Many or all companies we feature compensate us. Compensation and editorial research influence how products appear on a page. Home Equity Third Federal Home Equity Review Updated Jun 26, 2023   |   10-min read Reviewed by Stephanie Colestock Reviewed by Stephanie Colestock Expertise: Loans, insurance, real estate investing, credit, debt Stephanie is an experienced personal finance writer with more than a decade of experience as a freelancer. Learn more about Stephanie Colestock If you’ve built up equity in your home, a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC) can be an ideal way to tap into that value. You can use these funds however you want: to pay off credit card debt, make a big purchase, or fund a home renovation project. Third Federal offers home equity products, including home equity loans and lines of credit, in 26 states. Not all products and options are available in every state. We researched and reviewed Third Federal’s home equity products. Find out how this lender can help you access the equity in your primary home. In this review: How does Third Federal help me access my home equity?Pros and cons of a Third Federal HELOC or home equity loanWhat do Third Federal’s customers say?Do I qualify for a HELOC or home equity loan from Third Federal?How do I apply with Third Federal?How does Third Federal determine how much I can borrow?What does the appraisal process look like?Does Third Federal charge any fees?Does Third Federal have a customer service team? How does Third Federal help me access my home equity? You can’t borrow 100% of your available equity, but you may be able to access a significant portion (up to 80% in many cases). For homeowners with established equity in their primary, owner-occupied property, Third Federal offers two home equity products: a HELOC and a home equity loan. Third Federal HELOCs are available in 26 states (listed below), and home equity loans are available in eight states (also listed below). Some banks will allow you to have a home equity loan and a HELOC on the same property (or more than one of each type of account), but Third Federal doesn’t. You’ll need to close any open accounts before this lender approves you for a new home equity loan or line of credit. Third Federal home equity line of credit A HELOC is an open-ended line of credit secured by a portion of your home’s equity. Approved borrowers can pull from this line of credit as needed during the draw period (often the first 10 years) for any purpose. You won’t owe interest until you borrow funds, but an annual fee applies after the first year. Once the HELOC’s draw period ends, the repayment period begins. During this time, you can no longer borrow against the line of credit, and you’ll focus on paying back the debt as agreed. This repayment period can last up to 20 years at Third Federal for a total HELOC term of 30 years. Unlike many HELOC lenders, Third Federal doesn’t allow interest-only repayment during the draw period. You’ll make principal and interest payments from the start with a minimum monthly payment of $100 if a balance is owed. Third Federal home equity lines of credit allow homeowners to borrow anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000 against their home’s available equity for a maximum loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 80%. Your property has to be in one of the following states to take out a Third Federal HELOC: CaliforniaColoradoConnecticutFloridaGeorgiaIowaIllinoisIndianaKentuckyMaineMichiganMarylandMinnesotaMissouriNorth CarolinaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew YorkOhioOregonPennsylvaniaTennesseeVirginiaWashingtonWisconsinWashington, D.C. The property must be your primary home, and you must occupy it to qualify. You can’t have other HELOCs open against the home. Third Federal HELOC termsRates (APR)Starting at 6.24%Rate discountsNot disclosedLoan amounts$10,000 to $200,000Draw period10 yearsRepayment period20 yearsMaximum LTV80%Minimum credit scoreNot disclosedMinimum incomeNot disclosedFees$65 annual fee (waived the first year)Minimum monthly payment$100 Third Federal home equity loan With a home equity loan, you can take out an installment loan against your home’s equity in one lump sum. You’ll then repay it monthly for a specified term, ranging from five to 30 years. If you need to borrow additional funds after disbursement, you’ll need to take out a second loan or another product, such as a HELOC. Your property has to be in one of the following states to take out a Third Federal home equity loan: CaliforniaFloridaKentuckyNew JerseyNorth CarolinaOhioPennsylvaniaVirginia Third Federal home equity loan termsRates (APR)Starting at 6.29%Rate discountsNot disclosedLoan amounts$10,000 to $200,000Repayment periods5 – 30 yearsMaximum LTV80%Minimum credit scoreNot disclosedMinimum incomeNot disclosedFeesNone Third Federal also offers a Fixer Upper Home Repair loan for homeowners in select areas of Ohio and Florida who need to borrow a small amount against their home’s equity. This product allows you to borrow between $1,000 and $9,900, offers an interest rate of just 2.99% APR, and has a minimum monthly payment of only $10. Pros and cons of a Third Federal HELOC or home equity loan Pros Borrow against your home’s equity for a maximum loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 80%. Small repair loans are available in addition to HELOCs and home equity loans of up to $200,000. Lowest Rate Guarantee ensures Third Federal will beat any other interest rate offers or pay you $1,000. All rates are fixed. Cons Not available in all states. Only offered on primary, owner-occupied homes. Interest-only payments are not offered during your HELOC’s draw period. Third Federal may require automated direct payments from some borrowers. If you’re unsure whether Third Federal is the right lender for your home equity needs, check out our list of home equity companies. What do Third Federal’s customers say about the company? SourceRatingNumber of reviewsBetter Business Bureau1.5 out of 5 stars8 Ratings collected on November 23, 2022. The first step is finding a lender with the right products, terms, and rates. Next, you’ll want to be sure that the lender you choose treats its customers well and will give you a positive experience. So looking at customer ratings and reviews before taking out a loan is essential. Remember: Often, customers with excellent or average experiences don’t talk about it online—but reviews can help you spot patterns and identify potential concerns. