Aven HELOC Lender Review

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ByChristopher Boston
Edited byJonathan Ramos
ByChristopher Boston
Edited byJonathan Ramos

Updated: November 16, 2023

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Aven shines as a HELOC lender with its unique credit card access, offering a flexible way to use home equity. With no origination or annual fees, it's a cost-effective choice. While the variable rates may not suit everyone, borrowers with good credit and substantial home equity may find it appealing. The automated system streamlines the process, though it leaves little room for negotiation on terms. For those who fit the profile, Aven could be a solid choice for managing significant expenses efficiently.


  • Aven

    • 7.99% to 15.49%APR Range
    • At least 620 (FICO) or 640 (VantageScore)Minimum Credit Score
    • Up to $250,000 (only $100,000 for certain states)Loan Amount Range
    • revolving credit for variable rate / 5 or 10 years for fixed rateRepayment Terms
    • 10 business days to receive cardTime to Receive Funds

    Aven takes a progressive approach to home equity lines of credit with its HELOC credit card. Unlike traditional HELOCs, Aven lets you draw and pay back funds much as you would with a credit card, making money management a breeze.

    The competitive variable APRs ranging from 7.99% to 15.49% are a wallet-friendly feature. If you enroll in autopay, there's a 0.25% rate discount. With no annual fees or a formal appraisal, these make upfront costs manageable, ensuring you keep more money in your pocket from the start.

    Aven's friendly borrowing terms, fund access through a credit card format and cost-saving features like the autopay discount make it a compelling choice for your HELOC needs.

    Pros

    • Competitive variable APRs (7.99%-15.49%)
    • Offers 0.25% discount with autopay
    • Flexible fund access via unique HELOC credit card format
    • High credit limits up to $250,000
    • Easy online application process
    • No annual fees or formal appraisal required

    Cons

    • Minimum credit score of 620 is required
    • State-specific loan amount limits
    • No conventional draw or repayment periods
    • 2.5% fee for cashing out to a bank
    Aven

Features of Aven

There’s a lot to consider if you’re considering a home equity line of credit (HELOC) with Aven. Sifting through various facets like how you can use your funds, the fees involved, available balance plans, loan amounts, interest rates and customer service quality, paints a clearer picture of what to expect. It will help you determine whether Aven aligns well with your financial goals, potentially making it a viable lender choice.

The Aven HELOC Credit Card

Aven’s unique selling point is its HELOC credit card, blending the best of both worlds — the low rates of a home equity line of credit and the usability of a credit card. With Aven, you can tap into your home equity while enjoying significantly lower rates.

You can use your Aven Card anywhere VISA is accepted, making spending straightforward and flexible. It also has a feature called CashOut that allows you to transfer money directly from your Aven account to any other bank account if you need cash. However, the transfer typically takes about two business days and comes with a one-time fee ranging from 2% to 4.9% of the transferred amount.

If you’re looking to escape high interest rates from another credit card, Aven’s Balance Transfer (BT) can help. Request a transfer, and within five business days, it’s initiated. Like with the CashOut feature, a one-time fee (2% to 4.9%) of the transferred amount is added to your balance.

Aven’s HELOC credit card allows for smart spending with the backing of your home’s equity. It’s what sets Aven apart, offering a blend of convenience and cost-saving in one swipeable card.

What Can You Use Your Funds For?

Knowing how to utilize the funds from a HELOC is essential for maximizing the benefits Aven provides. Different lenders have their set of rules on how you can use the funds. With Aven, you can manage your funds in various ways thanks to its unique HELOC credit card. Now, let's explore avenues to channel your Aven HELOC funds.

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Wise financial minds nod toward channeling HELOC funds into avenues that bolster wealth over time, such as home enhancements or balance transfers from high-interest accounts. While the sky's the limit on what you can purchase, you may want to avoid fleeting pleasures like vacations or a new car. Otherwise, these may stretch the repayment process.

Fees and Discounts With a Aven HELOC

While some lenders might have a bouquet of fees, Aven keeps it simple. There are no origination, annual, appraisal, notary or prepayment penalty fees, making it a cost-effective choice right from the start. However, you might encounter CashOut or Balance Transfer fees, each having a rate of 2%, 2.5% or 4.9% of the total amount transferred, which is added to your balance. You also shouldn’t forget about the $29 late fee if you miss a payment.

