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Identity Theft Protection, Reviews

myFICO Identity Theft Protection and Credit Monitoring 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.

Pickpocketing at the subway station

myFICO is a company predominantly known for its credit monitoring services, as well as providing knowledge to consumers on credit scores. It also offers identity monitoring services in conjunction with credit monitoring, all in one package. However, the service is on the pricey side, so let’s review what you get for your money, and compare the value to other identity theft protection services out there.

Overview of myFICO’s Identity and Credit Monitoring Service

myFICO offers two tiers of service: the “Essentials 1B” plan which monitors your Equifax score only (and doesn’t have as many identity theft features), and an “Ultimate” plan that monitors your personal information and all three of your credit scores.

Both offer 24/7 identity restoration service, but since the Essentials 1B plan doesn’t cover the other two bureaus, it’s not the best solution. For the purpose of this review, we’ll be covering the Ultimate plan.

[Worth it or Not? Identity Theft Protection Reviewed]

Credit Monitoring Service

Did you know you technically have more than one credit score, as measured by the three bureaus? With the Ultimate plan, you get access to 19 FICO scores used in a variety of situations. This allows you to see which score is most likely to be used if you apply for an auto loan, a mortgage loan, or a credit card.

Of course, you’ll also get access to your FICO Score 8, the score most widely used by lenders. The Ultimate plan will also provide you with a detailed analysis of your score so you know where your weak and strong spots are. When a change occurs to your score, you’ll receive a notification along with a reason why.

myFICO gives you an updated credit report from all three bureaus quarterly, too. Your credit scores are updated any time a change occurs. If there are no changes, your score won’t update.

An interesting feature for those looking to make progress with their credit score is the FICO Score Simulator provided with the plan. You can see how taking a certain action (such as making a debt payment) will affect your score.

Identity Theft Monitoring Service

myFICO offers a basic identity theft monitoring service. It will monitor the black market for any mention of your personal information, as well as monitor your Social Security number for identity fraud.

Like other providers, it offers lost wallet protection. A certified specialist will assist you in canceling and replacing missing items or documents from your wallet, including credit cards, debit cards, and your license.

The biggest thing you’re paying for is the 24/7 identity restoration service, which gives you access to a certified restoration specialist who will stick with you until your identity is fully restored to its previous status.

How valuable is such a service? Restoring your identity can prove to be a very time consuming process. In severe cases, it could take months, and possibly a trip to court, to reverse the damage done by a thief. Having the assistance of an expert to handle filing paperwork and calling the appropriate institutions could help you out and cut down on the time you spend dealing with the fiasco.

How Does Identity Theft Insurance Work?

myFICO offers $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance. You can read the specifics about what is and isn’t included in its policy here, but in short, the purpose of this identity theft insurance is to reimburse any costs you incur during the restoration process.

For example, it will cover the cost of replacing documents, travel expenses, lost wages, childcare, and legal costs, for a total of $1,000,000. myFICO will also hire experts on your behalf (such as a lawyer) if needed. Each cost has a specific limit. For example, it will only cover up to $2,000 for replacing documents.

The insurance will cover up to $10,000 in fraudulent withdrawals or unauthorized electric funds transfers, but not $1,000,000 in stolen funds. That’s a big difference you need to be aware of, as many people are under the impression the insurance is used to insure your assets against theft. That’s not true.

As restoring your identity can be time consuming and costly, the insurance can give you peace of mind in case you end up having to go to court to fight a creditor or have to deal with the IRS because someone claimed your tax return before you had a chance.

Note that this coverage isn’t available to residents of New York.

[Credit Freeze: A Defense Against Identity Theft and Fraud]

How myFICO’s Identity Theft Protection Service Works

When you sign up for the identity monitoring service, myFICO will have you answer a series of questions to verify your identity. Once that’s complete, it will scan its database for any mention of your personal information and give you a report at the end. This report serves as a baseline for how safe your information has been, and allows you to take care of any issues that may be present.

myFICO will continue to monitor your information and will notify you via email, text, or mobile app (available on Android and iOS) whenever it detects suspicious fraudulent activity, or a change in any of your credit reports.

