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Reviews

Barclays Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements 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. Based on your creditworthiness you may be matched with up to five different lenders.

Barclays
APR

5.74%
To
18.99%

Credit Req.

700

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 60

months

Origination Fee

None

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Barclays is a global bank with customers in 40 countries. ... Read More

Barclays Personal Loan Details
TermsFees and Penalties
  • Term lengths: 36 to 60 months
  • APR range: 5.74% to 18.99%
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Time to funding: A few business days
  • Credit check: Soft Pull
  • Origination fee: None
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: None

Barclays product details

One of the most unique features of the Barclays personal loan is the complete lack of late fees — your balance will still accrue interest if your payment is late, which could increase your total loan payment, but you won’t incur a penalty.

When you check your personal loan rate, Barclays performs a soft pull that won’t affect your credit score. This allows you to comparison shop, without lowering your score. Do note, the bank will check your credit score to determine your creditworthiness after you submit an application.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 700
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

Specific eligibility requirements for personal loans are not available on the Barclays website.

Applying for a personal loan from Barclays

The Barclays personal loan application is entirely online. To begin the process, click “Check your rate,” follow the prompts and choose the options that best meet your needs. You do not need an invitation code to apply, but if you have one, click “Use my invitation code” at the top of the page to receive your customized rate.

During the application process, you’ll be asked to provide your name, address, contact information, Social Security number, employment details, and personal financial information. Barclays will send you a message through its secure application center to request written documents needed to evaluate your application. These items can be uploaded through the bank’s secure application center.

Before you sign your loan application, you’re free to cancel it at any time. If you choose to accept your loan, Barclays will issue the money within a few business days. You’re able to have the funds deposited in a U.S. checking or savings account or direct the bank to pay off up to five of your credit card balances without touching the funds yourself.

Pros and Cons of a Barclays Personal Loan
ProsCons
  • No fees: Barclays personal loans come with zero fees. This includes origination fees, prepayment penalties and late fees, which can result in significant savings.
  • Soft pulls: Checking your rate will not impact your credit score, because Barclays uses a soft credit inquiry that is not reported to creditors or credit reporting agencies.
  • Flexible terms: Choose a repayment period that fits your budget, as Barclays offers terms of 36, 48 and 60 months.
  • Competitive baseline APR: Barclays offers a baseline APR of 5.74%, which is lower than most lenders. However, rates are based on creditworthiness and length of term requested, so depending on your unique situation, you could end up with the maximum 18.99% APR.
  • Loan amounts: Barclays only offers loans between $5,000 to $35,000. This can be problematic if you’re looking for a smaller amount.
  • Time to funding: After you’re approved for a Barclays loan, it takes at least few business days to get you the money. The bank notes that delays are possible based on the policies and procedures of your financial institution.

Who’s the best fit for a Barclays personal loan?

A Barclays personal loan might be a great fit if you’re opposed to paying fees of any kind. The lack of origination fees, prepayment penalties and even late fees can result in serious savings.

Considering loan amounts range from $5,000 to $35,000, this product will only work if you need to borrow a substantial amount of cash. Due to the seriously competitive baseline 5.74% APR, it’s also a better choice if you have a low credit score. Rates are based on creditworthiness and length of term requested, so if your credit isn’t the best, you could end up with the highest rate, which tops out at 18.99% APR.

Since Barclays’s personal loans offer a fully digital experience, this is also a better choice for the tech savvy crowd. While a customer service team is always a phone call away, you might become frustrated with the self-service features and the lack of face-to-face interaction if you prefer more a more personalized banking experience.

Before deciding on a personal loan, it’s smart to read Barclays reviews and comparison shop to see what other lenders have to offer. LendingTree has a personal loan tool that can be used to quickly and efficiently explore your options. Barclays loans have no origination fees, and below are a few alternatives that also offer this benefit.

