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Avant Debt Consolidation Loan Review

Avant, an online lender based in Chicago, offers debt consolidation loans for consumers who have been denied from traditional funding sources. Its loan requirements are more relaxed than what you will find at larger banks or credit unions.

You could say Avant’s debt consolidation loans are targeted toward credit-building consumers. A FICO score of 580 is all you need to get your foot in the door. If your score is in the 700s or higher, it may be wiser to retrace your steps and find a new lender for consolidating debt.

Below we’ll go over whether you should consider taking out a debt consolidation loan with Avant, and we’ll give you some alternatives if not.

Snapshot:

  • Type of Debt Relief – Debt Consolidation Loan
  • Eligibility & Requirements – Minimum credit score of 580
  • Fees – Origination fee: 1.50%-4.75%; 25$ late fee after 10-day grace period; $15 unsuccessful payment fee
  • Credit score impact – Minimal
  • Consumer Reviews – Mixed

How Avant’s Debt Consolidation Loans Work

You can apply for a debt consolidation loan through Avant by heading to their website and clicking the button that says, “check your loan options.” From here, you’ll be directed to fill in personal information like name, address, income, etc. There’s no stated income requirement, however, that’s not to say your income doesn’t matter.

A higher income usually helps secure a loan agreement, especially for borrowers who need larger amounts. Avant offers debt consolidation loans ranging from $2,000-$35,000 and it can deposit them into your account within two days of approval.

First, it will run a soft credit check that will let you see your rates without harming your credit score. You undergo a hard credit check if you accept the loan; this is where the minimal (and temporary) credit impact occurs. If you stay on track with your bills (which you will) your score will bounce back and climb even higher.

However, before you head to Avant’s website and click apply, we should go over what the fees and rates are going to cost you and whether you even fit the eligibility requirements (spoiler: you probably do).

Avant Debt Consolidation Eligibility & Requirements

Avant’s only listed requirement is a credit score above 580. According to Experian, 83% of Americans have credit scores above 600, so Avant’s threshold won’t be a problem for most of you.

However, 580 is the minimum credit score you need to be considered for a debt consolidation loan with Avant. It won’t guarantee your application goes through. In fact, waiting a few months to apply while you work on your credit score, is always a good idea before applying for any loan.

Fees for Avant’s Debt Consolidation Services

The good news is there’s no prepayment penalty, so if you decide to pay down your loan early you won’t be punished for it. The bad news is other fees will punish you for certain slip-ups, like a $25 late fee charged after a 10-day grace period. Not to mention a $15 unsuccessful payment fee; make sure your account has enough money before making a payment. And then there’s the origination fee, which, to some will seem like the only one worth mentioning.

The origination fee for an Avant debt consolidation loan ranges from 1.50%-4.75%. On the high end, a 4.75% origination fee on a $35,000 loan would cost you $1,662.

Pros & Cons of Debt Consolidation with Avant

Pros of Avant

  • Low credit score requirement
  • No income requirement
  • Fast funding

Cons of Avant

  • Low loan amounts
  • High interest rates

Avant’s debt consolidation loan doesn’t ask for much, but it doesn’t give much either. Consumers looking for larger loans to tackle six-figure debt won’t find them here. What they will find are drastically low credit score requirements and interest rates ranging from 9.95%-35.99%.

Is Avant’s Debt Consolidation Loan Right for Me?

Avant is for borrowers with lower credit scores who struggle to find funding through traditional sources. These consumers have too much debt yet not enough positive credit history, and for many banks, they’re not worth the risk. Online lenders, like Avant, are more lenient with these consumers.

You will pay higher interest rates, but they’re well shy of the triple-digit rates you’ll find at payday loan businesses and cash advance shops. If you barely made the cut with your credit score, you’ll probably pay rates near the 35.99% range.

If you have a steady enough income to offset the high rate of interest, an Avant debt consolidation loan could be a good option for springing you out of the hole.

Better credit will get you a better rate, but if you have  really good credit, it’s worth shopping elsewhere for an even better rate.

Alternatives to Avant’s Debt Consolidation Loan

Not everyone will qualify for a debt consolidation loan with Avant, and some who do may be curious if there are better (cheaper) options. There are! However, like most things in the lending world, a lot is contingent on how good or bad is your credit score.

Debt Management

You don’t need good credit for this option. Going through debt management is like taking out a debt consolation loan without actually borrowing any more money. Your eligible credit card debts are grouped into one, and you make a regular, monthly payment to the debt management company. It makes sure your money gets to your creditors on time, so you don’t have to worry about getting tagged with late fees. The process takes three to five years, which is plenty of time to readjust your spending habits.

Prosper Debt Consolidation Loan

Prosper is a peer-to-peer platform where consumers can take out personal loans for debt consolidation. Funds won’t come as quickly through Prosper, but it’s APR dips a little lower, going down to 7.95%. Prosper also offers higher loan amounts than Avant, $40,000 compared to $35,000. Keep in mind, you will need a credit score of at least 640 to qualify.

LightStream Debt Consolidation Loan

Sick of fees? Hit up LightStream. That’s not a typo, LightStream charges no fees whatsoever for a debt consolidation loan. It does, of course, charge interest, but not much, comparatively. You can find rates through LightStream ranging from 5.95%-20.49%.

Avant Reputation & Consumer Reviews

Consumer reviews for Avant’s debt consolidation loan range from poor to stellar. Many are fans of the Avant apps available for IOS and android which help them keep track of their balances and due dates. Others raved about the simple online application process which led quickly to cash in their accounts.

Not all customers are happy with how Avant does business. Some consumers, notably those with good credit scores, were upset and confused when denied funding for an Avant debt consolidation loan. They said they were more than qualified for the loan and suspect this may have led to their applications being rejected.

Bents Dulcio writes with a humble, field-level view on personal finance. He learned how to cut financial corners while acquiring a B.S. degree in Political Science at Florida State University. Bents has experience with student loans, affordable housing, budgeting to include an auto loan and other personal finance matters that greet all Millennials when they graduate. He has a prodigious appetite for reading, which he helps feed with writing from Scottish philosopher Adam Smith, the “Father of Capitalism.” Bents writing also has been published by JPMorgan Chase, TheSimpleDollar and Interest.com.