Avant Loans Review: Rates, Options, and Public Opinion

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Avant, which used to be called AvantCredit, is an online lender that started operations in Chicago in 2012. The company has issued over $1 billion in loans to some 600,000 borrowers. Avant loans can be used for emergency expenses, home improvement, or debt consolidation. The company has grown by leaps and bounds and was named among the top 10 “America’s Most Promising Companies” by Forbes in 2015. Avant is one of the few companies that offer loans to people with fair credit. Explore and find out if Avant is right for you.

What Are Avant Loans?

Avant offers a number of personal loan products with terms ranging from 24 to 60 months. The company charges an administrative fee which can be as high as 4.75 percent of the loan amount. Avant does a soft credit check to find loan options for potential clients, so you don’t need to worry about this kind of inquiry affecting your credit score. Avant loans can only be given to applicants with a credit score of 580 or above.

Types of Loans Available  

Avant offers a number of personal loan products. Avant loans can be used for a range of purposes including home improvement, making a major purchase, medical expenses, covering emergencies, and consolidating existing loans. The company can allow a customer to borrow between $2,000 and $35,000.

Rates and Fees  

Interest rates for Avant loans range from 9.95%-35.99% APR depending on the credit score and history of the borrower. The company charges a loan origination fee that ranges from 0 percent to 4.75 percent of the loan amount. This money is deducted from the loan amount before availing it to the borrower. The company charges a late payment fee if you miss the deadline by 10 days and this fee can be high as $25.

The company, however, does not charge a prepayment fee; therefore, you won’t be required to pay other fees if you pay off the loan earlier than scheduled. The company also charges a $15 fee if your payment is returned.

How Avant Loans Compare to Other Lenders

We picked a few loan products available on the market to see how they compare.  

  • OneMain Financial
  • Upgrade
  • LendingClub

Avant Loans

Rates and Fees $$$ 

Avant loan rates are between 9.95 and 35.99 percent. These are by no means impressive compared to industry standards. But considering the fact that the company accepts people with “fair” credit, the rates are not too bad. Avant also charges loan origination (administrative) fees which can be as high as 4.75 percent of the loan amount. Also expect to pay late payment fees if you fail to make your payments in time. Avant is one of the most expensive lenders we have seen.

Requirements   4.5 Stars

The minimum credit score requirement of 580 is one of the lowest score requirements of any major company in the lending business. Like most other lending companies, you need to be at least 18 to get a loan. However, Avant will use the state’s minimum borrowing age requirement if the state’s requirement is higher than 18 years.

This company also requires borrowers to have a minimum annual income of $20,000 to qualify for its loans. This relatively low income requirement makes Avant a favorite of working-class people. This amount minimizes the likelihood of being forced to take on more credit than you need. You must have a checking account to qualify for an Avant loan.  Refinancing is available to eligible customers who have made at least nine months of on-time payments.

Time to Get Approved  3 Stars

Avant loan approval can take as little as one hour and funds can be available in as few as 3 days. This is a fairly middle-of-the-road approval time.

Loan Options   4 Stars

Avant does not limit what borrowers can use the cash for. You can use the money for anything ranging from purchasing, to consolidating debt, to covering emergencies. The company’s maximum loan limit of $35,000 is not the best in the industry but it should meet the needs of most borrowers.

Early Payoff Penalty    5 Stars

The company does not charge any penalty for early payoff.


  • One of the lowest minimum credit score requirements
  • Low minimum income requirement
  • Loans can be used for debt consolidation
  • Available in all U.S. states
  • Refinancing available


  • Big origination fee
  • Late payment fee
  • Borrowers must link their bank accounts 
  • Rates are high for people with good credit scores
  • Need to visit a branch to complete your application.
  • Co-signing and secured loan not allowed

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial is another popular direct lender. The company is headquartered in Evansville, Indiana and was founded back in 1912. This company taps into decades of experience in the financial services industry to bring credit services to people with fair credit. The company has a big footprint and reaches 44 of the 50 states. This company gives loans ranging in amounts from $1,500 to $30,000. Like Avant loans, loan terms by this company range from 24 to 60 months. The company has a low credit score minimum of just 540.

Rates and Fees $$$

The interest rates for this lender are pretty high and you can expect rates from 16% to 36% APR. Like Avant loans, OneMain Financial charges an origination fee. This fee can be as high as 5 percent of the value of the loan. This company also charges a late payment fee but does not levy a prepayment penalty.

Requirements  5 Stars

Like Avant loans, eligibility requirements for this lender are modest. This company has an even lower minimum credit score requirement (540) compared to Avant. The minimum age is 18, or the minimum age allowed in the applicant’s state. This company requires applicants to have an annual income of just $7,200 and is thus ideal for young people who are employed in their first job.

Time to Get Approved   2 Stars

This company takes longer to disburse funds compared to Avant loans. Approval is done within 24 hours and fund depositing is done within seven days.

