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College Students and Recent Grads, Reviews

Discover Student Loans: In-Depth Review

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Have you exhausted all your options with federal student aid, and still need extra help covering the costs of college? Applying for a private student loan may be your next step.

Keep in mind private student loans don’t offer many of the benefits federal student loans do. Interest rates are often higher, and repayment assistance isn’t always available. That’s why it’s recommended you fill out a FAFSA and submit it first – you’ll want to claim any grants and scholarships available to you before turning to private student loans, as grants and scholarships don’t have to be paid back.

Discover is one of many private lenders that offers undergraduate student loans, so if you need more money to cover tuition, here’s what you need to know about Discover’s offers.

What does Discover offer undergraduates?

Undergraduate Student Loan

Fixed APR range

6.49%-12.99%

Variable APR range

4.62%-11.87%

Loan terms offered

15 years after deferment period

Fees

None

Loan amount

A minimum of $1,000 up to the entire school-certified cost of attendance after financial aid. Aggregate loan limits apply.

Repayment plans

  1. You can pay a fixed monthly payment of $25 while in school or during grace period

  2. You can defer payments until 6 months after graduation, or when you’re enrolled less than half-time

  3. And you can also make additional payments while in school to reduce your costs by the time your regular monthly payments come due.

Discover also offers some repayment options for borrowers experiencing financial difficulties. It recommends borrowers call the Repayment Assistance Department at 1-800-STUDENT to talk about options such as deferment, early repayment assistance program, payment extension, reduced payment, forbearance or hardship.

Cosigner release

None for loans originated by Discover. Cosigner release for previous CitiAssist Loan purchased by Discover is available. You must be at least 18, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and meet the repayment, credit history and income requirements.

Savings opportunities

  1. Reduce your rate by 0.25% if you opt into automatic payments during repayment period.

  2. Get a one-time cash reward of 1% of your student loan amount (for loan applications submitted on or after May 1, 2014) if you maintain a 3.0 GPA or equivalent.

As of Jan. 8, 2018

Discover’s undergraduate student loan claims to be a “zero fee loan” as there are no application, origination or late fees associated with it. On top of that, you can apply to cover 100 percent of your cost of attendance (the minimum loan amount is $1,000).

Discover lists out its eligibility requirements on its website:

  • You need to be enrolled at least half time in a bachelor’s or associate degree program, be working toward a degree and make satisfactory academic progress, as your school defines it.
  • You can be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or international student, though international students need a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must be at least 16 years old to apply.
  • You need to pass a credit check.

If you don’t have an extensive credit history, Discover encourages you to apply with an eligible cosigner. This may increase your chances of being approved for a loan with more favorable terms and rates. Be aware there’s no cosigner release with a Discover student loan – the cosigner is on the loan for the entire duration.

What can Discover offer to graduate students?

Discover offers loans for various graduate programs with zero fees (meaning no origination, application or late fees). The company offers loans with a $1,000 minimum and a 20-year repayment period. Like the undergraduate loans, you may also be eligible for savings opportunities, as well as the ability to add a cosigner onto your loan.

All graduate and professional school loans have similar repayment plan options:

  1. You can either make a $25 monthly payment while in school and throughout grace period, or
  2. You can defer your payments until nine months after graduation or when you’re enrolled as a half-time student (or less).

After that, you’ll be required to make monthly payments as dictated by your loan term, amount and interest rate.

You can also make additional payments while in school to bring down your loan balance before you start making regular monthly payments. On its website, Discover says it offers help to borrowers experiencing financial difficulty. You can call the Repayment Assistance Department at 1-800-STUDENT to learn more about options such as deferment, early repayment assistance program, payment extension, reduced payment, forbearance and hardship.

All Discover student loans have the same policy on cosigner releases: There is no cosigner release option for loans originated by Discover, but cosigner release for previous CitiAssist Loans purchased by Discover is available. You may be eligible if you are at least 18, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and meet the repayment, credit history and income requirements.

Here are the different graduate and professional school loans available from Discover, as of Dec. 4, 2017:

Graduate loans

Discover’s graduate student loans are for those who are enrolled in a qualifying graduate program (master's or doctorate) at least half-time and are pursuing a degree in an eligible school. You’ll need your school to prove that you’re making satisfactory academic progress. U.S. citizens, permanent residents or international students need to be a minimum of 16 years of age when applying and meet the requirements during a credit check. You can choose to apply by yourself or with a cosigner, unless you’re an international student. In that case, you’ll need a cosigner who is either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Once approved, the funds will be disbursed through the school. If you can maintain a 3.0 GPA or equivalent, you’re eligible for a one-time cash reward of 1% of your loan amount. You’ll need to redeem your cash within 6 months after the academic term for your loan is finished.

Graduate Loans

Fixed APR range

6.49%-12.99%

Variable APR range

4.62%-11.87%

Loan terms offered

20 years after deferment period

Fees

$0

Loan amount

From $1,000 up to 100% of school-certified costs after financial aid. Aggregate loan limits as set by Discover applies and varies depend on the program.

Savings opportunities

Opting into automatic payments gets your rate reduced by 0.25%.

If you maintain a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent), get a 1% one-time cash reward of your loan amount.

MBA loans

MBA loans are for students who are pursuing a degree at a qualifying business school, either for an MBA or a related graduate program. It’s the same requirements to qualify for this loan as Discover’s graduate student loan offering, and the loan amount will be disbursed through your school. You’re eligible for the one-time cash reward of you maintain a 3.0 GPA or equivalent. Check Discover’s Rewards for Good Rates page to find out your GPA eligibility.

MBA Loans

Fixed APR range

6.49%-11.99%

Variable APR range

4.62%-11.12%

Loan terms offered

20 years after deferment period

Fees

$0

Loan amount

From $1,000 up to 100% of school-certified costs after financial aid. Aggregate loan limits as set by Discover applies.

Savings opportunities

Opting into automatic payments can get your rate reduced by 0.25%.

If you maintain a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent), get a 1% one-time cash reward of your loan amount.

Health profession loans

This type of loan is for those who are pursuing programs in allopathy, dentistry, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, podiatry and veterinary medicine. You’ll need to be pursuing a degree in an eligible school that offers these programs.

To qualify for the health profession loan, you’ll need to meet the same requirements as the MBA or graduate loans. You may also qualify for the one-time 1% cash reward if you can maintain a 3.0 GPA or equivalent. Once approved, the funds will be distributed through to your school.

