With the weather warming up, I thought it’d be prudent to check out “Spring EQ,” a lender that specializes in getting cash out of your home.
By that, I mean they offer cash out refinances and second mortgages, including both home equity loans and lines of credit (HELOCs).
They also partner with other lenders to provide secondary financing, so if you get a combo loan, you might find that they’re your lender on the second mortgage.
Aside from allowing you to tap your home equity, they also offer home purchase financing too, so they’re a full-service lender.
Let’s learn more about them to determine if they could be a good option for your first or second mortgage, or even both.
Spring EQ Fast Facts
- Direct-to-consumer nonbank lender that offers first and second mortgages
- Including home equity loans and home equity lines of credit
- Founded in 2016, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Currently licensed to do business in 39 states and D.C.
- Also operates a wholesale lending division for its mortgage broker partners
Spring EQ is a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that got its start in 2016.
Originally, they sought to transform the home equity lending business model from “a long, drawn-out paperwork based process into a 21st century digital experience.”
This mirrors the efforts currently being made by mortgage lenders that focus on first mortgages, moving from a clumsy, slow process into a digital one powered by the latest technology.
While they got their start originating second mortgages, such as home equity lines and HELOCs, today they also originate home purchase loans and refinance loans.
And they refer to themselves as one of the fastest growing mortgage lenders in the country, though it’s unclear how much volume they did last year.
The company also operates a wholesale lending division for mortgage broker partners, and says it serves customers at other lenders including SoFi, Mr. Cooper, and Roundpoint.
Interestingly, Spring EQ Wholesale utilizes the FICO Score 8 model and encourages its clients to use Experian Boost, which can result in higher credit scores almost instantly and maybe lower interest rates too.
At the moment, they’re licensed to do business in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
They’re not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, the Dakotas, West Virginia, or Wyoming, but say they’re coming soon to Massachusetts, Missouri, New York and Utah.
How to Apply for a Mortgage with Spring EQ
- To get started simply visit their website and click on “Get My Options”
- This will allow you to see which loan programs are available
- An expert guide (loan officer) will then get in touch to further discuss pricing and options
- Once your loan is submitted you can manage it via the online Spring EQ Portal
As noted, Spring EQ has turned to technology to make the process of obtaining a home loan (and home equity loan) more pain-free.
They say you can get pre-qualified in just a minute, and apply online when you’re ready to move forward, using the latest tools to speed up the once-arduous process.
This includes the ability to link financial accounts, scan/upload documents, and eSign disclosures on the fly.
Once your loan is submitted, you’ll be able to manage it via the Spring EQ Portal.
It appears they move quickly, as they say many purchase loans and refinances can close in 20 days or less, while home equity customers can get their money in as few as 11 days.
All in all, the loan process should be mostly electronic and doable from any device, such as a smartphone or desktop computer.
Loan Programs Offered by Spring EQ
- Home purchase loans
- Refinance loans: rate and term and cash out
- Conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Second mortgages
- Home equity loans
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
Spring EQ is similar to other standard mortgage lenders in that they offer home purchase loans and refinances, including rate and term and cash out offerings.
It’s unclear what specific loan programs are available other than the popular 30-year fixed, though I’d imagine a 15-year fixed, and maybe an adjustable-rate mortgage like the 5/1 ARM.
I think they only offer conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with government loans like FHA/USDA/VA perhaps in the works.
What sets them apart is their second mortgages, something that has become a relative rarity these days.
This includes both home equity loans and HELOCs, the latter of which are lines of credit that allow you to draw more cash over time if needed.
These second mortgages can be used concurrently with a first mortgage to extend financing, in the case of a purchase, or simply as standalone financing.
They say you can borrow up to 90% combined-loan-to-value (CLTV), which is the total of your first and second mortgage balances against the property’s value.
This is higher than what you might be able to obtain via a traditional first mortgage, which could be capped at 80% LTV if backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
For example, if you have a $300,000 first mortgage you really like that’s fixed for 30 years at 2.5%, you might be able to borrow an additional $60,000 on a home valued at $400,000.
That way the low interest rate on your first mortgage remains untouched while allowing you to tap equity.
I believe they lend on primary residences, second homes, and investment properties, including condos/townhomes.
Additionally, they serve self-employed borrowers, though required income documents may be more extensive.
Spring EQ Mortgage Rates
One slight negative to Spring EQ is the lack of information regarding mortgage rates and lender fees.
After a visit to their website, I was unable to discover any interest rates listed, nor could I find any lender fees charged.
This doesn’t mean their pricing is good, bad, or in-between, it just means you’ll need to get in touch with a loan officer first to determine your rate.
As such, you may want to give them a call first to discuss eligibility and pricing before signing up via their website.
Obviously, loan pricing is a big part of the equation, so knowing how competitive Spring EQ is relative to other lenders is important.
That being said, they may offer proprietary loan programs that other companies may not be able to match, especially in the second mortgage department.
Spring EQ Reviews
On LendingTree, the company has a solid 4.6-star rating out of 5 from nearly 400 customer reviews, along with an 89% recommended score.
Additionally, Spring EQ was the #1 lender in the home equity category for customer satisfaction in the second quarter of 2020, and top-3 in the third quarter of 2020.
Over at Google, they’ve got a 4.2-star rating out of 5 from nearly 300 reviews, which is also a superior rating.
On Zillow, it’s a similar 4.53-star rating from a smaller sample size of about 55 reviews.
Lastly, they’ve got a 4.47/5 rating on the Better Business Bureau website, which is surprisingly high for a complaint-driven site. And they’re an accredited business with an ‘A+’ rating.
In summary, Spring EQ could be a good choice if you’re interested in a second mortgage, such as a home equity line or loan, and want to keep your first mortgage intact.
This could become a popular trend if and when mortgage rates really begin to rise.
But they also provide home purchase financing now as well, and could structure your loan as a combo to take advantage of better pricing while avoiding costly PMI.
Spring EQ Pros and Cons
The Good Stuff
- Can apply for a loan directly from their website in minutes
- Provide a fast, digital process and an online borrower portal
- Offer second mortgages (HELOCs and home equity loans)
- They say many loans close in 20 days or less
- Serve both salaried and self-employed borrowers
- Excellent customer reviews from past customers across all ratings sites
- A+ BBB rating and an accredited business since 2016
The Maybe Not
- Aren’t licensed in all states currently
- No mention of rates or fees
- Do not offer FHA/USDA/VA loans
(photo: Liz West)