lower than your initial rate.

3. Borrow up to $400,000 with competitive rates and flexible terms

Figure offers HELOCs ranging from $20,000 to $400,000. But the minimum and maximum amounts available vary depending on a variety of factors, including the state where the property is located, your FICO score, the property type and the loan-to-value ratio.

Figure offers terms of five, 10, 15 and 30 years. As of November 2022, Figure’s APRs are competitive when compared with similar HELOC lenders.

4. Available for primary, secondary and investment properties

You can use Figure’s HELOC to borrow against the equity of a primary or secondary residence or an investment property.. The company says it offers HELOCs for single-family homes, townhouses, most condos and planned urban developments (PUDs).

You may own the home individually, jointly with others or through an irrevocable trust. Before approving a HELOC application, Figure will verify ownership by checking county records.

5. Ability to check your potential rate without affecting your credit score

Figure allows you to quickly see whether you’re likely to qualify and the rate you may receive by completing a form online. This is done with a soft credit inquiry that does not affect your credit scores.

But completing a loan application requires a hard credit inquiry and may temporarily impact your credit scores.

Does Figure require an appraisal for a HELOC?

Figure doesn’t require an in-person appraisal for HELOCs. Instead, the lender assesses the value of properties using an Automated Valuation Model. This process involves reviewing historical price trends, public data records and recent sales of similar properties.

The company also offers an e-notary that can help you close on your HELOC electronically. But keep in mind that it’s not available in all states.

If Figure can’t verify that your property is in at least “average” condition a “desktop appraisal” may be required which can extend the time it takes to receive funding.

Who is a Figure HELOC good for?

Since Figure’s HELOC requires a 100% initial draw, it can be a good option for homeowners who plan to use all or the bulk of their approved amount in a relatively short time. For homeowners planning a large renovation or remodeling project, this may be a good alternative to a home improvement loan.

While many HELOCs have adjustable rates, Figure’s fixed rates may make it attractive to people who prefer making a fixed payment over the life of their loan.

How to apply for a Figure HELOC

Figure’s application process takes place entirely online. It features a video notary and advertises quick online support. But Figure also provides a 1-800 number you can call if you have questions about the lending requirements or application process.

Minimum qualification requirements vary by state. Generally, you need a minimum credit score of 640 (680 for investment properties) and must be employed, self-employed or retired.  

To apply you’ll need to provide …

  • Personal information such as your name, date of birth and contact information
  • The property address
  • Identity, income and employment information

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

  • Bank of America: This national lender offers larger lines of credit and no application fee, closing costs or annual fees.
  • Aven: This innovative option combines features of a HELOC and a credit card, allowing you to tap into your home equity while also earning cash back.

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.