Health Profession Loans

Fixed APR range

6.49%-9.99%

Variable APR range

4.62%-8.62%

Loan terms offered

20 years after deferment period

Fees

$0

Loan amount

From $1,000 up to 100% of school-certified costs after financial aid. Aggregate loan limits as set by Discover applies.

Savings opportunities

Opting into automatic payments can get your rate reduced by 0.25%.

If you maintain a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent), get a 1% one-time cash reward of your loan amount.

Law school loans

The law school loan is for graduate students who are currently enrolled in a qualifying law school. You’ll need to show that you’re doing well in school at be at least 16 years or older to qualify for a loan. Getting approved for a loan is the same process as the above loan types. As well, loan amounts are given to your school.

Law School Loans

Fixed APR range

6.49%-9.99%

Variable APR range

4.62%-8.62%

Loan terms offered

20 years after deferment period

Fees

$0

Loan amount

From $1,000 up to 100% of school-certified costs after financial aid. Aggregate loan limits as set by Discover applies.

Savings opportunities

Opting into automatic payments can get your rate reduced by 0.25%.

If you maintain a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent), get a 1% one-time cash reward of your loan amount.

Residency loans

Discover’s residency loans are meant to help residency candidates in medical school cover the cost of internship, residence, board exam reviews and relocation. To qualify, you’ll need to be enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying health-profession graduate program and making satisfactory progress. You may also qualify if you have recently graduated from medical school within the last 12 months. You need to pass a credit check and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. International students may apply but they’ll need a U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner.

Once your loan is approved, the money will be given to you via electronic deposit or a check. Unlike the other graduate loan programs, there is no 1% cash back reward but you can get an interest rate deduction if you enroll in auto pay.

Residency Loans

Fixed APR range

6.99%-9.49%

Variable APR range

5.12%-8.12%

Loan terms offered

20 years after deferment period

Fees

$0

Loan amount

$1,000-$18,000 for the allopathy, dentistry, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, podiatry and veterinary medicine fields

$1,000-$5,000 for the nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant fields. Aggregate loan limits as set by Discover applies.

Savings opportunities

Opting into automatic payments may reduce your rate by 0.25%.

Bar exam loans

The bar exam loan is for students who are considered candidates for the bar exam. It’s meant to help you cover the cost of living expenses and bar exam prep class while you’re studying for the exam. To qualify, you’ll need to have graduated from law school in the last 6 months or be enrolled at least half-time in your final year in a law degree graduate program. In addition, you’ll need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (international students will require a cosigner) and meet satisfactory credit requirements.

The funds for the loan will be given you via electronic transfer to your bank or a check. You can get a 0.25% rate reduction if you participate in auto pay.

Bar Exam Loans

Fixed APR range

6.99%-11.49%

Variable APR range

5.12%-10.12%

Loan terms offered

20 years after deferment period

Fees

$0

Loan amount

$1,000-$16,000. Aggregate loan limits as set by Discover applies.

Savings opportunities

Opting in automatic payments get your rate reduced by 0.25%

How do Discover student loans compare?

Discover student loans are fairly competitive when compared to other top student loan companies. Their rates and repayments are comparable to other large financial institutions. However, Discover falls short when compared to cosigner releases, rates compared to credit unions and loan amounts.

Where Discover stands out:

  • No fees: There are no application, origination, or late fees, whereas some other big banks do.
  • Unique rewards program: Get rewarded for good grades by getting a one-time 1% cash reward for qualifying loans. Other places only offer auto-pay discounts.
  • Competitive rates: Discover’s fixed rates are in par or lower to its competitors.

Where Discover student loans fall short:

  • No cosigner release option: Only a certain type of loan purchased by Discover is eligible for cosigner release. Otherwise, you cannot release your cosigner from a Discover student loan (unless you refinance). Other banks and credit unions offer cosigner release if the borrower has met certain requirements such as a satisfactory credit history and on-time payments.
  • High variable rates: Discover’s variable rates are considerably higher compared to other financial institutions.
  • Longer terms: Competitors offer shorter terms whereas Discover’s are anywhere from 15 to 20 after the grace period has ended.

The application process

Discover says its application takes about 15 minutes to fill out online. Before applying, have the following information ready to enter:

  • Your school’s information
  • Your field of study and the academic term for which you’re applying
  • Social Security number
  • Loan amount requested
  • Amount of financial aid you’ve already received
  • If applicable, financial information such as salary and rent/mortgage payments
  • Your address (permanent and where you’ll reside once at school)

Discover makes the application process simple. You can select the state your school is in, and a list of schools in that state will populate. Choose your school from the list or search for it.
You’ll then be asked to enter all your personal information and any other details Discover needs.

If any additional documentation is requested, you can upload it online. By submitting your application, a hard inquiry of your credit will be conducted. The same is true if a cosigner applies with you.

Funds will be disbursed according to your school’s financial aid office deadlines.

Repayment assistance options

Discover has multiple options for you in case you experience financial hardship while paying back your loans. Federal student loans come with certain benefits such as deferment and forbearance, so you don’t need to make monthly payments during a period of financial difficulty. Private lenders aren’t required to offer these benefits, but some lenders do. Keep in mind they’re not guaranteed and can be taken away in the future.

While it may seem like paying your student loans off is years away, it helps to know what your options are as they vary among private lenders. You should take this into consideration when shopping around for private student loans.

Discover offers a range of solutions like deferment, payment extension, forbearance and reduced payments. Take a look at what each entails and what it takes to qualify here.

Refinancing student loans with Discover

Discover offers loan consolidation to help you lower your interest rate and simplify your loan payments. If you cannot get a cosigner release, refinancing your student loan allows you to do so by paying off your existing loans. You can choose to consolidate some or all of them with a minimum of $5,000 up to $150,000 upon credit approval.

Like their student loan options, there are no application, origination or early payment fees. If you are able to make additional payments, you can pay off your loan sooner and save on the cost of your loan. You can consolidate while enrolled in school, during your grace period or after it expires. Once you qualify, your first payment is due anywhere from 30-45 days after the loan is disbursed.

However, Discover’s student consolidation rates are higher compared to its competitors, even with the auto pay discount. Also, the repayment period is anywhere from 10 to 20 years depending on your creditworthiness, which is longer than other places that offers terms as short as 5 years. If you have a cosigner for your refinance loan, you cannot release them, unlike some other banks.

