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3 Best Parent PLUS Loan Refinance Options for 2019

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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Updated January 29, 2018

Are you a parent still repaying student loans you took out to help your children finance their education? While rising student loan debt totals are concerning for new graduates, Parent PLUS loans can mean similar trouble for older Americans trying to plan for retirement or meet other financial goals.

If you’re in this situation, consider refinancing your Parent PLUS loans to lower your interest rate and make the loan more affordable. Direct PLUS loans have had interest rates ranging from 6% to 8% over the last few years, but some refinance programs have rates as low as 2% to 4%, so there are potentially big savings to be reaped.

Below are three lenders we’ve found to be among the best Parent PLUS refinance programs currently available. We encourage you to check each one out to see which (if any) suit your needs the most, as well as to shop around with multiple lenders. All credit inquiries made within a 30-day period count as one inquiry in the eyes of the credit bureaus, so you don’t have to worry about dinging your credit score.

A Word of Warning on Refinancing

Thankfully, most student loan refinance programs and Parent PLUS refinance programs don’t have fees associated with the loan, so you may not need to worry about paying origination or application fees. However, you should do the math to make sure refinancing is worth the paperwork.

If you extend your repayment term, you’ll have a lower monthly payment, but you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan. And if you’re trying to retire sooner rather than later, extending your term might not be to your advantage.

Beyond interest rates, you should also be aware that refinancing your federal Direct PLUS loan means giving up federal benefits. Private lenders don’t offer the same repayment plans or forgiveness programs, though some lenders are more flexible about repayment than others.

For example, you’ll no longer have access to the graduated, extended repayment or income-driven repayment plans. Private loans also aren’t eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and you won’t have access to federal forbearance or deferment, though some private lenders allow you to temporarily pause payments if you run into financial hardship.

If you haven’t been struggling with paying back your PLUS loans, then losing these benefits might not concern you, but it’s a factor to consider. And if you refinance your Parent PLUS loans and later run into financial hardship, make sure to speak with your new lender about any arrangements that can be made.

SoFi Parent PLUS Refinance Program

SoFi is one of the leaders in the student loan refinance industry, and it offers refinancing specifically for Parent PLUS loans.

  • Offers refinancing for a minimum of $5,000 up to the cost of attendance for your child’s school
  • Fixed APRs ranging from 3.89% – 7.62% (with autopay)
  • Variable APRs ranging from 2.50% – 7.12% (with autopay)
  • No application or origination fees, and no prepayment penalties
  • Soft credit inquiry with pre-approval; hard inquiry once you apply for the loan
  • Good credit required, but SoFi also takes employment and credit history into account
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Laurel Road Bank (formerly known as DRB) Parent PLUS Refinance Program

Laurel Road Bank also offers a Parent PLUS refinance program with low interest rates.

  • A minimum of $5,000 required to refinance, with no maximum amount
  • Fixed rates: 3.50% – 7.02% (with autopay)
  • Variable rates: 2.50% – 6.65% (with autopay)
  • Terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years available, though borrowers can request a specific term under 20 years
  • Also offers hybrid loans (mix of fixed and variable rates), but you must inquire about it
  • Child needs to have graduated college and be professionally employed
  • No origination fee or prepayment penalty
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Soft credit check first, and then hard inquiry when you apply for the loan
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CommonBond Parent PLUS Refinance Program

CommonBond is dedicated to making the refinance process as simple as possible for student loan refinancing borrowers.

  • Maximum amount offered for refinance is $500,000
  • Fixed APRs ranging from 3.67% to 7.25% (with autopay)
  • Variable APRs from 2.50% to 7.24% (with autopay)
  • Hybrid APRs (5 years at fixed, then 5 years at variable) also offered
  • No application or origination fees, and no prepayment penalties
  • 5-, 7-, 10-, 15- and 20-year terms available (hybrid loans offered on a 10-year term)
  • Temporary loan forbearance is available if certain requirements are met
  • Soft credit inquiry first, then hard credit inquiry if you apply for the loan
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Keep in mind some lenders, such as SoFi, CommonBond, and Laurel Road Bank, offer the option to transfer your PLUS loans to your child. If your child can handle making the payments, you might take advantage of this opportunity to get the debt out of your name.

Although these three lenders offer some of the most competitive rates for refinanced Parent PLUS Loans, keep an eye out for other refinancing providers as well. You might find a different lender with even better rates and terms for your loan.