Alternative personal loan options

LightStream

APR

3.99%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

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on LendingTree’s secure website

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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 3.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $295.20.

LightStream, a division of SunTrust Bank, offers personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000. Rates are extremely competitive — the bank is willing to beat any qualifying lower rate offered by another lender by 0.10% — and vary by loan purpose. There are no fees attached to the loan, including prepayment penalties. This can be a good choice if you’re looking for a fee-free loan, but need a higher amount than Barclays offers.

SoFi

SoFi
APR

5.99%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 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 5.990% APR to 16.990% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.74% APR to 14.70% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019 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 5.72% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.49% plus 4.28% 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. Minimum loan requirements might be higher than $5,000 in specific states due to legal requirements. Fixed and variable-rate caps may be lower in some states due to legal requirements and may impact your eligibility to qualify for a SoFi loan.

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 grants personal loans from $5,000 to $50,000. There are zero fees attached to the loans and SoFi’s unemployment protection benefit allows you to temporarily pause payments, while helping you find work if you lose your job. If you’re looking to borrow more than the maximum Barclays personal loan limit or want to spread your payments out across a longer term, a SoFi personal loan can be solid option.

Earnest

Earnest
APR

6.99%
To
18.24%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Instead of offering credit-based loans, Earnest has taken a very nontraditional approach using a merit-based system.... Read More

Earnest offers personal loans that range from $5,000 to $75,000 and you’re able to choose your desired monthly payment. You might also score a more competitive rate with Earnest, as the lender analyzes your entire financial profile to calculate your APR, instead of relying solely on your credit score. Earnest could be a good choice if you need more money than the maximum Barclays limit or you feel like your credit score doesn’t properly represent your financial standing.

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.

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.

Laura Woods
Laura Woods |

Laura Woods is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Laura here

TAGS:

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Banking

Ally vs Capital One 360 Accounts: Which Products Are Better?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements 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.

You can’t really go wrong with Ally or Capital One, as they both offer competitive rates and have been among the top online banks for quite some time. However, it’s worth noting that Ally was selected as the top online bank of 2019 by MagnifyMoney for a reason — it offers consistently high rates on the majority of its products. And while Capital One offers solid rates and products compared to most banks, Ally clearly outshines it on about every front, as you can see from our match up below.

Founded in 1919 and rebranded as Ally Financial in 2010, Ally is an entirely online bank. Choose from products in a variety of categories, including banking, credit cards, auto loans, home loans and investment opportunities.

Capital One, the largest direct bank in the U.S. The bank rebranded its online products as Capital One 360 in 2013, after Capital One acquired ING Direct’s U.S. business. Enjoy a variety of product offerings, including several savings and checking account options.

In this review, we’ll compare and contrast Ally and Capital One 360 products to help you decide which bank is the best fit for you.

Ally vs Capital One: How their rates compare

One of the most important things to look for when opening a new account, is the rate it’s attached to. Even a few percentage points can make a big difference in the amount of interest you’ll earn, so make sure your money is hard at work for you.

Both Ally and Capital One offer select rates that surpass national and online bank averages, but neither beats every mark. Generally speaking, Ally’s savings account rates more than double that of Capital One. As for checking, Capital One offers better rates for two different types of customers — those with a minimum account balance less than $15,000 and those with more than $100,000 — but Ally comes out on top for the rest. For one year CDs, Ally has a slightly better rate, but the two banks offer the same above-average rate on five year CDs

Overall, Ally is the better choice, because most of its rates just can’t be beat.

 AllyCapital OneNational average*
Online bank average*
Savings2.20% APY


1.00% APY
0.270% APY
1.52% APY
Checking0.10% APY, less than $15,000 minimum daily balance

0.60% APY, minimum daily balance of $15,000 or more
0.20% APY, minimum account balance of $0.01 to $49,999.99

0.75% APY, minimum account balance of $50,000 to $99,999.99

1.00% APY, minimum account balance of $100,000
0.189% APY0.41% APY
1 year CD
2.75% APY2.70% APY
1.356% APY
2.09% APY
5 year CD
3.10% APY3.10% APY
2.255% APY
2.70% APY

Ally vs Capital One: Which has better account options?