To qualify, you’ll need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, be the primary borrower for loans you’re planning on consolidating, have a good repayment history and prove you have sufficient income to handle your payments. Discover also requires its borrowers to have no more than $150,000 in aggregate student loan debt, including federal student loans, though depending on your field of study you may be eligible for higher limits.

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Who benefits the most from a Discover student loan?

Overall, students who have applied for federal aid and have received the maximum amount they’re qualified for, but still need additional assistance to fund their college tuition, may benefit from Discover’s student loan. Its rates are somewhat comparable to federal loans as long as you or a cosigner have excellent credit, and it offers great repayment assistance options along with a few bonuses that don’t come with federal loans.

Consider all options

While Discover has a decent student loan program to offer borrowers, it’s far from the only option out there. You may be able to get better rates and terms with another private lender. It’s a good idea to shop around to see the different loans you’re eligible for. Some credit scoring models will count multiple applications for student loans as a single inquiry, as long as they’re made within a short period of time (generally between 14 and 45 days, depending on the score). By shopping around, you’ll be able to choose the best loan offer and may not see much impact on your credit score.

Also, remember to compare APRs and not just interest rates – other lenders may charge late, origination and application fees that need to be factored into the cost of the loan. Check to see what repayment options are available, and any other “bonuses” lenders may be offering.

The fine print

There really isn’t any. There are no prepayment penalties, and no origination, late or application fees associated with the loan. Still, make sure you take the time to read your loan agreement before signing it.

A word of warning on choosing a variable interest rate, though – while variable rates are lower and look more attractive, keep in mind the rate may change at any time. That means your loan may become more expensive.

No one can predict where the market will go, so rates may stay low, or they may skyrocket in the future. A fixed interest rate can provide valuable peace of mind, even if you have to pay for it.

Erin Millard contributed to this story.
This post has been updated. It was originally published Sept. 1, 2015.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

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Reviews

Discover Customer Service Review

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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These days, financial companies need to have impeccable customer service. Not only are there a significant amount of competitors, but consumers now go to social media to air their grievances. With this in mind, it’s important for financial companies to take the time to listen to their customers and serve them well.

One financial company that has a particularly good customer service reputation is Discover.

Discover’s customer service reputation

Discover has an award-winning customer service team and is known for high customer satisfaction rates. It has won numerous industry awards and has been in the top rankings on several customer satisfaction surveys in recent years. It ranked high in several studies, multiple years in a row, which indicates a continued dedication to customers.

Below are some examples of recent praise and awards Discover earned:

What’s impressive about this list is that Discover wins awards in multiple categories. Not only does the financial industry recognize its excellence with credit cards and banking, but it also gets top honors in new customer service categories, like with its mobile app.

How Discover compares

Although Discover ranked the highest in customer satisfaction with credit card users in J.D. Power’s 2016 rankings, it came in second place behind American Express in 2017.

Still, Discover has several standout features when compared with other major financial companies, especially with its app. You can communicate with Discover’s customer service team through the app 24/7. Another noteworthy feature is that you can “freeze” your account through the app if you lose your card. Discover also touts its 100 percent U.S.-based customer service, though the effect that has on the bank’s customer service quality is hard to measure.

Also, Discover is what’s called a branchless bank, which means there are no physical locations. Among branchless banks, Capital One 360 ranks the highest in customer satisfaction, whereas Discover Bank ranks second, followed by E*TRADE Bank. J.D. Power noted in its direct banking study. (The rankings in this category were extremely close.)

However, if you’re the kind of person who likes the ability to go into a bank branch to resolve account issues, this sort of bank structure may not appeal to you.

How to get in touch with Discover customer service

You can get in touch with Discover customer service in the following ways:

Mail

Payment Address

Discover Financial Services
P.O. Box 6103
Carol Stream, IL 60197-6103

Customer Service - General Inquiries

Discover Financial Services
P.O. Box 30943
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0943

Discover Gift Cards

P.O. Box 52145
Phoenix, AZ 85027-2145

Phone

U.S. Calls

1-800-DISCOVER

Outside U.S. Calls

1-801-902-3100

TDD (for the hearing impaired)

1-800-347-7449

Live chat

In order to speak to a Discover customer service representative via live chat, you need to log into your account first on the top right of the Discover homepage.

Self-service

There are also numerous places where you can get help with specific Discover products. Find answers to frequently asked questions, redeem rewards, learn how to find out your FICO score and more at the links below.

Credit Card Help Center

Make payments, register your account,
report a lost or stolen card, activate your card, get a cash advance,
live chat, call 24 hours a day

Credit Resource Center

Read content about credit card tips, credit health, saving money,
debt management, credit scores, budgeting, and more.

Banking Help Center

A homepage that lists several different ways to contact
Discover to talk about their banking products, like opening an
account or reporting fraudulent activity.

Home Equity Help Center

Use this page to access financial calculators, learn how you can use
your home equity, find loans and rates, and of course apply
for a home equity loan.

Student Loans Help

Use this page to log into your student loan account and email
Discover specific questions. You can also use this page to pay your
student loans, learn how to apply for student loans, and access student
loan calculators.

Personal Loans Help

Use this page to find out the types of personal loans Discover offers.
You can also access resources, calculators, make payments, and see
if you qualify for a personal loan in just a few minutes
(with no impact to your credit score.)

Business Card Help

This page leads to the same general “Credit Card Help Center”
page mentioned above.

Gift Card Help

You can use this page to get contact information related to
Discover gift cards. You can also activate the card, check your balance,
and see a list of FAQs.

Discover card options to consider

Discover has several different credit card options to consider. Below are some of the most popular Discover it cards.

Keep in mind that one of the best perks among these cards is no annual fee. Additionally, there is significant protection for shopping and purchases. For example, Discover covers your purchases up to $500 if they are stolen or damaged. It also offers extended product warranties and will refund the difference if you find a lower price on one of your purchases elsewhere within 90 days.

Discover it® 18-Month Balance Transfer Card

The best part of this card is definitely the introductory 18-month balance transfer offer. Keep in mind that you will have to pay a 3 percent fee on the transfer, but then you get 0 percent interest for 18 months. This card is best for people with good credit scores who want to get out of credit card debt. Keep in mind you cannot transfer a balance from another Discover card to this card. You can read our full review here.