You can also check with your local credit union to see if they have any options available, but be sure the math works out in your favor, as some aren’t offering the best rates. Don’t forget — it’s worth shopping around to find the most 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.

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

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National Funding Business 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. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

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National Funding is an online business lender that provides working capital and equipment financing to entrepreneurs. The San Diego-based lender has provided funding to small businesses in the U.S. since 1999.

It accepts applications online, sometimes providing funding in as little as 24 hours. It doesn’t require collateral or a down payment when you apply for a loan, and there’s no obligation to accept a loan offer. National Funding has an “excellent” rating and a majority of positive reviews on Trustpilot, a consumer review platform.

In this review, we’ll break down what National Funding has to offer to help you decide if this lender is the right match for your business.

National Funding loan details

National Funding offers several financing products to eligible small business owners. APRs range from 17.00% to 38.00% for qualified applicants, which could include an origination fee up to 2.50%.

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Working capital

Small business loan

National Funding issues small business loans between $5,000 and $500,000. You could use a small business loan to cover a variety of expenses, including equipment upgrades, inventory and building materials. To collect payments, National Funding makes automatic daily or weekly withdrawals from borrowers’ bank accounts. Terms for small business loans range from four months to two years.

Merchant cash advance

National Funding provides merchant cash advances of up to $250,000. It gives business owners a lump sum of cash in exchange for a portion of their future credit card sales. The lender automatically takes a percentage of each credit card transaction until the advance is paid back. Merchant cash advances typically have more lenient eligibility requirements than business loans, but the fast repayment process can be difficult for some business owners.

Equipment financing

Business owners can buy new or pre-owned equipment with financing from National Funding. The lender offers up to $150,000 in equipment financing and does not require a down payment. Payments are due monthly with terms that span two to five years. National Funding offers deferred payment options, which means you could make payments seasonally or quarterly — or skip payments if you need. Though you could temporarily adjust your payments, you may later face a catch-up period and your payment amounts could increase. Be sure you to check your loan agreement to understand what National Funding would expect.

National Funding provides a “guaranteed lowest payment” for select equipment leases as well. Within seven days of receiving an equipment lease offer from National Funding, you must present a competing lease offer exceeding $10,000 with the same terms and conditions. If the competing offer provides a lower monthly lease payment than what National Funding is offering, National Funding will either beat the offer or pay you $1,000.

See our top picks for the best equipment financing companies for 2019.

What businesses are eligible for National Funding financing?

National Funding works with business in a wide range of industries. Here are some examples of the tailored product offerings:

Loans

  • Agriculture
  • Beauty and wellness
  • Construction and contracting
  • Medical
  • Restaurants
  • Retail
  • Trucking

Equipment financing

  • Automotive repair
  • Commercial trucks, trailers and vehicles
  • Construction and contractor equipment
  • Dental
  • Farming
  • Landscaping
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical
  • Restaurants

National Funding also has special interest loan programs for minority-owned, veteran-owned and women-owned businesses.

The pros and cons of National Funding

Pros:

Possible to be approved for small business loan with credit score as low as 500
“Guaranteed lowest payment” provided for select equipment leases
Early payoff discounts are offered

Cons:

Lowest possible APR is 17.00%
Could take up to seven days to receive funds
Startup businesses are ineligible

The application process and requirements

Business owners fill out an application online, which National Funding could process right away. If approved, you could see funds in your bank account in one to seven days.

All applicants are required to submit their business name, address and tax identification number. Equipment financing applications require a quote from the vendor from which you plan to buy the equipment. And merchant cash advance applications ask for your last four months of credit card statements.

Eligibility requirements depend on the product for which you’re applying:

Small business loan

  • $100,000 in annual sales
  • 1 year in business
  • FICO Score of at least 500

Equipment financing

Merchant cash advance

  • 1 year in business
  • Over $3,000 in monthly credit card transactions

After you apply, National Funding would disclose the interest rate and loan terms for which you qualify. Some online lenders provide a range of rates and terms upfront without an application, which may make it difficult to compare National Funding with other lenders while shopping.

The fine print

Discounts available for early payoff. Although you wouldn’t know the price of your loan until submitting an application, you would have an opportunity to save money by paying off your debt early. If you pay off equipment financing early at any point, you could save 6% off your total balance. If you pay off working capital financing within the first 100 days, you could receive 7% off your total amount. You must pay the balance in full and be in good standing with National Funding to take advantage of the discount.

