Avant – Personal Loans Review

Advertiser Disclosure

Personal loans through Avant can be a smart option if you have a lower credit score, but you can probably find better rates elsewhere with good credit.

Avant is one of the leading personal loan lending platforms in the industry, offering access to loans to borrowers with poor to average credit who may be turned down for the same loan through a bank. There are no minimum credit or income requirements to apply. You could borrow from $2,000 to $35,000*, and once your loan is approved, you could receive funds as soon as the next business day. The Avant platform charges an origination fee of 4.75%**, but there’s no additional fees if you pay off your loan early.

Interest rates on loans through Avant vary from 9.95% to 35.99%, depending on your credit and financial history. These rates are reasonable, compared to the rest of the online lending industry, but they’re definitely higher than what you could find elsewhere if you have good credit. Many personal loan lenders offer rates closer to 5% or 6% to those with excellent FICO scores. If you have a good credit score, Avant probably isn’t going to be your best lending option. For example: a $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

The Specs

Interest Rates9.95% - 35.99%
Loan Amounts$2,000 - $35,000*
Loan Terms2 - 5 years
Best ForBorrowers with poor credit
Not ForBorrowers with credit scores over 700
Standout FeaturesNo minimum requirements to apply
No prepayment fees
Fast decisioning
Customer support 7 days a week

The Claim

Avant is one of the best-known personal loan platforms in the industry. It offers access to quick and easy cash, competitive interest rates, and flexible repayment terms to accommodate all types of borrowers. Whether you’re trying to consolidate debt, take a vacation, or pay off an unexpected expense, Avant is there to help.

Is it True?

Sort of. Avant is a good choice for those with poor credit who have trouble securing a loan elsewhere. There are no minimum requirements to apply, though most borrowers who get approved for a loan through Avant have a credit score between 600 and 700. You can borrow up to $35,000*, and once your application is approved, you could have your funds as soon as the next business day if approved by 4:30pm CST Monday-Friday. Loan terms vary between two and five years, and if you run into trouble paying it back, an Avant customer service representative will work with you to come up with a workable solution.

Interest rates vary from 9.95% to 35.99%, depending on your credit score, income, and financial history. This isn’t a bad deal if your credit is poor, especially compared to the 300% interest rates most payday lenders charge. But borrowers with FICO scores over 700 will undoubtedly be able to secure a better rate elsewhere. Some personal loan companies, like Prosper, offer interest rates as low as 3% to borrowers with excellent credit, and over the lifetime of a loan, that slightly lower interest rate could save you hundreds of dollars..

There is an origination fee of 4.75%**, which comes off your loan amount. There are no prepayment fees, however, so you won’t be penalized if you decide to pay your loan back early.

Our Deep Dive

  • No minimum requirements to apply: Unlike most personal loan providers, Avant doesn’t have a minimum credit score or household income required to secure a loan. This isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be accepted, but it’s good news for borrowers with poor credit who are having a hard time getting a loan elsewhere.
  • Borrow up to $35,000: Avant’s loan amounts range from $2,000 to $35,000*. There are a few personal loan providers with higher limits, but Avant should be able to accommodate the majority of borrowers needs.
  • Average interest rates: Avant’s interest rates are not unreasonable for the online lending industry, but several of its competitors offer a lower minimum interest rate to borrowers with high credit scores.
  • Flexible loan terms: Avant offers loan terms from two to five years. The available terms may vary, depending on your creditworthiness and home state.
  • Get funds the next business day: Once your application has been verified, Avant will transfer the money into your account. Usually you’ll receive it by the next business day, but it could take up to a week.
  • Origination fee: There is an origination fee of 4.75%**, which comes out of your loan. These types of fees aren’t uncommon among personal loan providers; however, here are a few companies, like Discover, that don’t have them.
  • Get help seven days a week: If you have any questions about your loan or you’re struggling to make payments, you can contact Avant by phone, email, or live chat any day of the week. One of the company’s customer support representatives will be able to answer your questions and help you come up with a payment solution that works for you.
  • No prepayment fee: Avant won’t charge you an additional fee to make up for lost interest if you choose to pay your loan back early.
  • Mobile account management: Avant has mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. These enable you to apply for your loan, view account details, make payments, and update your payment schedule.