Discover it<sup>®</sup> - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer

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Rates & Fees

Discover it® Secured Card

This credit card is for people who have no credit or bad credit. Cardholders put down a minimum deposit of $200 to secure a credit line so they can work on improving their credit scores. There is no annual fee but there is a high APR, which should not be a problem if you pay your card off every month. The card stands out from other secured cards in that it offers rewards and automatic account reviews after eight months, to see if you can “upgrade” to an unsecured credit card and get your deposit back. You can read our full review here.

Discover it<sup>®</sup> Secured Card - No Annual Fee

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Rates & Fees

Discover it® Miles

Like the other Discover cards on this list, this card comes with no annual fee. The biggest benefit is that you’ll earn 1.5 points on every dollar you spend, which you can use toward travel. This card is best for those who love to travel and would rather all of their points go toward that. What sets it apart from other popular travel credit cards is that Discover will also match all of the miles you earn at the end of your first year.

Discover it<sup>®</sup> Miles

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Rates & Fees

Discover it® chrome

This card is similar to other Discover cards except it’s perfect for people who enjoy dining out. Discover will give you 2 percent cash back at restaurants and gas stations up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter — no sign-ups required. Plus, it’ll automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. Like the others, there is no annual fee.

Discover it<sup>®</sup> chrome

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Rates & Fees

To see other types of Discover credit cards and find the one that fits you best, check out all of the Discover cards, which includes student cards. Don’t forget you can also get your FICO score for free.

Check out all the other cardmember benefits here.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

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Building Credit, Credit Cards, Reviews

Discover it® Secured Card Review: Rebuild and Establish Credit

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Secured cards are great if you have little to no credit history or have poor credit history. With proper credit behavior they are a great way to build credit. The Discover it® Secured card is an excellent secured card that lets you build credit while also earning cash back. There is no annual fee associated with this card, making it easier to put your money where it’s needed.

Discover it<sup>®</sup> Secured Card - No Annual Fee

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Rates & Fees

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

Annual fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
$200
Regular Purchase APR
24.24%

Variable

Credit required
bad-credit
Bad

How the card works

The Discover it® Secured card is meant to help you rebuild or establish credit. You need to make a $200 security deposit that will become your credit line. If you want a credit limit that is higher than $200, you will need to put down a larger security deposit.

Discover reviews your account monthly starting at eight months to see if you can be transitioned to an unsecured card. This is a feature that makes the Discover it® Secured card unique. If you have responsible credit management, you may benefit from this feature and be transitioned to an unsecured card. If moved to an unsecured card, you will receive your security deposit back. This is hassle free and another reason the Discover it® Secured card is a great option.

This card offers 2% cash back at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% cash back on all other purchases. This is a great bonus, but the main goal of a secured card is not to earn rewards, but to be responsible and build credit. Don’t let the prospect of cash back lead you to overspending. That will only defeat the purpose of this card.

To get the most benefit from your secured card, keep a low utilization rate and pay your statements in full and on time every month. Utilization is the amount of your total credit limit you use. It is calculated by dividing your statement balance by your available credit. A low utilization is not spending more than 20% of your credit limit. So if you have a credit limit of $200, that means don’t spend more than $40.

By following these two practices, you will begin to see your credit score rise. You can even build credit with $10 a month using a secured card.

How to qualify

To qualify for the Discover it® Secured card, you need to be at least 18 years old, have a Social Security number, U.S address, and U.S bank account and provide all the required information in the online application. Be sure to have your bank routing number and account number ready when you apply as they will be needed for the $200 security deposit. Don’t worry if your credit history is nonexistent or unfavorable — this card is great for people who are new to credit or are looking to rebuild credit.

What we like about the card

Earn cash back

You will earn 2% cash back at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% cash back on all other purchases. This is a great added bonus that most secured cards do not offer. Discover will automatically match all of the cash back you earned at the end of your first year as a cardholder.

Automatic monthly reviews after 8 months

Discover takes the guessing out of wondering when you will qualify for an unsecured card by reviewing your account monthly starting at eight months. If you have responsible credit management across all of your credit cards, you may be transitioned to an unsecured card. This is hassle free and another reason the Discover it® Secured card is a great option.

Free FICO Score

It is important to monitor your credit score and each month you will receive your FICO Score for free. If you practice proper credit behavior, you will see your score increase.

What we don’t like about the card

High APR

This card, like most secured credit cards, has a high APR. If you pay your statement balance in full and on time every month, the APR will not matter (because no interest will be charged). And if you do that every month, your credit score will improve over time — making it cheaper to borrow money (if you need to) in the future.

Who the card is best for

This Discover it® Secured card is best for people looking to rebuild or establish credit. In addition to an easy transition to an unsecured card when the time is right, the Discover it® Secured card provides a cash back program and has no annual fee. By using this card coupled with proper credit behavior you can see a boost in your credit score.

Alternatives

If you want a smaller security deposit

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Annual fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$49

Regular Purchase APR

24.99%

Variable

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard is made for people who want to rebuild credit. There are lower security deposit options than the Discover it® Secured card, making it a good alternative if you can’t afford a large security deposit. However, it’s important to note that the lower security deposit is not guaranteed. This card also has no annual fee and offers your free credit score; however, there are no rewards. Just remember: A lower security deposit also means a lower credit limit.

An unsecured card from a credit union

Visa® Classic from Georgia's Own Credit Union

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Cashback Rate

-

Regular Purchase APR

12.99%-17.99%

Fair Variable

The Visa Classic from Georgia’s Own Credit Union offers a competitive APR that is lower than Discover. There is no annual fee associated with this card and no rewards, making this card strictly for rebuilding credit. Keep in mind you will need to join the credit union, and the application process is more complicated compared to Discover. This card is a good alternative if you prefer to have an unsecured card and don’t mind working with a credit union.

FAQ

No, your cash back does not expire as long as your account remains open.

If you pay your balance in full and close your credit card account, your security deposit will be refunded. This can take up to two billing cycles plus 10 days. Also, during Discover’s monthly automatic reviews of your credit card account starting at eight months, they will see if they can return your security deposit while you continue to enjoy your card benefits.

The maximum credit limit is $2,500. This will be determined by your income and ability to pay. Keep in mind your security deposit must equal your credit limit, so you will have to deposit $2,500 if approved for this credit limit.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
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Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at alexandria@magnifymoney.com

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Earning Interest, Reviews

Discover Bank CD Rates Review

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Discover Bank
Most people know Discover as a credit card company, but it also operates an online bank and offers some of the best rates and terms on checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

If you’re looking for CDs in particular, Discover is currently considered one of the best CDs due to their customer service and digital tools.

