- Financing is suited for startups
- The application process is fast and easy
- Funds are disbursed quickly
- Builds personal credit
- Some additional fees are charged
- Low borrowing amounts
Founded in 2012, Avant is a lender that offers personal loans to qualified borrowers. Although Avant does not deal directly with business loans, entrepreneurs can use personal loans to fund a startup or new business.
Avant offers installment loans. That is, borrowers are sent the full amount upfront and pay a fixed amount each month until the principal and fees are repaid. Avant also offers a credit card geared toward individuals with bad credit or short credit histories.
Although many lenders offer similar products, Avant stands out because it’s willing to lend to borrowers with lower credit scores than most. While you need a credit score of at least 640 or 660 to borrow from most personal lenders, Avant tends to lend to borrowers in the 600-700 range (though the bare minimum is 580).
On the flip side, especially creditworthy borrowers may want to look elsewhere for funds because Avant’s rates run slightly higher than usual.
Regardless, anybody who has the time will want to check rates with multiple lenders before settling to ensure the best offer possible. However, if Avant does offer the best rates, there is no reason to avoid this lender. Although some customers have reported bad experiences, in general, Avant’s service is transparent, the application process is fast, and customer service is responsive.
Is this lender right for you? Keep reading to find out!
Table of Contents
Avant offers personal installment loans and credit cards that can be used for any purpose, including business and entrepreneurial purposes. Specifically, Avant offers the following:
- Unsecured Loan: These are loans up to $35,000 that do not require you to secure the loan with any personal or business collateral. They may carry more interest than secured loans.
- Secured Loan: These loans have a maximum borrowing amount of $25,000. You can potentially obtain a lower interest rate by securing the loan with your car (provided that you own your vehicle in full and it’s not older than 10 years). You will receive the title of your car back once you have repaid your loan in full.
- Credit Card: AvantCard credit cards are designed to help borrowers obtain credit to buy what they need while also building their personal credit. There is a low credit limit of $300 to $1,000, but these cards can help someone with bad credit or no credit get a credit card or cash advance to use for business (or personal) expenses.
To get a secured or unsecured loan from Avant, you must meet the following qualifications:
|Time In Business||N/A|
|Personal Credit Score||Minimum 580 (but 600-700 is typical)|
Though Avant’s hard minimum cutoff for credit scores is 580, Avant notes that most borrowers have a score in the 600-700 range. However, because Avant considers more than your credit score, you may be denied funding based on other reasons, such as insufficient income to meet the incremental payments. Overall, though, Avant’s loans are easier to qualify for than those of many of its competitors.
Additionally, Avant cannot currently lend to borrowers who live in Colorado, Iowa, Vermont, or West Virginia.
Because Avant bases its lending decisions on personal creditworthiness, the company does not consider business characteristics, such as your time in business or revenue.
Avant does not list any specific borrower qualifications for its credit card product, but you can check your eligibility on Avant’s website (without dinging your credit score).
Another thing to know about qualifying for an Avant lending product is that Avant customers may only have one active product through Avant at a given time.
Terms & Fees
Avant offers traditional installment loans. Borrowers repay a fixed amount every month, which goes toward paying down the principal plus accrued interest. The amount you pay is dependent on your borrowing amount, term length, interest rate, and other factors.
Avant charges a one-time administration fee as well as fees for late or failed payments. However, the company does not charge fees for other purposes, such as maintenance fees, balloon payments, or prepayment penalties.
These are the terms and fees for Avant’s unsecured loans:
|Term Length||2-5 years|
As follows are the terms and fees for Avant’s secured loans. Your borrowing amount will depend, in part, on the value of the car that you’re securing the loan with.
|Term Length||2-4 years|
|State Lien Fees||$4-$95|
|Collateral||Title of your vehicle|
And here are the terms and fees for Avant’s credit card:
AvantCard APRs are variable, meaning they may change in accordance with the Prime Rate.
The application process for Avant is short and simple.
To begin the process, you’ll be required to check your rate by filling out a short questionnaire. The form will require you to answer basic questions about yourself and your finances. When you submit it, you’ll be able to see the rates and fees for which you’re eligible.
If you are happy with the rates, the next step is to verify your information. This may involve answering additional questions, confirming information, talking to Avant representatives, and/or allowing the company to perform a hard check on your credit.
Assuming everything checks out, your application will be approved, and you’ll receive a final offer. If you accept, Avant will send the money to your bank account, and you should see it in your account as soon as the next business day.
Usually, the time from application to funding only takes a few business days.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Avant’s website provides all the important information about rates, fees, and what to expect from the application process upfront. Additionally, customer service is (in my experience) easy to get ahold of and transparent about the service.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Between the main website and the incredibly detailed FAQ, most of your basic (or even not-so-basic) questions can be answered without the need to talk to a human being.
If you need to talk to a human, customer service is available seven days a week via phone, email, or live chat (on the FAQ or the application).
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Avant customer reviews are numerous. Along with a Better Business Bureau profile (where Avant is accredited with an A+ rating), the company has quite a few customer reviews on Credit Karma and Trustpilot.
Avant fairs generally well in all three places. However, because the service is so large, there are bound to be complaints. Here are the most common:
- High-Interest Rates & Payments: The majority of negative reviews are from customers who received high-interest rates and, consequentially, had high monthly payments and overall interest fees.
- Denials: Some customers were unhappy that they were denied a loan, even if they thought their credit score was high enough. Others were frustrated that they were denied for additional loans, even if they had been approved for loans previously. Because the lender’s decision is based on many factors, there is a chance you’ll be denied for reasons other than credit history.
- Refinancing Unavailable: A few reviewers were unhappy to learn that they were not eligible for refinancing at a lower rate after making payments on their loan for a while.
- Technical Difficulties: Some applicants reported technical problems when uploading or signing documents.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
Along with fairly positive ratings on Credit Karma and Trustpilot, Avant has a number of customer testimonials on its website.
Most customers cite responsive and helpful customer service and the fast application process as high points. In contrast to the people who complained about high rates, many felt that Avant offered fair rates and fees, especially in comparison to other personal lenders, such as payday lenders.
Due to the lower-than-usual borrower qualifications and fast service, Avant is certainly a lender worth considering if you need additional money to fund a startup. As with most personal loans, Avant’s borrowing amounts are on the low side, and its rates are on the higher side, but that’s, of course, in comparison with traditional bank loans that most of Avant’s customers would not qualify for. Moreover, Avant’s terms are fair, and its service is fast, convenient, and (usually) hassle-free.
As usual, however, anybody who has the time and inclination would benefit from making some comparisons between Avant and similar services to ensure they’re getting the best rates and fees possible. Check out our full list of startup business loan reviews to see what else you might be qualified for!