It’s worth reading the fine print to see exactly when you can expect such updates to occur, as they vary based on credit bureau. You can see the fine print on this page, as well as what changes you’ll be alerted to. Here are a few instances when you’ll receive an alert:

  • Whenever a new account is opened
  • Credit inquiries from applications
  • New public record listings (bankruptcy, tax liens, etc.)
  • New address
  • Fraud alert placed on file (not available for Equifax)

There are quite a few alerts only available with certain bureaus, but the most important changes are covered by all three.

How Much Does it Cost?

The FICO Ultimate 3B plan that includes identity and credit monitoring is $29.95 per month, or $329 per year ($27.42 per month).

The FICO Essentials 1B plan will monitor just your Equifax score and is $19.95 per month, or $219 per year ($18.25 per month). You still get access to the identity restoration services, but it’s not as comprehensive.

[Identity Theft Action Plan]

Transparency Levels

myFICO seeks to educate consumers on credit scores and doesn’t claim to prevent identity fraud. It doesn’t make many claims about its identity monitoring service at all, as the emphasis is on its credit monitoring service.

If you’re not a fan of automatic renewals, you should know myFICO sets your subscription to automatically renew every month. You must cancel (which you can do at any time) to stop your membership from renewing. However, partial monthly refunds aren’t available, so make sure you cancel close to your renewal date to get the most out of your last month.

Additionally, myFICO has a few “fine print” issues involving when credit scores are updated, and when alerts come through. Much of this is dependent upon the credit bureaus, but you should understand how the alerts work and how often your score and reports are updated before paying.

Alternative Credit and Identity Monitoring Services

myFICO is certainly one of the more expensive choices and doesn’t offer a full suite of identity protection services. Its focus is heavily on credit monitoring, which you can get for free by signing up with either Credit Karma or Credit Sesame.

The biggest difference is that myFICO gives you access to your actual FICO score as reported by the bureaus. Credit Karma and Credit Sesame don’t give you your FICO score (Credit Karma uses VantageScore 3.0 provided by TransUnion and Equifax).

Credit Karma gives you a free credit report from TransUnion, and will monitor your TransUnion credit for free as well. You’ll receive email notifications when something changes.

Credit Sesame updates your score on a monthly basis, and updates your credit report profile every other month. You don’t get access to your credit report – just your score.

You can always access your three free credit reports throughout the year by going to annualcreditreport.com.

Lastly, if you have a credit card with one of the major lenders, your credit score may be available for free through your online portal.

If you’re not convinced myFICO is a good value for identity theft protection service, try these two alternatives.

Zander – Identity theft protection services are offered at $6.75 per month for individuals, and $12.90 per month for families. This is much more affordable than myFICO, but Zander doesn’t offer credit monitoring at all. Again, you can get access to that for free elsewhere. Zander will make sure your information isn’t being sold on the black market, and it also offers a comprehensive identity restoration service. Alerts are received via email.

[Read Zander Review Here]

Prosper Daily (formerly BillGuard) – A great solution for those on the go, Prosper Daily is an identity theft protection and credit monitoring service offered in the form of an app. It’s $9.99 per month to get access to its identity restoration service, but along with protecting yourself from fraud, you can also monitor your spending and budget. It’s a good all-in-one solution for those looking to manage their money via mobile.

[Read Prosper Daily Review Here]

Conclusion

myFICO might be a good solution for those looking to improve their credit score, or for those in the market for a loan who want to make sure their credit is in perfect condition to score the best rates. However, there are cheaper options out there when it comes to identity theft protection services. Consider pairing one of the above alternatives with a mix of receiving your free credit report each quarter from annualcreditreport.com, and using Credit Karma and Credit Sesame to monitor your credit for a less expensive solution.

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 erinm@magnifymoney.com

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Reviews

The Columbia Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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 Established1988
Total Assets$2.5B
LEARN MORE The Columbia Bank’s secure websiteMember FDIC

The Columbia Bank, headquartered in historic Ellicott City, Md., is part of the Fulton Financial Corporation, giving customers access to a network of 250 branch locations and almost 300 ATMs throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.

To help you find the best personal banking services for your needs, we researched all of The Columbia Bank’s account offerings and weighed them against the best accounts on the market. While The Columbia Bank’s rates ended up falling short when compared to the competition, they do offer some fee-free accounts that are worth considering if you live within this bank’s geographical footprint.

