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Personal Loans

Where to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates Online

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

Where to Get the Best Personal Loan Rates Online

Updated November 01, 2018

If you want a to pay off a credit card or consolidate debt, a personal loan is going to be one of your best options. A personal loan with a set payoff period a few years from now has some of these advantages:

  • One monthly payment
  • A set rate
  • You don’t need absolutely perfect credit
  • You can check your rate without touching your score

There are more attractive deals than ever thanks to some new online lenders and you can see sample rates below for excellent credit and good credit.

Company
APR
Terms
Credit Req.
LendingTree

5.99% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Minimum 500 FICO

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

Disclaimer

3.34% - 16.99%

24 to 144

months

660

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.31.
SoFi

6.99% - 15.49%

36 to 84

months

680

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Fixed rates from 6.99% APR to 15.49% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.26% APR to 13.99% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.26% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.22% plus 4.285% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

See Consumer Licenses.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

6.99% - 24.99%

36 to 72

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information.To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans).Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions.

5.99% - 29.99%

36 or 60

months

660

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99%. Any origination fee on a 5-year loan will be at least 4.99% and is deducted from loan proceeds. The APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, loan term, credit usage history and other factors, and therefore may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may resulting an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least six months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000.

Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. A loan example: a 5–year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3–year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.

6.95% - 35.89%

36 or 60

months

600

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Our Commitment We'll receive a referral fee if you click here. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.

9.95% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

16.05% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure.

Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our standard credit criteria (including credit history, income and debts) and the availability of collateral. Loan amounts subject to state specific minimum or maximum size restrictions. Collateral offered must meet our criteria. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral. CA minimum loan amount is $3,000. GA minimum loan amount is $1,500 for present customers and $3,100 for others.

PenFed Credit Union

Starting at 6.49%

60

months

700

SEE OFFERS Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

8.89% - 35.99%

36 & 60

months

640

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

We'll receive a referral fee if you apply for this loan. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations.

Best personal loans for excellent credit: SoFi, Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, BestEgg, LightStream

Best personal loans for good credit: LendingClub, BestEgg, Upstart, PenFed Credit Union

Best personal loans for bad or minimal credit: Avant, OneMain Financial

Tip: Apply for several loans to check rates. Every lender has different approval criteria and different pricing models – and the difference in rate between lenders (even for people with excellent credit) can be significant. So long as you shop with lenders that use a soft credit pull, you can check your rate without negatively impacting your credit score.

Start Here – Multiple Lenders at Once

LendingTree

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender.

Dozens of lenders participate in LendingTree‘s personal loan shopping tool – including all of the lenders listed on this page. With one online form, LendingTree will perform a soft pull (with no impact to your score) and match you with multiple loan offers. This is our favorite (because it is easy) way to get multiple offers from lenders in minutes and consolidate debt. For people with excellent credit, you could get an interest rate below 6%. For people with less than perfect credit, there are many lenders participating with more liberal acceptance criteria.

Why is this a good way to save?

Banks don’t care much for personal loans because the lower rates earn them less profit than credit cards.

Fortunately, some new companies believe you should be able to get a competitive rate without dealing with credit card intro offers, even if your credit isn’t perfect.

They’re doing it by lending online only without the overhead of branches.

They pass the savings on to you through better rates, and you can check up on them below.

Best Personal loans for Excellent Credit

The following providers are for you if you want the absolute lowest possible rates that reward a record of no late payments and good income, even though you have some high rate debt that you want to consolidate.

Unless you get a rate of 5% or less, you’re probably better off with balance transfer deals, but the convenience of a fixed payment and walking away from credit cards makes personal loans appealing.

SoFi

SoFi
APR

6.99%
To
15.49%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More


Fixed rates from 6.99% APR to 15.49% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.26% APR to 13.99% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.26% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.22% plus 4.285% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

See Consumer Licenses.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

SoFi’s believes if you’ve graduated college or went to grad school you’ll be a more responsible borrower, so they may be more likely to give you a better rate, even if your credit history is limited.

For example, if you have $10,000 in credit card debt, good income, and great credit, their best rate could save you as much as 0% balance transfer deals once you factor in the fees for each.

What we like best about SoFi is that they offer No origination fee and no prepayment penalty. If you think you may be able to pay off your loan earlier (or want the flexibility to do that), Sofi is the only lender we reviewed that charges no fee at all. Given their very low rates, we think anyone with good credit should start with Sofi first, and then compare their offer to the rest of the providers.

Amount: $5,000 – $50,000

Available states: Alabama, California, Delaware, Washington D.C., Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington (terms and limitations apply).

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

6.99%
To
24.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers personal loans for up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation. ... Read More

If you want to work with a traditional bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs® can be a great option. With rates as low as 6.99% APR and flexible terms ranging between 36 to 72 months, they offer a competitive personal loan option that is backed by the security and peace of mind that comes with using a bank that has been in business for 148 years.

While Marcus does not state a required minimum credit score, they do seek out people with prime credit, which usually falls above 660 or higher on the FICO scale. Those that meet the requirements will be able to borrow up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation loans.

BestEgg

APR

Up to 5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

0.99% - 5.99%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

People looking for a process that is fast and straightforward can’t go wrong when applying through Best Egg for a personal loan. ... Read More


*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99%. Any origination fee on a 5-year loan will be at least 4.99% and is deducted from loan proceeds. The APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, loan term, credit usage history and other factors, and therefore may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may resulting an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least six months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000.

Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. A loan example: a 5–year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3–year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.

