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Eliminating Fees, Reviews

Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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When I initially signed onto Bank5 Connect to check out account options, I was met with a pleasant surprise. In big bold font right next to “High-Interest Checking” was a nice number- 0.76 percent APY. I figured I must’ve been reading it wrong. An interest rate of 0.76 percent seemed like an impossibly good deal. Surely there had to be a catch.

CheckingBut Bank5 Connect’s High-Interest Checking holds up to its advertisement. The only requirement is to keep a $100 balance, but no stress if you fall below that amount – with no minimum balance requirements or sneaky fees, Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking is a safe bet.

Like other online only banks Bank5 Connect doesn’t have to shoulder the expense of pricey real estate, live teller salaries, and other brick and mortar banking expenses – which means more savings and perks passed on to you, the user.

You can open a High-Interest Checking account through the Bank5 Connect website or by calling the customer service number, 1-855-522-2655. The minimum opening deposit requirement is just $10 and can be funded through an online transfer from an external checking account, direct deposit, mobile deposit, check, or credit card.

Pros

Though you need $10 to open account you will not be penalized if your balance falls below. Bank5 Connect’s High-Interest Checking is among the top fee-free accounts.

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • No fees at domestic SUM Network ATMs
  • Reimbursement up to $15 for out of network ATM fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No early closure fee
  • Free first order of checks
  • Free cashiers checks
  • Free incoming wires

The account also comes with a debit card with a sweet perk of its own- a debit rewards program. Earn 1 point for every $2 spent using Bank5’s UChoose debit card and redeem points for various items online- vacation packages, gift cards, electronics, etc. The daily purchase limit on the card is $1,000.

Finally, the Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking account comes with all the staples of online banking convenience- online bill pay, e-statements, e-check deposit, mobile banking, and quick person-to-person payment options.

Bank5 Connect also earned an “A” Transparency Score for creating a simple product with partial ATM reimbursement, disclosure of fees, no minimum requirements and real overdraft protection.

Cons

While you can avoid ATM charges by using your UChoose debit card at any ATM within the SUM Network, you are responsible for fees charged by ATMs outside that network should you exceed the $15 monthly fee reimbursement allowance. The bonus reimbursement ATM coverage is also limited to domestic ATMs. Travel internationally and you’ll be on the hook for all fees.

In addition to checking, Bank5 Connect offers a savings account that can be linked for free overdraft protection. If you find yourself in a position of non-sufficient funds however, you’ll be responsible for the $15 overdraft fee.

High interest and low fees make Bank5 Connect’s High-Interest checking account a top option. Thanks to those features, it is consistently ranked among the best accounts compared to its competitors. But further research into the customer experience suggests reason for concern.

Despite an absence of physical branches, many online only banks have exceptionally high rated customer service. I had a hard time finding similarly complimentary reviews of Bank5 Connect, so I called in to customer service to check it out for myself.

While the wait time was minimal, my representative wasn’t particularly well informed. She had a hard time recounting some of the most basic account features I had been reading about online. Her responses to my questions were so dubious and unsure that I actually called back later with the hope of being connected to a more authoritative source. My second representative proved a better experience, but I can still see why Bank5 Connect might not be winning a people’s choice award winner any time soon.

Bank5 Connect

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Bank5 Connect High Yield Checking vs. Simple

Though the interest rate on Bank5 Connect’s High Yield Checking Account blows Simple’s out of the water (with Simple coming in at a weak 0.01 percent), Simple has the top-notch money management tools and excellent customer service representatives noticeably absent at Bank5 Connect. Where Simple provides a user-friendly experience, Bank5 Connect provides yield. Both options are first-rate on the debatably most important checking account features though- freedom from fees and transparency.

Bank5 Connect High Yield Checking vs. Ally Bank Checking

Ally Bank is another online only option boasting low fees. Interest rates on checking start at 0.10 percent, an improvement from those at Simple but a far cry from those at Bank5 Connect. For users with a balance greater than $15,000, the rate jumps to 0.60 percent, but that’s a pretty major requirement considering the small $100 balance required at Bank5 Connect.

Ally customer service is also well rated. Though Ally’s money management tools are not as comprehensive as Simple’s, for basic checking account needs, Ally is consistently a top contender in ratings and customer reviews.

Should You Use Bank5 Connect High Yield Checking?

A minimal fee structure paired with shockingly high interest makes Bank5 Connect High Yield Checking an option worth considering, but I would recommend taking customer service for a test run before singing up. Even when you bank online, you need to feel secure in where and with whom you leave your money.

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Personal Loans, Reviews

Pave Review: Personal Loan for Minimal Credit History

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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Pave is no longer lending. All existing loans will continue to be serviced. If you are looking for a personal loan, you can visit our review (updated monthly) of the best personal loans.

PAVE personal loans seeks to answer the plight of the young: how do you get access to affordable funding with limited credit history? If you’re a millennial in need of financial backing for higher education, to pay off debt, or even to start your own business, chances are you have found financing to be a challenge.