Loan Options   4 Stars

This company’s personal loans can be used for a number of things including purchasing.

Early Payoff Penalty    5 Stars

The company does not have an early payoff penalty


  • No prepayment penalty
  • Low minimum credit score requirement of 540
  • Low minimum loan amount of $1,500
  • Available in almost all U.S. states
  • Low income requirement of $7,200


  • Fund disbursement can take a week
  • Exorbitant origination fee
  • Late payment fees


Upgrade is a marketplace type lender that opened shop in 2016 and was founded by Renaud Laplanche. The company is located in San Francisco, California and plies its trade in 44 states and Washington DC. This lender is very flexible with loan amounts. Its minimum loan amount of $1,000 is lower than the minimum amount for Avant loans. The company gives a high maximum loan amount of up to $50,000. People with bad credit do not qualify for loans from this company as it requires a minimum score of 620. This company records credit data to Transunion. Unlike the other lenders on this list, Upgrade loans cannot be used for debt consolidation. To pre-qualify, the company does a soft credit pull which does not affect credit score, but a hard pull must be done to verify if you accept the offer.

Loan Amounts

Loan amounts for this company range from $1,000 to $50,000.

Rates and Fees $$$  

Upgrade rates tend to be lower than those of Avant loans and they range from 6.99% to 35.97% APR. The company charges an origination fee which is normally between 1 and 6 percent of the loan amount. Borrowers who miss a payment deadline may be subjected to a late payment fee up to $10. Like Avant loans, Upgrade does not charge a prepayment fee.

Requirements  2 Stars

Upgrade’s minimum loan amount of just $1,000 is among the lowest we have seen. The company, however, has a higher minimum credit score requirement (620) compared to Avant loans. The company also only lends to people who are employed, so don’t bother if you are self-employed or if you are out of a job. This company also requires applicants have $800 or more left over after paying bills each month to qualify for its personal loans. Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is 60 percent for this company.

Time to Get Approved   2 Stars

Be prepared to wait a good 120 hours to get approved or denied and expect funds to take up to 7 business days to reach your account if approved.

Loan Options    5 Stars

Personal loans from Upgrade can be procured for a variety of reasons including making purchases, home improvement, funding a wedding, medical expenses, emergencies, and debt consolidation. The company offers anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000. You can get terms of 36 to 60 months with Upgrade.

Early Payoff Penalty  5 Stars

This company does not penalize customers for paying off their debts early.


  • Very low minimum and high maximum loan amounts
  • Great interest rates for people with good credit
  • Loans cannot be used for debt consolidation
  • Credit health tools
  • Hardship plans


  • The relatively high minimum credit score of 620 cuts off a number of people
  • Long 7-business-day wait for funds to be disbursed
  • High origination fee and late payment fees
  • Doesn’t offer co-signing options
  • Doesn’t offer secured loans


Lending club is a lender built on the marketplace concept. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in San Francisco. LendingClub offers loans to people in 49 states plus DC. Like Upgrade, this company has a lower minimum loan amount ($1,000) than Avant loans. The company gives out a maximum of $40,000 and loan terms range from 36 to 60 months. The company requires applicants to have a minimum credit score of 600 to qualify for its loans. This company reports credit data to Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.

Loan Amounts

Loan amounts for this company range from $1,000 to $40,000.

Rates and Fees  $$

Interest rates by this lender range from 6.95% to 35.89% APR. There is a late payment fee of $15 if you go over 15 days late. The company does not charge prepayment fees but does have an origination fee that is between 1 percent and 6 percent of the loan amount.


Lending Club loan requirements are similar to those of Avant loans. You need a credit score of 600. The company, however, does not require the applicant to be employed and uses alternative means of determining creditworthiness. This company serves customers in all U.S. states apart from those in Iowa and West Virginia.

Time to Get Approved   4 Stars

Approval takes one hour and funds are disbursed within three days.

Loan Options    5 Stars

Lending Club offers loan amount from $1,0000 to $40,000. You can use the loan for debt consolidation, purchases, home improvement, weddings, medical expenses, and more.

Early Payoff Penalty  5 Stars

The company does not charge a prepayment penalty.


  • Great rates for people with good credit
  • Low minimum loan requirement of just $1,000
  • No employment requirement
  • Available in all but two states


  • High origination fees
  • Late payment fees


An Avant loan is one of the best options for borrowers with fair credit. The company’s minimum credit score requirement of just 580 and minimum annual income of $20,000 makes it a favorite of many young workers and working class families. We give Avant loans 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

The company’s rates, however, are not as competitive as those of LendingClub and Upgrade and borrowers with good and excellent credit scores can get better interest at Upgrade and LendingClub. Borrowers whose annual income is below $20,000 or whose credit scores fall between 540 and 580 should consider borrowing from OneMain Financial.

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