Avant Personal Loans: 2021 Review

Avant personal loans can be funded quickly, but the company lacks some flexible features other online lenders offer.

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Our Take

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Avant loans are an option for fair- and bad-credit borrowers looking for fast funding.

Avant

Avant

Min. Credit Score

550

Est. APR

9.95 - 35.95%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $35,000

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Able to fund loans the next business day.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Doesn't offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • No joint, co-signed or secured loan option.

Compare to Other Lenders

OneMain
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NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Est. APR

18.00 - 35.99%

Est. APR

5.94 - 35.47%

Loan Term

2 to 5 years

Loan Term

2 to 7 years

Loan Amount

$1,500 - $20,000

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Min. Credit Score

None

Min. Credit Score

560

Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders

Compare Rates

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Full Review

Avant is an online lending platform that offers personal loans to borrowers with fair and bad credit (689 or lower FICO score); the company says most of its customers have a credit score from 600 to 700. It charges origination and late fees, but its loans have annual percentage rates consistent with other bad-credit loans.

Avant is best for borrowers who:

  • Have a credit score from 600 to 700 FICO.

  • Want to apply for and manage a loan online.

  • Need funds within a business day or two.

  • Want to repay the loan over two to five years.

Avant at a glance

Affordability

  • APRs are consistent with lenders targeting similar borrowers.

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No rate discount for autopayments.

Loan flexibility

  • Allows changes to payment date twice.

  • Funds loans the next business day.

  • Offers refinancing option.

  • Not available in CO, HI, IA, NV, NY, VT or WV.

Transparency

  • Soft credit check to pre-qualify.

  • Reports payments to three credit bureaus.

  • Discloses rates, fees and terms on website.

  • FAQ answers key borrower questions.

Customer experience

  • Offers multiple customer contact channels and support seven days a week.

  • Offers mobile app to manage loan.

Key terms to know about personal loans

Annual percentage rate is the interest rate on your loan plus all fees, calculated on an annual basis and expressed as a percentage. Use the APR to compare loan costs from multiple lenders.

An origination fee is a one-time, upfront fee that some lenders charge for processing a loan. The fee can range from 1% to 10% of the loan amount, and lenders typically deduct it from your loan proceeds.

The debt-to-income ratio divides your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income, giving you a percentage. Lenders use DTI — along with credit history and other factors — to evaluate a borrower's financial ability to repay a loan.

Lenders that offer pre-qualification typically do so using a soft credit check, which allows you to see rates and terms you qualify for without affecting your credit score. If you accept the loan offer, the lender will perform a hard check to confirm your information. Hard checks knock a few points off your credit score.

Where Avant stands out

Soft credit check to pre-qualify: You can see the potential loan amount and rate on an Avant loan if you pre-qualify. Pre-qualifying doesn’t affect your credit and doing so can help you understand how loan payments fit into your monthly budget. If you move forward with a loan application, the lender will do a hard credit pull, which can temporarily knock a few points off your score.

Next-day funding: Avant says it can deposit the funds from a personal loan into your account the day after your application is approved.

Option to change your payment date: Avant customers can’t choose their payment date initially, but they can change it up to two times during their repayment term. Other lenders may let you choose your initial payment date or change it more often due to unexpected changes in your cash flow, like a new job with a different payday.

Mobile app: Avant has a mobile app where borrowers can make payments, adjust payment dates and see their payment history.

Where Avant falls short

Origination fee: Avant may charge an origination fee up to 4.75%, though it says the majority of borrowers receive an offer without the fee. Not all lenders charge an origination fee, but you may find even higher fees with other bad-credit lenders.

No co-signed, joint or secured loan option: Avant doesn’t allow borrowers to add a co-signer or co-borrower to their application, or to secure the loan with collateral. Some lenders allow applicants to add someone or apply for a secured loan to improve their chances of qualifying.

No direct payments to creditors: If you’re consolidating credit cards and other high-interest debts, Avant will deposit the funds directly into your account rather than pay the debts for you. Some of Avant’s competitors offer a direct pay feature, which simplifies the consolidation process.

What to know about Avant

In August 2020, Avant settled with the Colorado attorney general’s office after the state alleged that Avant partnered with out-of-state banks to offer rates above the state-mandated maximum. Avant CEO James Paris said in an emailed statement that the settlement will help protect Colorado borrowers from abusive, high-cost lenders.

In April 2019, Avant settled a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit alleging the company withdrew unauthorized payments from consumers’ bank accounts and collected additional money even after a loan had been paid off.

How to qualify for an Avant loan

Avant’s minimum borrower requirements include:

  • Credit score: 550 (using FICO 8 and Vantage 3 scores).

  • Monthly net income: $1,200, which can include alimony or other types of income.

  • Debt-to-income ratio: 70%, including mortgage or rent payment.

  • Monthly free cash flow: $500.

The average qualified Avant borrower has:

  • Credit score: 644.

  • Monthly net income: $4,000.

  • Debt-to-income ratio: 30%, before the new loan.

  • Monthly free cash flow: $2,800.

Loan example: A three-year, $10,000 loan with a 23.4% APR would have monthly payments of $389. You would pay $4,004 in total interest on that loan.

How to get an Avant loan

Pre-qualify on NerdWallet

NerdWallet recommends comparing loans to find the best rate for you. Pre-qualifying may get you personalized rates from multiple lenders that partner with us, including Avant. Pre-qualifying won't impact your credit.

Apply on Avant

You can fill out an application online. You'll be asked to provide some personal information, including your address, Social Security number and monthly income.

Personal Loans Rating Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 30 lenders. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.

This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read our editorial guidelines.