Enter Pave

Pave personal loans were designed specifically for people early in their careers. Its underwriting takes into account hundreds of factors beyond the traditional credit score in order to gauge an individual’s future potential. 

Pave grants loans of up to $25,000 in 24 to 36 months, with a personalized, enhanced, very non-traditional underwriting process to individuals who may not traditionally have access to the financing they need.

By the same token, Pave offers risk adjusted returns to its financial backers.

How is Pave Able to Offer Low Rates?

Pave recognized a big hole in the personal loan marketplace for talented young people who had promise but minimal credit history. With this in mind,Pave created a unique underwriting process that takes into account not only the borrower’s creditworthiness, but the value of his or her ideas, goals and education.

Pave starts by reviewing the borrower’s credit score and history, but then analyzes: use of personal funds, work history, current employment, education and future earning potential. This gives Pave opportunities to recognize how financially responsible a person can be as a whole, and enables Pave to offer the lowest rate possible without assuming too much risk.

Pave’s Underwriting Process

Pave approaches underwriting with a viewpoint that one size does not fit all.

While Pave does use a FICO credit score as a baseline, it considers alternate factors such as: education, employment and work history.

“As for previous education, we look at a number of things,” says David Rosen, head of underwriting for PAVE. “Including publicly available information on student loan repayment, and how likely graduates from certain schools, programs, or majors are to be employed.”

For example, say a student wanted to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, but because he was only 19, did not have a very high credit score.  Most banks would deny him funding based on his low credit score alone, but Pave would look at his high school employment history, his grades, and even future salary potential as an engineer. By using this hybrid underwriting model, Pave loans may be able to offer him financing.

How Can I Get Approved for Funding?

Basic eligibility for a Pave Loan requires:

  • US Citizenship
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Must have a US Bank Account
  • Must have a credit score of 660 or higher

Are There Any Restrictions On The Amount I Can Borrow?

Pave’s minimum loan amount is $3,000 and its maximum is $25,000

How Can I Use The Money I Borrow?

Pave places no restrictions how you use the money you have been loaned, because it recognizes there are many reasons why funding might be needed, and that those reasons could change at any time. 

People have typically used Pave funding to pay off or consolidate debt, finance higher education, or even start their own business.

Step 1: Sign up for Pave

Pave1

You will need to enter your first and last Name, email address, and a password.  Or, you can sign up using Linkedin.

Step 2: Confirm your Email

Step 3: Fill Out the Talent Questionnaire

The Talent Questionnaire is Pave’s way of finding out all of your basic information such as your birthdate, address, current living arrangement (rent or own), marital status, work experience, how much you want to borrow, education, and a bit of information about how your financials look currently.

Additionally, Pave Loans will ask for your social security number and then do a “soft pull”that will not affect your credit score, to determine your pre-eligibility. You must have a credit score of at least 660 to be considered for financing.

Step 4:  Approval

Once you have entered all of the information the Talent Questionnaire requested, Pave loans will take approximately 1 business day to review your application, and then they will contact you to let you know if you are approved for a Pave Loan or not.

Fee Warnings

Pave does not charge a prepayment penalty. It origination fees averages 2%. This means that if you refinanced $10,000 of credit card debt, the origination fee would cost you $200.

However, Pave does note that as it expands its service area and eligibility requirements, origination fees will range from 1.00% - 6.00%. This means that the origination fee on that same $10,000 would cost you anywhere from $100 – $600 in origination fees.

Pave Against the Competition

Other lending options such as SoFi and LendingClub do offer more convenient and flexible lending solutions. 

Where Pave limits you to $25,000, SoFi* allows you to borrow amounts from $5,000 to $100,000 with No origination fee. In addition, SoFi offers unemployment insurance with every personal loan, which is a great added benefit.

SoFi
APR

5.99%
To
19.96%*

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

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


Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 19.96% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of May 14, 2020 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

LendingClub* also offers personal loans of up to $40,000. The minimum credit requirements are not specified. LendingClub is not available in Iowa or West Virginia.

APR

10.68%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

2.00% - 6.00%

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on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates.... Read More

Pros & Cons of a Pave Loan

Pros:

  • Applying for a Pave personal loan will not hurt your credit.
  • The online application is easy and fast!
  • Pave Loans take non-traditional factors into accounts when deciding who they should finance.
  • Pave Loans can help you raise your credit score by paying off credit cards, or offering low-cost higher education financing solutions. 

Cons:

  • Pave can’t offer loans in the following states: Arizona, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming
  • Rates start at 7.18% and can go quite a bit higher, depending on creditworthiness, up to 29.65%
  • You must have a credit score of 660 or higher.
  • Loans are available from $3,000 to $25,000

Pave Loan is leading the way in developing a non-traditional lending process catering to millennials. Its system provides financing to a generation with great ideas, but who lack the credit to make those dreams happen. Currently, Pave is beta testing in New York, but Pave personal loans will soon be available in many other areas of the United States as well. Whether you live in New York or not — you should always comparison shop rates before settling on any personal loan.