Cost Rundown

Your monthly payments will vary depending on the amount you borrow, the length of the loan term, and your creditworthiness. You can check your rate on Avant’s website or through one of its mobile apps to get some idea of what you’ll pay. This will generate a soft inquiry on your credit report, but it won’t impact your credit score.

If your credit score is over 700, you could see interest rates closer to 10%. Borrowers with poor credit could end up paying as much as 35.99% APR. That’s pretty high compared to some of Avant’s competitors, but it’s still reasonable when you compare it to the 300% interest rates payday lenders charge.

Cheaper (or Free!) Alternatives

Before committing to a lender, check rates from multiple companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal. See what your local bank, Avant, and other online lenders have to offer. Look at the monthly payments and the total cost over the lifetime of the loan. Keep an eye out for hidden fees, and make sure you’re getting a fixed-rate loan. This will keep your payments from rising unexpectedly over time.

This may seem time-consuming, but the effort could save you hundreds of dollars. Say you wanted a $10,000 loan with a five-year term. At 20% APR, that’s going to cost you $15,896.33 over the lifetime of the loan. At 21% APR, it’ll cost $16,232.02. That’s an extra $335.69. By comparison, an hour of your time spent getting quotes doesn’t seem like such a huge investment.

The Competition

OneMain Financial: Another well-known personal loan provider, OneMain only has a few requirements for approval. There’s no minimum credit score and you can borrow up to $25,000. Its interest rates are on par with Avant’s, ranging from 12.99% on the low end to 35.99%. While it’s a solid option for those who are struggling to get financing elsewhere, you’ll probably be able to find a more affordable rate elsewhere if your credit is good.

Prosper:  A peer-to-peer lender, Prosper offers personal loans up to $35,000. Interest rates vary from 3% to 36%, so it’s a better fit for those with good credit. Its minimum 640 credit score may put it out of reach for those with poor credit. Like Avant, it charges an origination fee, but there’s also no charge for paying off your loan early. Prosper offers three- and five-year loan terms, but you don’t get to choose which one you get.

Lending Club: Another peer-to-peer lender, Lending Club requires a minimum credit score of 660.  You can borrow up to $40,000, making it a good choice if you need a larger loan and have good credit. Interest rates are slightly lower than Avant’s, ranging from 5.32% to 30.99%.

What Others Are Saying

  • Bankrate published an article discussing Avant’s rapid growth. It has originated over $3 billion in personal loans in just three years, making it the fastest-growing personal loan provider in the nation. When asked about this, the company’s CEO said: “This is a huge accomplishment and speaks to the market demand for affordable and accessible personal loans.”
  • The Wall Street Journal reported on Avant’s recent cutbacks due to concerns over capital availability. The company reportedly plans to reduce its loan volume by two-thirds. A spokeswoman explained this move: “We are moderating loan volume to focus on the immediate profitability of our core personal loan products.”
  • The Chicago Tribune ran a story about Avant’s growth over the past three years and its plans for the future. A company spokesperson said: “We want to expand from a personal (loan) company into a multiproduct platform that’s really fulfilling the needs of middle-class consumers.” The company plans to branch out into auto refinancing loans, credit cards, and possibly mortgages and home equity lines of credit.

The Bottom Line

Avant is a good place to turn to for a personal loan if your credit score puts a traditional bank loan out of reach. If your credit is good, however, you can probably find a better interest rate elsewhere. Before committing to any lender, shop around for quotes first to find your best possible rate.

* The actual loan amount, term, and APR amount of loan that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and state law. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.

**Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.