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one trusted place to look. Third Federal is not a BBB-accredited lender but has an A– rating from the agency. Only eight customers have posted reviews, which equate to a rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars. Many of these mention issues with the loan approval process. Do I qualify for a HELOC or home equity loan from Third Federal? Before taking out a home equity loan or line of credit from any lender, including Third Federal, you’ll want to be sure you qualify. Eligibility requirements center around factors including your credit score, credit history, income, debt-to-income ratio (DTI), and current home equity. Third Federal does not disclose its credit score or income requirements. In general, you’ll need good credit to qualify for a home equity product and snag the best possible rates. Third Federal limits borrowers to a combined LTV of 80%, which means you can only take out up to 80% of your home’s current appraised value, minus any remaining mortgage loan balance or other liens against the property. You must live in the areas where these loans and HELOCs are offered. This includes 26 states for Third Federal HELOCs and six for home equity loans. Your property has to be your primary home, and you need to occupy the property to qualify. You can view rates based on location and loan amount on Third Federal’s website. Since the rates it generates don’t consider your credit score, income, or DTI, they may change after you apply. However, you can get an idea of which product provides the best value for you and meets your needs before applying, which can affect your credit. How do I apply with Third Federal? Once you know which product best suits your situation, you can proceed with the online application process. There, you’ll share certain personal information, including your: NameAddressEmail addressDate of birthProperty addressDriver’s license number (You may need to upload a copy.) You’ll first need to provide your Social Security number and authorize Third Federal to pull your credit report. The lender doesn’t offer prequalification with a “soft” credit check. You’ll also need to provide the ages of your dependents and information about your assets, expenses, and income. How does Third Federal determine how much I can borrow? First, you can only borrow within Third Federal’s home equity borrowing limits, which range from $10,000 to $200,000. (If you live in some regions of Florida or Ohio and are interested in the Fixer Upper Home Repair loan, you can get a smaller loan for $1,000 to $9,900.) Third Federal will let you borrow up to a CLTV of 80% within these limits. You can take out as much as 80% of your home’s current value minus any existing loans or liens on the property. So if your home is worth $300,000, and you have a mortgage balance of $100,000, you could borrow up to $140,000 with a Third Federal home equity loan or line of credit: $300,000 home value x 80% LTV = $240,000 maximum $240,000 – $100,000 remaining mortgage = $140,000 available Beyond that, you may be further limited in how much you can borrow based on personal factors. Some lenders, for example, may allow a smaller LTV for borrowers with lower credit scores or a higher DTI. What does the appraisal process look like? To verify your home’s current value—which it uses to calculate your available equity and determine how much you can borrow against the house—your lender will likely need an updated home appraisal. A home appraisal is a report outlining the structure and important systems within your home that contribute to its market value. A licensed inspector will visit the property and draw up the appraisal, using comps (recently sold local, comparable homes) to calculate the property’s value. Third Federal will order the appraisal from a network of approved third-party inspectors if required. The lender covers the fee for this report. Does Third Federal charge any fees? There are a handful of fees to be aware of when taking out a Third Federal home equity loan or line of credit. The first is a $65 annual fee, which just applies to HELOCs. Third Federal will waive it the first year. To process and disburse the loan or line of credit, Third Federal will incur expenses called closing costs. These include credit reports, appraisals, title work, flood reports, mortgage filing fees, and certain taxes. Some lenders may pass a portion (or all) of these on to borrowers, but Third Federal absorbs these costs. You also won’t incur any fees for paying off your HELOC early and closing the account. Some lenders will charge early prepayment penalties or make borrowers repay a portion of their closing costs if they pay off their HELOC within the first few years. Third Federal, however, does not charge any penalties or force borrowers to repay fees. Fee typeHELOCHome equity loanApplication feeNoneNoneAnnual fee$65, waived the first yearNoneClosing costsNoneNoneEarly repayment feeNoneNone Does Third Federal have a customer service team? If you need to speak to a Third Federal representative or have questions about a home equity product, you have several options to reach a representative. First, you can visit a local branch if you live near one. Branches are only available in Ohio and Florida right now, so this in-person option is limited. You can also contact customer care by calling 844-798-7784. Representatives are available six days a week: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Thursday8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturdays If you’re already a customer, you can send a secured message through the Third Federal online banking platform, and a representative will contact you. You can request a call from a representative, as well, by filling out a call request form online.