Avant Personal Loans Review: 2019

Avant is an online lender that focuses on serving borrowers who have poor credit or otherwise struggle to get approval elsewhere. The company’s stated mission is “to lower the barriers and costs of borrowing.” Avant offers several different products, individually set terms, and flexible enough requirements to meet the needs of non-prime borrowers.

About the Company

Founded in 2012 and based in Chicago with a Tennessee operations center, Avant services personal loans and offers credit cards. As of June of 2019, the company has served 600,000 customers and has lent $4 billion to date.

As its mission statement indicates, Avant values convenience, transparency, and high-quality service in lending. Well respected in the financial sector, Forbes magazine mentioned Avant in their Next Billion-Dollar Startups feature, and Avant was featured in Crain’s Chicago Business as the city’s “fastest-growing startup since Groupon.” In April of 2015, Avant’s CEO appeared on CNBC’s Mad Money.

Avant works with WebBank (member FDIC) as its originator. When Avant manages your loan, tracking payments and communicating with you throughout the life of the loan, the money actually comes from WebBank. 

Here you’ll learn:

What types of loans does Avant offer?

Avant offers three types of personal loans. All have similar interest rates and payment terms but are suitable for different types of borrowers.

1. Debt Consolidation Loans

A debt consolidation loan lets you combine your debts into a single bill. You pay off your existing debts using the funds from your Avant loan, which then becomes the only amount you have to repay every month.

2. Home Improvement Loans

If you want to upgrade your space but don’t want to tap your home equity, a home improvement loan from Avant may be the answer. 

When you tap your home equity, you put your home on the line. Avant’s personal loans have no such requirements. They also have a faster time-to-approval as compared to lenders who require your home as collateral.

When you apply for an Avant home improvement loan, it’s best if you have a particular project in mind. Your Avant representative can use your statement of purpose to verify that you’re using the loan to increase your home’s value, which helps you get approved.  

3. Emergency Loans

As the name indicates, emergency loans help people cover unexpected expenses. You might need the money to:

  • Pay for home or auto repairs
  • Pay medical costs that insurance doesn’t cover 
  • Replace missing or stolen valuables 
  • Visit a seriously ill loved one, or
  • Celebrate a major milestone for someone close to you.

You don’t need to justify your reason for receiving an emergency loan; you just need to agree to the payment terms.

Avant personal loans are not payday loans!

Avant makes a clear distinction between its options and a payday loan. Payday loans are a notoriously expensive category of lending which can carry an APR of up to 700% and charge additional fees. 

Unlike payday lenders, Avant has no hidden fees and works with you to come up with a payment schedule that you can afford. 

Avant Personal Loans: Rates and Term

Terms 

Avant loans have four options for term duration. 

  • 24 months (two years)
  • 36 months (three years, Avant’s most popular option)
  • 48 months (four years)
  • 60 months (five years)

Because the terms for Avant loans are based on the borrower’s qualifications, you might not have all four of these options as choices. 

If you choose a shorter-term loan, you’ll probably pay more per month but less overall because interest continues to apply throughout the life of your loan. 

A $10,000 loan paid off in 24 months will feature monthly payments of $461 and $1,074 in interest. If you take 48 months to pay off the same $10,000 loan, your payments will only be $253 but your interest paid will total $2,174 over the life of the loan.

Refinancing

Avant borrowers may apply to refinance their loan, and in some cases, doing so could help you access a lower interest rate and even additional funding. You can refinance up to a maximum of two times per loan.

Rates

Avant offers annual percentage rates ranging from 9.95% to 35.99%. Such a range is typical for personal loans from a national standpoint, but borrowers in different states are likely to receive different quotes. Your individual rate will depend on your home state and your credit history.

Avant loans’ interest rates are fixed, so you’ll be paying the same amount every month until you pay off your loan balance. 

Fees

Avant does not charge early payment fees and all loans are fully amortized. When you make your last payment, your balance will be zero. 

Administrative Fees:

Avant loans may include an automatically deducted an up-front administrative fee of up to 4.75% that is taken from the loan balance. For example, if you borrow $20,000, Avant will deduct $950 and you’ll receive $19,050. Your loan agreement will clearly detail the fee schedule. 

