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    Consolidation Loan Lenders Compared: Avant Versus Marcus

    Avant Versus Marcus

    Consolidation loans are one of the best tools individuals can use to regain control over their debt and set themselves up for a stable financial future. Over the recent decade, several online lenders have entered the consolidation loan space, offering consumers even more options. 

    Two lenders that have gained popularity amongst borrowers are Avant and Marcus. Read on to see how these two lenders stack up in a head-to-head comparison to determine which one offers more value for consumers.

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    Types of Debt That Can Be Consolidated

    Avant: This Chicago based lender is geared towards individuals with lower than average credit scores or low-income earners. It offers personal loans, which many use to consolidate outstanding debt balances. As of now, the company doesn’t impose any limitations on how the borrower decides to use their loan.

    Marcus: Unlike Avant’s focus on lower income brackets, this lender focuses primarily on individuals with high credit scores and those borrowers who earn in the upper-income bracket. Although borrowers can mostly use their loans however they please, the only limitation is covering educational expenses, which isn’t permitted.

    The Winner: Avant - Both lenders are quality options, but Avant credit loans can be used however the borrower sees fit.

    Consolidation Loan Size

    Avant: With the average loan size falling somewhere around $15,000, this lending platform offers borrowers loans from as little as $2,000 up to $35,000, 

    Marcus: Started by Goldman Sachs when the financial giant decided to enter into the online lending sphere, this brand has since become a go-to lender for individuals with high credit scores. It offers loans ranging from $3,500 - $40,000.

    The Winner: Marcus - This platform offers loans of greater value at better interest rates than its competitor.

    Consolidation Loan Interest Rates & Duration

    Avant: When evaluating the interest rates offered, consumers must keep in mind that this lender caters almost exclusively to borrowers who have a lower than average credit score. It offers loans with a two to seven-year term that carry interest rates ranging from 9.95% - 35.95% depending on a borrower’s credit score.

    Marcus: Unlike its competitor, this platform works with the opposite type of borrower; someone who earns a higher than average income and has a good or better credit score. The lender’s loans carry terms between three and six years and carry an interest rate ranging from 6.99% to 23.99% APR.

    The Winner: Marcus - Marcus interest rates are far superior to those offered by Avant loans.

    Eligibility Criteria

    Avant: To be eligible for a loan, the applicant must reside in a state that the lender operates in, have stable employment, and own a bank account that accepts electronic money transfers. Unlike its peer, this lender is willing to work with individuals who have credit scores significantly below average. Typically, applicants will have a credit score in the 600 - 620 range, but some individuals with scores as low as 580 may still qualify.

    Marcus: On Its website, this platform states that the minimum acceptable credit score is 660, although several reports indicate that only scores of 700 and above are eligible for the best rates.

    The Winner: Avant - Although it features higher than average interest rates, it’s much easier to get approved for a loan.

    Application & Approval Process

    Avant: This simple and streamlined application process means that a borrower can complete through the company’s website. The pre-approval process will give the applicant a good idea of what interest rate and loan amount they qualify. If the terms satisfy the individual, they can receive their money in as little as two business days.

    Marcus: This lending platform requests all the standard information that all major lenders do. The only difference being that the brand may, at times, have the borrower state the purpose for the loan. This being said, application approval and fund transfers can happen in as little as two business days.

    The Winner: Marcus - Even though it may ask borrowers what the intended purpose of their loan is, the application process is smooth, simple, and fast, with money being deposited within a day or two.

    Loan Fees

    Avant: Consolidation loans from this provider will incur an origination fee of 4.47%, which comes out of the individual's loan amount. For example, if an individual qualifies for a loan totaling $10,000, they’ll end up receiving $9,553. Like some lenders, this alternative doesn’t charge prepayment fees, and late fees are usually waived if the account is mostly kept up to date.

    Marcus: One of the more unique aspects of this lending platform is the absence of any fees including origination fees, prepayment penalties, late payment charges, or otherwise. 

    Winner: Marcus - It’s hard to beat no fees, and Goldman Sachs’ consumer lending arm offers just that. On the other hand, its competition does charge a slightly higher than average origination fee compared to other lenders.

    Special Benefits and Offers 

    Avant: The main benefit of this platform is its willingness to work with individuals who otherwise wouldn’t qualify for a consolidation loan. It also offers a highly rated mobile application that empowers borrowers to track payments, spending, total balance, and review other important data points.

    Marcus: For those consolidating high-interest debt, borrowers can opt to have this lender pay their creditors directly. On top of this, the brand also offers interest rate discounts to individuals who set up autopay. Moreover, after 12 on-time payments, borrowers are allowed to skip a payment if they so please.

    The Winner: Marcus - Because of their interest rate discount and other benefits, this lender emerges as the clear winner in this category.

    Marcus

    Avant

    Loan Amounts

    $3,500 - $ 40,000

     $2,000 - $ 35,000

    Minimum Credit Score

    660

    580

    Loan Term

    3 - 6 years

    2 - 7 years

    Application Approval Time

    2 business days

    2 - 5 business days

    Fees

    No Fees

    -$5 or 4% late payment fee, waived if account is usually kept up to date

    -4.47% origination fee

    Which Is Better?

    When both lenders are compared side to side it’s clear that Marcus, Goldman Sachs’ loan offering, delivers better terms and superior benefits. However, it’s important to keep in mind that both lenders are servicing entirely different kinds of lenders. Marcus is a premium lender, offering the best rates to those with high credit scores whereas Avant deals more with middle-class individuals who have a fair or poor credit score.