BestEgg is an online personal loan company that offers low interest rates and quick funding. BestEgg is one of the fastest growing personal loan companies in the country, largely because it has been able to provide one of the best combinations of interest rate and loan amount in the market.

You can check to see your interest rate without hurting your score, and they do approve people with scores as low as 660. If you have an excellent credit score, BestEgg will be very competitive on terms.

Amount: up to $35,000

Lightstream

APR

3.34%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More


Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.31.

Lightstream is a great choice for people with excellent credit. It is actually part of a bank you might have heard of, SunTrust Bank. They were recently set up to offer some of the best personal loan rates available, and they are delivering. The interest rate you are charged depends upon the purpose of the loan.Interest rates can be as low as 3.34% for a new car purchase (and LightStream does not put their name on your title. They just put the cash in your bank account, and you can shop around and pay cash for the car). Home improvement loans start at 4.99% APR with AutoPay , making them cheaper and easier than a home equity loan.

They’ll also approve and deposit your money fast, often the same day, and give extra consideration if you have money in your 401K or equity in your home.

Lightstream has created an exclusive offer, just for MagnifyMoney readers. (This offer went live in January 2016). Credit card consolidation loans for MagnifyMoney readers are now as low as 5.49% fixed. The highest fixed rate is 14.69%. Just beware: LightStream does a hard credit pull.

Amount: $5,000 – $100,000

Available states: All

Best Personal Loans for Good Credit

These providers may be able to help you out if you’re not approved for the very best rates or a 0% balance transfer offer.

LendingClub*

APR

6.95%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates and approvals for people with credit scores as low as 600.... Read More

You might not have heard of LendingClub yet, but they are a big player in online loans. And they offer a wide range of rates and terms based on your credit profile and needs. Generally you’ll need a score of about 600 or higher to get approved.

Amount: up to $40,000

Available states: All except Iowa and West Virginia

BestEgg

APR

Up to 5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

0.99% - 5.99%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

People looking for a process that is fast and straightforward can’t go wrong when applying through Best Egg for a personal loan. ... Read More


*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and ranges from 5.99%-29.99%, which may include an origination fee from 0.99% - 5.99%. Any origination fee on a 5-year loan will be at least 4.99% and is deducted from loan proceeds. The APR offered will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, loan term, credit usage history and other factors, and therefore may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. Requests for the highest loan amount may resulting an APR higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest rate.

Best Egg loans are unsecured personal loans made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. "Best Egg" is a trademark of Marlette Funding LLC. All uses of "Best Egg" on this site mean and shall refer to "the Best Egg personal loan" and/or "Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan," as applicable. Loan amounts generally range from $2,000-$35,000. Offers up to $50,000 may be available for qualified customers who receive offer codes in the mail. The minimum individual annual income needed to qualify for a loan of $50,000 is $130,000. Borrowers may hold no more than two open Best Egg loans at any given time. In order to be eligible for a second Best Egg loan, your existing Best Egg loan must have been open for at least six months. Total existing Best Egg loan balances must not exceed $50,000. All loans in MA must exceed $6,000; in NM, OH must exceed $5,000; in GA must exceed $3,000.

Borrowers should refer to their loan agreement for specific terms and conditions. A loan example: a 5–year $10,000 loan with 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81, and a 3–year $5,000 loan with 5.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $150.57. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Upon loan funding, the timing of available funds may vary depending upon your bank's policies.

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.

BestEgg (reviewed earlier in this post) will approve people with credit scores as low as 660. If you have good credit and are looking for a loan, you should consider BestEgg.

Upstart*

APR

8.89%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 & 60

months

Origination Fee

0.00% - 8.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Upstart is an online lender created by ex-Googlers.... Read More

Upstart offers loans that look a lot like the ones from the bigger online lenders like LendingClub or Prosper.

They’ll let you borrow up to $50,000 for 36 & 60 months. But the key is they will take into account the schools you attended, your area of study, the grades you earned in school, and your work history to see if you can get a better rate.

So while the range of rates Upstart offers is similar to the bigger guys, if you did well in school, you might find the rate you actually get is lower than what the others will offer you, so it’s worth trying.

You’ll need a 640 or better FICO and your monthly payments can’t be more than 55% of your monthly income.

Amount: $1,000 – $50,000

Available states: All

PenFed

PenFed Credit Union
APR

Starting at 6.49%

Credit Req.

700

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) offers personal loans with terms up to five years and maximum loan amounts of $25,000.... Read More

Previously, PenFed offers a fixed rate starting at 6.49% interest rate for 60 months. Veterans get extra special attention so it’s worth checking this online only offer. You have to be a member of the PenFed credit union, but that’s easy and anyone can do that online as part of the process.

Available states: All

Best Personal Loans for Bad or No Credit

Avant*

APR

9.95%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Up to 4.75%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

Avant is an online lender that offers personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000. ... Read More

Avant‘s platform offers access to loans from $2,000 to $35,000, with terms from 24 to 60 months. The minimum credit score varies, but we have seen people with scores as low as 580 get approved.

The good thing about Avant is that these loans are amortizing. That means it is a real installment loan, and you will be reducing your principal balance with every payment.

Amount: up to $35,000

Available states: All except: Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, and Vermont.

For Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

OneMain Financial

APR

16.05%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

If you have a credit score below 600, OneMain Financial is one of the few lenders that you can use to get a personal loan.... Read More


Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our standard credit criteria (including credit history, income and debts) and the availability of collateral. Loan amounts subject to state specific minimum or maximum size restrictions. Collateral offered must meet our criteria. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral. CA minimum loan amount is $3,000. GA minimum loan amount is $1,500 for present customers and $3,100 for others.

