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Accion Small Business Loan Review

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Accion is a global non-profit with a mission to create opportunities for everyone in the world. It’s also the largest nonprofit microfinance network in the United States.

It boasts some impressive statistics on its homepage, having “provided over $7.9 million in loans to entrepreneurs in Arizona” since 2008, “over 2,400 loans totaling more than $14 million in Florida” since 2003, and “over 10,500 loans totaling more than $88 million in New York and New Jersey” since 1991.

Accion is a reputable lender with a philanthropic vision. It’s dedicated to helping small businesses owned by minorities and lower-income individuals. As a micro-lender, it works to bridge the gap for smaller businesses that can’t afford larger loans and are too risky for banks to take on.

If this type of loan sounds like it would be a good fit for your business, read on.

Accion Small Business Loan Details

Accion offers a selection of loans – business loans, loans for food and beverage small businesses, daycare business loans, and start-up business loans. In this review, we’ll be focusing on its business loan, but wanted to make you aware of the other options in case they suit your business better.

You can borrow $500 to $50,000 with a business loan, with interest rates ranging from 8.99% to 15.99%, and terms from 6 to 60 months.

An example payment would be: if you borrow $7,000 on a 12-month term with a 10.99% interest rate, your monthly payment will be $618.64. However, you need to factor in a processing fee of $135, and your origination fee, which can range from 3.00% - 5.00%.

Accion doesn’t have APRs listed on the site, but your APR will be presented to you if you’re approved for a loan.

The Pros and Cons of a Accion Small Business Loan

Pro: As Accion is a non-profit, it’s dedicated to helping small business with more than just financing. It says it can “help you connect with peers, local organizations, banks and more to provide as many opportunities for growth as possible.” Accion is committed to providing tips and advice to businesses to help them experience more growth as well, and has a library of business resources on its website.

Con: Since Accion is a micro-lender, $50,000 might not be enough for your business. There are other lenders out there willing to loan up to $300,000.

Pro: Accion offers flexible repayment terms to make loans more affordable – 6 to 60 months is a large range not seen by many other lenders.

Con: Unfortunately, there are closing costs and a processing fee associated with loans that are closed. We dislike customers being hit twice with fees and not many small business lenders have both. Accion admits its loans can be more expensive than a bank loan, but most of the small businesses it lends to can’t secure financing from a bank.

What Businesses Are Eligible For a Loan With Accion?

Accion suggests applying only for the exact amount you need. Underwriters place a lot of emphasis on what you’re going to do with the funds, as they want to make sure your business is going to profit from the loan.

Accion says it will work with you to create a cash flow plan to make sure the payments are manageable for your business. Your business expenses and income will be taken into consideration to ensure you can make payments. Cash flow is very important to Accion.

If your business has less than six months of sales, there are extra eligibility requirements, which can be found here.

Accion works with a number of industries, including restaurants, salons, home services, childcare, and more.

You need a minimum credit score of 575 to apply for a loan with Accion, though underwriters look at more than just your score. If your credit is damaged or thin, they’ll take a look at the strengths of your business and financials to see if a loan can be worked out.

If you’ve declared bankruptcy in the last 12 months, or have had any late rent or mortgage payments in the last 12 months, you won’t qualify for a loan. You also can’t have experienced a foreclosure in the last 24 months.

Application Process and Documents Needed

Filling out an application takes about 15 minutes. From there, it takes two business days to hear back from Accion. If you qualify for a loan, you’ll then work with a loan officer to submit any additional documentation needed.

If you don’t qualify, Accion will explain why, and you can reapply for a loan in three to six months.

Accion provides this document checklist you should go through before proceeding with the application:

  • Last 3 months of business and personal bank statements
  • Business lease
  • Last 1-2 years tax returns
  • Driver’s License
  • Documentation of loan purpose (quotes, estimates, etc.)
  • Most recent home and business utility bills
  • Verification of any non-business income you’ve earned
  • Most recent mortgage note (if you own your workspace)
  • Business certificate, any required licenses, and corporate resolution
  • Balance sheet, Profit and Loss statements, and cash flow statements

As you can tell, the documentation needed is quite involved. If you need to, get in touch with your accountant or bookkeeper to see if they can provide you with some of these. It’s a good idea to have everything ready before applying to make the process go smoother.

The Fine Print

There’s no prepayment penalty with Accion, but there are closing costs of 3.00% - 5.00% to be aware of, as well as a flat $135 processing fee for any loans that are closed. This has the potential to make your loan very costly, but Accion is upfront with the fees you’ll incur when it provides you with your terms. Make sure the numbers work out in your favor.

A personal guarantee by the business owner is also required.

Which Businesses Benefit the Most from a Loan With Accion?