The bottom line

National Funding provides working capital and equipment financing to business owners who may have trouble securing funding elsewhere. Entrepreneurs with less-than-perfect credit or just one year in business could qualify for a business loan or merchant cash advance from National Funding. And business owners with as few as six months in business could be eligible for equipment financing. National Funding serves businesses in a range of industries, specializing in specific areas that may match your small business.

Although National Funding does not disclose many details online, such as interest rates and certain credit requirements, the application is easy to complete. When choosing business financing, speed is likely an important factor. National Funding could help you get money for your business quickly.

LendingTree — which owns MagnifyMoney — may be a good place to start as well since you could review and compare multiple business lenders at once.

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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.

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Melissa Wylie is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Melissa at [email protected]

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An In-Depth Review of Discover’s Banking Products

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.

Year Established1911
Total Assets$108.0B

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Discover Bank, which originally was introduced as a credit card via Sears-owned Greenwood Trust Company, first came on the market in 1985. Since then, Discover has gone on to become one of the largest credit card issuer in the U.S., known for their customer loyalty. Discover Bank, which runs completely as an online bank, has made strides over the past decade to compete in the financial sector by offering an array of financial products that go beyond credit cards.

Savings account bonus offer: Earn up to $200 on your first Discover savings account

Discover Bank is offering a $150-$200 bonus. Here's how it works:
If you're able to deposit a balance of at least $15,000 by 05/20/19 in your first Discover Online Savings Account, you will receive a $150 bonus. If you're able to deposit a balance of at least $25,000, you will receive a $200 bonus. In order to qualify for one of the bonuses, you'll have to apply for the savings account by 05/06/19 and your funds must be deposited by 05/20/19. On 06/03/19, the bonuses will be credited to your account. You can easily get the bonus offer online by clicking on the Learn More button above or by calling Discover bank. Just be sure to enter or mention the promo code MM419. Discover's online savings account currently earns an APY of 2.10%.

Discover Bank offers competitive rates on their banking products, which include CDs, savings, checking, and money market accounts, which also boast perks like no monthly fees. However in recent years, many online banks have begun offering similar, if not better, rates for their deposit products.

In this article we’ll take an in-depth look at Discover Bank’s products. We’ll cover account features, rates and anything else you might need to know to make the most informed decision on your financial needs. Most of our research was conducted by analyzing rates from Depositaccounts.com, which is another LendingTree-owned site.

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Discover Bank’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

2.10%

Savings

Discover Bank Online Savings

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0.00%

Checking

Discover Bank Discover Cashback Debit

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Discover Online Savings account

A completely fee-free online savings account, with no minimum balance requirements, and competitive interest rates.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

2.10%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: None as long you use an ATM within Discover’s network.
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: None.

There is no minimum balance to open a Discover Online Savings account, nor do they charge any monthly maintenance fees. While account holders do not have the ability to withdraw money from their savings account via an ATM, they are able to access and manage their savings account via Discover’s online banking and mobile app.The online banking and mobile app lets users deposit and transfer money to both Discover Bank and non-Discover bank accounts. However, you’ll get hit with a $30 fee for an outgoing wire transfer, as well as a $15 charge per item for exceeding the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D limitation of six withdrawals or transfers in one calendar month. Overdrafting your online savings account results in a $30 fee, which you can avoid by signing up for overdraft protection.

Currently, you can earn a competitive interest rate of 2.10% APY on a Discover Online Savings account. This is compounded daily and deposited into your savings account every month. As soon as you deposit money in your account, you’ll begin earning interest.

This is a solid savings account for anyone who already has a checking account with Discover, has a substantial amount of savings, or wants to earn a competitive interest rate on their savings account. It stands out for being fee-free and requiring no minimum balance or deposit, but falls short when compared with all the current interest rates out there.

There are no eligibility requirements to open a Discover Online Savings account since they do not require an initial minimum deposit or any minimum balance. There is currently a bonus being offered if you apply for the savings account for the very first time by 05/06/19. If you meet qualifications by 05/20/19, you could receive the $150 or $200 bonus. Click the button below for full details.

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How Discover Bank’s savings account compares

Compared with other online savings accounts, Discover Bank does not have the best offerings. That’s not to say it’s bad. Next to what major banks are currently offering, this account is a major win. However, with a little research, you can find better interest rates out there that don’t charge fees or have minimum balance requirements.

To see what other rates and offers are out there that fit your savings goals check out our Best Online Savings Account Guide.

Discover Bank’s CD Rates

A minimum deposit of $2,500 gives you competitive CD rates among online banks, but higher rates can be found.