OneMain Financial offers personal loans through its branch network to people with less than perfect credit. You can start your application online. If you qualify, you will have to visit a branch to complete the application. Once in the branch, if you have all of the required documents, you can receive you loan proceeds immediately via check.

You can borrow from $1,500 to $30,000. The interest rates are not low, and can go up to 35.99%. They will also charge an up-front origination fee that is not refundable. You should definitely shop around at other lenders first, given the high cost of the loan and the need to visit a branch.

Amount: Up to $30,000

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Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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Balance Transfer, Pay Down My Debt

The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

Before you read on, click here to download our FREE guide to become debt free forever!

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 1.30.44 PM

Digging out of the debt hole can feel frustrating, intimidating and ultimately impossible. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be any of those things if you learn how to take control.

Paying down debt is not only about finding the right financial tools, but also the right psychological ones. You need to understand why you got into debt in the first place. Perhaps it was a medical emergency or a home repair that needed to be taken care of immediately. Maybe you’d already drained your emergency fund on one piece of bad luck when misfortune struck again. Or maybe you’re struggling with a compulsive shopping problem, so paying down debt will likely result in you accumulating more until the addiction is addressed.

Understanding the why and how of your debt isn’t the only reason psychology plays a role in how you should create your debt attack plan.

You also need to understand what motivates you to succeed. Do you want to pay down your debt in the absolute fastest amount of time possible that will save more money or do you want to take some little wins along the way to keep yourself motivated?

The common terms for these debt repayment strategies are:

  • Debt avalanche: starting with the highest interest rate and working your way down, which saves both time and money.
  • Debt snowball: paying off small debts first to get the warm and fuzzies that will motivate you to keep going.

Whichever version you pick needs to set you up to be successful in your debt repayment strategy. Now it’s time to find the proper tools to help you dump that debt for good.

The first step in crafting a debt repayment strategy is to understand what you’re eligible to use. Your credit score will play a big role in whether or not you’ll qualify for products like balance transfers or competitive personal loan offers.

A credit score of less than 600 will make it difficult for you to qualify for a personal loan and will eliminate you from taking on a balance transfer offer.

Note: If you have a credit score less than 640, struggling to make monthly debt payments and would like to explore your options to reduce your debt by up to 50%, then please click our option below to customize a personal debt relief plan.

Custom Debt Relief Plan

If you have a credit score above 640, you have a good chance of qualifying for a personal loan at a much lower interest rate than your credit card debt. With new internet-only personal loan companies, you can shop for loans without hurting your score. Click here (you will be taken to the LendingTree site) to get rates from multiple lenders in just a few minutes, without a credit inquiry hurting your score. With a simple, single online form, you can get matched with multiple lenders. People with excellent credit can see APRs below 6%. But even if your credit isn’t perfect, you might be able to find a good loan because LendingTree partners with dozens of lenders.

If you have a score above 700, you could also qualify for 0% balance transfer offers.

[Click here if you’re looking to rebuild your credit score.]

Not sure what your credit score is? Click here to learn how to find out.

Now let’s talk about the financial tools to add into your debt repayment strategy in order to dig out of the hole.

Let’s say you have $10,000 in credit card debt, and are stuck paying 18% interest on it.

You already know that putting as much spare cash as you can toward paying down your debt is the most important thing to do. But once you’ve done that, so what’s next?

Use your good credit to make banks compete and cut your rates

MagnifyMoney’s Paying Down Debt Guide has easy to follow tips on how to put banks to work for you and get your rates cut.

You could save $1,800 a year in interest and lower your monthly payments based on several of the rates available today. That means you could pay it off almost 20% faster.

Here’s how it works.

Option One: Use a Balance Transfer (or Multiple Balance Transfers)


If you trust yourself to open a new credit card but not spend on it, consider a balance transfer. You may be able to cut your rate with a long 0% intro APR. You need to have a good credit score, and you might not get approved for the full amount that you want to transfer.

Your own bank might not give you a lower rate (or only drop it by a few percent), but there are lots of competing banks that may want to steal the business and give you a better rate.

Discover it® Balance Transfer

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Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 6 Months
Intro BT APR
0% for 18 Months
Balance Transfer Fee
3%
Regular APR
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good Credit

MagnifyMoney regularly surveys the market to find the best balance transfer credit cards. If you would like to see what other options exist, beyond Chase and Discover, you can start there.

promo-balancetransfer-halfIt also has tips to make sure you do a balance transfer safely. If you follow them you’ll save thousands on your debt by remaining disciplined.

You might be scared of a balance transfer, but there is no faster way to cut your interest payments than taking advantage of the best 0% or low interest deals banks are offering.

Thanks to recent laws, balance transfers aren’t as sneaky as they used to be, and friendlier for helping you cut your debt.

Sometimes the first bank you deal with won’t give you a big enough credit line to handle all your credit card debt. Maybe you’ll get a $5,000 credit line for a 0% deal, but have $10,000 in debt. That’s okay. In that case, apply for the next best balance transfer deal you see. MagnifyMoney’s list of deals makes it easy to sort them.

Banks are okay with you shopping around for more than one deal.

Option Two: Personal Loan

If you never want to see another credit card again, you should consider a personal loan. You can get prequalified at multiple lenders without hurting your credit score, and find the best deal to pay off your debt faster.

Personal loan interest rates are often about 10-20%, but can sometimes be as low as 5-6% if you have very good credit.