Customize your personal loan offers with comparison tool

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Best of, Eliminating Fees, Reviews

Capital One 360 Checking Account Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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If you’re searching for a checking account with minimal fees, you’ve likely considered depositing your money into an online bank. But with so many online banks vying for your business, you may wonder which account is best suited for your needs.

The Capital One 360 Checking Account boasts no fees and no minimum balance to open which is pretty standard in the online banking world. However, there are other unique features of this account that set it apart.

The Capital One 360 Checking Account At A Glance

Let’s start with the basics. To qualify for 360 Checking you must be 18 years or older and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a social security number.

These are the perks ofopening a 360 Checking Account:

  • No monthly fees
  • FDIC insurance coverage
  • A free MasterCard debit card
  • No minimum balance to open or earn interest. Rates are variable and account APY ranges from 0.20% to 1.00% depending on your balance.
  • Use of Bill Pay. Send bill payments directly from your checking account for free. And set up eBills to receive electronic bills from participating merchants.
  • Person2Person payments. Send money free of charge to people who bank with Capital One 360 and elsewhere. Transfers to Capital One 360 accounts occur instantaneously. Transfers outside of the bank take up to two business days to authorize once the recipient approves it.
  • Access to 38,000+ Allpoint and Capital One ATMs for free. Drawing cash from an online account or making a deposit is a breeze, just search for an in-network ATM on Capital One’s mobile app or website.
  • Use of CheckMate for check deposits. Take photos of your checks from your mobile phone to make deposits. No standing in line or locating an ATM necessary.
  • Turn your card on and off. You can deactivate a card yourself online which is helpful if it’s stolen or missing.
  • No overdraft fees. Instead of a fee they offer an Overdraft Line of Credit that charges you a competitive interest rate if your account falls below zero.

Depositing Cash and Checks

Before taking the leap to online banking you may feel apprehensive about giving up access to a live teller for bank deposits. Fortunately, 360 Checking offers several simple ways to fund your account.

You can transfer money from another bank or set up direct deposit from your employer. You can also deposit cash and checks at 360 Cafe and Capital One branch ATMs. Find deposit locations near you with its ATM locator map.

Avoid using an ATM altogether for deposits and take snaps of your checks and upload them using CheckMate. The 360 Checking website offers a short demo to show you exactly what’s involved with depositing remotely.

A Closer Look at Overdraft Protection

promo-checking-halfThe 360 Checking account has a pretty lenient overdraft policy. If you apply for the Overdraft Line of Credit the daily interest on overdrafts will cost you pennies. Though you should keep in mind that during the application process for the line of credit, Capital One will perform a “hard pull” and it can affect your credit score. However, this dip of 5 to 10 points is well worth the protection to avoid overdraft charges.

The rate for overdraft is currently 12.50% APR variable and Capital One offers a convenient overdraft calculator to show you how much you can expect to be charged if your account goes into the red. For example, an overdraft of $100 for 10 days will cost you just $0.31 based on its estimate.

What happens if you pass on the Overdraft Line of Credit and your account goes into the negative? There’s no mention of the repercussions on the 360 Checking website. However, customer service confirmed there’s still no fee, the transaction is simply declined. They do advise transferring funds into your account promptly, otherwise you run the risk of having your account shut down. Keep in mind that while it’s great you don’t have a fee levied against you, declining a charge could mean an important bill goes unpaid.

Additional Fees to Consider

Although 360 Checking has no monthly fee, it’s important to note that there are some other fees for extra services associated with the account. For instance, sending out overnight checks will cost you $20 and an overnight card replacement costs $25. Your first checks are free, but future checkbooks cost $5. Additionally, if a check is returned for insufficient funds you’ll incur a $9 Rejected Check Charge. And to place a stop payment on a check you’ll have to pay $25.

What Sets 360 Checking Apart From Other Online Accounts?

The ability to make cash deposits at select ATM machines is a key differentiator of this checking account. Other popular online banks like Ally, The Bank of Interest USA, EverBank and Charles Schwab don’t currently accept cash deposits.

In other areas like customer service and fees, 360 Checking has some stiff competition. The Ally Bank Interest Checking Account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement as well, but they offer 24/7 customer service. Capital One 360 provides customer service from 8 am to 8 pm.  Furthermore, miscellaneous fees for checkbooks, stop payments and expedited delivery services are higher with 360 Checking than Ally Interest Checking.

How does the Capital One 360 Stack Up With Interest?

This account is decent for earning interest if you can’t put more than $100 into it initially. If you have a little bit more money to deposit, there are other options that will earn you more interest.

For instance, the Bank 5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account currently offers APY of 0.76% for balances over $100 at opening. In order for you to make that type of interest with a 360 Checking account you need to maintain a balance over $50,000.

Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t be hoarding tons of cashing in your checking account. It’s much better to keep high amounts of cash in a savings account, which offers better fraud protection.

A Good Deal if You Value Convenience

Overall Capital 360 checking may not be your first choice if your primary goal is to find a checking account with the highest interest. But it should be at the top of your list if you value conveniences like easy access to your money at thousands of ATMs for free, the option to deposit cash, the ease of bank transfers and no overdraft fees.

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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.