CD term

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3 months

0.35%

6 months

0.65%

9 months

0.70%

12 months

2.65%

18 months

2.65%

24 months

2.70%

30 months

2.70%

3 years

2.75%

4 years

2.80%

5 years

3.00%

7 years

3.05%

10 years

3.10%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs that are less than one year, the penalty will be worth 3 months of simple interest.
    • For 1-3 year CDs, the penalty is 6 months of simple interest.
    • For a 4 year CD, the penalty is 9 months of simple interest.
    • For a 5 year CD, the penalty is 18 months of simple interest.
    • For 7-10 year CDs, the penalty is 24 months of simple interest.

Discover Bank offers certificates of deposits with terms ranging from three months to 10 years. Interest is compounded daily and is deposited every month. As with most CD rates, the longer the term of the CD, the higher the rate you will receive. To make sure you lock in the highest possible rate for your CD, make sure you fund your account within ten days of application.

There are early withdrawal penalties for taking your money out before the end of the term. The penalty amount varies depending on how far you are into your CDs term.

While there are penalties for withdrawing your money early, you do have the option to withdraw any interest earned on your CD to a Discover bank account without penalty. This money can also be left in your CD to compound throughout the life of your CD. Account holders receive notice of CD maturity 30 days prior to the end of the term. Once a term has ended, account holders have a 9-day grace period to make a change to their CD before incurring penalties. If no action is taken, Discover CDs will automatically renew at the same rate and term.

You can open a Discover CD online or by phone. The only eligibility requirements come in the form the $2,500 minimum deposit, which can be paid via phone, check or an online transfer from your bank. Discover provides the option of opening your CD in the form of a Trust, Guardian, Estate or Custodial account, but in order to do so, you must call one of their Banking Specialists.

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How Discover Bank’s CD rates compare

Overall, Discover Bank CD rates are competitive. They certainly beat out most of the major banks by far when it comes to APY. However, if you do some digging, there are better rates out there for CDs, both in terms of minimum deposit and interest rate earned.

Discover’s minimum deposit of $2,500 is the biggest downside to this product. While it’s not common for banks to offer no-fee withdrawals on CDs, there are some out there. To find the most competitive CD rates on the market right now, check out our Best CD Rates page.

Discover CashBack Debit account

Discover CashBack Debit offers no monthly fees and pays decent cashback rewards.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fee: None as long as the ATM is within Discover’s network.
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $30

The Discover CashBack Debit account is appealing because it carries very few fees — that means no monthly maintenance fee, no minimum balance requirements and no fees for check ordering or debit card replacement.

They offer free online and mobile banking options like bill-pay, wire transfers and account management.

One of the account’s main selling points is the cashback reward, which pays 1.00% on debit card transactions up to $3,000 on purchases each month. In other words, if you spend up to $3,000 in a month you receive $30 cash back. This 1.00% return is not an interest rate, but rather a cashback reward. There are no qualifications to earn the cashback rewards — when you spend with your debit card, you’re earning rewards. These rewards can be redeemed as a credit to your checking account or transferred to a Discover CashBack Bonus card account.

Discover recently partnered with AllPoint and MoneyPass to increase their in-network ATM locations by 60,000+. While Discover does not charge ATM fees for going out-of-network, they do not reimburse ATM fees incurred by third-party ATMs.

One of the few fees you’ll find is an overdraft fee. Their overdraft fee is $30 per transaction, which is on par with other financial institutions. You can avoid an overdraft fee by opting in to overdraft protection, which requires account holders to link their checking account with a Discover savings account.

Since Discover Bank is considered an online bank, you must open your account online via their website or by phone. There are no minimum deposit requirements, nor do they require account holders to keep a minimum balance. Once you open your account, you’ll receive your debit card within 10 business days. Discover offers free checks for their CashBack Debit account, although you must request them.

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How Discover Bank’s checking account compares

The Discover CashBack Debit account stacks up against other banks when it comes to offering a no-fee checking account. While they do boast a large ATM network, in part to their partnerships, they still do not reimburse out-of-network ATM fees. When it comes to rewards, their cashback reward is decent.

There are better cashback rewards programs out there, as well as, accounts that don’t require you to spend money to make money. If you spend a significant amount money via your debit card every month, this rewards program might make sense. If not, there are other banks that currently offer better rates on checking accounts for less effort on your end.