The Columbia Bank’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.21%

Savings

The Columbia Bank Money Market Account

2.10%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.20%

CD Rates

The Columbia Bank 12 Month CD

2.75%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.55%

CD Rates

The Columbia Bank 3 Year CD

2.90%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.70%

CD Rates

The Columbia Bank 5 Year Promotional CD w/ Relationship

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

The Columbia Bank’s checking account options

Simply Checking

This basic checking account doesn’t bear interest and has no monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Fulton Financial Corporation ATMs are free (also includes ATMs at FNB Bank, Fulton Bank, Fulton Bank of New Jersey, Lafayette Ambassador Bank and Swineford National Bank). Transactions at ATMs outside of the Fulton Financial Corporation network will be charged a fee of $2.50 each.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $39

While The Columbia Bank’s Simply Checking account does not earn interest, it also doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee, so you’ll never have to worry about maintaining a minimum balance amount. You’ll also get access to the full range of mobile and online banking services free of charge.

This account is a good option for anyone who wants to avoid monthly fees and isn’t concerned about earning interest on their checking balance. The only major downside are the ATM fees for out-of-network ATM use, which can add up and aren’t refunded.

LEARN MORE Secured

on The Columbia Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Interest Checking

You’ll earn interest with this account but it charges a waivable monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12, can be waived
  • ATM fee: Fulton Financial Corporation ATMs are free (also includes ATMs at FNB Bank, Fulton Bank, Fulton Bank of New Jersey, Lafayette Ambassador Bank and Swineford National Bank). Transactions at ATMs outside of the Fulton Financial Corporation network will be charged a fee of $2.50 each.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $39

The Interest Checking account is The Columbia Bank’s standard interest-earning checking account. Rates are not publicly available, but you can call the bank for the most current rates. You’ll need to maintain a sizeable minimum daily balance in order to earn interest.

This account’s monthly fee isn’t small, but as long as you maintain the $1,000 minimum daily balance (which is also the amount required to earn interest), the monthly fee can be avoided; it can also be waived with a monthly direct deposit. However, it’s best to opt for free checking accounts so you don’t have to worry about your balance falling below this requirement. Apart from earning interest, this checking account doesn’t come with any other perks that you can’t get with the bank’s free checking option, so it may not be the best option for most customers.

LEARN MORE Secured

on The Columbia Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Relationship Banking

A premium checking account with a monthly fee for customers with a higher balance.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, can be waived
  • ATM fee: This account comes with unlimited free ATM transactions at both in-network and out-of-network ATMs. However, be aware that other institutions may impose a charge at their ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $39

This checking account earns tiered interest and is designed for customers who maintain high balances; you can call the bank for the most recent rates. If you’re unable to maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $2,000, you’ll be charged a monthly service fee. You’ll also need to maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,000 in order to earn interest. Because of these requirements, the Relationship Banking account isn’t our favorite checking option at this bank for most customers.

Still, it is worth noting that you get free unlimited ATM transactions with this account, which can save you a good amount of money over time. If you’re able to maintain a minimum of $15,000 in total deposits or $20,000 in deposits and consumer loan balances combined, you’ll also get occasional bonus rates on the bank’s CDs, one free order of specialty checks per year, and a discount on safe deposit boxes.

LEARN MORE Secured

on The Columbia Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Student Checking

A non-interest-bearing checking account for students ages 16 to 22.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Fulton Financial Corporation ATMs are free (also includes ATMs at FNB Bank, Fulton Bank, Fulton Bank of New Jersey, Lafayette Ambassador Bank and Swineford National Bank). and The Columbia Bank. Student Checking account holders get 5 no-fee transactions per statement cycle at ATMs outside the Fulton Financial Corporation network. Each additional transaction at out-of-network ATMs will be charged a $2.50 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $39

This checking account is available to students ages 16 to 22 with a valid student ID. It comes with no minimum account balance requirement and no monthly maintenance fee. In addition, you’ll also get your first five ATM transactions at out-of-network ATMs free each month. Although this account doesn’t come with unlimited free ATM transactions, this is still a relatively generous policy.

Along with minimal fees, you’ll also get all the online and mobile banking features of a standard checking account free of charge, including online statements, online bill pay and mobile check deposits. This account does not earn interest.

