Avant Personal Loans: 2022 Review

Avant personal loans can be funded quickly but lack some flexible features other online lenders offer.
Sep 19, 2022

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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Avant personal loans are an option for fair- and bad-credit borrowers who need fast funding, but it lacks features that help you build credit or consolidate debt.

Avant
Est. APR
9.95-35.95%
Loan amount
$2,000-$35,000
Min. credit score
550
Get rate

on Avant's website

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fast funding.
  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
  • Option to change your payment date.
  • Mobile app to manage loan.

Cons

  • May charge an origination fee.
  • No co-signed, joint or secured loans.
  • No rate discounts.

Compare to Other Lenders

Avant
OneMain
Upgrade
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Est. APR

9.95-35.95%

Est. APR

18.00-35.99%

Est. APR

7.46-35.97%

Loan term

1 to 5 years

Loan term

2 to 5 years

Loan term

2 to 7 years

Loan amount

$2,000-$35,000

Loan amount

$1,500-$20,000

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

550

Min. credit score

None

Min. credit score

560

Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders

Compare Rates

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Full Review of Avant

Avant is an online lending platform that offers personal loans to borrowers with fair and bad credit (689 or lower 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.

Table of Contents

Avant personal loans at a glance

Minimum credit score

550.

APR

9.95% - 35.95%.

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 4.75%.

  • Late fee: Typically $25.

  • Returned check fee: $15.

Loan amount

$2,000 to $35,000.

Repayment terms

1 to 5 years.

Time to fund after approval

1 day.

Loan availability

Loans not available in HI, IA, NY, VT or WV.

A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33. Minimum loan amounts may vary by state. If approved, the actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. An administration fee of up to 4.75% will be deducted from the loan proceeds. Avant branded credit products are issued by Webbank, member FDIC

Where Avant personal loans stand out

Fast funding: Avant says it approves borrowers within one business day and can deposit the funds from a personal loan into your account the next day. Fast funding is somewhat standard for online personal loans, but some lenders may take an extra day to approve applications or send funds.

Soft credit check to pre-qualify: You can see the potential loan amount and annual percentage 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.

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 the repayment term. Other lenders may let you choose the 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. Many other lenders have a mobile app, but some online lenders still don’t.

Where Avant personal loans fall short

Origination fee: Avant may charge an origination fee up to 4.75%. Lenders typically deduct this fee from the loan amount before sending you the funds, reducing the loan size. Not all lenders charge an origination fee, but you may find even higher fees with other bad-credit lenders.

No rate discounts: Avant doesn’t offer any chances to get a discounted APR. Many lenders offer a rate discount for setting up automatic payments — typically a fraction of a percentage point. Some include discounts with features that Avant doesn’t offer, like having funds sent directly to creditors on debt consolidation loans or adding a co-borrower.

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 collateral or a co-borrower to improve their chances of qualifying.

Lawsuits involving Avant

Avant agreed to pay $1.6 million in 2021 to settle allegations that it used abusive debt collection practices. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office alleged that Avant failed to provide proper debt validation notices and made illegal high-volume debt collection calls to consumers.

In 2020, Avant settled with the Colorado Attorney General’s office after the state alleged that the company partnered with out-of-state banks to offer rates above the state-mandated maximum.

Avant agreed to pay $3.85 million in 2019 to settle FTC allegations that it had engaged in unfair loan servicing practices, including making unauthorized charges on consumers’ accounts and illegally requiring consumers to enroll in autopay. The FTC began returning funds to more than 17,000 consumers in 2022.

How to qualify for an Avant personal loan

Many lenders have basic requirements to apply and some have financial requirements or recommendations to qualify.

To apply for an Avant personal loan, you need a valid Social Security number and bank account.

Here are Avant’s minimum requirements to qualify for a loan. (Meeting these requirements doesn’t guarantee approval.)

  • Minimum credit score: 550. Avant uses FICO score version 8 and VantageScore version 3.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit report: 1.

  • Minimum monthly income: $1,200. This lender allows income from alimony, child support and other maintenance income.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 70%, including mortgage payments.

  • Cannot be in active bankruptcy.

