If it’s a straightforward personal loan that you want in order to get your finances back on track, Avant is most definitely among the best debt consolidation companies that there is. While a relative newcomer to the market - it was established in 2012 - Avant has quickly honed its online borrowing process, allowing borrowers to combine existing debts and pay them off under one fixed interest monthly payment.
Avant pays the loan amount directly into your bank account, so that you can choose which bills you pay off - and when - with the money that you have borrowed. Obviously, this means that self-discipline in using the funds to pay off your debts is key. However, as long as the loan you secure from Avant comes in at a lower interest rate than what you are currently paying on your existing debts, the money that can be saved in interest payments should prove all the incentive that you need.
As you ultimately choose how best to use the funds, a debt consolidation loan through Avant is ideal for bringing together debt you might have through credit cards, personal loans, store cards, and more. What is more, by restricting its wider product range to offering what it hopes are some of the best credit cards and secured loans, Avant sticks fervently to what it knows best.
Avant Debt Consolidation review: Eligibility
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- Relatively low typical credit score requirement
- Online loan eligibility checker
In order to apply for a loan, you are required to have a personal checking or savings account, and may be asked for documents verifying details and income deposits.
In terms of other eligibility requirements, Avant says that most of its customers that receive loans have a credit score of 600 to 700, but adds that it will offer credit products to a “wide variety” of customers, tailored to their credit situation and history. As a result, if your credit score isn’t entirely up to scratch, you will likely stand a better chance of getting a debt consolidation loan through Avant than with, perhaps, Discover, whose recommended minimum credit score is 680.
In addition, if you are concerned about your credit rating, it's easy to check before you apply whether you stand a chance of getting a consolidation loan, using the online eligibility checker that lets you find out if you are a suitable candidate without affecting your credit score.
Avant Debt Consolidation review: Application process
Loan amounts: $2,000 - $35,000
APR: 9.95% - 35.99% fixed
Loan terms: 24 - 60 months
Fees: Admin fee up to 4.75%, late fees, but penalty-free early repayment
Waiting time for funds: as quick as one business day
- Easy-to-follow online application
- Requirements set out clearly
Avant wants you to apply online, and says its website is optimized for use on a laptop or desktop computer using the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers. That said, if you are struggling, its customer support team are available via email and phone, from 7am to 8pm Central Time, Monday through to Sunday.
Getting started involves checking your loan options, although the first form you come to is perhaps longer than what some other providers might initially ask you to complete. Besides the usual basic personal details, Avant goes straight into asking for your Social Security Number and information about your income, residential status and rental or mortgage outgoings. That said, you are effectively setting up an account with Avant - you are asked to create a password too - so you shouldn’t have to go over the same details again at a later stage.
The form is well laid out and it is made extremely clear exactly what information Avant is looking for in any given field. It is also made clear that checking your eligibility at this stage does not affect your credit score.
Avant says that in order to hasten the application process, it is best to provide detailed information about your employer and how and when to contact them, while those who are self-employed must submit their two most recent years of tax documentation. Any supporting documents can be uploaded, emailed or faxed.
Avant Debt Consolidation review: Essential details
- High minimum APR, and admin fee too
- No penalty for overpaying
Avant offers debt consolidation loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000, with the upper limit on the low side compared with the much larger loans that can be sourced from lenders such as LightStream and Wells Fargo. Similarly, the loan lengths that range from 24 to 60 months perhaps won’t be quite long enough for some, with Marcus by Goldman Sachs offering an extra 12 months in comparison, and Discover having a maximum term of 84 months.
In terms of interest, the APR on offer ranges from 9.95% to 35.99%. All the rates on offer are fixed, although it should be noted that the minimum APR is higher than is available from most other similar lenders. That said, of course, the actual loan amount, term and APR will ultimately depend on your credit score and history, while minimum loan can vary by state.
Importantly, there is an administration fee of up to 4.75% that also needs to be taken into account. Essentially an upfront fee that is automatically deducted from your loan proceeds when the loan is funded, it could prove an expensive consideration too, depending on how close to the maximum you end up. Late fees may also apply if a scheduled payment is missed, delayed or can’t be met, but all of these will be explained during the application process.
However, unlike some lenders, Avant does not have any penalties for early payments, meaning you are free to pay off your debt when you like. This is a considerable benefit if you think you will be able to make overpayments and want to clear your debt quickly.
Avant Debt Consolidation review: Features
Unsurprisingly, Avant has a mobile app available on both iOS and Android, which provides an easy way to manage your loan. The ability to view your upcoming payments and payment history, make additional payments, and view your payoff quote are all among the features on offer, while you can also elect to receive notifications about your account details.
Avant Debt Consolidation review: Service
- Accessible account management
- Fast loan payment
As well as making applying for a loan easy, Avant subsequently has an accessible client area, with a good range of tools to help you track your repayments, and manage your finances going forward. Obviously, if you prefer to manage your finances face-to-face, Avant comes up lacking, but for those happy to operate online, it is a clean and intuitive platform.
Speed is a key part of Avant’s debt consolidation loan offering, and you should quickly receive a decision on your application. If you are approved by 4.30pm Central Time, Monday to Friday, funds will generally be deposited for delivery as soon as the next business day.
In terms of support and educating borrowers, there is a blog which plays host to tips and aims to bolster financial know-how. All of the types of article are available that you would typically expect to find, covering the usual topics, such as borrowing, budgeting and spending and saving. However, it seems fair to say that this section is not one on which Avant has invested too much time and effort, and there are no calculators for people to play around with either.
Should you use Avant Debt Consolidation?
If you’re comfortable managing your financial affairs online, Avant will take the stress out of securing a debt consolidation personal loan. The application process is simple and quick, while the platform and mobile app make it easy to manage your account as you look to pay off the loan. The relatively low credit score requirements means Avant might consider you if you’ve been turned away elsewhere, while the option to pay off your loan early penalty-free incentivizes people to clear their debt as soon as they possibly can.
Avant might not be suitable if you need to borrow a higher amount or want to repay over a longer term, while the APR you are offered, and the fees, should be weighed up carefully too. However, if you want your money fast, and are looking for a reliable online lender that is open to accepting borrowers with less than perfect credit scores, then Avant may prove to be the right provider for you.