That said, Aven sweetens the deal with an autopay discount, encouraging timely payments by offering a 0.25% rate reduction. It simplifies your HELOC management and saves you some money over time.

Aven Balance Plans

Aven utilizes the Average Daily Balance method to calculate interest for revolving balances. Each day's balance is noted, summed up and divided by the number of days in the billing cycle to find the average. Interest is then applied on this average, using the rate from the cycle's last day. The minimum monthly payment is 1% of the principal plus the monthly interest on the outstanding balance.

On the other hand, fixed monthly payment plans adopt a simple interest-based approach, ensuring your monthly payment amount remains the same every month. Specifics like payment amounts and terms are disclosed at the outset of the plan creation. If you have multiple plans on your account, the minimum payment of each is summed up to calculate the total minimum payment due for the entire account. You can use Aven's payment calculator to get an idea of your payment estimates.

Loan Amounts and Interest Rates

Aven's HELOC comes with a variable rate, which is tied to an index like the Prime Rate or the Federal Funds Target Rate Upper Limit. These are beyond Aven's control — if they move, so does your APR.

Aven provides an option for fixed monthly payments on Balance Transfers and Cash Outs, moving away from the typical variable rates associated with HELOCs. Some Aven cardholders may also be eligible to establish fixed payment, fixed-rate Simple Loan plans for five or 10 years, introducing a level of predictability to their repayment schedule.

Regarding loan amounts, the most you can borrow from Aven is $250,000. However, this requires excellent credit, ample equity in your property and high income. For any credit line above $100,000, you must show proof of insurance and add Aven/Coastal Community Bank as a beneficiary on the policy. There are 15 states where the line limit is $100,000. These include Alabama, Alaska, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Wyoming, among others.

Customer Service

Reaching out to Aven for support is straightforward. Whether it's a scheduled call, a direct phone call or an email, the assistance you need is just a few steps away. You can dial (415) 582-6613 or shoot an email to support@aven.com. There's also an option to schedule a call through Aven.com/call.

Eligibility Criteria

Understanding the eligibility criteria is your first step toward securing a HELOC with Aven. All signers, whether applicants or co-owners, must be at least 18 and hold valid government-issued identification as specified by Aven. The lender also delves into other aspects like your credit score, the type of property you own and its equity, along with your income and employment status to assess your eligibility. We'll explore these factors to help you gauge your readiness for an Aven HELOC.

Minimum Credit Score

To apply for an Aven HELOC using your primary residence, you and a co-applicant, if there's one, should be US residents with FICO scores of at least 620 or VantageScores of 640. Your credit score is critical as it can influence the loan amount you qualify for. A higher figure could qualify you for more loan money.

Aven offers a co-signer option, which can be a game-changer if your credit score is on the lower side. One with a better score can boost your eligibility. However, it's a shared responsibility, meaning they're on the hook if repayments go south.

Property Type and Home Equity

The Aven Card is secured with a first or second lien on your property. It's open for primary residences, secondary homes and investment properties, though the latter two might have extra requirements. If you already have two liens on your property, Aven won't approve a third. While Aven doesn't specify a minimum equity requirement, lenders usually look for at least 15% to 20% equity in your home. This threshold ensures you have a stake in your property, making the loan less risky for the lender.

Income and Employment

You can verify your income with Aven by connecting a bank account, showing tax returns, a recent pay stub or proof of retirement income. The easiest is a bank account connection via Plaid. Now, it doesn't give Aven access to your bank login but allows for secure income verification. If you need to amend your stated income, a new application is required. Aven's flexible verification methods suggest that self-employed individuals could apply for a HELOC, provided they can furnish proof of stable income through one of the mentioned processes.

Is Aven Right for You

Evaluate if Aven suits your needs. A good fit means your financial circumstances align with what Aven offers, helping you ensure a smoother financial path ahead. We'll explore scenarios to identify who would benefit from Aven's HELOC and who should consider alternatives. An informed decision now can save time and money in the long run.

Who Can Benefit From a HELOC From Aven?

Aven's HELOC offerings are particularly beneficial to certain types of borrowers. For instance, homeowners with substantial equity in their property may find Aven to be an attractive option. Home equity serves as collateral, allowing you to secure lower rates compared to unsecured loans. The lender could also be a good match for borrowers with good to excellent credit scores, who are well-positioned to take advantage of its favorable terms. Aven's unique HELOC card may appeal to those seeking flexible spending options, allowing for ease in managing expenses, whether for emergencies or consolidating debts.