Accion aims to help small businesses that otherwise wouldn’t have access to financing. It also loans to businesses typically looking for a small amount of capital – its average loan size is between $7,000 and $10,000.

If you’ve experienced difficulty in getting other lenders to approve you for a loan, you should try working with Accion. Its minimum credit score is fairly low, and there aren’t strict revenue requirements to meet.

If your business is more established, or you can secure financing with a bank or another online lender, Accion might not be right for you.

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Other Alternative Small Business Lenders

Accion is the largest micro-lender in the United States, so if you need a smaller loan, it may be your best solution. The following lenders offer loans in smaller amounts, though they may be just as expensive.

Kabbage offers loans from $2,000 to $250,000 on 6 to 12 month terms. As we know, fees can add up, so it’s important to make sure your business will be able to profit from this loan. Additionally, your business has to have been operating for at least one year or more, and has generated $4,200 in monthly revenue for the past three months.

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CanCapital offers loans from $2,500 to $250,000 on 6 to 18 month loans. The APR you receive depends on your industry, cash flow, and revenue. You need a minimum of $4,500 in monthly revenue, and must have been operating for the past 4 months. The minimum credit score needed is 550. There is an origination fee associated with the loan, but it can be waived.

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Don’t Be Afraid to Shop Around

If you’ve been having a hard time getting approved for a small business loan, you may be apprehensive about shopping around even more. As long as you apply within a 30-day window, your credit score won’t see an enormous decrease. Credit bureaus know you’re trying to secure the best rates and terms for your business and won’t penalize you for it.

There are many online lenders out there with applications that typically take 15 minutes to complete. Set aside a few hours one day to go through a couple of lenders to see which ones you’ll qualify for a loan with, and apply. You have nothing to lose and you’ll be able to save money on the cost of your loan.

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.

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at [email protected]

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Review of Edward Jones CD Rates

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.

What are brokered CDs?

Edward Jones offers brokered CDs, which are a bit different from the standard bank-issued CDs that most investors are familiar with. Bank-issued CDs, as the name implies, are issued by individual banks for their customers. Since Edward Jones is a broker and not a bank, it cannot issue its own CDs. Instead, the firm offers a range of CDs issued by other banks and thrifts but sold via Edward Jones.

For the casual investor, it can be hard at first glance to tell the difference between bank-issued and brokered CDs. However, there are some important distinctions:

  • No early withdrawal penalties: Brokered CDs don’t have early withdrawal penalties. If you need to get out of your CD, you can usually sell it back to another investor through a brokerage firm. This means that brokered CDs carry some additional risk, as the price of these CDs may fluctuate on the open market.
  • Higher APYs: You can often get higher yields on a brokered CD than with a bank-issued CD. Brokers are able to negotiate higher CD rates since they can guarantee a large pool of buyers to CD issuers. In the era of online banking, however, even brokered CDs do not always garner the absolute highest rates.
  • Longer-term options: Brokered CDs often have longer-term options than are available with traditional bank-issued CDs, which are generally short-term investments only.

CD rates from Edward Jones

Edward Jones offers a fairly comprehensive range of CD maturities, ranging from three months to 10 years, although the firm doesn’t offer 6-year CDs, 8-year CDs or 9-year CDs. Rates and availability change frequently, oftentimes daily. The longer-duration CDs offered by the firm aren’t traditionally available at banks.
Edward Jones CD Rates
TermMinimum deposit to earn APYAPY
3 months$1,0001.95%
6 months$1,0002.00%
9 months$1,0002.00%
1 year$1,0001.95%
18 months$1,0001.90%
2 years$1,0002.05%
3 years$1,0002.15%
5 years$1,0002.20%
7 years$1,0002.45%
10 years$1,0002.60%

For all maturities, Edward Jones requires a $1,000 opening deposit, which is the same minimum required to earn the stated APY. As these are brokered CDs, there is no early withdrawal penalty. However, investors are subject to current market prices if they need to get out of a CD prematurely. If interest rates have risen since the date of purchase, you’re likely to get less money back than you originally invested in the CD.

One important difference between Edward Jones CDs and standard bank-issued CDs is that interest does not compound with Edward Jones CDs. All interest is paid directly into a money market or insured bank deposit at Edward Jones, unless you request it to be distributed. Either way, you can’t reinvest your distributions into your existing CD.

Unlike some banks, Edward Jones doesn’t offer any type of hybrid or alternative CD, such as a step-up CD or an adjustable-rate CD. There are also no bonus APR CDs available at the current time, just standard rates. Edward Jones also does not offer special rates for jumbo CDs, which traditionally require a $100,000 deposit. However, you can use the firm’s wide range of CD maturities for certain CD strategies, such as building a CD ladder. You can also buy their brokered CDs in an IRA.

