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Review of SoFi Money Cash Management Account

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.

Best known for its student loan refinancing products, SoFi also offers a cash management account, SoFi Money. This account offers a unique fusion of checking and savings accounts, with a very competitive APY and impressive amounts of FDIC insurance.

What is SoFi Money?

SoFi Money is a cash management account that combines the liquidity of a checking account with the interest-earning potential of a high-yield savings account — sans fees or stringent requirements. Similar to other fintech cash management accounts, like Aspiration Spend & Save and Betterment Everyday, SoFi utilizes a network of partner banks to hold the funds deposited in SoFi Money.

One characteristic that differentiates SoFi Money from competitors: It’s a single account, lacking the division between savings and checking common with some other cash management accounts. SoFi Money pays 1.10% APY on your entire balance; some competitors only pay an APY on the funds held in savings.

SoFi Money sweeps your funds into accounts held at its partner banks, which provide Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) insurance on up to $1.5 million in deposits. However, it’s worth noting that the amount of FDIC insurance coverage can vary if you already have other assets in accounts at one or more of the partner banks. SoFi Money’s partner banks include:

  • MetaBank — Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Hills Bank and Trust Company — Hills, Iowa
  • EagleBank — Bethesda, Md.
  • East West Bank — Pasadena, Calif.
  • TriState Bank Capital Bank — Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. — Sioux Falls, S.D.

How do you open a SoFi Money account?

To open a SoFi Money account, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old with a physical U.S. address and a valid Social Security number. After signing up, you can transfer funds to your SoFi Money account from a linked bank account — just search for your bank and link your account, either by entering your username and password or by manually linking your routing and account numbers. With SoFi Money, you also have the option to set up direct deposits and to deposit checks in the account via the mobile app.

SoFi Money features

Your SoFi Money account comes with a Visa debit card, which lets you withdraw cash at ATMs displaying a Visa, Plus or NYCE logo. You can also send money to family and friends via a built-in peer-to-peer payments feature. The account offers bill pay services and physical paper checks. You may move money into and out of the account via ACH transfers on the mobile app.

SoFi Money boasts bells and whistles that many standard bank accounts don’t. Noteworthy features include:

  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements if you are charged a fee at an ATM that accepts Visa
  • SoFi membership benefits (more on that below)
  • No regular maintenance fees
  • No overdraft fees
  • No foreign transaction fees (SoFi covers the 1% foreign exchange fee charged by Visa)
  • No minimum required opening deposit

However, there are also caveats to consider when evaluating SoFi Money. First, FDIC coverage does not apply right away — your funds are only protected once they arrive at the partner bank they are swept into, which could take up to two business days. Additionally, there are some fairly restrictive withdrawal limits, which we detail below.

Is SoFi Money a checking account or savings account?

SoFi Money is neither a checking account nor a savings account — it’s a hybrid account type that has become an increasingly popular offering from fintech companies. Since most fintechs are not banks, they cannot secure FDIC insurance on their own. That’s why they use partner banks to hold your deposits.

The idea of cash management accounts is that they are a hybrid of checking accounts and savings accounts. While traditional savings accounts are limited to six transfers per month, due to the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D, cash management accounts like SoFi Money aren’t subject to such limits and allow for more (or unlimited) withdrawals and transfers.

SoFi Money does offer a feature that lets you segregate funds for long-term savings, called Vaults. You can establish multiple Vaults to earmark money for different goals, but they are not separate accounts, only partitions within your account. You can’t withdraw money directly from a Vault — funds must first be transferred to your SoFi Money account before they can be accessed.

SoFi Money membership benefits

One of SoFi Money’s differentiating features is that it gives account holders SoFi membership benefits. These benefits are offered to customers of SoFi and are fairly encompassing. A few standout membership benefits include:

  • Expert advice: SoFi Money membership provides personalized financial advice from credentialed advisors.
  • Referral bonuses: Refer friends to SoFi and reap rewards.
  • Deals and discounts: You’re eligible for rate reductions and discounts on your next eligible SoFi loan, as well as deals and discounts from companies that partner with SoFi.
  • Access to events: You get access to local events and experiences, ranging from dinners to networking events.
  • Career help: Receive access to career coaching and tools like a personalized action plan to help you get a raise.

