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Avant's selling point isn't its low rates, especially if you already have good credit. But if your credit isn’t the best, Avant is one of the few lenders willing to work with you without charging an arm and a leg.
- Pros and Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
Quick funding timelines
Lower credit requirements than most lenders
Lower income requirements than most lenders
High origination fees
Relatively higher interest rates for people with good credit
Doesn't pay creditors directly for consolidation loans
Doesn't allow joint applicants, co-signers, or collateral
Not available in Hawaii, Iowa, New York, Maine, Vermont, or West Virginia
- Avant claims to have offered over two million people loans and credit cards since it was founded in 2012.
- Avant partners with WebBank to fund loans, but you work with Avant through the entire loan process.
- Avant differentiates itself by offering personal loans to people with low credit scores and income, who traditional online lenders generally ignore.
Avant is a popular online fintech company that offers personal loans and credit cards. It was founded in 2012 with the specific purpose of helping out "middle-income" people left behind by most traditional lenders, who flock to people with high incomes and credit scores. Since then it's given out nearly two million loans and credit cards to people who would normally have to pay exorbitantly high rates to borrow money, if they'd be approved at all.
Avant has a wide footprint, offering personal loans in 44 states. It has a so-so reputation, with many excellent reviews online and an equal share of complaints. Even so, for people working on building their credit, it's a far better option than alternatives like taking out a payday loan or carrying a balance on a high-interest credit card.
Payday loans generally charge much higher rates and don't help you build a better credit score even if you repay them perfectly. In contrast, Avant reports your payments to the three credit bureaus, allowing you an opportunity to repair your credit.
- Quick funding timelines: There are lenders with faster service available than Avant, but not by much: If you're approved for a loan by 4:30 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday, Avant will send you the money via ACH the following day.
- Lower credit requirements than most lenders: Avant will approve loans for people with credit scores as low as 550, assuming you meet other requirements. Most other lenders will just deny you outright if your credit score is that low.
- Lower income requirements than most lenders: As long as you bring in at least $1,200 in income per month, you may be eligible for a loan. Given that that's roughly the median weekly take-home pay for Americans, that means many people stand a chance of approval when other lenders might pass on them.
- High origination fees: If you have bad credit, one of the tradeoffs you make with Avant is paying a higher origination fee than most other lenders charge. On the flip side, if you're a prime borrower, Avant might waive the origination fee entirely.
- Relatively higher interest rates for people with good credit: Avant isn't limited only to people with lower credit and income. But if you have good credit, it'll be very easy for you to find a more affordable loan elsewhere.
- Doesn't pay creditors directly for consolidation loans: If you're using Avant to take out a debt consolidation loan, you'll need to pay off your old creditors directly. In contrast, many other lenders offer to send the loan funds straight to your old lenders, thereby saving you a bit of time in paying off your old loans.
- Doesn't allow joint applicants, co-signers, or collateral: You'll need to qualify for an Avant personal loan entirely on your own, without help from a spouse, parent, or anyone else on the loan. Avant also doesn't offer secured loans, which let you pledge some sort of collateral in order to get better odds at approval with lower interest rates.
- Not available in Hawaii, Iowa, New York, Maine, Vermont, or West Virginia: Avant is available to people who live in most U.S. states, but not all.
If you’ve got excellent credit, you can likely find better rates elsewhere. Browse our picks for the top personal loans for excellent credit to see what you may get.
Types of Personal Loans Offered by Avant
As far as installment loans go, Avant only offers unsecured personal loans.
You can actually use Avant's personal loans for just about anything, except for illegal activities or paying for a college education. Avant advertises some of the most common personal loan uses on its website, but keep in mind these aren't actually different loans since they all have the same terms and conditions:
- Home improvement loans to fix or upgrade your living space, inside and out
- Debt consolidation loans to combine multiple higher-interest debts into one loan
- Emergency loans to pay for surprise expenses like medical treatments or car repairs
Time to Receive Funds
If you're approved, Avant can get your funds to you relatively quickly. It's able to offer next-day ACH deposit if you're approved before 4:30 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday. Keep in mind that depending on your bank's policies, an ACH deposit can still take up to a few days before it's available in your account after Avant sends it.
Avant's main selling point is that it may be more willing to approve you for a loan when other lenders might reject you straightaway, even if it’s not necessarily the cheapest option among mainstream lenders. But that doesn't mean it approves everyone for a loan.