Since both banks have similar account options, it really comes down to choosing the bank that offers the best rates. In that case, Ally is the better choice, because its rates are more competitive. Putting your money in an account with a higher rate will maximize your earning power.

Ally's Top Deposit Accounts
APY
Minimum Balance to Earn APY
Online Savings Account
2.20%$0.01

LEARN MORE Secured

on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

High Yield 12-Month CD
2.75%$0.01

LEARN MORE Secured

on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Both banks offer one standard checking account, but Capital One also has a Money teen checking account. Available only online, you’ll have full access to your child’s account — log in with your own username and password.

When it comes to savings accounts, both Ally and Capital One offer standard savings, money market, IRA and CD options. Similar to checking, Capital One also has a Kids Savings Account. You’ll have full access to your child’s savings account, including the added ability to transfer money, set up automatic savings and manage account details.

Both banks offer several different types of CDs, including high-yield CDs and IRA CDs. However, Ally takes it up a notch with its Raise Your Rate CD and No Penalty CD. The former gives you the chance to raise your rate once over a two-year term or twice over a four-year term, if Ally’s rate increases for your term and balance tier. The latter allows you to withdraw all your money after the first six days of funding and keep the interest earned with no penalty.

Ally vs Capital One: How they compare on fees

 AllyCapital One
Standard savings account
No monthly maintenance fees
No monthly maintenance fees
Standard checking account
No fee for everyday services and transactions
No fee for everyday services and transactions
ATM feeUse any Allpoint ATM in the U.S. for free and enjoy an up to $10 reimbursement per statement for ATM fees outside the network.
Enjoy complimentary access to 39,000 Capital One and Allpoint ATMs. Some banking products come with an up to $15 monthly reimbursement for ATM use beyond the network and outside the country.
Overdraft feeOverdraft transfer service is free, but you’ll be charged $25 — maximum one fee per day — for overdraft items paid or returned.

Fees vary according to your overdraft settings. Those with a fee include the Overdraft Line of Credit — you pay interest on the overdrawn amount for the entire borrowing period — and Next Day Grace — you have one business day to repay the overdrawn amount or you’re charged a $35 fee.

Ally and Capital One both offer savings and checking accounts without monthly maintenance fees, but overall, Ally is the better choice. This call is made on the fact that Ally clearly lists all possible fees, whereas Capital One is a bit more elusive about potential charges you could incur.

When you read the fine print, Capital One notes there could be charges for overdraft on credit — as highlighted in the table above — as well as overnight check delivery, overnight delivery of a replacement card, a stop payment, or if you write a rejected check.

On the other hand, Ally charges a fee for cross border/currency conversion transactions, returned deposit items, overdraft items paid or returned — as noted in table above — stop payment items, rush delivery of debit cards or other items, overnight bill pay — delivery by mail — same-day bill pay — electronic delivery when available — outgoing wires — domestic only, international isn’t available — and account research.

Who should bank with Bank Ally?

Ally is the best choice for independent customers who want an entirely online banking experience. Live customer service is available on a 24/7 basis, but the bank has no brick-and-mortar locations. This means features like face-to-face conversations with a bank teller and the ability to deposit cash are not available, so take this into consideration before opening an account.

If you plan to maintain a $15,000 minimum daily balance in your checking account, the bank’s 0.60% APY is highly competitive. However, its 0.10% APY for checking accounts with less than a $15,000 minimum daily balance falls short of both the national average and the online bank average.

Ally’s competitive rates also make it an excellent choice to park your money in a traditional savings account or CD. The bank’s 2.20% APY for savings accounts, 2.75% APY for one year CDs and 3.10% APY for five year CDs surpass both the national average and the online bank average, allowing you to maximize interest profits.