SoFi Money transaction limits

SoFi Money has transaction limits, and while these limits are meant to prevent fraudulent activity, in some cases — like when traveling or making large purchases — they might feel a bit restrictive. However, the company does indicate that depending on its assessment of your account, these limits could be different or change over time.

Type of transactionWithdrawal limit
Peer-to-peer transfer$250 per day, and $3,000 per month
Bill pay$10,000 per transaction
ATM and point-of-sale cash withdrawal with debit card$610
Over-the-counter cash withdrawal$150
Point-of-sale spend limit$3,000
Point-of-sale transactions per day12

SoFi Money pros and cons

You win some; you lose some. Such is true for the SoFi Money account. Here are a few noteworthy pros and cons of SoFi Money.

SoFi Money pros:

  • Very minimal fees: SoFi Money offers a robust, fee-free structure that goes beyond just no monthly maintenance fees and no overdraft fees, which are common features of cash management accounts. In addition, it also charges no fees on services like replacement debit cards, inactive accounts, stop payments and return items.
  • Supports joint accounts: You can easily open a joint account by clicking the “more” tab and “add joint account holder.”
  • Quick and unlimited ATM fee refunds: Third-party ATM fee reimbursements are credited to your SoFi Money account by the following business day.
  • No overdraft fees: SoFi Money declines any transaction that would push your account balance into the red. Even better, if an overdraft occurs when the original transaction is approved but the amount that is actually charged is more, like when tipping at a restaurant, SoFi Money does not charge an overdraft fee.
  • Compatible with other tools: SoFi Money is compatible with payment services including Venmo and PayPal, as well as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

SoFi Money cons:

  • You can’t deposit cash: There is no way to deposit cash into your SoFi Money account. This could be limiting for people who earn income through cash payments.
  • FDIC coverage isn’t immediate: Your deposits do not receive FDIC insurance until they arrive in accounts at partner banks, which could take up to two business days. This is a potential drawback worth considering.
  • Restrictive transaction limits: The daily limitations on ATM withdrawals, bill pay, peer-to-peer payments and more might feel restrictive to those who consistently make large purchases or do not want to feel constrained when it comes to their spending.
  • One account for all funds: Unlike a number of its competitors, SoFi Money does not offer separate accounts dedicated to spending and saving. For those who struggle with the self-control required to save money, this could create additional hurdles.

SoFi Money vs. other cash management accounts

SoFi Money is far from the first cash management account to crop up. Here’s how it stacks up to its competitors.

AccountAPYMaximum FDIC insurance
SoFi Money1.10% APY$1.5 million
SimpleUp to 1.75% APY on funds in Protected Goals accountUp to the legal limit
Aspiration Spend & SaveUp to 1.50% APY on funds in Save$2 million
Betterment Everyday0.30% APY on funds in Cash Reserve$1 million

SoFi Money vs. Simple

  • Simple allows you to stash funds you want to save in the separate Protected Goals savings account.
  • Simple does not offer ATM fee reimbursements and does not waive the 1% Visa international fee, while SoFi Money offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements and does waive that fee.
  • Simple offers a robust selection of budgeting tools built-in, while SoFi Money does not offer such features aside from a separate budgeting tool called SoFi Relay.

SoFi Money vs. Aspiration

  • Aspiration has a dedicated, separate sub-account for funds you’d like to save, called Aspiration Save.
  • Aspiration limits your ATM fee reimbursements to five per month, while SoFi Money offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. Aspiration also charges you for the 1% Visa foreign transaction fee, which SoFi does not.
  • Aspiration offers socially conscious features, like tracking how sustainable your spending habits are and donating a portion of its earnings to charity.

SoFi Money vs. Betterment Everyday

  • Betterment Everyday has yet to fully roll out all of its checking account features. SoFi Money offers fully functional liquid checking account features today.
  • Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve’s partner banks offer FDIC insurance on deposits of up to $1 million, while SoFi Money’s partners offer FDIC insurance on deposits of up to $1.5 million.
  • Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve has a feature that automatically moves money from a checking account to your Cash Reserve account to maximize interest earned.

Who is SoFi Money best for?

SoFi Money and its competitive APY can be a more attractive option than a standard checking account at a brick-and-mortar bank, especially if you’ve been burned badly by bank fees in the past.