Discover Bank CD rates

CD term

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

Minimum deposit amount

3 months

0.35%

$2,500

6 months

0.65%

$2,500

9 months

0.70%

$2,500

12 months

1.76%

$2,500

18 months

1.80%

$2,500

24 months

1.85%

$2,500

30 months

1.90%

$2,500

3 years

1.90%

$2,500

4 years

2.00%

$2,500

5 years

2.35%

$2,500

7 years

2.40%

$2,500

10 years

2.45%

$2,500

Rates as of Feb 1, 2018

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on Discover’s secure website

How do Discover Bank CD rates compare?

While Discover Bank CD rates aren’t always the highest available, they are consistently among the top offers across all terms. However, you may be able to find a similar or even better rate with a CD that has a lower minimum deposit than Discover’s. Currently, several nationwide banks offered a 12-month CD at a rate higher than Discover’s 12-month CD APY, while requiring a lower minimum deposit. For example, at the same time the above rates were available at Discover, there were 12-month CDs with rates as high as 2.00% APY with a lower minimum balance amount to earn the APY.

It’s always great to go for the highest interest rates possible, but keep your CD investing strategy in mind. If you’re investing in CDs using the ladder strategy, it might be easier to keep everything in one bank since you’ll be switching in and out of CDs frequently.

Discover also stands out from its competition in the CD space with its mobile app and 24/7 U.S.-based customer service. If you value such features, keep those particulars in mind when weighing Discover CD rates against others’.

What you need to know about Discover Bank’s CDs

Discover Bank is very transparent in terms of fine print. It’s not difficult to understand what’ll happen with your money after you invest it. We’ll cover the basics here about what you need to know to invest in Discover Bank’s CDs.

How to open a CD

It’s very simple to open up a CD with Discover Bank. Go to their CD webpage and click on the orange “Open an Account” button near the top right of the page. You can then choose which accounts you’d like to open. Select “CD,” choose a CD term and enter how much you’d like to deposit.

You’ll then need to complete the application by providing your name, address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security number, employment status and possibly even your driver’s license. Once your application is complete and accepted, you’ll need to fund the account.

How to fund the CD

You’ll need to fund it within 45 days of submitting your application, which you can do in one of three ways:

  • Transfer funds from another bank account over the phone. (You can only do this when you first fund your account.)
  • Transfer funds from another bank via online transfer.
  • Write a check to yourself and send it to the following address:Discover Bank
    P.O. Box 30417
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

The minimum deposit amount for each of Discover Bank’s CDs is, as the chart above indicates, $2,500. Once you open a CD, you can’t deposit more money later, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have all the cash you want to invest before you open the account.

Withdrawing funds from the CD

When you want to withdraw money from your CD, the biggest thing to consider is whether that CD has matured yet, or finished its term.

If your CD has not matured, you’ve got options: You can take the interest out penalty-free at any time, or you can withdraw the principal (or the money you deposited) at any time as long as you pay an early-withdrawal penalty. This penalty varies depending on the original term of your CD:

  • less than one year: three months’ worth of simple interest
  • one year to less than four years: six months’ worth of simple interest
  • four years: nine months’ worth of simple interest
  • five years to less than seven years: 18 months’ worth of simple interest
  • seven years or longer: 24 months’ worth of simple interest

If your CD has finished its term, you can withdraw your money penalty-free, allow the CD to renew or roll it into a CD of a different term length. (More on that in a bit).

Earning interest on a Discover CD

Your CD will start earning interest on the same business day that you fund the account. The interest will be added to your account once each month, however.

When it comes to what to do with your interest, you have two options: The default option is to allow it to compound within the CD (meaning you’ll earn interest on that interest), or you can have it automatically deposited each month into another Discover bank account.

What happens once the CD matures?

You’ll get a heads-up notice about a month before your CD matures so you can decide what to do with the money. You have two main options: Either reinvest it into another CD (of the same term length or a different term length), or withdraw the money from the CD and put it into another account (such as a checking or savings account, or perhaps a CD at a different institution).

If you don’t let Discover know what you want to do with the maturing CD, the CD will automatically renew into another one of the same term length. You have a nine-day grace period after your CD automatically rolls over to make any changes or withdrawals penalty-free.

The bottom line

As far as big-name banks go, Discover offers great CD products. Wells Fargo, for example, only offers interest rates as high as 1.55% APY on a $5,000 deposit for a 58-month CD. Chase Bank offers even lower maximum rates — an abysmal 1.05% APY, and only if you can commit a minimum of $100,000 for 10 years.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep your finances in one place, Discover also has great credit cards, as well as competitive online savings and checking accounts. No matter how long you’re considering putting money in a CD, Discover is worth a look. Even if it doesn’t have the best available rate, it’s usually within several basis points of the top offerings and well above the average APY.

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on Discover’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Earning Cashback, Reviews

Discover it Review: What’s the Catch of 5% Cash Back?

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Discover it Review: What's the catch of 5% cash back?

Updated July 5, 2017

Are you searching for a no annual fee card that has the potential for 5% cash back rewards? Then Discover it® Cashback Match™ may be a good fit for you, but keep in mind that the categories may not always sync up with your routine purchases.

The Discover it® Cashback Match™ credit card actually comes with several perks, including an introductory 0% interest rate for 14 months on new purchases and balance transfers, no annual fee, and a cash back program. It also has a generous introductory offer that matches the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically that makes it a great choice upfront. The match is only available to new cardmembers.

But what about after the promo ends? We'll run down how the card works.

5% Cashback Bonus

The Realities of 5% Cash Back

5% cash back does not mean on everything. Discover, similar to programs like Chase Freedom®, offers 5% cash back at different places that rotate every quarter. You will earn 5% cash back on up to the quarterly maximum, which is up to $1,500 of spend in combined purchases. To get the 5%, you have to activate every quarter. All other purchases get 1% cash back. Rotating places can include things like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs.

From January until March 2018, the bonus categories are Gas Stations & Wholesale Clubs.

With a cap on the 5% cash back of the first $1,500 of purchases in a relevant category, you can earn a maximum of $75 per quarter in cash back rewards and $300 per year.

Discover it<sup>®</sup> - Cashback Match<sup>TM</sup>

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

How do I sign up?

Discover it® cardholders do have to “opt in” to the 5% cash back places each quarter. You can have Discover send you email reminders with the ability to opt in via email or you can opt in after logging into your account.

Do points expire?

