Third Federal Savings & Loan home equity review
Get a low rate guarantee, but you won’t know if you’re eligible until you apply.
Third Federal Savings & Loan is a regional lender offering some unique home equity options with no lender fees. But its home equity loans aren’t available in all the states it services, and its lack of transparency around eligibility requirements has caused many of its customers to complain.
|Loan products offered||Home equity loan, HELOC|
|Minimum credit score||This lender doesn’t list a minimum, but most lenders require at least a 620 FICO score.|
|APR range||2.24% to 18%|
|Repayment terms||HELOC: 10-year draw, 30-year repayment|
Loan: 5- to 30-year terms available
|Loan limits||$10,000 to $200,000|
This lender’s focus on offering the lowest interest rates on its home equity products means you can save money if you live within its service area. If you’re comfortable with using autopay from your Third Federal Savings & Loan account, you could get a discount. And the lender’s low rate guarantee means that they’ll either match the lowest rate you find or pay you $1,000.
But it might be worth making a call to Third Federal before you apply since it doesn’t list eligibility requirements on its website. And quite a few customers have complained after wasting time and money on a lengthy underwriting process that they never could have qualified for in the first place.
Third Federal pros and cons
- No lender closing costs. You won’t pay lender fees or prepayment penalties on your home equity products from Third Federal.
- Low rate guarantee. If you find a lower interest rate, Third Federal will match it or pay you $1,000.
- Lower payments. Third Federal’s longer 30-year repayment period can mean lower monthly payments than what you’d pay on loans or HELOCs with 20-year repayment terms.
- Adjustable-rate home equity loans. Choose an adjustable-rate loan option from this lender, which sometimes comes with a lower starting interest rate.
- Hidden eligibility requirements. Customers complained of being denied loans over qualification requirements that should have been disclosed before the application process began.
- Limited availability. This lender’s HELOCs are available in 25 states and Washington, DC, but its home equity loans are only available in eight states.
What types of fees does Third Federal charge?
This lender doesn’t charge any closing costs or prepayment penalties, but you’ll be responsible for the following fees:
- A $65 annual fee after the first year
- Documentation fees
- Required flood insurance, if applicable
Third Federal requirements
Third Federal doesn’t disclose a list of requirements until you apply, but typically it considers your credit history, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and loan-to-value (LTV) ratio to determine your eligibility and interest rate. You also need to show proof that you have both a homeowners insurance policy and flood insurance, if applicable in your area.
HELOCs are available in all of the states that Third Federal services, but you can only apply for a home equity loan if you live in one of the following states:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
This lender doesn’t provide a list of required documentation, but typically, you’ll want to have the following information ready before you apply:
- An estimate of the property’s value
- Employment and income information
- Debt and asset information
- Details about insurance and taxes on the property
- Your mortgage balance
- Personal information for you and any co-applicant
How to apply for a home equity loan with Third Federal
Start your application online using the instructions below.
- Navigate to the Third Federal Home Equity page and choose Apply Today under the product you want.
- Select Apply Now, then Start a new application and hit Next.
- Enter your personal information and information about your property and select Next.
- Select the loan or credit line you’re interested in.
- Enter information about your assets, expenses and income, selecting Next at the bottom of each page.
- Review the information you’ve entered and Submit your application.
What types of home equity products does Third Federal offer?
This lender offers a full slate of home equity products, including the following:
- Home equity line of credit (HELOC). Draw on this revolving credit line for up to 10 years and then amortize your payments over 30 years to repay what you owe.
- Fixed-rate home equity loan. If you prefer a fixed-rate option, Third Federal offers 5- and 10-year terms on home equity loans, allowing you to borrow up to 80% of your home’s equity.
- 5/1 adjustable rate home equity loan. Choose this option for a lower fixed rate over the first five years of the loan, followed by an adjustable rate of the prime rate plus 1% that adjusts annually for up to a 30-year repayment term.
Other mortgage products Third Federal offers
This lender also offers the following mortgage products:
- Conventional mortgage
- Jumbo mortgage
- Bridge loans
- Community development loans
- Construction to permanent loans
- Mortgage refinance
How Third Federal’s home equity products compare to other lenders
Third Federal’s HELOC and fixed-rate home loan are fairly common for a regional bank of its size. But its adjustable-rate home equity loan offering is more atypical but can save you money with a lower rate in the first five years.
Third Federal also offers a low-rate guarantee on all of its home equity products. If you find a lower rate, provide documentation of that rate to Third Federal, and it will either beat the rate or pay you $1,000. Also, get a .25% interest rate discount if you sign up for autopay through your Third Federal checking or savings account.
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Third Federal reviews and complaints
Third Federal Savings & Loan is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but as of July 2021, it has an A- rating for closing 16 customer complaints over the last three years and failing to respond to three additional complaints. The lender has only 12 customer reviews, averaging 1 out of 5 stars. Third Federal fares only slightly better on Yelp, where it averages 2 out of 5 stars from 72 reviews.
Many customers complained that the eligibility requirements for this lender’s mortgage loans aren’t fully disclosed up front. This led borrowers to follow the lengthy application process — and its associated expenses — only to be rejected.