Fortunately, Avant doesn't hide away the details about the requirements you'll need to meet to get a loan, unlike most other lenders. Here's what the company told us:
- Minimum credit score: 550
- Minimum monthly net income: $1,200
- Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 70%
Avant calculates your debt-to-income ratio a bit differently than some other lenders. To figure out yours, add up your total monthly debt payments and your monthly housing payments, including rent. Then, divide that number by your total monthly income. (Monthly housing payments aren't normally included in debt-to-income ratio calculations unless it's for a mortgage, FYI.)
Avant Personal Loan Features
- Change due date: You’ll be able to change your monthly payment due date to make it more convenient.
- Highly rated mobile app: Avant offers Apple and Google Play apps, both of which come highly rated. You can't use the app to apply for a personal loan, but once you have one, you can use it to manage just about every aspect of your repayment.
- Light on perks: Lenders catering to a higher-credit-profile crowd generally offer more features, like paying your creditors directly for debt consolidation, unemployment protection, or even the ability to skip a payment every so often. In comparison, Avant doesn't offer very many extra benefits.
You won't get a discount on your interest rate by signing up for autopay with your Avant loan, unlike most other lenders. Even so, it's a good idea because it prevents late payments and helps you build credit automatically.
Co-Signers and Co-Applicants
Avant does not allow for co-signers or co-applicants on its loans, which is strange considering it's meant for people who might have a hard time getting approved for financing. Then again, it does have lower credit requirements in the first place, making it easier for more people to get approved.
Can You Refinance a Personal Loan With Avant?
Yes. If you already have a personal loan out, whether it's from another lender or even Avant itself, you can refinance it through Avant. It's possible that Avant will let you refinance for a higher amount too, if you need to borrow more money. You may be able to get a lower rate at Avant's discretion, depending on your circumstances.
The company only allows you to do this twice, however, so choose wisely.
Avant offers decent customer service between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday. You can call on the weekend as well, but the hours are a bit shorter, ending at 8:00 p.m. CT. (If you're applying for a loan and calling in for help, customer service hours normally end at 8:00 p.m. CT for you each day, regardless.)
Here's how to contact Avant to get help with your personal loan:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 800-712-5407
- Private message: Log in to your account
- Mailing address: 222 LaSalle Street, Suite 1600, Chicago, IL 60601
Avant has a mixed reputation. On sites such as Trustpilot and online app stores where you can download the Avant app, it has a stellar reputation.
However, the reviews paint a bleaker picture elsewhere. According to one 2022 J.D. Power lender satisfaction survey, Avant was ranked far below average by customers. Avant maintains a 1.2-star rating out of 5 with the Better Business Bureau, where the company has received 652 complaints alone in the past year.
Two hundred and twenty three people have filed complaints against Avant with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since 2017, and the company even agreed to a settlement for $1.6 million brought on by the Massachusetts Attorney General, citing unfair debt collection practices.
Applying for an Avant Personal Loan
Avant's personal loan application is pretty similar to other lenders. You can get pre-qualified to see whether you're likely to be approved for a loan, and if so, what your rate might be. This requires a soft credit pull, which won't impact your credit score, so there's no harm in getting a quote.
The pre-qualification form is easy to find on Avant's website. You'll need to fill out some basic details about yourself, including your monthly housing payment and income amount, Social Security number, and contact information. From there, you'll get a custom quote.
If you choose to move forward with your application, Avant will do a hard credit check at that point, which can temporarily drop your credit score for a few months. You'll also need to provide some documents. The specifics might vary depending on your situation, but you can bet on needing copies of these documents that lenders commonly request:
- Recent pay stubs
- Bank account statements
- Tax returns or transcripts from the last two years (for self-employed borrowers)
Note that Avant may need to call your boss up to verify your employment, although Avant won't let them know that you're applying for a loan.
Alternative Personal Loan Lenders
|Loan Terms||12–60 months||24–72 months||36 or 60 months|
|Recommended Minimum Credit Score||550||Not disclosed||No credit history needed|
|Time to Receive Loan||1 business day||1 business day||1 business day|
If you have good credit and income, we recommend that you keep looking for another lender if you need to borrow money. Some of the best personal loan lenders have way better rates, features, and customer reviews than Avant.
However, if you don't have good credit and a high income, and your only other option is taking on higher-interest debt like a payday loan, we'd definitely recommend Avant. Although it's not perfect, it's nowhere near as problematic as other lenders that prey on people with fewer options. And since paying off an Avant personal loan helps you build credit if you make your payments on time (unlike a payday loan), it can be a good stepping stone to a better credit score.
Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. To rate providers, we collected hundreds of data points across more than 40 lenders, including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms, to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions for their borrowing needs.
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