Those facing long-term, high-value expenses that can enhance property value over time, such as significant home improvements, can take advantage of Aven's varied balance plans. You can customize variable and fixed rates to match your financial needs and goals. Aven's HELOC can be a powerful tool for financially savvy borrowers looking to leverage their home equity effectively.

Who Shouldn’t Secure a HELOC From Aven?

Aven might not be the best fit for every borrower, particularly those who may not meet its specific criteria. For example, those with poor to fair credit might find Aven less accommodating. The lender typically looks for a minimum FICO score of 620 or a VantageScore of 640. If your credit score is below these benchmarks, you might face higher interest rates or risk application denial, making other lenders with more lenient credit score requirements a better choice.

Borrowers with inconsistent income might encounter hurdles with Aven's meticulous income verification process. Other lenders might offer more flexible income verification methods, increasing your chances of approval.

While thorough and reliant on its automated underwriting system, Aven's process can take some time. The entire process might span several weeks, from application to approval and, finally, to fund disbursement. The timeline can be inconvenient for those who need immediate access to funds. Lenders with expedited processing times, offering quick approvals and faster fund disbursement, might be a more appropriate choice for borrowers who need urgent financial assistance.

How to Apply

Understanding Aven's HELOC application process can streamline your journey toward acquiring a line of credit. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to navigate through it:

1
Check Offer

Begin by visiting Aven’s website to check the preliminary offer. Having your credit score and home equity estimates at hand can provide a more accurate offer, setting a clear starting point.

2
Confirm Income

Verifying your income using one of Aven’s accepted methods, like connecting a bank account, is crucial. Ensuring the accuracy of the information you provide can expedite the process, bringing you a step closer to approval.

3
Schedule a Digital Signing

Upon approval, schedule a digital signing session to finalize the deal. A stable internet connection and having all the necessary documents ready can make this step a lot easier.

After navigating through these steps, your card will be dispatched. Once received, follow the instructions to activate it, and you'll be ready to access your funds.

What to Do if You’re Denied

Experiencing a denial for a HELOC application with Aven can be discouraging, but it's not the end of the road. Understanding why it happened and what steps to take next can position you for future success. Below are some actions you can consider:

  • Understanding General Eligibility Criteria: Although Aven's automated underwriting system doesn't provide specific reasons for denial, having a grasp of the general eligibility criteria like credit score, income level and debt obligations can give you a sense of what might have affected the decision. Familiarizing yourself with these standards can guide your next steps.

  • Improving Eligibility: Working on general financial wellness can put you in a better position for a future application. This includes improving your credit score, reducing existing debt or increasing your income.

  • Reapplying: Once you've made financial improvements, reapplying with Aven after six months could yield a different outcome. Ensure significant changes in your financial profile to increase the likelihood of approval.

  • Alternative Financing Options: If a HELOC with Aven isn't a fit, there are other financial products and lenders with varying criteria and offerings. Exploring these alternatives can lead you to a solution that aligns with your financial situation.

  • Seeking Financial Counseling: Engaging with a financial advisor can provide insights into improving your financial standing and exploring other financing options. They can tailor advice based on your unique circumstances and help identify other lending options that may be more suited to your needs.

The path beyond a denial can be a journey of financial growth — it can even lead you to the right solutions to meet your needs. Whether it's reapplying with Aven or exploring other options, taking informed and constructive steps can guide you toward fulfilling your financial goals.

FAQ About Aven as a HELOC Lender

Gathering ample information can help you get on the right path when searching for the right HELOC lender. We answered some common queries about Aven as a HELOC lender so you'll know what to expect and how to move forward.

What is the minimum credit score required for an Aven HELOC?
How quickly can I receive funds with Aven?
Are there any fees associated with an Aven HELOC?
What can I use an Aven HELOC for?
How can I contact Aven's customer service?

About Christopher Boston


Christopher Boston headshot

Christopher (Croix) Boston was the Head of Loans content at MoneyGeek, with over five years of experience researching higher education, mortgage and personal loans.

Boston has a bachelor's degree from the Seattle Pacific University. They pride themselves in using their skills and experience to create quality content that helps people save and spend efficiently.


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