Cash back rewards can be redeemed with no minimum threshold and can be redeemed as a statement credit, a credit on Amazon.com orders, a deposit into your bank account, and more. Cash back rewards never expire as long as your account is in good standing. Discover can close your account if has been inactive.

Bonus offer for new customers

Additionally, the Discover it® Cashback Match™ card will match all the cash back you earn dollar for dollar at the end of your first year. The double cash back will be applied to your account balance after the end of the 12th billing cycle.

Cashing Out and Perks

Discover provides the option to use your cash back as either a statement credit or a direct deposit into your bank account.

You can also leverage up by purchasing a gift card or eCertificate through the redemption portal.

Through a partnership with Amazon, you can use your Discover it® cash back to pay for Amazon purchases while checking out. Other CashBack Bonus partners include iTunes and Overstock.com.

Discover it® also offers access to your FICO credit score terms for free on each monthly statement.

Some Extra Perks

In addition to the cash back, Discover has been investing in a number of perks that you might find useful. Discover introduced a feature that enables you to freeze your account in seconds.

If you lose your card, Discover offers free overnight shipping to any address in the U.S. They also promise that paying late won't raise your APR.

And if you need to speak with someone from customers service, Discover has 100% U.S.-based customer service representatives.

Fees & Gotchas

There is no annual fee for the Discover it® card. The balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount of each transfer. There is no late fee the first time you pay late. After that, late payments are up to $37. Discover does not charge foreign currency transaction fees.

Discover it<sup>®</sup> - Cashback Match<sup>TM</sup>

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

How it Stacks Up

The Citi® Double Cash Card might be a better option if you don't want to opt into bonus categories every quarter. The Citi® Double Cash credit card offers up to 2% cash back (1% when you purchase and 1% when you pay) with no cap on the amount you earn as long as you pay on time, which makes it a good all-around card as you won’t have to track and time your spending to take advantage of extra cash back in bonus categories like the rotating 5% bonus cash back categories offered by Discover it®.

Citi<sup>®</sup> Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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on Citibank’s secure website

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card also offers a cash back program, however you can only earn 1.5% with this card. One difference is that the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening, which is something you don’t get from either the Discover it® card or the Citi® Double Cash card. That $150 sign-on bonus can easily be made up over the long run by the 2% cash back offer of the Citi® Double Cash card or the 5% bonus cash back categories offered by the Discover it® Cashback Match™ card.

Capital One<sup>®</sup> Quicksilver<sup>®</sup> Cash Rewards Credit Card

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on Capital One’s secure website

The Bottom Line

If you spend a lot of money in the 5% bonus categories, this will be a great card. Just make sure you opt in every quarter.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Kayla Sloan
Kayla Sloan |

Kayla Sloan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kayla at Kayla@magnifymoney.com

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Credit Cards, Earning Cashback, Reviews

Discover it chrome Review: 2% Cash Back on Gas and Dining

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Discover it Chrome Review

There are plenty of credit cards that will reward you for spending at gas stations and restaurants, so choosing one from the bunch can present a challenge.

The Discover it® chrome card has two stand out selling points. It will match ALL cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically (new cardmembers only), and you can redeem the cash back you earn at any amount.

In this post, we’re going to cover the details of this program, including:

  • The basics of the Discover it® chrome
  • How to redeem cash back
  • The fine print details
  • The benefits and protections
  • The pros and cons

The basics of the Discover it® chrome

  1. 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants.

Earn 2% cash back on gas and dining. The cap for the 2% category is $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter. New quarters begin on Jan. 1, Apr. 1, July 1, and Oct. 1.

  1. 1% cash back on all other purchases. Earn 1% cash back on purchases outside of the 2% category excluding transactions like cash advances and balance transfers. Spending at gas stations and restaurants beyond the $1,000 quarterly cap also earn 1% cash back.
  2. Discover will match ALL cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

Cash back earned by new cardholders the first year is automatically matched after 12 months.  You also have the opportunity to earn cash back bonuses when you shop with select retailers online through Discover Deals.

Discover it<sup>®</sup> chrome

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

How to redeem cash back earned

As mentioned, you won’t have to wait for your cash back balance to reach a certain threshold before you can put it to use. You can redeem cash back starting at 1 cent for:

  • Statement credits
  • Cash deposits into an account
  • Charitable donations
  • Products and services through Amazon and Discover Deals

Cash back earned never expires. If your account is closed or goes inactive for 18 months, whatever cash back you earned will be credited to your account.

Introductory APR and balance transfers

The Discover it® chrome has an introductory deal for new purchases and balance transfers as well. There’s 0% intro APR on balance transfers and new purchases for the first 14 months. The balance transfer fee is 3%.

If you need to make a large purchase, the cash back dollar-for-dollar match promotion coupled with the 0% intro APR deal could be useful. You can slowly pay off the balance of your purchase for 14 months without interest and get the cash back match at the end of the year.

The fine print

The Discover it® chrome has no annual fee or other hidden fees you need to be aware of. You won’t be charged a late fee on your first late payment. The Discover it® chrome also has no penalty APR and no over-the-limit or foreign transaction fees.

One piece of fine print you do want to pay close attention to is that the 2% category has some restrictions besides the $1,000 spending cap per quarter. Specifically, spending at warehouses, wholesale stores, and discount stores won’t qualify for 2% cash back. This could be a deal breaker if you usually fill up on gas at any of these stores.

Benefits and protections

FICO Credit Score
Discover it® chrome cardmembers get a FICO score on each credit card statement. This benefit is worth highlighting since getting a FICO score directly from myFICO.com isn’t cheap.

Freeze It
You can freeze your account if your card is lost or stolen. Discover won’t authorize purchase transactions until you request to unfreeze it.

Zero Liability Protection
You won’t be held liable for unauthorized purchases on your card.

Monitor Your Social Security Number
Discover will monitor your Social Security Number and alert you if they find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of risky websites. Activate for FREE.

 

Pros and cons

Pro: The cash back match during the first year. The dollar-for-dollar match can be lucrative.

Con: 2% category cap. The $1,000 max for the 2% category may be limiting depending on your spending habits. You have room to spend a little over $330 per month on gas and groceries combined to stay within that cap. If you shop for groceries often or have a long commute each day, this cap may only scratch the surface of your monthly gas and food budget.

Pro: Easy redemption. The Discover it® chrome has an uncomplicated redemption program. You can turn your cash back into actual cash through statement credit and cash deposits. Or choose to redeem for products, gift cards, and charitable donations.