LEARN MORE Secured

on The Columbia Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Prime Life Interest Checking

A fee-free, interest-bearing checking account for folks 50 years of age and older.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: This account comes with unlimited free ATM transactions at both in-network and out-of-network ATMs. Be aware that other institutions may impose a charge at their ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $39

This account is designed for customers age 50 and older. If you qualify for this account, it is one of the bank’s best checking options — it earns interest but doesn’t come with a monthly maintenance fee. Interest rates for this account are tiered, meaning rates differ depending on the balance you maintain; to qualify to earn interest, you must maintain a minimum balance of $1,000. You can call the bank for the most recent interest rates.

In addition to earning interest, you’ll also get free online and mobile banking services and a discount on safe deposit boxes. Finally, this account comes with unlimited free ATM transactions whether at in-network or out-of-network ATMs, which is a feature we like to look for in checking accounts.

How to get The Columbia Bank’s checking accounts

You can apply for any of this bank’s checking accounts online by providing your social security number, a government-issued ID, and your opening deposit. Your account can be funded online with a checking account, savings account, debit card or credit card.

LEARN MORE Secured

on The Columbia Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How The Columbia Bank’s checking accounts compare

Overall, The Columbia Bank has a few checking options worth considering. While a few of their accounts charge monthly fees that we don’t think are worth it for most customers, their Student Checking, Simply Checking and Prime Life Interest Checking are all free.

The Prime Life Interest Checking is The Columbia Bank’s most competitive offer because it earns interest, charges no fees, and offers unlimited free ATMs; the rest of the bank’s checking accounts are less competitive. The best online checking accounts are not only fee-free, but they also offer unlimited free ATMs, and many of them bear interest with no minimum balance amount required.

The Columbia Bank’s savings account options

Statement Savings

This interest-bearing savings account comes with a monthly fee that can be waived.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6, can be waived
  • ATM fee: Fulton Financial Corporation ATMs are free (includes ATMs at FNB Bank, Fulton Bank, Fulton Bank of New Jersey, Lafayette Ambassador Bank and Swineford National Bank). Transactions at ATMs outside of the Fulton Financial Corporation network will be charged a fee of $2.50 each.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $39

The Columbia Bank’s standard savings account is open to all customers; it bears interest on balances of $100 or more, though you’ll have to call the bank for the most recent rates. This account does come with a monthly maintenance fee — but while it can be waived by maintaining a minimum daily balance of at least $100, we always prefer savings accounts with no monthly fees. The monthly fee is also waived if the account holder is less than 19 years old.

Remember that Federal Reserve Regulation D limits all savings accounts up to 6 certain electronic transfers or withdrawals per month.

LEARN MORE Secured

on The Columbia Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Student Statement Savings

A fee-free savings account for students up to 22 years of age.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Fulton Financial Corporation ATMs are free (includes ATMs at FNB Bank, Fulton Bank, Fulton Bank of New Jersey, Lafayette Ambassador Bank and Swineford National Bank). Student Checking account holders get 5 no-fee transactions per statement cycle at Non-Fulton Financial Corporation ATMs. Transactions at ATMs outside of the Fulton Financial Corporation network will be charged a fee of $2.50 each.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $39

This interest-bearing savings account for students age 22 or younger has no monthly account maintenance fee, so you don’t have to worry about keeping a minimum balance. Interest rates vary, but you can call the bank for the latest rates. You’ll get access to all of The Columbia Bank’s mobile and online banking services with this account as well, including mobile check deposit, online statements, and 24/7 access to your accounts.

With a student account, you’ll also get your first 5 ATM transactions at non-Fulton Financial Corporation ATMs free each month. After that, a small fee will be charged by The Columbia Bank on out-of-network ATM transactions.

According to Federal Reserve Regulation D, because this is a savings account, you’re only allowed up to 6 certain electronic transfers or withdrawals each month.

How to get The Columbia Bank’s savings account

Applications are available online for both of The Columbia Bank’s two savings accounts. You’ll need to provide your social security number, a government-issued form of identification, and an opening deposit for your account. Your deposit can be funded online using a checking or savings account or a debit or credit card.

LEARN MORE Secured

on The Columbia Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How The Columbia Bank’s savings accounts compare

All of The Columbia Bank’s savings accounts earn interest, which is a plus. Keep in mind that the best online savings accounts tend to offer significantly higher APYs than traditional brick-and-mortar banks. You should call The Columbia Bank to obtain their current savings account rates and compare them to the competition.

