Avant loans offer quick and easy to apply for loans to cover emergency expenses, large purchases, and other situations where a personal loan is needed. Their 100% online experience also caters to service members, those with lower incomes, and is best for those looking for several thousand dollars in funds.
Unexpected expenses and large purchases can sometimes leave individuals short on funds, and companies like Avant Loans offer short-term personal loans to help cover these gaps. For many individuals, a short-term loan can significantly ease their financial stress and help them achieve their goals or avoid greater hardship.
About Avant Loans
Avant loans are personal loans that individuals can apply for to cover large purchases, unexpected expenses, or to consolidate their debt. The company generally has a positive reputation with many glowing reviews online.
Several websites have also documented feedback from Avant customers, and the Avant loans website shows testimonials on their homepage with customer feedback. More than 600,000 people have taken out loans from Avant that total well over $4 billion.
Avant now has over 500 employees and serves two countries. Their employees enjoy competitive benefits, a connected culture, and values that focus on inclusion, diversity and helping their employees grow.
Avant was founded in 2012 and by February 2013 they had raised $1 million in initial funding and had issued their first loan. By May of the same year, they had expanded to include 28 employees and had secured another round of financing valued at $8 million.
From there Avant's growth skyrocketed, and by October 2013 they had over 90 employees and had expanded their services to the UK. Avant has continued to grow at a steady rate ever since, and their list of investors continues to grow as well.
The goal of Avant is to help customers be successful by providing them with loans to ease their financial burden. This goal is one that Avant continues to work on as they expand, however, there are some fundamental issues that you should be aware of before using their services so you can make an educated decision about your next steps.
Providing Your Personal Information Upfront
The Avant website invites visitors to fill out an online form that asks for a number of personal details before they will give you an accurate quote for your loan and the rate that they can offer you. While this may seem harmless at first glance, the form asks for your social security number, phone numbers, date of birth, and information about your income.
Sharing your social security number online is generally not advisable, and providing that information with all of your other personally identifying information such as your date of birth, phone number, and address can be risky.
The Avant website claims that they use strict encryption to protect your information, however recent security breaches have proven that no level of security is adequate if a hacker is sufficiently motivated. Furthermore, there is no context provided as to who within Avant receives and processes this information.
Other companies offer the option to provide an alternate identifier of some kind that helps to protect your information from being stolen should the company become compromised. Either way, vigilance is the best way to avoid potential identity theft, and it’s worth contacting Avant’s customer service to learn more before completing the form.
They Avoid Payday Loans
Payday loans are subject to individual state regulation which can mean you’d be accepting different terms for your loan based on the state that you live in currently. Some states have implemented caps on payday loan interest rates due to how high they had been previously, and some states also have additional laws to protect consumers.
The Federal Trade Commission also has a variety of laws in effect that are set up to protect consumers, and these laws exist for a reason. Thankfully, Avant has steered clear of the murky business of payday loans and instead offers personal loans that have more extended repayment periods.
Avant could make considerably more money if they provided payday loans, but it speaks to the character and ethics of the company that they choose to avoid them. Instead, they focus on helping customers be successful and easing their financial burden should they need emergency funds.
The Minimum Loan Repayment Period is 24 Months
For many individuals that need a personal loan or emergency loan, a repayment period of several months will likely be necessary. At Avant, they have a minimum repayment period of 24 months which may be too long for smaller loans and could potentially rack up additional interest.
Loan repayment options range from 24-60 months and include various fees and interest rates based on each person. Loans that are on the smaller side likely won't require 24 months to pay back, so it's important for customers to understand the total amount of interest and other fees they’ll end up paying over those two years.
For larger loans, a more extended repayment period is necessary for the payments to remain manageable. Depending on the loan amount, a suitable repayment period is typically suggested by an Avant representative; however, customers want to make sure that this monthly payment amount and schedule will work for their finances during that period.
Avant does offer its customers the opportunity to pay off their loan early without a fee if they are able. There is no “balloon” or larger payment at the end of your scheduled repayment period, and once paid off the loan will reflect a $0 balance.
Beware Administration Fees and APR
Avant charges administration fees on their loans that can range from 1.5% to 4.75%, but it is not readily clear what those fees cover. The website does offer additional information on the difference between the interest rate applied to the loans and the APR.
Their site identifies the interest rate as the cost associated with borrowing the funds which is relatively standard. The APR is defined as a total measure of how much the loan costs. This distinction is important because it means that the APR includes the other fees and additional costs such as the interest rate.
The APR or annual percentage rate is standardized so that customers can compare several loan options from different lenders. For example, credit cards frequently offer promotions with no APR for a year or more, but then the APR switches to around 30%.
Avant matches each candidate with the lowest interest rate and associated fees possible for the terms of their loan, and they comply with all applicable federal laws. APR rates from Avant can range from 9.95% to 35.99% depending on the other terms of the loan and the individual application.
They Work with Service Members (SCRA)
The SCRA stands for the Service members Civil Relief Act which is a federal statute that exists to help military personnel who are on active duty get financial relief. The purpose of the statute is to ease the financial burdens that military personnel may face while they are deployed or on active military duty.
To see if you are eligible for this program you’ll need to contact an Avant representative who will request the following paperwork:
- 1A copy of enlistment orders, or active duty orders
- 2Completed Short Form from the Department of Defense
- 3Letter from your commanding officer with specific identifying information
All active duty personnel in the Navy, Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and National Guard are eligible to apply. Personnel who are on reserve are also considered qualified in most cases.
Commissioned officers that are part of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and those employed by the Public Health Service (PHS) may also be eligible. If you fall into one of the above categories but are not on active duty due to sick leave, recovery from wounds, any other leave, or lawful cause you may also be eligible.
Avant Loan Reviews and Feedback
Avant loans are generally well received by the public despite the higher APR and possible administration fees that can increase the cost of borrowing funds. For those that are faced with an emergency or in the position to make a large purchase, the loans are relatively easy to acquire, and the staff are reported to be professional.
Avant may be the best option for those who are looking to consolidate their debt or who have bad credit and are faced with a difficult time securing other loans. The process on the Avant website seems straightforward, and they make contacting their representatives easy.
Avant also offers some flexibility with the loan repayment and doesn’t penalize individuals for paying off loans early which is a big bonus for those with a more uncertain financial future. The funds can be transferred in as little as one business day, and to qualify you only need $20,000 in gross income.
Many Avant customers enjoy the fact that their whole loan experience is conducted online, and they need never to visit a physical location in order to complete their loan. This accessibility can be an ideal arrangement for those on active military duty, or for those who may have trouble leaving their place of residence.
To qualify applicants will need to provide standard documentation verifying their identities such as an ID, valid checking account, proof of citizenship, and income related documents.