Unlike bank-issued CDs, the brokered CDs offered by Edwards Jones do not automatically roll over into new CDs. At maturity, the banks that issued the CDs pay the proceeds to Edward Jones, which then forwards the money to your account. At that point, you can either select a new brokered CD to purchase, or keep the funds in your Edward Jones money market or insured bank deposit account.

How to get CDs from Edward Jones

You’ll need to open a brokerage account at Edward Jones to buy any CDs. The account minimum to open is $0, but as Edward Jones is a full-service brokerage, you’ll need to go into a branch and visit a financial advisor to open an account. There is no facility to open an account online.

You can open your Edward Jones account as rapidly as you can fill out the paperwork and fund the account. As soon as your deposit clears, you are free to buy a CD through your Edward Jones broker. If you change your mind, you can generally withdraw your funds within 4-6 business days after deposit, although this hold period may extend to 11 business days for new clients. Once you buy a CD, you can sell it at any time on the open market. As noted above, the amount you receive may be less than the amount you originally paid.

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How do CD rates from Edward Jones compare?

Edward Jones CD rates are well above the national average, but they still fall considerably short when compared with the best available rates nationwide.

Unlike with many firms, Edward Jones doesn’t currently have any special-rate CDs, where certain maturities pay dramatically higher rates. Instead, rates at Edward Jones land along a traditional curve, gradually increasing in yield as maturities lengthen.

For example, as of July 3, 2019, the Edward Jones 2-year CD rate of 2.05% is far below the best available 2-year CD rates. Three-year CD rates top out nationally at 3.00%, but Edward Jones pays 2.15%. The pattern continues throughout the maturity curve, with the top 5-year CD rates nationally hitting 3.00% or more, while the 5-year at Edward Jones pays 2.20%.

As such, all rates at Edward Jones fall in the general area of being well-above national averages but still notably short of the best available rates.

Overall review of CDs from Edward Jones

You won’t be wasting your time investing in CDs from Edward Jones, as you’ll be earning rates far above the national averages. You’ll also benefit from the ability to construct a CD or overall investment strategy with the assistance of a full-service advisor. However, if you’re looking for the absolute best CD rates for your money, there are plenty of online banks that can pay you a higher rate.

CD investors who like a wide range of products may be disappointed at Edward Jones, as popular options such as step-up or no-penalty CDs are not currently available. However, Edward Jones CDs do benefit from offering brokered CDs. This provides a range of flexibility that standard bank-issued CDs cannot offer, as you can liquidate your CD position at any time without paying an early withdrawal penalty.

The bottom line is that yield-hungry investors that enjoy managing their own portfolios may be better suited at any number of online competitors. Those looking to incorporate decent-yielding CDs into their overall investment portfolio with the help of a full-service broker might prefer working with Edward Jones.

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.

John Csiszar
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John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Wealthfront Cash Account 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.

Fintech startups are challenging incumbents in every corner of the financial services industry. Robo-advisor Wealthfront is part of this trend, one of many new investing apps that also offer cash management accounts with high APYs and a mix of features offered by traditional bank accounts.

Cash management accounts combine features like easy access to your money and a decent interest rate, typically found separately in checking accounts and savings accounts, respectively.  Wealthfront admits that its Cash Account won’t replace your checking account, instead touting it as a place to stash your emergency savings or achieve other savings goals and enjoy a high 2.57% APY, all with the FDIC protections of a traditional bank account.

Wealthfront Cash Account Pros

Wealthfront Cash Account Cons

  • Offers a high APY compared to other online savings accounts
  • Charges zero fees, $1 minimum balance requirement
  • Deposits are covered by FDIC insurance up to $1 million
  • Ability transfer funds from Cash Account into Wealthfront's taxable investment account.
  • Takes 1-3 business days to access your funds
  • You cannot make payments from the account

Let’s take a closer look at how Wealthfront’s Cash Account compares to both traditional bank savings accounts, and similar cash management offerings from other fintech startups, so you can determine whether it’s right for your savings.

Wealthfront Cash Account vs. online savings accounts

Wealthfront markets its Cash Account as a place to deposit savings you plan on spending in the next five years, or as a good place for an emergency fund. For longer-term returns on your money, Wealthfront advocates investing in the stock market using its core robo-advisor functionality. As an additional incentive to do so, Wealthfront allows you to transfer money from your Cash Account into one of the company’s taxable investment accounts. However, there is nothing in Wealthfront‘s terms of service that would discourage you from treating this account like any other online savings account.