Who should bank with Capital One?

Capital One offers the convenience of online banking, with the ability to stop by a Capital One cafe. If you want to do most of your banking online, but want the peace of mind in knowing you can visit your bank in person, this could be a good choice for you.

If you plan to maintain a high checking account balance, a 360 Checking account can be a great option. Both the 0.75% APY attached to a minimum account balance of $50,000 to $99,999.99 and the 1.00% APY offered with minimum account balance of $100,000 seriously exceed both the national average and the online bank average.

Based on rates alone, Ally is the better choice for both a savings account and a one year CD, but the two banks currently tie for a five year CD. There’s no minimum deposit required to open a CD at either bank. However, Capital One charges an early withdrawal penalty of six months’ worth of interest for CD terms greater than 12 months, while Ally charges a slightly less 150 days’ worth of interest for CDs with terms of five years or more.

Alternatives

Before opening a new savings or checking account, it’s important to shop around to find the best fit for your needs. MagnifyMoney offers free comparison tools that allow you to find the best rates on banking products.

*National and Online bank averages and any fees mentioned in this article were compiled and are accurate as of the date of publishing.

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.

Laura Woods
Laura Woods |

Laura Woods is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Laura here

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News

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Tax Refund

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements 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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Tax season is upon us, meaning a refund might be headed your way. No doubt you’re excited by the idea of a cash influx, but this isn’t free money. “Most people think their tax return is a gift from the government,” said Paula A. Norby Krueger, owner of Norby Krueger Tax & Bookkeeping Services in Wahpeton, N.D.

Of course, this isn’t true—tax refunds are granted because too much money was withheld from your paycheck, meaning you paid more in taxes than you actually owed. Getting some of this money back is a unique opportunity to further some of your financial goals. Here’s a look at good and bad ways to spend your refund check.

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Tax Refund

1. Make big purchases that require payments. Norby Krueger said it’s unwise to purchase anything with a payment because you’re just incurring new debt. The money from your tax refund might cover the first few payments, and you’ll be on the hook for the rest.

This category is broad, but could include furniture, electronics or even installing a swimming pool in your backyard. One of the most common offenders? Cars. According to Kelly Blue Book, the estimated average of a new car is $36,978, so while your tax refund may make a nice dent, it would be a mistake to ignore your future payments.

2. Splurge. “You’re starting to see retailers push promotions with online tax preparation companies that allow consumers to roll their refunds into gift cards,” said Chris Jackson, CFP and founder of Lionshare Partners, a Los Angeles-based, fee-only financial planning firm.

It can be tempting to spend your tax refund on an expensive handbag or a big-screen TV, but think twice about that. The government is essentially returning money you earned, so don’t waste your hard-earned cash.

3. Take a carryforward. A tax carryforward allows you to save your tax refund to pay any taxes you’d owe the following year. If you pay quarterly taxes, this may be a good idea. But for most Americans, it’s not the best use of the funds.

“Unless you are incapable of not spending your money, do not carryforward the tax refund into the new year,” Jackson said. “That is an interest-free loan to the government.”

“Instead, you should pay down debt, max out retirement plans or increase emergency funds,” he said.

4. Nothing. Allowing your tax refund to sit in your checking account might seem like a responsible move, but it’s actually unwise. If it’s just sitting there, you’ll likely be tempted to use it.

Even if you have seriously impressive self-restraint, Jackson said that cash is an asset class that can and should be managed. Take advantage of high-interest savings accounts or consider a short-term bond ladder — i.e., a bond portfolio composed of different maturities.

5. Make hasty investment decisions.“Investors have to first identify what their goals are in order to select appropriate investments that make up their overall asset allocation,” said Levi Sanchez, CFP and founder of Millennial Wealth, a Seattle-based fee-only virtual financial planning firm.

