Applying for a Fig Loan: A Deeper Look

Posted: July 22 2020
By: Daniela Bucay

Our top priority at Fig is helping you. For that reason, we designed our loans with customer-friendly policies; we make it easy for you to adjust your payment dates, we never charge late or hidden fees, and we do not charge late interest.

The Fig team works hard to make the application process as easy for you as possible while protecting your secure information. We ask only for the information necessary to make smart underwriting decisions, which in turn allows us to keep costs lower for you! Sometimes, however, we run into some questions regarding our application process. In this piece, we guide you through a Fig application and address some of the most common questions we receive.

Necessary Materials and First Steps

Although we do not run a hard inquiry with the traditional credit bureaus, meaning an application with Fig will never appear on your major credit reports, we still have a variety of requirements for loan eligibility. We want to make sure that a Fig loan is as great an experience for you as possible, so we ask that all applicants have the following:

  • Strong and secure internet connection. We need this because our application is fully online!
  • A cell phone, computer, or tablet. Again, you will need some internet-capable device to complete the online application.
  • Your unique phone number that can receive text messages
  • Your social security number
  • A valid, government-issued photo ID
  • Online banking enabled, and your bank log-in information. Because we do not look at your traditional credit score, we rely on your banking history to evaluate your application. We will discuss bank verification more in-depth below, so keep reading!
  • A compatible bank account. By compatible, we mean a checking or savings account that can connect with our 2 bank verification partners and that shows a positive balance at the time of application, about 3 months of transaction history, and monthly deposits of at least $1400.

If you can provide the items above, you are ready to begin your Fig application! The first step when you visit www.figloans.com is to confirm your state of residence. Our site will select the state based on your current location, but it never hurts to confirm. After that, you should select the loan amount you need. We recommend not requesting more than you absolutely need so you can get the most out of this loan. Once you submit that, you will be taken to our registration page where we ask for some basic information.

Basic Information

After you select your desired loan amount, which you can edit throughout the application process in case you change your mind, you go to our registration page. Here, you can either create an account or log into your existing account. You can (and should) also enter a referral code if you were referred by someone else in the Fig fam, that way both of you get rewarded if you are approved for and accept your loan.

Once you have created an account or logged in, we present a series of disclosures. Unlike other lenders, we make these quite prominent so that you know exactly what we offer, require, and so on. They concern basic things like our electronic signature policy, our privacy policy, and similar considerations.

Upon reviewing and signing the disclosures mentioned above, we ask for some personal information. This includes your full name (as it appears on your ID, please!), phone number, date of birth, and home address. We ask for this information to protect your identity and make sure that the information on the application matches the information on the bank account and with the social security number. Sometimes, for example, an applicant will submit a phone number already on file under a different user. In that case, the applicant gets an error message, because phone numbers need to be unique per user.

Once you provide that personal information, you reach the part of the application that asks for more secure information.

Secure Information

We recognize that providing secure information through the internet can cause anxiety. We pride ourselves on our transparency, security, and deep community ties. We go the extra mile to be a CDFI in Texas (a financial institution focused on community development) and a certified B corporation.

In order to look at your banking history — which allows our underwriting team to do their job— and protect your identity, as well as to report accurately to the credit bureaus (which we do to help you improve your credit!), we ask for some secure information. First, we ask for your Social Security number because it is the single best unique piece of information by which we can verify your identity. It is also what we use to report to the bureaus! We also ask for your driver's license information if applicable, just as an extra measure of safety.

After the secure identity information, we ask about banking. We need your routing and account numbers and estimated monthly income. Although we verify all of this information in the next step (automatic bank verification), we still need it from you so we can make sure that the account being verified is the account on the application, since some people have multiple accounts.

Bank Verification

Although this step of the process technically constitutes part of the "secure information" section, we are giving it its own section in this post because it can raise many questions.

We earlier stated that we require online banking, and this step is why. As we have said, we do not consider your traditional credit score when you apply, however, we still need to assess your application using actual data. Enter bank verification. We work with two partners, Plaid and IBV to verify your bank account.

Bank verification does not simply mean that we check to make sure that your bank account belongs to you (although we do check that, too). When we ask you to enter your bank log-in information, we at Fig never see it. Instead, when you log in to your bank during the application, you use a portal created by Plaid or IBV. They allow you to securely log in to your bank account and create a link that allows us to view your bank statements.

We need the bank statements in order to make underwriting decisions, since we don't use credit scores. The bank login achieves the same results as you sending us your routing and account numbers, as well as digital bank statements, but it is much faster and safer.

We get that asking for you to log into online banking can cause some concern. Please rest assured, however, that we at Fig never see this information. You can think of us asking you to log into your bank account as us asking you to bring the key to a safe so that we can verify its contents. You hold the key, you open the door to the safe so we can see what is inside, but we cannot take anything out of it without your consent. We also cannot get back in once that link expires (i.e., we need you to bring the key to reopen it each time).

After you complete bank verification successfully, you submit your application, and our team reviews it. Sometimes you may receive a decision right away, and at other times, you will need to allow a business day or two to hear back. That is ok! We will reach out to you via email to let you know about the decision or if we need further information from you, in case of an application error.

Potential Errors

Try as we might to streamline the process and check our work, unfortunately, errors may happen. Here are some common ones we encounter, the reason behind them, and what we can do instead:

  • Duplicate accounts happen when you enter information during the registration or secure information sections. If you enter any information that needs to be unique (such as an SSN, phone number, or email address) per user, you will receive an error message telling you that an account already exists in our system. Just reach out to us, and we can help you find that account!
  • Bank account errors can happen for a few reasons. If your account is too new or is not supported by Plaid or IBV, and this is your first time applying with Fig, unfortunately, we will not be able to proceed with your application.
  • If you have a hard time linking your bank account but you have previously had a Fig loan, we can get around the bank verification failure by having you send the manual statements via a secure link, which we will email to you. This can happen either because your bank is no longer supported by Plaid or IBV, or due to a connection error.
  • If you accidentally submitted an application for a loan for the wrong amount, we usually cannot fix this because we make decisions quickly. The only changes we can make are decreasing the loan amount!

We hope that this post has demystified the Fig application process for you. Whether you are a first-time applicant or a longtime Fig fam member, we will always do our best to explain the reasoning behind our requirements and to find clear answers to your questions. If you need any more information about our application process, or anything else Fig-related, please check out our new help center. Still have questions? Reach us at service@figloans.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.



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