The biggest advantage of the best online savings accounts is that many of them don’t charge any monthly fees, don’t have account minimums, and some even offer unlimited free ATMs. In comparison, The Columbia Bank’s Statement Savings account does come with a monthly fee and only earns interest if your balance stays above the minimum requirement, and they doesn’t waive ATM fees at out-of-network ATMs. If you qualify for it, the Student Statement Savings account offers a more generous ATM fee policy, but it does still charge a monthly fee.

The Columbia Bank’s CD rates

Certificates of Deposit

Certificates come in a variety of options, from variable rate CDs to no penalty CDs.
TermAPY
  3 Month0.05%
  6 Month0.05%
  9 Month No Penalty0.05%
  9 Month No Penalty Promo Relationship Banking  0.30%
12 Month0.20%
  12 Month Variable Rate0.05%
  15 Month0.20%
  18 Month Promo Relationship Banking1.45%
  2 Year0.30%
  30 Month0.76%
  3 Year1.55%
  4 Year1.35%
  5 Year Promo Relationship Banking1.70%
  72 Month1.01%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of up to 6 months, the early withdrawal penalty is equal to 7 days of interest or all interest accrued, whichever is greater. For terms of 6 months to 36 months, the early withdrawal penalty is 182 days of interest. For terms of 36 months or more, the penalty is 12 months of interest.

The Columbia Bank builds a lot of flexibility into their CD offerings. Not only can you choose from terms as short as 3 months and as long as 72 months, but they also offer no penalty certificates, variable rate certificates, and promotional CD rates.

Their 9 Month No Penalty CD allows you to withdraw your money at any time without incurring a penalty as long as you wait at least 7 days after opening. The 12 Month Variable Rate CD comes with an APY that can change at any time after account opening, while the other CD options maintain the same APY throughout the full term of the CD. Finally, the 9 Month No Penalty Promo Relationship Banking CD, 18 Month Promo Relationship Banking CD, and 5 Year Promo Relationship Banking CD offers higher promotional rates for Relationship Banking account holders who maintain a minimum at least $15,000 in total deposits or $20,000 in deposits and consumer loan balances combined.

The bank also offers promotional CD rates at times on certain certificates that offer higher rates than listed above. You can call the bank or visit their website for current promotions.

How to get The Columbia Bank’s Certificates

You can open a Certificate of Deposit by visiting any of The Columbia Bank’s branch locations and applying in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on The Columbia Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How The Columbia Bank’s Certificate rates compare

You’ll find a wide range of CD options at The Columbia Bank. Their No Penalty CDs and Promo Relationship Banking CDs are unique offerings worth looking into, and you should also consider any promotional CD rates that are currently on offer. Their minimum opening deposit and minimum balance to earn APY requirements are reasonable and on par with other banks.

When compared to best CD rates, though, most of The Columbia Bank’s CDs lag behind. Some of their CDs, such as the 3 Month CD, 6 Month CD, and 9 Month No Penalty CD, have APYs so low you likely won’t even notice as interest accumulates. That being said, if you’re a Relationship Banking customer and meet the account requirements to earn Promo Relationship Banking rates, they are much higher. Keep in mind that several banks offering the best CD rates outearn even The Columbia Bank’s promotional rates, and with minimum balance requirements that are easier to meet.

The Columbia Bank’s money market account options

Money Market Account

Earn interest while maintaining easy access to your funds.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.21%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, can be waived
  • ATM fee: Fulton Financial Corporation ATMs are free (includes ATMs at FNB Bank, Fulton Bank, Fulton Bank of New Jersey, Lafayette Ambassador Bank and Swineford National Bank). Transactions at ATMs outside of the Fulton Financial Corporation network will be charged a fee of $2.50 each.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $39

This money market account charges a monthly maintenance fee, although it can be waived as long as you maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,000 or more. You’ll need to maintain this balance in order to earn interest anyway.

This account gives you the opportunity to earn a small amount of interest and build your savings while still maintaining easy access to your money. But while you can access your funds immediately, money market and savings accounts are still limited to 6 certain electronic withdrawals each month according to Federal Reserve Regulation D.