Whatever you do, don’t just get caught up in investment hype, especially if you’re just entering the market. Take the time to learn about strategies that are the best for your financial situation, and consider reaching out to a financial advisor for guidance. Sanchez advises investors who don’t want to actively manage their portfolios on a weekly or monthly basis to consider passive investment vehicles, like index funds and ETFs,  i.e., electronically traded funds.

10 Things You Should Do With Your Tax Refund

“If you receive a nice windfall of cash from your tax return, consider how it can impact your financial situation if you put it to good use,” Sanchez said. “Whether that’s paying down high-interest debt, saving for a home down payment or putting [it] toward long-term investments.”

Improve your financial situation by using your tax return for one of these good causes.

1. Save for retirement. If you’re not saving as much for retirement as you’d like — or aren’t at all — take this opportunity to pad your account. In an ideal world, you’ll have 25x your annual expenses in your retirement account when you retire.

“If you are maxing out your tax-deferred vehicles — 401k and HSA — then use those tax savings to invest in a Roth IRA,” Jackson said.

2. Contribute to a 529 plan. “A lot of consumers are ignoring their retirement in lieu of college funding when they can do both,” Jackson said. “They can fund their 401k and use the tax refund to fund a 529 plan.”

If you’re not familiar with 529 plans, these tax-advantaged educational savings tools allow you to put money aside for educational expenses. Two types of plans are available — prepaid tuition plans and education savings plans — and all fifty states and the District of Columbia sponsor at least one of these options, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

3. Start an emergency fund. According to a report from the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans do not have enough cash on hand to cover a $400 unexpected expense. If you’re lacking an emergency fund, or if it isn’t equipped to handle six to 24 months of expenses, Jackson recommended using your tax refund to pad your savings. Being prepared for unexpected costs will bring you peace of mind and can keep you from going into debt.

4. Invest in yourself. “Your ability to convert human capital into financial capital is the key to economic freedom,” Jackson said.

He advised boosting your human capital by improving or acquiring new skill sets. For example, you might take an online course that will give you the credentials required for a promotion at work.

5. Pay off credit card debt. In 2018, Americans paid $110 billion in credit card interest and fees, according to a MagnifyMoney analysis of FDIC data through September 2018. If you’re in debt, this is an opportunity to pay it down or maybe even eliminate it.

And once you do, stick with it. “Make a commitment to yourself not to go back to using the credit card,” Norby Krueger said. “Get out of debt and stay there.”

6. Make home improvements. Fixing up your home in a manner that adds equity can be a sound investment, Norby Krueger advised. A few projects that add value to a home include updating the kitchen, finishing the basement and making the house more energy efficient, according to Consumer Reports.

7. Save for a down payment on a home. As recommended by Sanchez, putting your tax return toward a down payment on a home can be a wise investment in your future. If you’re buying your first home, your down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price with an FHA loan. Most lenders offer conventional loans starting at 5% of the purchase price, but private mortgage insurance is required when you put down less than 20%.

8. Opt for experiences over things. If you want to use your tax refund for something fun and your finances are in good shape (well-funded emergency fund, no credit card debt, on track for retirement) consider traveling instead of shopping. Experiences create memories that last a lifetime, while most objects have a shelf life. Just make sure your vacation doesn’t exceed your budget.

9. Make charitable donations. If you truly don’t need the money, consider donating all or part of your tax refund to a charitable cause close to your heart. As an added bonus, if your contribution meets IRS requirements and you can itemize your taxes, you might even be able to write it off as a deduction.

10. Make an extra mortgage payment. Own your home outright faster than planned by using your tax refund for an additional mortgage payment. Make sure the second payment is put toward your loan principal.

Receiving a check from the IRS is exciting, but don’t forget this is money you worked hard for. Wasting money never feels good, so think long and hard about the best possible use for your tax refund.

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.

Laura Woods
Laura Woods |

Laura Woods is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Laura here

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