PROS / You can speak to a customer representative 24/7.
CONS / Email support is not helpful.
VERDICT / Avant has excellent phone service, although you cannot apply over the phone, and it has good repayment flexibility.
Avant offers personal loans online. You can apply via its website, see the rates you qualify for and complete the entire process right from your computer. This institution primarily offers loans for debt consolidation, home improvement or emergencies. Avant's website says it services over 450,000 loans. Its excellent phone customer service and straightforward application process earn it our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
You can apply for a loan with Avant either over the phone or through its website using its online application. We didn't find instructions on the website, but the application is fairly self-explanatory, and you can call if you have questions.
You can view loan rates and terms on the website. These may vary by state, so when checking loan rates, you're asked to input the state you live in. Avant then gives you more information based on the laws and requirements in your area.
It lacks an online rate calculator, however; these are handy for figuring out how much you and how much interest you'll pay over the life of a loan. If you have questions, there is a phone number for customer support on the application. We also tried contacting customer support via e-mail, but while we got a response, it did not address any of our questions.
The form lets you know if you are pre-approved and gives you some options, but you need to start the process to get complete information. Avant will connect with your bank to get much of the information it needs for your loan and will let you know what other documents you need to provide once the process has begun.
The assistance we received when calling Avant's customer support was excellent. The representatives we spoke to were thorough, taking us through the entire process and patiently answering other questions. The email support was lacking; we only received an automated reply to an email we'd sent.
If you have questions about finances in general, you can check Avant's blog for helpful articles. The company also offers 24/7 customer support via the phone, which is an advantage for those who work long hours and cannot get away to make calls during normal business hours. The extended hours are also helpful for people who live in other time zones. If you need to make alternate arrangements for payments, you can do that over the phone.
When reviewing the terms, pay attention to grace periods in case of late payments. It's important to understand your options in case of financial hardship. We were told by Avant representatives that if we had an issue making payments, we should contact the company to discuss what can be done. It does allow repayments via automatic deductions. You can also make your loan payments via online transfers, written check or phone-arranged payments.
Avant provides loans for debt consolidation and emergencies. It lists rates and terms online and offers excellent customer service over the phone. However, the email system does not provide the same level of service. The application process is easy and straightforward, making it a strong choice for an online personal loan service.