LEARN MORE Secured

on The Columbia Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Platinum Money Market

Earn tiered interest rates with a higher minimum daily balance.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.23%
$10,000 - $24,999
0.26%
$24,999.01 - $49,999
0.27%
$49,999.01 - $74,999
0.28%
$74,999.01 - $99,999
0.28%
$99,999.01 - $249,999
0.28%
$249,999.01 - $999,999
0.28%
$999,999.01 - $1,999,999
0.28%
$1,999,999.01 or more
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25, can be waived
  • ATM fee: Fulton Financial Corporation ATMs are free (includes ATMs at FNB Bank, Fulton Bank, Fulton Bank of New Jersey, Lafayette Ambassador Bank and Swineford National Bank). Transactions at ATMs outside of the Fulton Financial Corporation network will be charged a fee of $2.50 each.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $39

If you’re able to commit to maintaining a large balance in your account, the Platinum Money Market account will help you earn slightly higher rates than those offered by their regular money market account. You will need to maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $10,000, or else you’ll be charged a pretty steep monthly maintenance fee. Balances below that amount won’t earn interest either.

This money market account gives you easy access to your funds, although you won’t get any ATM fee waivers if you’re withdrawing money from out-of-network ATMs. Keep in mind that you’re limited to 6 certain electronic transfers or withdrawals per month according to Federal Reserve Regulation D.

How to get The Columbia Bank’s Money Market accounts

You can open The Columbia Bank’s Money Market accounts online by filling out their online application form. It will require that you submit your social security number and a government-issued form of identification, and you can fund the account using funds from a checking or savings account or a debit or credit card.

LEARN MORE Secured

on The Columbia Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How The Columbia Bank’s money market accounts compare

The monthly maintenance fees charged by The Columbia Bank’s money market accounts are rather high, and although they can be waived, it’s often best to go with accounts that have low or no fees.

In terms of rates, even the Platinum Money Market account earns an APY that’s far lower than the best money market rates. Some of the best money market rates are roughly ten times higher than those offered by The Columbia Bank, and there are even a few online banks that offer higher rates with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees.

The Columbia Bank’s IRA account options

IRA Certificate rates

The IRA CDs earn interest and offer promotional rates for Relationship Banking customers.
TermAPY
3 Month0.05%
6 Month0.05%
12 Month0.20%
15 Month0.20%
18 Month Promo Relationship Banking1.45%
2 Year0.30%
30 Month0.76%
3 Year1.55%
4 Year1.35%
5 Year Promo Relationship Banking1.70%
72 Month1.01%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of up to 6 months, the early withdrawal penalty is equal to 7 days of interest or all interest accrued, whichever is greater. For terms of 6 months to 36 months, the early withdrawal penalty is 182 days of interest. For terms of 36 months or more, the penalty is 12 months of interest.

The Columbia Bank’s IRA CDs all have reasonable minimum opening deposit and minimum balance amount to earn APY requirements. There are no penalty free CDs available as IRA accounts, but you can access promotional APYs if you qualify for their 18 Month Promo Relationship Banking IRA CD or their 5 Year Promo Relationship Banking IRA CD. You’ll need to be a Relationship Banking customer in order to access these rates, and you’ll also have to have a minimum balance of at least $15,000 across all deposits or $20,000 across deposits and consumer loans.

How to get The Columbia Bank’s IRA CDs

You can open an IRA CD with The Columbia Bank by visiting them in person at one of their branch locations.

LEARN MORE Secured

on The Columbia Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How The Columbia Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

When compared to the best IRA CD rates, most of The Columbia Bank’s IRA CD rates are notably lower. The bank’s most competitive IRA CDs are those that offer promotional rates for Relationship Banking customers, but those are only available in 18-month and 5-year terms, and you have to keep a fairly high balance in your The Columbia Bank accounts in order to qualify for these rates.

IRA money market account

Earn interest with a low minimum deposit.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.08%
$10
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: ATM cards are not available to IRA money market account holders.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $39

If you’re looking for a tax-advantaged retirement savings account, The Columbia Bank offers free IRA money market accounts that give you the opportunity to take advantage of changes in interest rates. Interest is compounded daily on these accounts.

Keep in mind that withdrawal options from your IRA money market account might be limited, given that it is a retirement account. Typically, any money withdrawn before you hit age 59 ½ is considered premature, and you may have to pay an early withdrawal penalty on those amounts.

How to get The Columbia Bank’s IRA accounts

Head into your local The Columbia Bank branch to talk about getting an IRA account. It’s recommended that you consult a tax professional before opening an IRA.