Pro: Low on fees. There are no annual fees, foreign transaction fees, penalty fees, or over-the-limit fees. It’s safe to say the Discover it® chrome card is not going to nickel and dime you.

Who will benefit the most from the Discover it® chrome?

The Discover it® chrome could be a good choice for someone who wants a simple cash back program. There are no revolving categories to manage and you can use cash back earned at any amount.

But, for a bigger spender, this card may not be the best deal because of the $1,000 quarterly cap in the 2% category. Instead, you may get better overall value from a card that gives more than 1% cash back on spending with no limits like the Citi® Double Cash card. With the Citi® Double Cash Card, you earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% cash back when you pay off the balance.

Review your spending habits before choosing the Discover it® chrome to make sure spending within the category cap is realistic for your family.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor at taylor@magnifymoney.com

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Credit Cards

How (and why) to Request a Credit Limit Increase with Discover

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Request a Credit Limit Increase with Discover

We’ve covered how to request a credit line increase with most of the major credit card companies now, including American Express, Barclaycard, and Capital One. But if you have a Discover card, you can request a credit limit increase on your card too.

Before you go about requesting a credit limit increase from Discover, make sure you take time to think about why you want to increase your credit limit. As we’ve mentioned before, there are good reasons and bad reasons to ask for a higher credit limit, so make sure you ask for a limit increase for the right reasons.

How to increase your credit limit with American Express, Capital One and Barclaycard

Why shouldn’t you ask for a credit line increase?

In some of the previous posts in this series, we’ve covered some of the good reasons why you might want to ask for a credit limit increase (like automatically reducing your utilization ratio), but sometimes people ask for credit limit increases for the wrong reasons. Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t ask for a credit limit increase.

If you don’t plan to use it the right way. Requesting a credit limit increase so you can spend more money every month is not a smart idea. This type of behavior can lead to credit card debt and end up costing you a significant amount of money in interest. The key thing to remember is that whatever you charge on your credit card will eventually have to be paid off.

Using credit limit increases to earn more rewards. This may or may not be a good reason to ask for a credit limit increase. Credit card rewards like cash back or points for travel can help you save money, but you have to be careful about how you use your credit card to earn them wisely. Paying any interest reducing or completely removes the advantage of earning rewards.

Requesting an increase from Discover

Like the other cards in our series, you can quickly and easily request a credit limit increase if you are a Discover cardholder. Just visit www.discover.com and log in to your account to get started.

Step 1

After you’ve logged in to your account, click Manage.

Step1 (1)

Step 2

In the popup menu, click Credit Line Increase.

Step2 (1)

 

Step 3

The credit line increase request page will show your current credit limit, the amount you have available in your credit line, your cash advance credit line, and how much of your cash advance credit line is available.

You’ll have to enter your total annual gross income, the name of your employer, and your monthly housing cost or rent payment. After you enter all of the necessary information, hit submit at the bottom of the page.

 

Step3 (1)

According to their website, Discover may pull a credit bureau report in order to process your credit limit increase application. This can affect your credit score by lowering it a few points.

If you plan to fill out a joint application to increase your credit line, you will have to contact customer service at 1-800-347-2683. It’s also important to note that residents of Ohio and New York must also call to request an increase and are not eligible to complete the online application.

Discover does have some additional recommendations for customers seeking a credit limit increase:

  • You may request to have your credit line increase decision re-evaluated if you wish to have a larger increase than the amount you are offered. If you do so, a “comprehensive check of your credit” will be performed.
  • Discover will ask you in advance to approve any credit check that might affect your credit rating.
  • For the best chance of approval, Discover recommends that you wait at least 6 months before applying for another credit limit increase, but your credit limit is being constantly re-evaluated and could be increased at any time.

Your credit limit increase was approved. Now what?

If you applied for a credit limit increase for the right reasons, you should expect to do nothing different with regard to your spending habits. Just make sure you keep paying your credit card off in full each month to avoid interest charges.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Kayla Sloan
Kayla Sloan |

Kayla Sloan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kayla at Kayla@magnifymoney.com

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Personal Loans

Discover Personal Loan Review: Decent Rates for Fair Credit and Higher

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

personal loan_lg

Discover’s personal loan is everything you would expect from a traditional lender. It offers fixed rates depending on your creditworthiness, is available in all 50 states, and there are several terms to choose from, giving you flexible payment options.

Discover Personal Loans

Discover does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is unique. Discover wants to make sure you get the best terms you can, so if you find something better within 30 days of accepting their loan, you can send the money you received back to them, with no interest charged. (Unless the funds went to a creditor, in which case, they can’t be returned.)

This guarantee can help put your mind at ease in case you do find something better, or decide that you can’t handle the payments. If this is something that interests you, read on to get the full scoop on this personal loan.

Discover Personal Loan Rates and Details

Discover LoansDiscover is very upfront with the terms they offer on their website. For starters, you can borrow up to $35,000.

Their rates range from 6.99% - 24.99% APR.

You can pay back your loan in 36, 48, 60, 72, or 84 months, which is much longer than most lenders offer. However, be mindful that a longer term means you’ll be paying more interest over the life of the loan.

In order to qualify, you need to have a credit score of at least 660.

According to the loan estimation calculator on Discover’s site, if you have fair credit, and wanted to borrow $10,000 over 48 months, your APR would be 13.99%, and your minimum payment would be $273/month.

Also, if you ever need to change your payment due date, Discover allows you to make the change within your account online.

Credit Requirements

To apply for a personal loan with Discover, you need to be at least 18 years or older, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have a minimum income of $25,000, and have at least a fair (660) credit score.

Discover states that rates depend on creditworthiness, so this loan is for those who already have established credit. They look at credit history, recent credit activity, and credit inquiries.

If you select that you have “poor” credit on Discover’s loan calculator, you’ll receive a message that you’re ineligible for a loan.

While you need a minimum income of $25,000, you can still apply for a personal loan with Discover if you’re unemployed, but have an annual household income of $25,000. Your credit report has to show that you have shared financial obligations within the household.

How Do Discover Personal Loans Compare With the Competition?

Discover makes it a point to feature a comparison chart on their homepage, listing out the reasons their loans are superior to Wells Fargo, Citi, LendingClub*, and Prosper.

Overall, Discover does come out on top in many of the categories, especially when compared to Wells Fargo and Citibank. Discover’s APR range is more favorable when compared to these two, and while LendingClub and Prosper have slightly lower starting rates.