Late Fees:

Penalties may apply for late payments, but how much you’ll pay and how late you have to be to incur a fee varies from state to state. 

Dishonored Payment Fees:

Dishonored payment fees will apply if your bank returns your payment. These fees are often imposed when the borrower doesn’t have enough money to pay back the loan. 

Avant does not charge early payment fees and all loans are fully amortized. When you make your last payment, your balance will be zero.

Loan Amounts

Avant offers loans from $2,000 to $35,000. Depending on your home state and your personal finances, your minimum or maximum loan amounts may vary.

Time to Funding  

Avant prides itself on its ability to fund loans quickly to people in need. In as little as one business day, Avant can have funds in your account ready for you to use.

Avant Loan Requirements

Avant is known for being accessible to subprime borrowers, so don’t be afraid to apply if you don’t have perfect credit. 

Qualifying

Typical Credit Scores

Most of Avant’s borrowers have FICO credit scores between 600 and 700.   

Since the majority of Avant’s customer base falls within the less-than-ideal credit range, you can safely conclude that they welcome borrowers who have trouble getting loans elsewhere. 

Soft Credit Check: Pre-Application

Avant makes it easy to check your loan options. Avant requires your: 

  • Housing information and monthly housing costs
  • Type of income (full-time, self-employed, benefits, etc.) 
  • Credit score

Avant requires the purpose of your loan, but only in general terms. Avant will supplement the information you provide by doing a “soft” credit check, which pulls only a selection of your credit history. A soft credit check will not appear on your credit report later and doesn’t affect your score. 

Hard Credit Check: Formal Application

If you choose to go through with a formal application, Avant will conduct a hard credit check. As a standard procedure whenever you apply for a loan or credit card, the hard check gives a creditor your full credit history. The action will be visible to lenders as part of your credit card for up to two years. 

Repayment 

Avant’s accessibility-focused mission statement has led to a very user-friendly payment process. They actively encourage customers to take out loans when they need them and pay the money back when they don’t.

Payment Due Dates 

Monthly payments are due approximately 30 days after the loan is funded. You will continue to pay around the same time each month.

Accepted Methods of Payment

Avant accepts payment by mail in the form of paper checks, cashier’s checks, or money orders, sent to their corporate offices in Chicago. You may also make payments online or on the Avant mobile app using a credit or debit card or automatic ACH payments deducted from your bank account. 

Early and Additional Payments

Avant explicitly states that they never charge penalties for early or additional repayment. If you can afford to make extra payments or pay off the loan in advance of the due date, you can save a significant amount in interest.

The Avant Customer Experience

Customer Support

Avant’s live customer support is available seven days a week. 

HoursFor existing customers:
– Monday through Friday, 7 am to 10 pm CST
– Saturday and Sunday, 7 am to 8 pm CST
For applicants:
– Monday through Sunday, 7 am to 8 pm CST
Phone800-712-5407
Emailsupport@avant.com

Agents respond to email inquiries during regular business hours.

Customer Feedback and Reports

Avant has maintained full accreditation by the Better Business Bureau since 2015. As of this writing, the company has an A- rating. 

On Trustpilot, Avant has received 5 out of 5 stars and an 80 percent Excellent rating. The next most common rating is “Great” at 12 percent. 

Reviews of Avant on Trustpilot say:

  • Its representatives are pleasant and helpful
  • Its process is straightforward and efficient
  • Customers receive their money quickly

Customers notice the same things that Avant emphasizes—efficient distribution of funds, great customer service, and a simple borrowing process. 

Finally, an internally conducted survey showed:

  • 95 percent of surveyed customers were satisfied with the Avant experience
  • Customers rate the company an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Nine out of 10 customers say that they would recommend Avant to a friend. 

Summary 

Pros

  1. High customer service ratings on multiple reputable platforms
  2. No prepayment penalties
  3. Refinancing available up to two times with the option to add to your amount borrowed
  4. Get funded in as little as one day

Cons

  1. Limited loan purpose options  

Avant is a highly reputable lender for borrowers with lower credit scores. If you’re struggling to get your credit back under control, Avant is a great place to look into borrowing. The application process is simple, and customer service agents are available to help when needed.

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