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Avant Inc. is a Chicago-based lender that targets borrowers with less-than-perfect credit, touting its personal loans as an alternative to “expensive payday loans or other short-term credit options.” Among other services, Avant offers debt consolidation, home improvement financing, and “emergencies loans” for sudden, unexpected costs. Read on for more information and an Avant loans review.

Overview

  • Serviced 300,000+ customers
  • Free online rate check — does not affect credit score
  • Complete online application, approval, and customer service
  • Potential for late fee forgiveness
  • No balloon payments
  • Excellent human support and customer assistance

About

Founded in December 2012 and operational since February 2013, Avant has hubs in Illinois and California. This is a lender designed for the 21st century — most offerings are available online and services are designed around fast customer assistance.

Lending terms

Although Avant lends nationwide, loan terms can vary by state. For example, potential loan amounts in California range from $1,000 to $35,000, at an annual percentage rate (APR) between 9.95 percent and 36.00 percent. In a state like New York, however, the maximum APR is only 24.99 percent. The minimum loan amount in Massachusetts is $6,100.

Installment loans with an APR of 36.00 percent or less are made through Utah-based WebBank.

Payment plans and options

Personal loans through Avant amortize like traditional bank loans, and the company utilizes an easy to understand equal monthly payment plan. Most payments occur via electronic funds transfer, meaning bank accounts are debited automatically to avoid late fees or missed payments.

If alternative payment methods are necessary, Avant employs account specialists to help borrowers set up convenient plans.

Customer assistance

Avant offers toll-free customer service with a live representative, seven days a week. The website layout is clean and simple, and the FAQ section links to helpful articles and other resources.

It is also possible to resolve issues and ask questions through online chat or email correspondence. In a rare move for a contemporary lender, Avant lists phone numbers and email addresses for its staff on the company’s Web page. Customer assistance is a bright spot.

Mobile options

The entire Avant process can be navigated with a smartphone or other mobile device.

Early and extra payments

Avant borrowers may pay down their loans early to save on future interest payments. There are no early repayment fees. If a borrower pays off their loan before the scheduled due date, Avant will only charge interest for the amount of time the loan was outstanding (along with any fees and charges incurred on the account). No balloon payments are assessed at the end of a loan.

How to apply

Avant’s website boasts a 15-minute online application process, which includes a rate check that the company says does not affect the applicant’s credit score. Online tools are simple and intuitive to navigate. If approved, electronic contracts may be signed through the borrower’s device. It is not possible to qualify for a second loan before paying off the first one.

Money is available for deposit into borrower’s account as early as the following business day. Avant says loan terms and approval depend on a variety of factors, including:

Credit determination

  • Applicable federal and state law (minimum loan amounts and maximum APR vary by state).
  • Borrower-provided banking and employment information.

Avant personal loan reviews

Avant, Inc. is Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited, earning an A+ rating from the Chicago and Northern Illinois chapter.

This accreditation is based on a good faith effort to resolve consumer complaints. According to the BBB, Avant’s responsiveness and resolution of complaints contributed to the firm’s A+ rating. As of December, 2015, 112 complaints had been closed during the previous three years.

The 25 customer reviews filed with the BBB website include three positive and 19 negative. Negative reviews tended to focus on unresponsive or uninformed customer service agents, or  inappropriate or late application of payments to individual loan accounts.

Compare rates and terms offered by multiple, vetted lenders at Credible.com.

Sean Ross is a writer, researcher and consultant. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in economics, and has nearly a decade of experience working in financial services.