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Friday, August 12th
Figure describes itself as "the fastest and easiest way to refinance" your mortgage. They're one of the newer services on the market, with just 20,000 successfully-closed refis at the time of our review.
Figure is somewhat limited with what they offer: strictly 30-year fixed mortgages on primary residences. The company is only licensed in 32 states; some notable exclusions are Illinois, New York and Texas, so if you live there or in the other 15 states where Figure isn't an option, you'll be better off starting your refinancing process with another lender. See the fine print at the bottom of the Figure site to see which states are included. You'll also need a minimum FICO score of 620. And, if you're solely self-employed, you won't qualify for a Figure mortgage refinance unless you can provide documented income from other sources.
Cash Out Or Traditional Refi
If you decide to give Figure a chance, what can you expect? First, you've got the option to do a cash-out refinance, up to $500,000. You'll have to indicate whether you want a traditional refi or a cash-out option at the start of the process.
Where's The Offer?
Next, you'll go through three steps to see your rate. Figure will ask for the property address, the estimated home value, and if you pay any HOA fees. Finally, once you've entered your contact information and created an account, you'll be taken to your account dashboard. The "getting your offer" screen took over a minute to load, and we weren't given an offer - just a message that our application was being reviewed.
20 Days To Receive A Decision
Figure says that while the application takes about 10 minutes, it can be as long as 20 days before you receive a decision. Then, if you're approved and select the terms of your refi, you have 30 days to complete the process.
One part of the process that could pose a challenge is the income verification. Figure requires you to log into your checking account through their portal - which isn't a problem if you bank with one of the larger financial institutions. However, if you use a smaller credit union or regional bank, it's possible that you won't be able to connect. Figure offers the ability to verify your income with tax returns as well, but we found a few customer complaints specifically about the lack of partnering with their particular bank (and that it caused problems for the funding of their refinance).
Failing Grade From The BBB
The main reason Figure earns our lowest ranking among companies offering mortgage refinancing is their "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. The BBB showed that no one from Figure responded to complaints filed, and customer reviews there were mostly negative too. On the other hand, this service has a much better reputation outside of the BBB's listing. While we still found complaints from unhappy users of the platform, we also discovered more than 800 5-star reviews. Those clients said that the process was fast, and that customer service representatives were readily available if needed.
Potential Is There
Figure has the potential to become a strong option for mortgage refinancing, and we hope to see improvements from them in the future: more states in their eligibility list, options beyond a traditional 30-year fixed mortgage, and more banks in their network for easier income verification and disbursal of funds. We'd also prefer to see a much stronger reputation with the BBB. Until then, however, Figure will remain near the bottom of our rankings.
While it might be tempting to go with a local mortgage broker or even your community bank, you're not likely to get the lowest rates or ideal terms that way. Why? They usually work with their preferred partners instead of negotiating or "comparison shopping" to get you the best deal. You're paying for convenience and familiarity, but that's it. Fortunately, there are many reputable online lenders that make it quick and easy to get low rates and great terms, all from your laptop or even your mobile phone!
With interest rates at historic lows, it's worth your while to consider mortgage refinancing. Whether you want to shave years off your current mortgage and lower your interest rate or get cash out from your established equity, there's no better time than now. Using an online lender lets you compare rates, complete the application, and finish the entire process without ever leaving home: some services send a mobile notary to you for the final steps of signing the paperwork! Otherwise, you can often choose a local title company if you prefer to go the more traditional route.
Not all online mortgage refinancing providers work the same. While some operate more like a regular bank, funding your loan themselves, others act as a referral service so that you can compare rates and offers from multiple lenders at once. Whichever site you choose, don't be afraid to take the quote you receive and ask other lenders to compete for your business! Some of the fees charged in the refi process are negotiable, so why not see who can give you the absolute best loan terms?
As you start the process of refinancing your mortgage, keep in mind the following criteria for each lender or service you're considering:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best services for mortgage refinancing available today. We hope this information saves you money by helping you find the best rates and terms when you refinance your mortgage!
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