Moving from 18% interest on a credit card to 10% on a personal loan is a good deal for you. You’ll also get one set monthly payment, and pay off the whole thing in 3 to 5 years.

Sometimes this may mean a higher monthly payment than you’re used to, but you’re better off putting your cash toward a higher payment with a lower rate.

And you’ll get out of debt months or years faster by leaving more money to pay down the debt itself. If you want to shop for a personal loan, we recommend starting at LendingTree. With a single online form, dozens of lenders will compete for your business. Only a soft credit pull is completed, so your credit score will not be harmed. People with excellent scores can see low APRs (sometimes below 6%). And people with less than perfect scores still have a good chance of finding a lender to approve them.

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If you don’t want to shop at LendingTree, you can see our list of the best personal loans here.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brian Karimzad
Brian Karimzad |

Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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Personal Loans

Avant Loans: Review These Rates Before You Apply for a Loan

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Avant Loans Review

Updated November 01, 2017

Avant* is a personal loan platform willing to accept borrowers with less than perfect credit scores.

The interest rates are between 9.95% – 35.99% and loans are as small as $2,000 and as high as $35,000.

Avant does not charge a prepayment fee.

The origination fee is Up to 4.75%, which may be lower than the competition.

They also emphasize speed, and can get the loan to you by the next business day if you have all of your documentation.

What credit do you need?

In general, you will have a much better chance of being approved if your score is above 600, and you can apply for a loan here. Avant is available in all states except: Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia and Vermont.

If you have excellent credit, you may be able to get an interest rate as low as 4.82% with another lender and should definitely shop around.

While Avant* can offer access to competitive rates, you should make sure you compare their rates to other providers. And if you are willing to borrow at 35.99%, you should put together a plan to build your credit score over time so that you can get lower cost options. We can help you get started with our debt guide.

Have you tried these lower rate options?

More and more lenders are willing to work with responsible people who have less than perfect credit.

You may qualify for a low rate credit card to pay off your other bills. If your credit score is above 680, you will mostly likely be able to qualify for a low interest rate credit card. You can check to see if you are approved for a credit card without hurting your score. We have a list of where and how to check for your PRE-APPROVED and PRE-QUALIFIED credit card offers.

There are other personal loan companies with lower rates. We keep a list of companies that offer good personal loan rates to people with less than perfect credit. Unlike a lot of other sites, you won’t get calls from a bunch of loan companies.

You only get in touch with the ones you’re interested in dealing with. And many will tell you your rate without doing a hard pull of your credit report or requiring a phone call.

See our list of low rate personal loans you might qualify for

You should apply for several you feel comfortable with so you have several rates to compare and you can get lenders fighting for your business.

Are you trying to build your credit score?

Don’t use a loan through Avant (or any loan) just to build your credit score.

Yes, a loan through Avant is reported to the major credit bureaus and paying one on time is a good thing for your credit report.

But there’s a much cheaper way to improve your credit and have a bigger impact.

Get a secured credit card. Even with really bad credit you can get approved – and some have no fees at all.

Using one to build credit is simple – we have a guide here.

You just charge a small amount on the secured card every month, and pay the bill on time and in full each month. After about a year or so of doing that you could see a substantial rise in your score if you make all your other payments on time.

There is no need to get a loan simply to improve your score.

Done all of that?

Avant can be a very good option for borrowers, given its transparency and speed. Checking your Loan Options will not affect your credit score. Click the “Apply Now” below.

APR

9.95%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Up to 4.75%

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Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

Avant is an online lender that offers personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000. ... Read More

It’s better than most options you’ll find from payday loan shops because:

It’s a real installment loan. You’re given a real monthly payment, and your payments pay down the loan itself, not just interest, so you have at least a shot at paying it all off if you keep up the payments.

You can check your rate without impacting your credit score. Avant will use a soft pull to provide you with a rate. We applaud this, because it enables consumers to shop for the best loan for their needs without worrying about harming their credit score. Many traditional lenders do not offer this.

Reviews of their customer service are decent. No one likes paying high rates, and Avant is not a place for really low rates. But they do get decent reviews online for their customer service and treating people with decency

But make sure you get a secured credit card as well so you can more quickly build up your credit profile. That will help you graduate to lenders who can offer you much more reasonable rates, or get a lower rate through Avant.

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Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brian Karimzad
Brian Karimzad |

Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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Balance Transfer

How to do a Balance Transfer with Bank of America

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Black woman using credit card and laptop

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 in the mail and never more than 60 days after you apply, because you can lose the introductory offer.

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 Discover, and you want to transfer it to your new Barclays account, then you will need the account number and balance of the Discover account.  And, in this example:

  • The transfer from account is Discover.
  • The transfer to account is Bank of America.

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. Call center employees often receive a bonus to complete a balance transfer, so you will usually find a very eager person on the other side of the telephone line.

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 Barclays to Discover), 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 Barclays. Click on these names if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide for: Discover, Capital OneChase or Barclays.

Step 1

Login to your account go to “Transfers” and select “For credit card balance transfers”.

bofabt1

Step 2

Select which account you’d like to use.

bofabt2

Step 3

Select an offer. You should see the introductory offer listed.

bofabt3

Step 4

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

Most banks have a limit on the total amount that you can transfer.

bofabt4

Step 5

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 you are expecting a 0% fee and a 0% interest rate for 15 months, make sure that is what you see. If there are any issues, call the bank directly.
  • Make sure you pay on time.  If you go 60 days late, you will lose your balance transfer offer

Step 6

You will then receive your confirmation.  Bank of America will pay your existing credit card bill to roll the debt 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.