Here are details about Avant’s average borrower, according to the lender.

  • Average credit score: 644.

  • Average monthly income: $4,000.

  • Average debt-to-income ratio: 30% before the personal loan.

Before you apply

  • Check your credit. You can get your free credit report on NerdWallet or at AnnualCreditReport.com. Doing so will help you spot and fix any errors before you apply.

  • Calculate your monthly payments. Use a personal loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you’d need to get a loan with affordable monthly payments.

  • Make a plan to repay the loan. Review your budget to see how the loan’s monthly payments impact your cash flow. If you have to cut other expenses in order to repay the loan, it’s better to know that before you borrow.

  • Gather your documents. Avant may require proof of income, which can be a pay stub or bank statement, as well as proof of address and a Social Security number. Having these documents handy can speed the application process.

How to apply for an Avant personal loan

Here are the steps to apply for an Avant loan, based on our experience completing the pre-qualification process.

  1. Pre-qualify on Avant’s website. Choose “Loans” on Avant’s website to be taken to the pre-qualification form. There, you’ll enter personal information including your name, address, birthdate, monthly income, rent or mortgage payment and email address. You’ll also enter your Social Security number, but there is no hard credit pull at this stage.

  2. Review your offers. It may take a few minutes for Avant to generate loan offers. Qualified applicants will see the loan amount they’re approved for. Avant also shows applicants how much their origination fee reduces the loan proceeds, so borrowers can decide to increase their loan amount. Finally, you’ll see a breakdown of your loan term, APR and monthly payments. You may be able to choose from more than one loan offer.

  3. Preview loan offers and accept the one that fits your budget. Once you choose a loan offer, you’ll submit a formal personal loan application. This could require more documents, like pay stubs and bank statements to confirm the information you gave during pre-qualification. Avant will also do a hard credit check when you apply, so your credit score could temporarily dip.

  4. Make a plan to repay the loan. Avant reports payments to all three major credit bureaus, so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments and keeping an eye on your budget are two ways to manage your loan payments.

Compare Avant to other lenders

Personal loan lenders offer different rates, loan amounts and special features, so it pays to weigh other options. The best personal loan is usually the one with the lowest APR.

FreedomPlus and Upgrade are both five-star lenders that offer flexible features to borrowers with less-than-stellar credit.

Avant vs. FreedomPlus

FreedomPlus personal loans may be larger and have lower rates than Avant’s. Unlike Avant, FreedomPlus offers multiple ways to discount your personal loan rate, including directly paying off creditors on debt consolidation loans and adding a co-borrower.

FreedomPlus stands out for its strong focus on debt consolidation. The lender also has dedicated loan consultants to walk you through the application process. FreedomPlus’s one- to three-day funding time is slightly longer than Avant’s.

Avant vs. Upgrade

Upgrade personal loans offer solid financing for debt consolidation or home improvement projects. Unlike Avant, borrowers can have Upgrade pay other creditors directly on debt consolidation loans — and get a rate discount for it — or take advantage of the extended seven-year repayment term on larger home improvement loans.

Upgrade also provides secured and joint personal loans, while Avant offers only unsecured loans. Upgrade funds loans as quickly as Avant, though approval may take a few days.

How we rate Avant personal loans

NerdWallet writers rate lenders against a rubric that changes each year based on how personal loan products evolve. Here’s what we prioritized this year:

Category

Star rating

Affordability

Transparency

Loan flexibility

Customer experience

Overall

Affordability An affordable loan has low rates and fees compared to other similar loans and may offer rate discounts. Transparency A transparent lender makes information about the loan easy to find on its website, including rates, terms and loan amounts. Transparency also means allowing users to pre-qualify online to preview potential loan offers and reporting payment information with the major credit bureaus. Loan flexibility A flexible loan is one that lets users customize terms and payments. That means offering a wide range of repayment term options, allowing the borrower to change their payment date, offering loans in most states and funding it quickly. Customer experience A good customer experience can include a fully online application process, financial education on the lender’s website and a customer service team that’s available most of the time and can be reached multiple ways.

on Avant's website

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. 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 more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

Frequently asked questions