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Member FDIC

Overall review of The Columbia Bank’s banking products

The Columbia Bank offers a handful of personal banking products that come with low fees, and a few of their checking accounts charge no monthly fees at all. That being said, many of the best online banks offer checking and savings accounts that are completely fee-free, regardless of the balance you maintain. You’ll also find that The Columbia Bank’s rates on all of their accounts are relatively low when compared to the competition.

This bank’s best products are those designed specifically for students and seniors, including Prime Life Interest Checking, and their Student Checking and Student Statement Savings accounts. They also offer CDs and money market accounts with premium rates for certain customers, but those rates are less than impressive when you consider the minimum account balances required to earn them.

On the whole, this bank might be worth banking with if you’re looking to build a relationship with them or prefer brick-and-mortar banks and live near one of their branches, but they’re not the best option if you’re seeking high interest rates and want to avoid fees.

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.

Elizabeth Aldrich |

Elizabeth Aldrich is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Elizabeth here

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Reviews, Small Business

OnDeck Small 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.

OnDeck business loans
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OnDeck is an online lender that has been providing funding to small businesses since 2007 but has recently rolled out partnerships with brick-and-mortar banks, combining OnDeck’s technology with the banks’ deep balance sheets and credit expertise. OnDeck offers term loans and lines of credit to business owners looking to grow their operations. Approval for financing is based on overall business performance, not just credit score. OnDeck has issued more than $8 billion in loans to 80,000 small businesses in more than 700 industries throughout the U.S. OnDeck is based in New York and has been a public company since 2014.

OnDeck small business loan details

Term loans: OnDeck offers up to $500,000 in both short-term and long-term loans.

Short-term loans span three to 12 months and could come with a simple interest rate as low as 9%. OnDeck calculates simple interest as the total amount of interest you would pay as a percentage of your total loan amount. The weighted average rate as of June 30, 2018 was 25.3% simple interest.

Long-term loans have 15- to 36-month terms and could come with an annual interest rate as low as 9.99%. OnDeck determines AIR as the yearly interest percentage you would pay based on your average loan balance, minus fees. To pay back your loan, you would make fixed daily or weekly payments that OnDeck would automatically deduct from your business bank account. The weighted average AIR as of June 30, 2018 was 48.7%.

No matter if you choose a short-term or long-term loan, it’s a good idea to consider the annual percentage rate as well since APR includes the cost of interest plus fees. In 2017, On Deck’s term loan APRs ranged as high as 99.7% with an average APR of 45.2%, according to the company’s annual report.

 Loan amountLoan termAPR rangeFeesTime to funding
Short-term loan$5,000 up to $500,0003 to 12 monthsVaries, with an average rate of 45.2%Origination fee of 2.50% - 4.00%, lower for subsequent loansAs soon as 24 hours
Long-term loan$5,000 up to $500,00015 to 36 monthsVaries, with an average rate of 45.2%Origination fee of 2.50% - 4.00%, lower for subsequent loansAs soon as 24 hours

Lines of credit: Businesses could qualify for a line of credit up to $100,000 with an APR as low as 13.99% though, like term loans, your APR could be higher. The weighted average APR was 32.6% as of June 30, 2018. The credit line amount and your interest rate would be based on your business and personal credit, as well as an assessment of your business as a whole. OnDeck would automatically deduct fixed weekly payments from your business bank account as you pay back the debt.

 Loan amountTermsAPR rangeFeesTime to funding
Line of credit$6,000 to $100,000Fixed weekly paymentsAs low as 13.99% with an average APR of 32.3% $20 monthly maintenance fee, waived if you withdraw $5,000 or more in the first 5 days.As soon as 24 hours

What businesses are eligible for an OnDeck loan?

OnDeck’s minimum qualifications are not as strict as banks’ requirements. OnDeck asks for at least one year in business and at least $100,000 in annual revenue. Business owners must also have a personal credit score of 500 or higher.

In 2017, borrowers had a median annual revenue of about $631,000 with 90% of customers having between $162,106 and $3.8 million in annual revenue.

There are several industries OnDeck does not work with, including the following:

  • Adult entertainment/materials
  • Drug dispensaries
  • Firearms vendors
  • Government and nonprofits
  • Public administration
  • Horoscope or fortune telling
  • Lotteries, casinos, raffles, gaming and gambling
  • Money services businesses
  • Religious or civic organizations
  • Rooming and boarding houses

OnDeck has the ability to change the list of restricted businesses at any time. Additionally, all businesses are individually subject to OnDeck’s approval, regardless of industry.