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. Take full advantage of the balance transfer period to pay down as much of your debt as possible.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brian Karimzad
Brian Karimzad |

Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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Banking Apps

2015’s Best & Worst Mobile Banking Apps: 100+ Banks & Credit Unions Ranked

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Overdraft_lg_mobile vs trad

Having a mobile banking app that works reliably is more important than ever as the number of consumers using mobile apps to deposit checks has grown over five times since 2011 according to a recent Pew study. Chase reported that last year more checks were deposited via phones and ATMs than in its branches, comprising 58% of deposits, including 45 million smartphone check deposits.

MagnifyMoney compiled the ratings of iOS and Android banking apps from over 100 of the biggest banks and credit unions, including the 50 largest banks and 50 largest credit unions along with a selection of top online direct banks.

The data, collected from iTunes and Google Play the week of November 30, was used to create a composite 1 to 5 rating factoring a weighted average of the ratings from both the iOS and Android platforms. This is the 2nd year MagnifyMoney has compiled the ratings, and this year’s results include comparisons to 2014 to see which banks and credit union apps have most improved and deteriorated.

The best and worst mobile banking apps include:

  • Best Large Bank App: Chase (4.2)
  • Best Credit Union App: Eastman Credit Union, ESL Credit Union, SEFCU, VyStar, Redstone Federal, (tie: 4.7)
  • Best Regional Bank App: East West Bank (4.4)
  • Best Online Direct Bank App: BankMobile (4.6)
  • Worst Large Bank App: Citibank (3.2)
  • Worst Credit Union App: American Airlines Federal Credit Union (2.5)
  • Worst App Overall: Umpqua Bank (2.2)
  • Most Improved App: Visions Federal Credit Union (4.3, +37% from 2014)
  • Most Deteriorated App: Umpqua Bank (2.2, -43% from 2014)

You can read more about the findings below these graphics…

10 Best and Worst across all banks and credit unions reviewed

MobileAppRatingsGraphic2015-SummaryAllSizes

Best and Worst among the 10 biggest banks and credit unions

MobileAppRatingsGraphic2015-LargestInstitutions

Credit unions top the ratings

8 of the 10 highest ranked apps were from credit unions. Five credit unions shared the very top average score of 4.7, including Eastman Credit Union, ESL, Redstone Credit Union, SEFCU, and VyStar Credit Union, a top ranking and rating they each shared in our 2014 study.

BankMobile and Simple were the only online direct banks in the top 10, while no traditional banks made the top 10 list.

Of the 10 highest ranked apps, 8 of them used an interface from an external app developer, Digital Insight. All 8 were credit unions who selected Digital Insight, and this is in contrast to internal development favored by larger banks and even some regional banks. The un-flashy Digital Insight interface (pictured below) was cited for simplicity and reliability by users.

DigitalInsightInterface

Customer feedback about top rated apps includes:

  • Eastman Credit Union: “Easy to use, quite effective, does everything you might need. The biometrics is a great addition.” – 11/29/15
  • ESL Credit Union: “Now that Touch ID support has been added, this app is perfect. Simple and easy to navigate, it does everything that I need without gimmicky stuff getting in the way.” – 12/1/15
  • SEFCU: “Does what it’s supposed to, simple interface.” – 11/27/15
  • Simple: “The app is excellent. A total banking solution within the app. You never need to login via a web browser to do something which is not possible within the app.” – 12/2/15

Bank apps have room for improvement

Across all institutions surveyed the average rating was 3.8 out of 5.0, with traditional banks averaging 3.7, online direct banks best at 3.9, and credit unions at 3.8.

But credit unions are not immune. 6 of the 10 worst rated apps were from credit unions, and all but one of those had a substantial decline in ratings during 2015.

Banks appear to be managing the middle, with few apps in the very top or very bottom of rankings.

Among online direct banks we surveyed, EverBank was the lowest rated, with an average 3.0 rating, down 5% from 2014.

Chase has the best app among big banks, while Citibank lags.

Among the 10 largest banks in the country, the average rating ranged from a high of 4.2 for Chase to a low of just 3.2 for Citibank. Chase improved its rating 9% from our 2014 study, unseating Capital One as the highest rated large bank app.

In the last year the Chase Mobile app has added Touch ID iOS login and pre-login for easy previews of balances without a full login for its 20 million plus mobile users

chaseapp

Citibank’s app was cited for inconsistent mobile check deposit functionality and a low limit for mobile deposits of just $1,000 per day, both issues consumers cited last year as well. In comparison online direct bank Ally’s mobile deposit limit is  $50,000 per day.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 3.20.44 PM

The average for all traditional banks surveyed was 3.7.

HSBC had the lowest rated iOS app among the 10 largest banks at 2.1, while PNC bank had the lowest rated Android app at 3.5.

Customer feedback about large bank apps includes:

Chase: “Easy to use, easier to understand, and has me contemplating changing all my banking to Chase. Shows my car loan and credit card activity all in one convenient app. Once I confirmed my app with my online profile I couldn’t believe the convenience. Well done Chase, well done.” – 10/11/15

Citibank: “Overall a good banking app, but the fact that you can’t access your statements is infuriating.” – 11/23/15

Wells Fargo: “I’ve been using this app for more than three years now with minimal problems. I deposit more than 15 checks per month using the app without any difficulty, occasionally some problems with handwritten illegible checks…Sure the UI is outdated, but I love how powerful Wells Fargo online banking is compared to PNC and all the dumbed-down, simplified and useless apps.” – 9/30/15

BankMobile leads online direct banks.