Discover Bank’s Money Market Account

Good withdrawal options, but with a high minimum balance requirement and interest rates that don’t stack up.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

1.95%

Less than $100,000

2.00%

Greater than $100,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None, but only if you use an ATM within Discover Bank’s network.
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: None.

Opening a money market account with Discover Bank requires a minimum initial deposit of $2,500. While their money market accounts don’t charge any monthly maintenance fees, account holders must maintain a minimum balance of $2,500 to avoid a $10 fee. They don’t even beat out Discover’s saving account rates.

There are a few account features worth noting, starting with the withdrawal options. Unlike the Discover Online Savings account, account holders will receive checks and a free debit card. Your debit card can be used to withdraw money via ATMs and at stores.

Discover Bank does not charge ATM fees, however if you use an out-of-network ATM they will not reimburse the fee. It’s important to note, that your money market account is subject to the same Federal Reserve regulations limiting transfer and withdrawals to six per month. If you exceed the six withdrawals you’ll be charged a $15 fee per item; however this does not apply to withdrawals from ATMs or via official check that is mailed to you. Discover Money Market accounts also give you the ability to sign up for online bill pay, as well as, overdraft protection.

The only eligibility requirements to open a Discover Money Market account is an initial minimum deposit of $2,500. You can open an account either online or by calling one of their Banking Specialists. To fund your account, you have the option of an online transfer, direct deposit or check, which can be mailed or deposited via Discover Bank’s Mobile Check Deposit app.

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How Discover Bank’s money market account compares

Looking at the overall market offerings, Discover Bank Money Market accounts do not stack up. Their competitive account features like a large ATM network, free checks and a debit card are nice, but their rates do not compete.

You can find other banks offering lower deposit requirements, as well as better rates. To see how this account compares, check out MagnifyMoney’s Best Money Market Rates guide.

Discover IRA CD rates

Competitive rates with a higher-than-average minimum deposit for both traditional and Roth options.

Term

APY

3 Months

0.35%

6 Months

0.65%

9 Months

0.70%

12 Months

2.65%

18 Months

2.65%

24 Months

2.70%

30 Months

2.70%

3 Years

2.75%

4 Years

2.80%

5 Years

3.00%

7 Years

3.05%

10 Years

3.10%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs that are less than one year, the penalty will be worth 3 months of simple interest.
    • For 1-3 year CDs, the penalty is 6 months of simple interest.
    • For a 4 year CD, the penalty is 9 months of simple interest.
    • For a 5 year CD, the penalty is 18 months of simple interest.
    • For 7-10 year CDs, the penalty is 24 months of simple interest.

Similar to other Discover Bank CD products, the minimum deposit to open an IRA CD is $2,500. This is also the minimum balance required to earn your interest rate. They offer both Traditional and Roth IRA CD options, with interest rates that vary depending on the CD term you choose. Terms can be as short as 3 months to up to 10 years. Their early withdrawal penalties remain the same for both IRA and non-IRA CDs.

An IRA CD is a worthwhile investment if you aren’t touching your savings and want to earn a higher APY than what’s being offered for your savings account. IRA CDs make the most sense if you’re looking for a long-term investment. While they don’t pay crazy high returns, if you have extra capital, it’s a good investment vehicle to have in your portfolio.

Opening an IRA CD account with Discover Bank can be done by phone or online, and requires an initial minimum deposit of $2,500. Funding your account can be done by phone, via check or via a bank-to-bank transfer from an existing IRA. Discover also allows account holders to initiate a direct or indirect rollover from an existing IRA.

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How Discover Bank’s IRA CD compares

Compared with other IRA CD’s out there, Discover Bank’s rates fall somewhere in the middle. The minimum deposit is higher than other offerings out there and the rates are competitive, but not high enough to be the best on the market.

Overall review of Discover Bank’s deposit products

Discover has created a suite of banking products that can compete in today’s market. Their online and mobile banking has all the necessary features to access and manage your account, and they boast a large ATM network that limits, but does not completely remove, ATM fees from your life.

Compared with the traditional big banks, Discover Bank has them beat when it comes to rates and offerings. However, if you take the entire market into consideration, adding in online banks, community banks and credit unions, Discover banking products fall somewhere in the middle.

Based on the fact that all of the reviewed products above do not have monthly maintenance fees attached to them and pay some form of interest or cash back, means you aren’t going to be wrong by opening an account. However, if you’re looking for the best of the best, Discover Bank is not quite there yet.

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.

Jackson Wise
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Jackson Wise is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jackson here

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