OnDeck

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The pros and cons of an OnDeck small business loan

Pros

  • Credit score isn’t the deciding factor. OnDeck considers your business’s cash flow in addition to your credit score when reviewing your loan application. You wouldn’t be automatically turned down if you have poor credit.
  • Simple application. You may be able to complete OnDeck’s online application in minutes and you could be approved for financing in as little as 24 hours. OnDeck loan specialists are also available if you need assistance.
  • Potential to improve your business credit score. OnDeck reports your term loan payment information to three business credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Paynet, each month and reports line of credit information to Experian. Making payments on time and maintaining good credit history with OnDeck would improve your overall business credit profile.

Cons

  • Lowest interest rates are uncommon. The lowest advertised interest rates are usually reserved for borrowers with the strongest creditworthiness and cash flow and those that have previous payment history with OnDeck. The average rate for term loans is 25.3% simple interest and 48.7% AIR.
  • A personal guarantee is required. OnDeck places a general lien on the assets of your business and requires a personal guarantee to secure a loan. Signing a personal guarantee puts you on the hook to pay the debt even if your business defaults.

Application process and requirements

You can apply for an OnDeck loan online or by phone and the process could take a little as 10 minutes. There’s no obligation to accept a loan offer, which is valid for 30 days after you’re approved.

In addition to basic information about your business, OnDeck may ask you to submit the following documents with your application:

  • Business tax ID
  • Bank statements from the past 1-3 months
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver’s license and state of issue

If you’re approved, you could receive funding in your business bank account as soon as the next day. OnDeck disperses loans through the Automated Clearing House network or a wire transfer. Customers with a line of credit would receive a debit card connected to the business bank account that OnDeck has on file.

Small business owners could also take advantage of OnDeck’s technology through their existing banks. Chase’s Business Quick Capital allows certain clients to apply for a business loan online and receive funding as soon as the same day. PNC Bank is set to roll out a similar program in 2019 for customers to apply online for loans up to $100,000.

The fine print

Fees. OnDeck charges an origination fee on your first loan that ranges from 2.50% - 4.00%. Each subsequent loan that you get from OnDeck would have a lower origination fee. If you take out a line of credit, you would owe a $20 monthly maintenance fee. That fee can be waived if you withdraw more than $5,000 within one week of opening your line of credit.

No collateral. Although OnDeck puts a general lien on your business assets when you borrow money, you wouldn’t have to offer a specific business asset as collateral. That means you wouldn’t be denied funding solely because you don’t have valuable business assets to use as collateral. Without having to appraise and value particular assets, OnDeck can award funding faster than a traditional bank.

Fixed payments. To collect payments, OnDeck deducts a fixed amount from borrower’s business bank accounts on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the type of loan. These payments could impact your cash flow, but they should be easy to manage because they are predictable and unchanging.

Other alternative small business lenders

LendingClub

Online lender LendingClub offers business loans up to $300,000 and terms of one to five years. Like OnDeck, LendingClub collects fixed monthly payments as you pay back your loan. There are no prepayment penalties and your interest rate could be as low as 5.99%. To qualify for a LendingClub business loan, you would need at least one year in business, at least $50,000 in annual sales and no recent bankruptcies or tax liens. You would also need to own at least 20% of the business and have fair credit or better.

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Kabbage

Kabbage is an online lender that provides both secured and unsecured loans to small business owners. Kabbage offers term loans, lines of credit and working capital loans, among other financing options. Six-month and 12-month term loans are available, and interest rates range from 8.00% to 24.00%. You could be approved for up to $250,000.

Kabbage

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The bottom line

Business owners applying for financing from OnDeck have a chance to secure funding without relying on their credit score or collateral. Compared with a traditional bank, OnDeck’s application process is simple and time to funding is fast. However, your interest rate could be higher than what OnDeck advertises if your credit isn’t in great shape. OnDeck collects fixed payments, which could cut into your daily cash flow. If you’re approved for a loan, make sure it has an interest rate and terms that your business could handle. If you feel comfortable with the offering, an OnDeck loan could be a quick solution to meet your funding needs.

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.

Melissa Wylie
Melissa Wylie |

Melissa Wylie is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Melissa at melissa@magnifymoney.com

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