Here’s how Wealthfront’s Cash Account stacks up against the highest-earning online savings accounts from our best online savings accounts review:

Financial InstitutionAPYMinimum balance
Wealthfront

2.57%

$1 minimum, no monthly fee
Vio Bank

2.52%

$100 minimum, no monthly fee
Customers Bank

2.50%

$25,000 minimum, no monthly fee
Barclays

2.10%

None
Marcus by Goldman Sachs

2.15%

$1 minimum, no monthly fee
Ally

2.10%

None

Judged by APY alone, Wealthfront‘s Cash Account emerges as one of the strongest contenders out there, surpassed only by Vio Bank’s online savings account. Like many online savings accounts, there’s a limit to the liquidity of the money placed in Wealthfront‘s Cash Account.

However, there is no option to withdraw funds or make payments from the account via check or ATM card. Your only way to get money into and out of the account is via ACH transfers to and from a separate checking account that’s held in your name. Transfers take one to three business days, and Wealthfront permits an unlimited number of transfers into and out of your Cash Account (with a daily limit of $250,000).

Wealthfront is not a bank, so it has deals with a network of regional banks that are FDIC insured. After you deposit your money in a Cash Account, your funds are swept into multiple accounts with Wealthfront’s bank partners, giving you FDIC insurance coverage up to $1 million (or $2 million if you have a joint Cash Account). This a big advantage that makes the Cash Account an attractive choice for anyone who wants FDIC coverage beyond the $250,000 limit available with a single online savings account.

Wealthfront Cash Account vs. robo-advisor cash management accounts

Many other robo-advisor firms offer cash management accounts. These accounts take varying forms: Some resemble a personal savings account, others have both savings and checking account features, while some are a type of investment account. Below we compare the Wealthfront Cash Account with cash management offerings from robo-advisors Betterment and SoFi.

Account nameFunctionFeesYield
Wealthfront Cash Account

FDIC-insured savings account

None

2.57% APY

Betterment Smart Saver

Low-risk bond investments

0.25% annual fee

2.14% APY

SoFi Money

FDIC-insured checking/savings hybrid account

None

An average of 2.25% APY

Wealthfront Cash Account vs. Betterment Smart Saver

Betterment‘s Smart Saver account is a low-risk investment account, not a deposit account, so it plays by a different set of rules than Wealthfront‘s Cash Account. For one, as an investment it does not have FDIC coverage. Betterment‘s website claims you could earn returns of 2.14% (which factors in the standard 0.25% Betterment charges for its services) — notice the word “could.” Money placed in the Smart Saver account is invested in a mix of treasuries and corporate bonds—fairly safe investment vehicles—but it still can’t guarantee the 2.14% return in the same way a deposit account can guarantee an APY.

The Smart Saver account does have some bells and whistles that may make it an appealing choice for your savings. These include:

  • Smart Sweep: This feature aims to maximize your investing returns by only maintaining as much cash in your linked checking account as you need for day-to-day spending. It works like this: After giving  access to your checking account, the app analyses how you spend money. Then it sweeps money above and beyond what you need to pay 35 days of expenses — up to $5,000 per sweep — into the Smart Saver investment account. Likewise, if the app thinks you’ll need more money to cover your expenses, it will sweep money from the Smart Saver investment account into your checking account. You can read more details here.
  • Tax relief: While you can’t avoid paying taxes entirely, the fact that 80% of the money placed in the Smart Saver investment account will be invested in U.S. Treasury bonds means that some of the earnings from the Smart Saver account won’t be subject to state and local taxes. You can read more details here.

Like Wealthfront’s account, there is an inconvenient waiting period to withdraw money from the account — four to five business days, which is longer than Wealthfront‘s one to three business days. This longer period accounts for the fact that your money is invested in bonds, making it less liquid than funds placed with Wealthfront in FDIC-insured deposit accounts.

Wealthfront Cash Account vs. SoFi Money

SoFi Money is a checking and savings hybrid account, meaning you earn both a high yield — 2.25% APY vs. Wealthfront‘s 2.57% APY — and enjoy instant access to your money with a debit card and paper checks.

Similarly to Wealthfront, SoFi Money spreads any funds you deposit across multiple FDIC-insured bank accounts — six in this case — providing up to $1.5 million in FDIC insurance vs. Wealthfront‘s $1 million.

SoFi Money may lag behind Wealthfront in terms of APY, but it makes up for this by providing the utility of both a savings and checking account. You can use your debit card to make purchases and withdraw money from ATMs (there is a daily limit of $610) just like you would with any other checking account. You can read more details on SoFi Money in our review.

Who should get a Wealthfront Cash Account?

If you’re looking for an FDIC insured account that provides one of the highest APY’s available, than the Wealthfront Cash Account may be right for you. However, you won’t have easy access to your funds like you would with a hybrid checking/savings account, such as SoFi Money. However the simplicity of the account, and the promise of additional features in the future such as a debit card and ATM withdrawals, could make it a compelling option for your savings.

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.

James Ellis
James Ellis |

James Ellis is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email James here

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