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Unlock: 2024 Home Equity Review

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At a glance

Bankrate Score
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3.1
Rating: 3.1 stars out of 5
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Bankrate Score

Customer Rating
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1.0
Rating: 1 stars out of 5

2 ratings

Moneybag

Loan amount

$30,000-$500,000

Credit Good

Min. credit score required

500

Rates

Repayment terms

Up to 10 years

Funds available in

30 Days

Unlock features

Here's a breakdown of some of the benefits and drawbacks of Unlock home equity loans.

Benefits

  • Unlock offers cash in hand now, with no monthly payments or interest, eliminating the pressure to repay right away.
  • Unlock accepts a credit score as low as 500, provided you meet other eligibility criteria.

Drawbacks

  • Unless you buy back Unlock’s equity, you’ll get less from your home when you sell.
  • The company only operates in some states (as of this review).

Home equity loan products offered

Unlock offers home equity agreements (HEAs), rather than a line of credit (HELOC) or loan. Essentially, the company gives you money — called an investment payment — in exchange for a portion of your home’s equity up to 10 years in the future. You can buy out the company’s share in your home at any time during this term, or choose to sell your home at any time, at which point you’ll pay the company what you owe. Unlike a HELOC or equity loan, you won’t have to worry about monthly payments or interest during the term.

Types of fees charged

Unlock charges an origination fee of 4.9 percent of the lump sum. You’ll also be responsible for any fees related to third-party services, such as a home appraisal — Unlock estimates these to total approximately $2,000. If you refinance your first mortgage or obtain another loan on your home, the company might charge you an administration fee and any recording fees.

How to qualify for a home equity agreement with Unlock

The basic requirements for an Unlock investment are: the equity has to be tied to your primary residence; and you’ll need a FICO credit score of at least 500, along with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 80 percent. (Don’t let the term “loan-to-value” mislead you  —  the home equity agreement isn’t a loan in the traditional sense.) You’ll also need to be taking out at least $30,000.

To qualify, you don’t need to be a certain age or earn a certain income, but your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio can’t exceed 45 percent. You also can’t have a bankruptcy, foreclosure (including deed-in-lieu) or short sale on your record within the past five years, nor more than three months of missed mortgage payments within the past two (or more than four months of missed payments within the past three).

In addition, if you have other liens on the property, you might be required to clear these (pay them) before Unlock makes an investment. You’ll also need to continue paying your homeowners insurance and property taxes, as well as paying your first mortgage if you have one.

How to apply with Unlock

You can get the process started on Unlock’s website, which allows you to enter some basic information about your home, or by calling 800-560-3450.

How Bankrate scored Unlock

Affordability 8/10
Availability 6.2/10
Borrower experience 4.2/10

Unlock customer ratings and reviews

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1.0

Rating: 1 stars out of 5

2 ratings

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This lender has 2 recent reviews.

Knowledge
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Level of service
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Professionalism
Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5
Responsiveness
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
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0% of customers would recommend this lender.

of 2 reviews

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