Its drawbacks, though, could ultimately be deal breakers for those who struggle with self-control and need a separate sub-account for savings, people who make large ATM withdrawals or those who want their funds to be FDIC insured right from the start. There are a number of cash management accounts to consider before deciding which one is the right fit for you.

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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Earning Interest, Eliminating Fees, Reviews

Schwab High Yield Investor 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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The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account offered by Charles Schwab Bank isn’t your average checking account. In fact, it’s a checking account designed exclusively for investors. If you want the convenience of having your idle cash and invested assets all under one roof, this product could be for you.

What is the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account?

The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account is an interest-bearing checking account that is linked to your Schwab One brokerage account, making it easy and convenient to invest otherwise idle cash.

This product comes with attractive features that many traditional checking accounts offer — including no minimum balance requirements, no monthly service or ATM fees and a variable interest rate — as well as the unique feature of easy transfers to and from your linked brokerage account. When you open your High Yield Investor Checking account, a Schwab One brokerage account will also be opened for you. The accounts will have separate account numbers, but both can be viewed online with a single login.

Here’s what you can expect to receive upon opening and funding a Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account:

  • 0.03% APY
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance
  • Free transfers to and from your linked brokerage account
  • Schwab Bank Visa Platinum debit card
  • Complimentary checks, deposit slips, mailing labels and pre-addressed, postage-paid envelopes

How is the High Yield Investor Checking account different from other checking accounts?

In most cases, checking accounts do not require you to open another linked account in which funds will flow to and from. The Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account, however, is only available as a linked account with the Schwab One brokerage account.

If you’re in the market for just a checking account to stash the cash you use for your everyday spending needs, opening a brokerage account alongside your checking account can seem like an unnecessary step. The brokerage account’s main function is to trade stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and other financial products.

However, it is worth noting that the Schwab One brokerage account does not have any minimum balance requirements or requirements to fund the account, making it relatively accessible and easy to open.

Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account fees and minimums

The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account features the following fees and minimums:

Monthly service fee

$0

Minimum balance fee

$0

ATM fee

Unlimited ATM fee rebates

Foreign transaction fee

$0

It’s worth noting that while the Schwab One brokerage account also does not have any minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees, other account fees may apply. For example, trades placed through a broker come with a service charge of $25.

Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy to invest idle cash: By having your checking account linked to your brokerage account, it makes it much more convenient to invest any idle cash.
  • Minimal fees: Schwab’s High Yield Investor Checking account boasts minimal fees compared to other checking accounts, specifically ones offered by other big banks.
  • Unlimited ATM rebates: This is a valuable feature and could save you a significant amount of money over time.

Cons

  • Low interest rate: The account’s 0.03% APY pales in comparison to other high-yield checking accounts, some of which have rates that climb to over 5.00% APY.
  • Unnecessary complexity: The requirement of having a Schwab One brokerage account could be viewed as an added hoop to jump through for those simply looking for a traditional checking account product.
  • Non-sufficient funds fee: Watch out for the account’s non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee of $25, up to $100 maximum per day, if you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a transaction. Still, this is less than the average NSF fee of $30.50.

Who is the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account good for?

If you’re just looking for a liquid checking account that you can use for your everyday spending needs, the Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account is likely not for you. There are other checking accounts offering much higher interest rates without requiring you to link a brokerage account in order to open the account. Additionally, if your strategy is to let your extra cash sit in the Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account without initiating regular transfers to your Schwab One brokerage account, your money would grow at a considerably faster rate in a high-yield savings account, money market account or CD.

If you already are an investor and have a Schwab One brokerage account — or are looking for a checking account that provides easy and instant transfers to and from your brokerage account — the Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account is certainly worth exploring. It has many of the same, standout features that the best traditional checking accounts have, while also being one of the few checking accounts out there that provides instant access to your invested assets.

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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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Best of, Reviews

The Top 7 Second Chance Bank Accounts

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 credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Some banks don’t like giving second chances to customers who have less-than-stellar financial histories, especially since it could expose them to expensive risks. A record of bounced checks or debit card overdrafts could easily lock you out of the conveniences of modern banking.

Fortunately, banks also like making money, and some offer special “second chance” accounts that minimize their risk while allowing consumers to stay in the banking system. A second chance bank account gives customers with troubled records a fresh opportunity to demonstrate they can bank responsibly.