Among the online direct banks reviewed, BankMobile had the highest rating at 4.6, just ahead of Simple at 4.5, though with far fewer ratings in its pool at fewer than 200 versus 5,000+ for Simple.

For both apps, customer comments tended to be more about bank service and the lack of fees rather than the apps themselves. Launched in early 2015, BankMobile is a division of Customers Bank in Pennsylvania, but available nationally and designed to be the first fully mobile native bank. Simple is now a division of BBVA and its app rating of 4.5 is almost identical to last year’s.

EverBank had the lowest rating among online direct banks at 3.0. EverBank’s app received complaints for a lack of Touch ID, no external transfer functionality, and issues with operating system updates.

bankmobilescreen

Umpqua Bank takes the bottom.

The lowest rated app overall was from Umpqua Bank, with a 2.2 combined rating, down over 40% fro last year. Umpqua had challenges updating both its web and mobile banking systems earlier this year, including adding mobile deposit functionality and merging with Sterling Bank. More recently, users complain about an interface that doesn’t take advantage of more recent phones, and ongoing mobile deposit bugs.

umpquaapp

Customer feedback about the Umpqua app includes:

“As other reviewers have said the mobile deposit function will probably save you drive time but is by far the least useful mobile deposit feature I have used. The app decides when to take the picture and not the user.” – 12/2/15

“This app seems like someone’s first attempt to write an iOS app. The keyboard is the one from iOS 6. Nothing has been updated for the iPhone 5 let alone the iPhone 5s, 6, or 6s.” – 10/26/15
“App is extremely buggy and slow. Often freezes and does not seem to function with basic features like transfers or check depositing. Customer service in branch and over the phone has significantly degraded. I have had a much better experience with Chase. Sayonara Umpqua!” – 12/9/15

Android users are more satisfied

Across banks, credit unions, and online direct institutions, Android users were significantly more satisfied, with an average 3.9 rating versus 3.1 for iOS users. iOS users tend to have more complaints about apps not leveraging the latest hardware and operating system capabilities.

Visions, Wings Credit Union most improved

Visions Credit Union rolled out Touch ID support, person to person transfer, and a more modern interface to good reviews from its customers this year, increasing its rating 37% from 2014.

The Wings Credit Union app for the first time added mobile deposit, playing catch up with most large banks and credit unions, and increasing its average rating 21% from 2014.

Customer feedback about the Visions and Wings apps includes:

Vision: “The new Visions FCU app is easy to use and makes banking convenient. Love the card controls feature and Touch ID. Keep up the great work, Visions!” – 11/17/15

Wings: “This app makes my life so easy since I don’t live in a state with a branch. I love that I can keep my favorite FCU and have most all of the same functions as branch, just without the actual branch. Every time you make upgrades the app gets better and better. Thanks for making it easy for those of us who no longer live near a branch.” – 11/20/15

Troubled upgrades lead to deterioration

The two most deteriorated app ratings were for Umpqua Bank and American Airlines Credit Union.

Umpqua’s 43% decline stemmed from a buggy upgrade and simultaneous conversion of both its web and mobile banking interfaces.

American Airlines Credit Union’s app rating saw a 38% decline from last year, on the back of an update this summer that led to many complaints about reliability. An update this fall seems to have addressed some of the issues, but negative feedback continues.

Methodology

App ratings were recorded the week of November 30, 2015 in iTunes and the Google Play store and include ratings for all app versions. Overall ratings are a weighted average of iOS and Android ratings based on the number of reviews for each platform. Institutions with no mobile apps were excluded from ranking summaries.

The 50 largest banks are defined as those with the largest deposits per FDIC data June 2015 were examined, with those not offering consumer checking accounts excluded.

Among credit unions, the 50 largest by assets according Bauer Financial were examined. For online direct banks, 10 of the largest Online Direct Banks were chosen by number of app ratings.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @Magnify_Money and on Facebook.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brian Karimzad
Brian Karimzad |

Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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College Students and Recent Grads, News

5 most tangible 2015 student loan changes from the President

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Student loans are part of a complex system, made so in part by the high cost of education, which requires multiple layers of financing, but also by a patchwork of options that often overlap, a result of Federal intervention. The result is more defaults than necessary with financial hardship made even harder by making it difficult for borrowers to know exactly what options are on the table, and how to resolve them.

President Obama and his administration have unveiled a flurry of new proposals this week, aimed at simplifying the system. You can read the full statement from the President here.

None of the proposals is groundbreaking in itself – most involve administrative changes at the Department of Education – but some of the more under-reported and tangible proposals include the following:

A new website. The headline proposal by the President is probably the one that offers the least change for informed borrowers today. It wants to create a more effective system for lodging complaints against servicers and collections agencies, so students having trouble making payments are treated more fairly. The tactic will be for the Department of Education to create a new online portal to process complaints. However, there are already federal avenues to get help today, which we discuss below.

One new element was a request by the President to offer a way to complain about colleges themselves, such as poor quality instruction, though no specifics were offered.

Repaying higher interest loans first. The proposal includes forcing student loan servicers to apply pre payments to higher rate loans rather than lower rate loans first. As intuitive as it sounds, today servicers don’t guarantee any extra payment you make will go to the highest interest rate loan first. But you can get around this yourself by specifying which loan you want your pre-payment to cover. The proposal would make this process automatic.

