Third Federal HELOC review: A low-rate guarantee

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Third Federal HELOC at a glance

  • Fixed or variable rate: Variable
  • How to withdraw funds: Checks and debit cards
  • Origination fee: None
  • Loan-to-value ratio: Up to 80%
  • Time to fund: Unclear

Third Federal Savings & Loan’s home equity line of credit, or HELOC, offers people the ability to access their home equity with competitive rates and low fees. However, its HELOCs are not available in every state.

Pros

  • Lower rates than some competitors
  • No closing costs, minimum draw requirements or prepayment penalty
  • Lowest Rate Guarantee program

Cons

  • Annual fee (waived first year)
  • Limited availability
  • Eligibility requirements are not disclosed

3 things to know about a Third Federal HELOC

Here’s a look at some of the features you’ll find with a Third Federal HELOC.

1. Third Federal offers a Lowest Rate Guarantee program

Third Federal offers HELOCs with interest rates that it says are typically about 0.50% lower than its competitors’ rates. The bank offers a Lowest Rate Guarantee that says if you find a HELOC with a lower interest rate than Third Federal’s, it will either beat the rate or pay you $1,000.

2. Fees are relatively low

Except for a $65 annual fee — which is waived in the first year — a Third Federal HELOC doesn’t come with additional fees. There are no closing costs, and you won’t pay any penalties if you decide to make extra payments or pay off your outstanding balance early.

3. Flexible loan terms

The minimum credit line on a Third Federal HELOC is $10,000, and the maximum is $200,000. This range makes it useful for a wide variety of borrowers. The 30-year repayment period may also help people who want to keep their monthly payments low. Since there are no prepayment penalties, you can also make larger payments and pay your balance off sooner.

How long is a Third Federal HELOC?

The Third Federal HELOC offers a 10-year draw period and a total repayment period of 30 years. This means you can repeatedly draw funds up to your credit limit during the first 10 years from the time you open your HELOC. Once the draw period is over, you switch over to the repayment period and can no longer access the credit line.

Who is a Third Federal HELOC good for?

Because of its competitive interest rates and low fees, a Third Federal HELOC may be good for a homeowner who is looking for a low-cost way to tap into their home equity. It may also be attractive to people who are considering other options such as a home repair loan, which may have higher interest rates, or a cash-out refinance, which may have closing costs and other fees.

How to apply for a Third Federal HELOC

While you can complete your Third Federal HELOC application online, when it’s time to close on your loan, you’ll need to visit a Third Federal branch or have a representative from a local title company come to your home. Third Federal does not disclose its minimum eligibility requirements and does not provide a list of required documentation, which may make the process somewhat inconvenient for some borrowers.

You can complete your HELOC application online and will need to provide personal information and details regarding your assets, income, expenses and the property securing the loan.

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

  • Figure: This online lender offers funding in as little as five days if you need quick access to funds.  
  • Aven: This unique option combines features of a HELOC and a credit card and offers flexible repayment options.

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.