When it comes to a second chance account, fees are an unfortunate reality. But some accounts offer customers a better deal than others, and we’ve researched our database to find the second chance accounts with the most reasonable fee structures, while also factoring in whether they provide online and mobile banking, and how accessible accounts are throughout the country.

Account Name

Monthly Fee

Minimum to open

Availability

Chime$0$0Nationwide
Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking$4.95 $30Nationwide
GoBank Checking Account$8.95, can be waived if you meet requirements$20Nationwide
Radius Essential Checking$0$10Nationwide
Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts$10, can be waived if you meet requirements$25Nationwide
BBVA Easy Checking$13.95$25Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas
Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking$9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit; $11.95 without a direct deposit$25Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia

Second chance account basics

With a second chance bank account, customers shut out of traditional bank accounts get the opportunity to win their way back into a bank’s good graces. Similar to credit bureaus, financial services company ChexSystems maintains records of consumers’ banking histories. Bounced checks, overdrawn accounts or instances of fraud can all end up on your ChexSystems record; if you accumulate enough black marks on ChexSystems, banks could deny your application to open a new account.

Because second chance accounts are meant for customers who have demonstrated bad banking behavior, some lack features of traditional accounts, such as overdraft protection. In the eyes of the bank, you represent too much of a risk for them to extend you such courtesies.

Nobody likes paying fees, and we generally advise consumers to avoid needless banking fees due to the many fee-free banking options available. But fees are the price you pay for access to banking when you have a poor record. Plus, the second chance accounts listed below give you access to online and mobile banking, which is always a plus.

The 7 best second chance bank accounts

1. Chime

Chime

Fintech app developer Chime is not a bank, however their online checking account product is open to everybody no matter how bad your record is with ChexSystems. Chime does not check on applicants with ChexSystems, plus they offer lots of non-traditional features to help you get your financial life back on track. Best of all is the fact that they charge no fees at all, and require neither a minimum opening deposit or a minimum balance.

Chime account features:

  • No opening balance or minimum balance requirements.
  • Set up direct deposit for your paycheck, and the funds from each pay period will be deposited as soon as the transaction is initiated, giving you access to your pay up to two days earlier than conventional checking accounts.
  • Automatic savings features to help you save in your connected Chime Savings account.
  • The app sends you daily bank account balance notifications, and sends transaction alerts every time you use your debit card.
  • You can disable the debit card from the app.

Fees to watch out for:

  • Chime’s service is almost entirely fee-free: No monthly charges, no ACH transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM fees if you withdraw funds from MoneyPass ATMs.
  • If you make an ATM withdrawal outside of these networks, there is a $2.50 fee.
  • Overdrafts are not permitted, so there is never an overdraft fee.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Chime’s secure website

Member FDIC

2. Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking

Peoples Bank Cash Solutions

This Texas-based bank offers a second chance bank account that is available nationwide, and so long as you don’t have a record of bank or checking fraud on your record, you should be approved for this account. You’ll need to deposit at least $30 before the bank activates your account and provides you with checks and a debit card.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $4.95 monthly maintenance fee
  • $27.50 overdraft fee
  • $27.50 nonsufficient funds fee
  • $3.95 printed statement fee (which can be avoided with electronic statements)
  • $2.00 ATM withdrawal fee at machines not owned by Peoples Bank
  • $25 stop payment fee
  • $20 account closure fee (if within 90 days of opening account)

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Peoples Bank Cash Solutions’s secure website

Member FDIC

3. GoBank Checking Account

GoBank

A brand of Green Dot Bank, GoBank does not run a background check for new checking customers on ChexSystems, and it does not require a credit check. The account comes with a free debit card and fee-free access to a large network of ATMs, although be warned that out-of-network ATM withdrawals carry a $3 fee, on top of whatever the ATM operator charges. GoBank’s $8.95 monthly fee is high. However, this fee can be avoided with a monthly $500 direct deposit.

