Figure is a blockchain-powered fintech company offering home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and mortgage refinancing. Through blockchain, the same technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Figure is able to approve and close your new loan almost immediately. With HELOCs and cash-out refinances, the funds arrive in your account within 5 days – much quicker than with a traditional lender.
The most noticeable thing about Figure’s automated online platform is that it’s quick… really quick. Applicants need only fill out the bare basics to get an offer, including name; contact details, property address for financing, property type, financing purpose (e.g. debt consolidation, home improvement, major purchase, or other), and a few other minor details.
Next, Figure will run a soft credit check and verify your identity and income. All you need to do is give authorization to connect all your accounts in which you receive or maintain your income. Figure’s AI/blockchain-powered technology then scans quickly through your records to assess and approve you. The whole process of connecting your accounts takes only 5-10 minutes and all your personal data is protected by bank-level security. Additionally, Figure partners with an independent third party to verify your employment. You should let your employer know that you are applying for a mortgage loan and to expect an email and/or phone call to verify your employment.
Toward the end of the process, Figure will show you your pre-qualified rates with columns for term, APR, and monthly payment. With the HELOC, Figure offers a choice of 5, 7, 10, or 15 years, with lower APRs for shorter terms and higher APRs for longer terms. With refinancing, it offers a 30-year fixed term. If you see an option you like, select it to complete the application.
At the end, you’ll be asked to verify your identity by taking a photo or uploading your ID. Next, you’ll be asked to enter details of the bank account where you’d like Figure to transfer your funds. Finally, you’ll be redirected to a video chat with an e-notary, where you’ll e-sign your loan documents and finalize your HELOC or refinancing.
Figure’s AI-powered platform makes it easier and quicker than ever before to get approved for a home equity line of credit or mortgage refinance. By cutting down on overheads like physical branches and manual assessment of each and every application, Figure is able to pass on the savings to the customer – and it does so with very competitive rates and APRs.
Given it was only founded in 2018, Figure is still in the process of obtaining state licenses. As of May 2020, it was offering HELOCs in 38 states (plus DC) and refinancing in 32 states (excluding DC). Figure is constantly growing, so it looks like it’ll only be a matter of time before Figure starts servicing all 50 states with a wider selection of mortgages and loans.
Figure offers two products: home equity lines of credit (referred to as a Figure Home Equity Line) and mortgage refinancing (including cash-out refinance option).
These are the main features of the HELOC product:
And these are the main features of the mortgage refinance product:
APRs for the most qualified applicants are 3.00% (as of January 2021) plus origination fee, slightly below the market average. However, the lowest rates come with a catch–a higher origination fee. For example, a borrower with CLTV of 45%, credit score of 800, and a home equity line with an initial draw amount of $500 and repayment term of 5 years has the option of paying a 4.99% origination fee in order to qualify for a 3.00% APR. Advertised rates include a combined discount of 0.75% for opting into a program run by third-party services provider Quorum and enrolling in autopay. Therefore, the best possible APR is 3.24% for customers that do not opt into these programs.
Applicants can get in touch with Figure via any of the following channels. Operating hours are Monday – Saturday, 6am – 6pm Pacific time.
Figure presents us with a window into the future of lending and mortgages. For most of American history, the only way a person could get a mortgage or loan was through the banks or traditional lenders in what was often a tiresome and expensive application process. Recently, Fintech lenders from Silicon Valley have disrupted the industry, cutting out most of the overheads of the traditional lenders and passing on most of the savings to consumers. By leveraging technologies like AI and blockchain, Figure further streamlines the lending process, resulting in significantly reduced APRs, fees, and waiting times – and benefiting borrowers.