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Wednesday, May 18th
SoFi stands for "social finance", illustrating this company's approach to lending, different from traditional lenders like banks. Treating their clients as "members", this company aims to help both investors and borrowers to reach their financial goals.
Spring HQ Is The Real Lender
You don't really need to know very much about this company as a source of home equity loans. Why? SoFi passes all of those inquiries along to Spring HQ, which bills itself as "one of the nation's largest non-bank home equity lenders". That's a positive for SoFi: where they only have an "A" rating and no accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, Spring HQ has an "A+" and is also accredited there.
Solid Reputation, But A Few Complaints
Spring HQ has an overall solid reputation, but we still found some complaints. Customers said that the process dragged out over weeks, not days, and that they were still denied a loan at the end - despite meeting all of the criteria for income, loan-to-value, and so forth. Many clients had a hard time getting a response from Spring HQ representatives. Others said that they paid $250+ for a drive-by appraisal that significantly undervalued their home, compared with other reliable evaluations of the property.
Getting Started With Your Loan Application
Let's say you go ahead with the process. What can you expect? First, you'll complete their preliminary application, to prequalify you for your home equity loan. Fill out basic details like address, phone number and email, then information about the current mortgage and value. On the slider where it indicates how much you'd like to borrow, it will automatically populate to represent the minimum and maximum amounts based on a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or less. (You'll have to take out a home equity loan with a minimum of $25,000.) Finally, once you provide your birthdate (so that Spring HQ can do a "soft pull" on your credit history), you'll get a prequalification results page.
We weren't blown away by our results. Despite having two columns - "Lowest Payment" and "Lowest Rate" - our offers were exactly the same: a term of 240 months, with a middling APR. While our rate was lower than some of SoFi/Spring HQ's competitors, we didn't love the fact that our only option was a 20-year term.
Schedule An Appointment
Spring HQ also comes up short compared with lenders that let you complete the entire process online: after getting your results page, you have no other option than to schedule an appointment to speak with a representative. That takes away a lot of the convenience offered by 100% online providers of home equity loans.
Wait For Your Money
Another drawback? Your home equity loan could take a little longer here to reach your account: your cash might not be deposited for two weeks or more. In fact, while their website said loans are funded as quickly as 14 days, the intro email we received from Spring HQ said we should expect it to take at least three weeks for funds to be deposited.
Good Rates, But Inconvenient And Fewer Options
In short, we can't say much about SoFi with respect to home equity loans, since they don't have any part of the process beyond funneling your inquiry to their partner, Spring HQ. This partner lender is a decent option for a home equity loan: their rates were fairly competitive and the company has a good reputation. But, they don't measure up to comparable services that fund loans much more quickly, and you won't get the convenience of a 100% online application process.
With interest rates at historic lows, it's a fantastic time to borrow money: to pay off credit card debt, invest in your child's education, make home improvements, or splurge on that big-ticket item you've always wanted.
There are two ways to take out a home equity loan: as a cash-out refinance of your current mortgage or as a standalone second loan. Depending on your circumstances - how much equity you have in your home, the terms of your current mortgage, credit score, and so on - you may find that one approach works better than the other.
Shopping around for the best rates on your home equity loan is a wise idea - don't just go to your current lender and assume they'll give you the lowest interest rate or best terms! It's worth your time to consider multiple lenders; even a difference of a few tenths of a percent can save you thousands of dollars in the long run, and some companies will reduce their fees or eliminate them completely just to earn your business.
Fortunately, the internet makes it effortless to compare your options with just a few clicks of the mouse. Many lenders provide their rates upfront, so you'll know if they're worth considering before you even begin an application; others may do a "soft pull" on your credit history, so that they can offer personalized rates based on your specific situation. Plus, some lending platforms give you the ability to compare offers from multiple banks with a single online form, saving you time while connecting you with the best rates on the market.
As you decide which provider to use for your home equity loan, there are several factors that can guide your choice:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the top options for home equity loans available today. We hope this information helps you get the money you need to pay down debt, start your home improvement project, or invest in a new business - the possibilities are limitless!
Select any 2 Home Equity Loans to compare them head to head
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