Account Features:

  • A free debit card
  • 24/7 mobile and online banking
  • Simple budgeting and spending tracker tools
  • Mobile check deposits

Fees to watch out for:

  • $2.95 sign-up fee, waived if you set up your account online
  • $8.95 monthly maintenance fee, waived each month your account receives payroll or government direct deposits totaling at least $500
  • Fees of up to $4.95 charged by retailers to make cash deposits
  • $3 out-of-network ATM withdrawal fee
  • $5 card replacement fee
  • Foreign transaction fee is 3% total transaction

SEE DETAILS Secured

on GoBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

4. Radius Essential Checking

Radius Bank

Products from online bank Radius are available to customers nationwide, and accessibility is a strong point in its favor. This second chance bank account only requires customers to deposit $10 to open an Essential Checking account, which is lower than some other accounts on this list.

Account Features:

  • A free debit card
  • 24/7 mobile and online banking
  • Access to Radius’s budgeting and personal finance tracking apps
  • Eligibility to upgrade to Radius’s Reward Checking account after 12 months of positive banking history

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9 monthly maintenance fee
  • $25 per item non-sufficient funds fee (waived on all overdraft items $5 or less)
  • $5 daily overdraft fee

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Radius Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

5. Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo’s Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts are tailor-made for folks with a lackluster credit or banking history. With a $25 opening deposit, you’ll get access to a second chance bank account that offers most of the bells and whistles of a traditional bank account. The account does come with a monthly fee, although it’s possible to waive it if you meet a few requirements (see below).

Account features:

  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free transfers are available between Opportunity Checking and Savings accounts
  • You can choose to opt into overdraft protection
  • Free access to bill pay
  • “My Spending Report with Budget Watch” is available if you want to pay extra attention to where your money is going
  • Free debit card with access to more than 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs throughout the country

Fees to watch out for:

  • $10 monthly service fee, waived if any of the following are true:
    • You make 10 posted debit card purchases or payments
    • You keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 in the account
    • You receive $500 total in direct deposits each statement cycle
  • $35 overdraft and returned item fee
  • $12.50 overdraft protection transfer fee
  • $15 fee for excess activity (exceeding withdrawals from your savings account)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee with your debit card
  • $5 for money orders
  • $31 for stop payments

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

6. BBVA Easy Checking

BBVA
BBVA’s Easy Checking product is available as a second chance account to customers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. There is a $13.95 monthly service charge to maintain the account. You can request that BBVA upgrade your account one of their regular checking products after 12 months — and ditch that high monthly fee — so long as the Easy Checking account remains active and has a positive balance.

BBVA Easy Checking features::

  • Online and mobile banking, customized alerts, and a free debit card (with option to personalize)
  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free BBVA ATM withdrawals

Fees to watch out for:

  • $3 fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals
  • $38 insufficient funds fee ($32 in California)
  • $15 deposit item returned fee
  • $32 stop payment fee made over the phone or in person ($30 in California); $25 if made online

SEE DETAILS Secured

on BBVA’s secure website

Member FDIC

7. Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking

Woodforest National Bank

This regional bank has a checking account aptly named Second Chance Checking, to help people rejected by other banks access — provided they live in one of the 17 states where a physical branch exists and can meet the $25 minimum opening deposit requirement. Those states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit
  • $9 one-time account set-up fee
  • $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee when used at a non-Woodforest network ATM
  • $15 debit card set-up fee
  • $32 overdraft fee (for each charge)

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Alternatives to a second chance bank account

Get a prepaid debit card

Tired of the traditional banking experience? You could opt for a prepaid debit card instead. With a prepaid card, you can load money onto it and spend at merchants that accept major credit and debit cards. But if you try and spend more money than what’s on the card, the transaction is declined — although this prevents you from accruing any overdraft or insufficient funds fees. This is useful if you feel you may still have trouble managing your spending and need an extra layer of security to prevent you from getting into trouble.

Some prepaid cards offer extra perks like advance direct deposit and free ATMs so long as you stay in their network.

Open a secured credit card

You may also have better luck applying for a secured credit card if your credit score is in good enough shape. Usually, this requires depositing cash with the lender, who then gives you the credit card for the same amount. Each month that you make on-time payments, the bank will report that good behavior to the credit bureaus, helping you boost your credit score. At the end of the payment period (generally 12 months, though it varies by banks), you’ll get the full deposit back.

Secured cards can come with high interest rates and many don’t feature the enticing rewards other high-end cards do, but they get the basic job done for consumers who don’t need a card with a high credit limit.

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.