Competition for U.S. News rankings. The Department of Education will attempt to develop a quantitative college ranking system by this fall that takes into account the value offered by each college’s degree. In theory this would incent colleges to control the cost of attendance in order to rank higher, an outcome that could benefit students. But such change requires 1) broad consumer acceptance of the rankings, and 2) other incentives that inflate college costs to be altered. Such change could have the greatest impact at middle tier schools, where costs of attendance vary widely, but the career income of students is in a more narrow range.

Current rankings from PayScale.com are an interim alternative for parents and students to assess before choosing a college. PayScale’s ROI calculations factor real salaries earned by alumni as well as the cost of attendance via federal data.

A single place to get Federal account information. This might be the most practical of the plans. Today, students with multiple loans often need to login to multiple service providers to handle basic tasks like checking balances and managing payments. And every separate login and password is yet another hurdle to staying on top of debt and paying on time.

While the White House did not provide concrete details, in principle it wants a ‘centralized point of access’ for all federal borrowers to be able to check account and payment information.

Re-balancing federal repayment assistance. While the President introduced a Pay as You earn repayment option that caps repayments at 10% of income last year, the federal budget has not yet been finalized to handle the additional cost of delivering this program. Central to that is the fact that repayment assistance programs tend to disproportionately help graduate students, who under Federal rules are allowed to borrow higher amounts than undergraduate student. As such, they tend to be more likely to qualify for repayment assistance under Federal guidelines.

U.S. News thinks this will result in tightening of qualification for assistance for graduate students, as a way to keep the program sustainable for undergraduate students who may be in more acute financial distress. The President’s proposal this week mentions reforms to ‘streamline’ and ‘better target’ income driven repayment plans, which we interpret as finding ways to reallocate the assistance, potentially at the expense of graduate students.

So if you are considering starting grad school in a couple of years, don’t count on today’s repayment assistance when making your plans.

Where can you get help today?

You don’t have to wait until 2016 to get help if you’re being mistreated by your student loan servicer or a collection agency.

If your servicer is handling a Federal loan, you can go directly to the Department of Education, and its website lets you file a complaint with the Ombudsman Group of the Department of Education.

If you have a problem with a Private loan, which may be issued by your school, a bank, or credit union, you can go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Its website has a form that lets you file a complaint, and the company you’re complaining about will be asked to respond to both you and the CFPB within 15 days.

The CFPB gets attention at financial institutions because it has the power to fine and file lawsuits for practices it feels are misleading or in violation of laws. And it requires that companies close out complaints in full within 60 days.

We also have a discussion on exactly what you should do if you miss a student loan payment.

 

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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Crisis Looming: 53% of Resetting HELOC’s are Upside Down

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) were very popular before the 2008 crisis. If you had equity in your home, you could open a very low cost line of credit, making it easy to borrow against your home. The typical HELOC would have a 10 year drawdown period. During that time, you could use your line of credit by writing checks, transferring funds electronically or even using a special purpose debit card. Yes, you could finance a flat-screen television using your home as collateral.

During the 10-year drawdown period, you would typically only need to make interest-only payments on the amount that you had borrowed. And the interest rates were incredibly competitive. Some bans were even offering interest rates below prime during the drawdown period. For example, if you had a $30,000 balance, your monthly payment could be a low as $50. Even better, that $50 was tax deductible, which meant you would be getting a refund at the end of the year. It became incredibly easy for people to run up significant debt. And, with real estate prices increasing rapidly, borrowers continued to feel wealthy, because the value of their home continued to outrun the balance of their debt.

At the end of the 10 year drawdown period, the payments would convert to a 20 year amortizing loan, at a much higher interest rate. Depending upon your credit score, the interest rate could go from 2% to 9%, for example. In the $30,000 example above, the payment would increase from $50 to $270. That is a dramatic price increase, otherwise referred to as a payment shock.

When these loans were originally sold, brokers and bankers told borrowers not to worry about the rest. The general belief was that house prices would continue to increase, and banks would continue to lend. You could always refinance the balance and go back into another interest-only drawdown period. The promise to borrowers was that you would never have to pay off your debt, and many people believed that promise.

Fast forward 10 years, and many of the HELOCs issued during the crisis are now resetting. But there is a problem: it is almost impossible for subprime borrowers to find a bank willing to lend. And, even worse, 53% of the resetting HELOCs are on properties that are upside down. In other words, the balance of the mortgages is greater than the value of the property, which means no bank will lend, even if the credit score is high.

That creates a big issue for borrowers who can not afford the rate reset. If they can’t afford the new monthly payment, and can not find a new lender willing to underwrite the risk, they will risk foreclosure.

RealtyTrak yesterday released a report detailing the scale of the rests coming. And the story does not look good. 3.3 million HELOCs are scheduled to reset over the next 3 years. The average payment shock will be $140 a month, but a significant number of people will see much bigger resets.

But the real issue is that 53% of the HELOC customers (1.8 million people) are upside down on their property. That means their home is worth less than the balance of their mortgages. For these individuals, they will be at high risk of foreclosure.

The next 3 years will be challenging for borrowers, and we will be watching closely to see what loss mitigation options banks propose. But even principal forgiveness is not without it challenges, as the borrowers may have a tax liability as a result.

 

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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Santander Agrees to Limit Use of ChexSystems

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On Friday, the Attorney General of New York announced that it had reached an agreement with Santander Bank. Starting from September 30, 2015 Santander will overhaul its use of ChexSystems and has promised to largely eliminate its use of “account abuse” screening which has made it impossible for many people to open a checking account. This follows recent agreements with Capital One and Citibank.

