Everyone has to get started building their credit somewhere. The paradox is, you need credit to get credit. How can someone, such as a high school or college graduate, qualify for a credit card or a personal loan to start creating a payment track record without a solid credit history? Avant may be the answer. The online lending platform is geared towards those with low-to-no credit scores and provides personal loans and credit cards that can help them along their financial journey.
Avant started in Chicago in 2012 to “lower the barriers and costs of borrowing.” Over 800,000 customers have worked with Avant since it started, taking out secured and unsecured personal loans that are typically funded the next business day. You can borrow between $2,000 and $35,000, based on your creditworthiness and state limits.
Besides personal loans, individuals can rebuild their credit with an Avant credit card with a limit of $300 to $1,000. Use the card responsibly and make your monthly payments on time and Avant will report your good habits back to the credit bureaus, improving your credit history and boosting your credit score.
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How to Use Avant Personal Loans
Borrow as much as $35,000 to fund your cash shortfall. You can use the personal loan for whatever you may need. Some ways you can use a loan include:
- To buy a car;
- To pay for auto repairs;
- Consolidate high-interest debt into one payment at a lower interest rate;
- Make home repairs and improvements;
- Pay for a move;
- Pay for dental work or medical bills;
- To cover an emergency expense.
Avant claims that most customers that get approved for a loan have a FICO score between 600 and 700. Avant looks at more than your credit history to decide on whether you qualify for a loan. They’ll also look at your employment and income, which the company will verify before you’re funded.
Applying for a personal loan doesn’t come with many risks — Avant will run a soft credit pull, which doesn’t affect your credit score, to review your credit file. Only if you agree to the loan terms will a hard credit check be performed, which will potentially affect your score and show on your credit report.
Regardless of what the money is for, make sure you’re able to afford the monthly payments and can pay your loan each month on time. Avant reports your activity to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) each month, which could provide your credit score with a boost if you’re making your payments consistently and on time, or could hurt your score if you forget or skip payments.
Avant Personal Loans Lending Terms
The annual percentage rate (APR) for a personal loan starts at 9.95% and can cost as much as 35.99%. The amount available varies according to the state you live in. If you’re wondering how big of a personal loan you can get, the amount can be anywhere between $2,000 and $35,000.
Fees, Penalties, and Payments
Although fees may vary according to your home state, here’s a general look at what an Avant personal loan could cost you:
- Administrative fee: Up to 4.75% of the loan amount;
- Dishonored payment fee: $15;
- Late payment fee: $25 for all states, except for Idaho and Oregon residents who are responsible for a late fee of 5% of the amount due for a maximum of $5.
Pros and Cons
As with all lenders, there are pros and cons when you borrow from Avant.
- Loans available for individuals with lower credit scores;
- Funding as quickly as next business day;
- Loans of up to $35,000;
- Mobile app;
- Provides details about their personal loans upfront, as per Truth in Lending Act regulations;
- Secured and unsecured personal loans available;
- Helpful knowledge base with articles about personal finance and building credit;
- High customer satisfaction.
- Limited availability: Avant is licensed to operate in 35 states. However, no new loans are available for underwriting in Nevada, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Hawaii as of April 21.
- Charges an administration fee of 4.75% of the loan amount;
- High interest rate of up to 35.99% annual percentage rate (APR) on some loans.
How to Get a Loan From Avant
The loan application process is pretty straightforward if you’re comfortable with doing things online. You’ll need to answer some questions and provide:
- Name, address, and contact information;
- Social Security number;
- Your annual income;
- Contact information for your employer;
- Loan amount.
Avant will take the information you provide to perform a soft credit check and present you with an offer. If you choose to go ahead with Avant’s terms, a hard credit check will follow. During the official underwriting, Avant will verify your employment and income information and may contact your employer using the information you provided.
Avant uses an online verification tool (OVT) to verify your identity and other information provided. It will ask you questions only you should know about, based on your credit file. If Avant requires further verification or documents, you’ll see a notice on your online dashboard when you log in, or you may receive a phone call from a representative.
You may upload documents through the online dashboard to verify your application details, email them to [email protected] or fax the requested documentation to 1-866-625-0930. Some documents you may want to keep handy just in case you need to submit them include:
- Bank statements;
- Pay stubs;
- Government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, military ID, or passport;
- Tax returns.
While your account is verified, you’ll also need to submit your bank account and routing number. Avant needs it to transfer the loan funds into your account. Once the verification process is completed, Avant will send you your money as soon as the next business day. You can download the Avant mobile app to manage your account. Use the mobile app to view and schedule payments, make changes to your account, and view your payoff amount.
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