Additionally, Discover’s personal loan doesn’t come with an origination fee, whereas LendingClub and Prosper have origination fees up to 5% of the loan amount.

The Fine Print – Are There Fees?

Discover does not have any hidden fees – there are no closing fees, prepayment penalties, or origination fees associated with their personal loan.

However, their late fee is a whopping $39, which is quite high compared to other personal loan lenders. You can enroll in their automatic payment service to avoid making late payments.

Discover Personal Loan Application Process

The application process for Discover’s personal loan is a little more in-depth than others.

You can apply online or over the phone, and you’ll be asked what amount you need to borrow, and what length of term you’d like. This is where the loan calculator comes in – be sure to choose an option you can afford!

Discover requires your salary and employment information, and they will verify both. You may have to submit pay stubs or bank statements, and Discover may contact your employer. You can upload documents directly to Discover during the application process.

If you’re looking to pay off debt, you’ll need the balances and account numbers of your creditors.

Once you’re done filling out the application, a loan specialist may call you to verify any details. Otherwise, Discover claims that you will receive a decision the same day you apply, and funds can be disbursed within 3 days of accepting the offer.

Who Would Benefit from a Discover Personal Loan?

Individuals that already have an established, positive credit history and need money quickly will benefit from a Discover personal loan.

Because Discover offers to pay off creditors directly, its loan is a great option for those looking to consolidate debt. Discover has a debt consolidation calculator to help you determine whether or not it you’d save money by going that route.

What to Use the Funds For

With a Discover personal loan, you can borrow anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000, which is a large range.

On the website, popular reasons people borrow from Discover include:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Wedding/Honeymoon
  • Vacation
  • Home improvement
  • Major purchases

The most popular option seems to be debt consolidation, because Discover offers decent terms for those with great credit. Having a fixed interest rate of 8.99%it might make a huge difference for you as opposed to balancing four different credit card loans with varying interest rates.

Discover also cites home improvement, specifically “green upgrades”, as a reason why people borrow funds. This could be a good idea if you plan on staying in your current home for a while, and will recoup the costs through money saved on utilities.

So, Should You Take a Discover Personal Loan?

For a traditional lender, Discover’s personal loan offering isn’t bad. It beats out Wells Fargo and Citibank, and still looks more favorable than LendingClub and Prosper, both peer-to-peer lenders.

Due to the credit requirements, this loan isn’t a good fit for recent graduates or those who have poor credit. If you don’t think your credit is good enough, try the other alternative personal loan lenders that we’ve reviewed.

Keep in mind that Discover will do a hard credit inquiry when you apply for a personal loan with them. Even though it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, you should shop around with multiple lenders before accepting an offer. Don’t worry that it will further impact your credit score - as long as you’re shopping around within a 45 day window, the credit bureaus will look at multiple inquiries that close together as one inquiry.

One of the easiest ways to compare multiple lenders and loan offers at the same time is to use LendingTree (full disclosure, LendingTree is our parent company). Dozens of lenders participate in LendingTree's personal loan shopping experience and with one online form you can receive multiple loan offers with only a soft pull on your credit.

LendingTree

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on LendingTree’s secure website

*We receive a referral fee if you click on offers with this symbol. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations. You can learn more about how our site is financed here.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at erinm@magnifymoney.com

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Balance Transfer

How to do a Balance Transfer with Discover

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Discover_BT1

So, you have been approved for a balance transfer. Congratulations - there is no better way to save money and get out of debt faster. Just make sure you complete the transfer as soon as you receive your card. The faster you transfer the debt, the faster you can start saving money.

Haven't applied for a balance transfer with Discover yet? You can get 0% intro balance transfer APR for 18 months with a 3% balance transfer fee. 

Discover it<sup>®</sup> - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Completing a balance transfer is easy. You can do it on the phone or online, and it should only take a few minutes.

What You Need

You will need the account number and balance of the credit card that has the debt.  These cards will be referred to as the “transfer from” account. If you have a $3,000 balance at Chase, and you want to transfer it to your new Discover account, then you will need the account number and balance of the Chase account.  And, in this example:

  • The transfer from account is Chase.
  • The transfer to account is Discover.

Once you have that information, you are ready to go.

Call

You can call the customer service number on the back of your credit card, and they will be more than happy to help you complete the balance transfer. The phone representative will go through security checks and then ask for the credit card number and amount of debt that you want to transfer.

The bank makes the payment to your credit card for you.  If you are close to your due date, I recommend making the minimum payment to your card to ensure that you do not have any late fees. The payment (in this example, from Discover to Chase), can take up to 3 weeks. It is usually faster, but you should not take any chances and want to avoid being hit with a late fee.

Online

Most banks make it easy to complete a balance transfer online. Once you receive your credit card, you will need to sign up for online banking. Below, we will show you how to complete an online balance transfer with Discover. Click on these names if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide for: Chase, Capital One or Barclaycard.

  1. Login to your account. Under the “Credit Options” tab, you’ll see the option to complete a balance transfer. Click on “See offer”.

 

Discover

 

2. Select an offer. You’ll see the introductory offer listed.

 

Discover

 

3. Input the following:

  • The account number of the credit card(s) that has your debt right now.  This is the account number of the transfer from account.
  • The amount(s) that you want to transfer

 

Discover

 

You can only transfer the credit limit given on your new card. So, if your Discover card has a $5,000 limit and you have $8,000 of credit card debt you want to transfer, you can only move $5,000 over to Discover.

4.  You will then be shown the terms and conditions of the balance transfer offer, which you will need to accept.

Here are the most important items:

  • Make sure the terms of the balance transfer match the terms of the offer when you applied. If there are any issues, call the bank directly (you can reach Discover at 1-866-240-7940).
  • Make sure you pay on time.  If you become delinquent, you could eventually lose the 0% promotional offer.

5.  You will then receive your confirmation. Discover will pay your existing credit card bill to roll it over to their bank.  But, it can take up to 3 weeks.  So, we recommend that you make the minimum payment if your bill is due in the next 3 weeks.

Once you see the confirmation screen, then you are in good shape.

Remember:

  1. Make sure you pay on time.  Paying late (60 days) can lead to a loss of your 0% interest rate and it would go to the penalty rate.
  2. Do your best to pay off as much of the debt as possible while you have the promotional rate.

Still have questions? Email us at info@magnifymoney.com or tweet us @Magnify_Money

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Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at nick@magnifymoney.com

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