Many people have never heard of ChexSystems. Like Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, ChexSystems is like a credit bureau, except if tracks information related to checking accounts. If you go overdraft on your checking account and never pay back your fees, you will be reported to Chex. Like the credit bureaus, your information will stay in ChexSystems for 7 years. Overdrafts which remain unpaid for 60 days are typically reported, although there are no rigid reporting requirements.

A senior manager at Chase told MagnifyMoney that Chex is the “wild west” of reporting. Banks report to the database at their own discretion. Some banks could report for just a small unpaid balance. For example, one unpaid overdraft of $5 could keep you from opening another bank account for years. Because most banks tend to refuse to open accounts once you have negative information on your report, regardless of the severity.

Given the costs of financial services for the unbanked, the Attorney General’s office of the State of New York has taken an interest in the use of ChexSystems and its disproportionate impact on the poor. Santander Bank will continue to use Chex to screen for fraud. However, most overdraft infractions will now be ignored, allowing people to open bank accounts.

People have the right to request a free copy of their ChexSystems report once a year, and can dispute incorrect information. You can request your free report here and you can dispute incorrect information here.

We applaud the Attorney General of New York for championing this cause, and we hope that more banks abandon this practice. Ironically, banks could eliminate all overdrafts by declining any transaction that causes and overdraft and charging no fee for that decline. American Express has done just that with Bluebird, so it is possible.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Brian Karimzad |

Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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CFPB Warns Consumers of Reverse Mortgage Problems

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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As more Americans age, reverse mortgages are growing in popularity as a way for retirees to unlock the investment in their homes. 41% of Americans age 55-64 have no retirement savings account, and even those that do have a median balance of only $103,000. Yet homeowners over age 62 have nearly $4 trillion in equity in their homes, and that’s the source of retirement savings most people will ultimately rely on.

While smiling celebrity pitches make reverse mortgages them sound safe and appealing, they are riddled with fine print and traps for the uninitiated.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released a report highlighting consumer complaints relating to reverse mortgages.

Some of the most common issues include:

Not being aware the loan can’t be taken over. When the last borrow dies, the loan comes due and must be repaid – either at the balance remaining or 95% of the property’s assessed value. That often means the house must be sold to cover the loan. Many surviving family members are unaware of this, and struggle with the fact that the home they were counting on keeping must be sold, as they are not eligible to take over the payments on the loan.

Not keeping up with property taxes and insurance. Many complaints arise when lenders claim property taxes are overdue, which put the mortgage in default, even though the taxes were paid. Families need to be diligent about making sure the loan servicer is keeping accurate records.

Younger generations living in the home and being surprised. Mortgage servicers want payment as soon as possible after the last borrower dies, leaving family members who may live in the borrower’s house in the lurch. They may feel pressured to take action that’s not in their best interest, and not understand all of the options available. In this situation, the CFPB advises contacting a Housing and Urban Development counselor to get a free assessment. You can find one near you here.

Inflated appraisals. Within 30 days of notification that the loan is due, the lender will send an appraiser to determine the home’s current value. The amount heirs have to pay is the lower of 95% of that appraised value or the remaining balance on the mortgage. Many complaints involve appraisals that are inflated and the don’t accurately reflect the value of the home, leaving the family paying more than it’s truly worth. This is especially a problem in situations when house prices have declined since the reverse mortgage was taken, and the appraised value is lower than the remaining balance of the loan.

Even the best planning won’t avoid every sticky issue with a reverse mortgage.

If your family is having problems with a reverse mortgage, and the servicer is giving you the runaround, the CFPB is available to help.

Simply use the CFPB complaint form to tell them about your problem, and who the servicer is.

The servicer will be required to respond to the CFPB with the status of your complaint by law, and you’ll often get a faster response than if you try contacting the servicer on your own.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brian Karimzad
Brian Karimzad |

Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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CFPB Fines Delaware Subprime Credit Card Company

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered Continental Finance Company, a subprime credit card company, to refund nearly $3 million to cardholders. Continental was created in 2005, and targets people with bad credit. And their product uses some of the oldest (and worst) tricks in the book. The CFPB call it “fee harvesting.” They would issue very low credit limits, and charge unbelievably high fees. The CARD Act tried to eliminate those practices, by limiting the fees charged to 25% of the total credit limit available. For example, if your credit limit is $300, the law prohibits the bank from charging more than $75 of fees.

Continental Finance offered 3 credit cards: the Cerulean Card, the Matrix Card and the Verve Card. In each of these cards, the bank would typically offer a $300 credit limit and charge an up-front fee of $75, which is the legal cap. However, they then continued to charge fees, breaking through the cap – and breaking the law.

Some of the worst offenses by the credit card company included:

  • Consumers were told that they would only be charged a fee of $4.95 per month if they elected paper billing. However, many people were forced into paper billing.
  • They lied about deposits being FDIC insured on secured cards.

A quick glance at the product structure and marketing of Continental (below) shows that they were just out to make a quick buck, by pushing the law to the limit (and beyond), while taking advantage of people desperate for credit. It is good to see this enforcement by the CFPB, and we hope that this serves as a warning to other credit card companies out there who play the game of being aggressive on fees and stingy on credit limits.

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Continental should be refunding consumers directly. If you believe that you are owed a refund, and Continental is not treating you fairly, you should complain directly to the CFPB, on their website.

If you are a consumer with bad credit, you may want to read our guide, which can help you improve your score and get out of debt without resorting to shady firms like Continetnal.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brian Karimzad
Brian Karimzad |

Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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