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loanDepot Unit mello To Launch Digital HELOC

David Krechevsky
May 03, 2022
Loandepot solo logo.

Online process promises to go from application to funding of loan in seven days.

loanDepot Inc. on Tuesday announced that its mello business unit is preparing to launch a series of digital-first, secured and unsecured lending products intended to help consumers access their funds in as little as seven days. 

The first product to be launched will be the mello HELOC, or home equity line of credit, which is scheduled to debut in the third quarter of 2022.

Double-digit home value appreciation over the last two years has resulted in homeowners across the country gaining new wealth through record levels of home equity, loanDepot said in a news release. According to the Federal Reserve, homeowners have amassed more than $26 trillion in home equity that could be deployed to address a variety of financial needs. At the same time, rising interest rates, coupled with high inflation, make HELOCs a convenient way for consumers to tap that equity. 

The all-digital mello HELOC will allow customers to access their equity with a speed and ease not currently available through standard HELOC products offered by traditional banks or lenders, loanDepot said.

"Home equity is at an all-time high and many homeowners would benefit greatly from an easier and faster way to access that capital," said loanDepot Inc. President & CEO Frank Martell. "At the same time, loanDepot's unrivaled mix of assets — including our diverse customer engagement channels, sophisticated performance marketing engine, nearly 3,000 licensed loan officers, proprietary tech stack and national brand — puts us in an outstanding position to help them.”

Homeowners, Martell said, “have certainly enjoyed the record-low interest rates of the last two years. Now with our game-changing mello HELOC, we can give them a safe, fast, and easy way to access their equity while preserving historically low interest rates. This is the financial tool America's homeowners need and we are the company that can deliver it."

loanDepot said the hallmarks of the mello HELOC will be digital simplicity and speed, with a timeframe from application to funding in as little as seven days. It did not offer any information on what the HELOC rates will be.

The company said consumers will get a no-hassle, online rate quote in less than 5 minutes, and can pre-qualify with no adverse effect on their credit scores. 

“The fully online application will make it fast and easy to get started. From there, sophisticated digital tools and automated processes will reduce the friction associated with a traditionally inefficient, paper-based loan approval and funding process,” the company said in a news release. “Customers will be able to manage their entire loan process online, but will also have access to talented, licensed loan officers to guide them through the process if they so choose.”

mello President and COO Zeenat Sidi said "mello” is a Greek word meaning “about to be,” which he said represents the company’s innovation mindset.

"Our brand is about accelerating around the curve with fast, frictionless, and fully digital customer experiences that deliver speed, ease, and value from start to finish,” he said. “Today's consumers are facing a trifecta of economic pressures: rising interest rates, high inflation, and economic uncertainty. Whether they're consolidating their debt to lower their monthly payments, swapping higher-interest credit card debt for a lower interest rate, or embarking on a renovation to improve their quality of life, the mello HELOC will offer an easy, convenient and smart way for consumers to make their home equity work harder for them."

The mello HELOC will further expand loanDepot’s diversified origination model and underscores the company's commitment and ability to design products that fit consumer demands and trends, the company said. 

Beyond the digital HELOC, loanDepot did not say what other lending products it plans to introduce this year.

Launched in 2010 and based in southern California, loanDepot Inc. is the nation’s second-largest retail mortgage lender. The company will announce its earnings for the first quarter of 2022 on May 10.

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