Third Federal Savings and Lending: Home Equity Review 2022

Third Federal Savings & Loan is a bank headquartered in Cleveland and was founded in 1938. It has nearly 40 physical branches, most of which are located in Ohio and Florida, making it an ideal lender for owners of these states.

But Third Federal also offers home equity loans in six other states and home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, in 26 states, making its lending products more accessible to more homeowners who don’t live near one of its physical locations.

You can apply for a home equity loan online, at one of its physical branches, or over the phone, and the entire process should only take about 30 minutes, according to Third Federal.

Third Federal Savings & Loan: At a Glance

Types of loans offered

Home Equity Loan, HELOC

APR range

Starting at 5.49% for HELOCs, starting at 5.99% for home equity loans

Loan amounts

$10,000 to $200,000 for home equity loans and HELOCs

Credit score requirements


Repayment Terms

10-year drawdown period and 30-year repayment period for HELOCs, 5-30 year repayment period for home equity loans

Average approval time


Third Federal is best suited for homeowners who need a long repayment period and want the flexibility to choose a fixed rate or variable rate loan. It’s also good for anyone who wants to save money over the life of their loan, because Third Federal requires you to pay off your principal balance plus interest as soon as your drawdown period begins.

Many lenders allow you to make interest-only payments during your HELOC drawdown period, but Third Federal requires you to repay the principal upfront, noting that this saves its average customer about $8,000 on the term of his loan.

What we like

  • Reduced fees: There are no application or prepayment fees with Third Federal, and a $65 annual fee is waived in the first year. You also don’t have to pay set-up fees or closing costs, saving you thousands of dollars upfront.
  • Low minimum draft requirement: Sometimes minimum withdrawal requirements can make your loan more expensive because you end up wasting money paying interest on funds you never use. But with Third Federal, there is only a minimum withdrawal requirement of $10,000.
  • Lowest $1,000 Rate Guarantee: If you find a lower interest rate with comparable terms from another lender, Third Federal says they’ll beat the rate or pay you $1,000, as long as you find the rate up to 10 days before the closing your loan.

What we don’t like

  • Limited Availability: Third Federal only offers home equity loans in eight states (Ohio, Florida, California, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia) and only offers HELOCs in only 25 states and the District of Columbia , as well as most of its brick-and-mortar locations clustered in Ohio and Florida.
  • No interest only payments: You must pay off your principal balance as soon as your drawing period begins, which will increase your monthly payments from the start. However, if you can afford it, it can also be an advantage for homeowners who want to tackle paying off their principal balance from day one, saving money in interest over the life of the loan.
  • Undisclosed Credit Score Requirements: Without knowing that lender’s minimum credit score or preferred credit score to receive their best rates, it’s hard to know if it’s worth applying or how you compare to other applicants. Completing a complete loan pre-approval application will put a lot of pressure on your credit.

Home equity loan products

You can take out a home equity loan or a HELOC, but Third Federal offers the option of a variable rate home equity loan in addition to its standard fixed rate home equity loan, which many lenders do not offer in option. This Cleveland-based lender also creates purchase mortgages, as well as refinancing options.


There are minimal fees with Third Federal, so they can be a good lender if you need financing but don’t want to spend a lot of money getting it. You don’t have to pay set-up fees, application fees, or closing costs, allowing you to realize significant savings upfront. However, you must pay a $65 annual fee for HELOCs (but they are waived in the first year).

How to qualify

Third Federal does not disclose its minimum credit score requirements. To get a personalized quote, you must apply and provide your specific financial information, as well as personal information such as your social security number, address, and date of birth. As with any type of home equity loan, you need to have built up enough equity in your property over the years to qualify to borrow against it.

Most lenders generally require at least 15% to 20% home equity to be approved. Additionally, you should also have current home insurance, as well as flood insurance if you live in a flood zone that requires it.


Everything you need to start your app is clearly listed on its website. Since Third Federal does not disclose its minimum credit score requirement, be sure to have the rest of your financial life in order to make you an attractive loan candidate. Third Federal would like to see the following documents to verify that you are creditworthy and will repay your loan on time.

  • Gross annual or monthly income amount
  • Monthly property tax and home insurance payments
  • List of assets
  • Payslip dated at least 30 days from the date of the request, illustrating the cumulative income since the beginning of the year of at least 30 days
  • Most recent year W-2 tax form

Customer service

For general information about Third Federal’s home equity loans and HELOCs, you can visit Third Federal’s website at, call Third Federal’s customer service department at 800-THIRD-FED (800-844 -7333) or fill out a form on the website to have a loan officer contact you directly. You can also go in person to a branch, which is not the case with all lenders. For HELOCs and Home Equity Loans specifically, when you need to activate your debit card to access your funds, you can call the number below.

However, Third Federal is not open on Sundays and has limited hours on Saturdays, which are only 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. You can call Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET and until 6 p.m. on Friday.

Live phone support:

  • General Loan Inquiries: 800-844-7333
  • Activate your Home EquityCard: 866-619-0245

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