Whether you’re making a big purchase or just refinancing some existing debt, a personal loan could help.
But comparing loan options could take days — unless you use an online marketplace like Fiona which lets you compare personal loan offers side by side within minutes.
Like all lending marketplaces, Fiona has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a close look to see whether Fiona should help with your personal loan shopping.
Table of Contents:
What is Fiona?
Based in New York City, Fiona is an online lending marketplace and loan comparison tool. In 2019 alone, Fiona originated more than $600 million in personal loans.
The site uses built-in algorithms to offer you real-time, pre-qualified personal loan rates from about a dozen different lenders. Since it connects you with multiple loan offers simultaneously, Fiona could save you time and money.
Even Financial, a leading search and comparison engine for financial companies, launched Fiona back in 2015 to help consumers find the right financial products.
Overall, Fiona has received praise from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, and Crowdfund Insider.
Fiona at a Glance
|Owned By||Even Financial|
|Purpose||Connecting Borrowers with Personal Loans|
|Maximum Loan Amount||$100,000|
|APRs||3.84% – 35.99% depending on creditworthiness|
|Loan Terms||24 – 84 months|
|Minimum Credit Score||620 for best results|
|Cost to Use||None|
|Other Products||Life Insurance, Student Loan Refi, Credit Card Comparisons|
How Does A Fiona Loan Work?
Fiona works as an aggregator for personal loan lenders; it does not actually fund any personal loans itself. Instead, it connects people looking for personal loans with lenders that can offer the best deals.
To review your personal loan options, you’ll need to submit only one online form. From there, Fiona will use its matching technology to compare loan offers, behind the scenes, and pair you with excellent options.
After you receive your loan offers, you can compare them and decide which is best for you. Once you choose an offer, you’ll follow up with the actual lender to close on the loan. At any point you can back out if you decide you’d rather not borrow after all.
Formally applying and closing on your loan happens with the actual lender, not with Fiona. Your monthly payments will also go to your lender and not Fiona. Fiona only connects you with lenders and then backs out of the process.
Other Financial Products From Fiona
Along with its personal loan program, Fiona can help you find a variety of other financial products.
Here are some of the other types of borrowing you can search and compare through Fiona.
If you’re looking for a new credit card, Fiona can help you find the right one.
Using the same technology it uses for personal loan shopping, Fiona can show you credit cards you’d pre-qualify for and then help you compare interest rates.
You can also search by annual fees or by rewards programs such as cash back or airline miles. There are even secured cards available for people with poor credit.
Student Loan Refinancing
Fiona can also help users find better rates for their student loans.
To begin, enter the amount you still owe on your student loans. Fiona will give you an estimated monthly payment and provide loan refinancing offers.
You can compare terms and interest rates to find the best refinancing loans to help manage your student loan debt.
Side Note: If you have public student loans right now, refinancing with one of Fiona’s lending partners would turn your debt into private student loan debt.
This means you could lose government-sponsored features like income-driven repayment plans and forbearance options.
High-Yield Savings Accounts
Everyone needs to learn how to save money, and Fiona wants to help you find the best savings accounts.
The name of the game with savings accounts is an annual percent yield or APY. The higher the APY, the more you will earn in interest on your savings.
Fiona can help you find the savings accounts with the highest APYs so that you can earn the most from your savings.
It will also show you things like fees so you can weigh the pros and cons of these accounts. Overall, this feature helps you find the best savings account for your circumstances.
Life Insurance Policies
Now, Fiona can even help you compare life insurance policies from leading insurers like Lincoln Financial, Prudential, Protective, Pacific Life, and Banner Life.
The insurance quotes come from Leaplife, another Even Financial partner.
You’ll just answer a dozen or so questions about your age, health, and financial life in order to see a variety of life insurance quotes.
Fiona Loan Fees
With a service as convenient as Fiona’s, you may be wondering how much it will cost you. Believe it or not, Fiona won’t cost you a penny.
Fiona earns money from its lending partners, who pay Fiona for access to customers like you and me. This means Fiona’s services are entirely free for you to use.
You might argue that Fiona’s lending partners would just pass the fee along to borrowers in the form of a higher interest rate. But in a marketplace as competitive as personal loans, lenders can’t afford to offer inflated rates.
In fact, the rates and terms you’ll get through Fiona will most likely match the rates and terms you’d get if you worked with a direct lender.
So you really can use Fiona — and most other lending platforms — free of charge.
Rates and Fees from Lending Partners
The fees and interest you pay on your loan will go to the actual lender and not to Fiona. Partner lenders offer loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $100,000.
All these personal loans are unsecured which means you don’t have to put up collateral. Because they aren’t secured by property that can be seized and sold, unsecured loans tend to have higher interest rates compared with auto loans or mortgages.
APRs for loans available on Fiona can range from 3.84% to 35.99%, and repayment terms range from two to seven years. Your rate and terms will depend on which lender you choose. Your credit score will also have a huge impact on your ability to borrow with competitive rates and terms.
Depending on your lender, you may have to pay an origination fee, late fees, or ACH/check refund fees. Origination fees can be anywhere between 1% to 6% of the overall loan amount.
On a $10,000 loan, a 6% origination fee would cost you $600.
Fiona’s Application Process
Fiona’s personal loan process is straightforward and takes only a few minutes.
To get started, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old, a US citizen or permanent resident, and have good to excellent credit. If you meet all these requirements, you can proceed with a lending request.
The application process begins on Fiona’s homepage. You will need to complete a form with personal information so the platform can check with its lending partners for pre-qualified rates.
In the application form, you will need to provide the following data:
- Date of birth
- Your estimated credit score
- Phone number
- Employment status
- Whether you rent or own
- Annual income before taxes
- Loan purpose (debt consolidation, home improvement, large purchase, or credit card refinance)
- Desired loan amount
Customer reviews report Fiona’s form feels cluttered compared to other loan marketplaces. Other loan marketplaces use an interview-style questionnaire rather than a single-page format. But some users may prefer Fiona’s more direct approach.
At this point, Fiona will conduct a soft credit pull to confirm your identity and your credit score. This credit pull will not lower your score, but it will still allow the platform to show you accurate rates on loan offers.
Fiona will then show your qualifying offers, sorted by APR. You can filter and sort the offers by a number of factors such as additional fees or loan terms.
If Fiona does not return with any loan offers, check with the platform’s customer service representatives about a possible system error. It’s also possible your credit profile did not qualify you for a loan with any of Fiona’s loan providers. If you don’t have a minimum credit score of 580 this is likely the problem.
When you choose a loan offer, just click “continue” to move forward with the borrowing process. You will be directed to the actual lender’s website to continue the application and close on the loan.
Expect to submit your Social Security number and consent to a hard credit pull before closing.
Is Fiona Safe?
Fiona recognizes the importance of data security. The platform has measures in place to protect your privacy from hackers and other cyber criminals.
Financial Security Measures
The service uses a 256-bit encryption to protect your data.
Fiona takes security a step farther with its Programmatic Compliance tool, which is a unique feature. This tool scans partner sites’ web pages to find security problems that may raise red flags.
For example, this tool may detect information that conflicts with state and federal regulations, which would put your data at risk. It will flag the issue and trigger a Fiona staff member to make a judgment call on what it means in the big picture. This could help you avoid closing a loan with an untrustworthy lender.
Fiona’s lending partners are top-notch loan companies providing the best personal loans in the industry. They’ll also protect your financial data.
Sharing Application Data
You should know that lending marketplaces, by their nature, share your data with a number of different lenders. That’s the whole point of the service: You fill out one application and the data goes to a variety of financial services companies.
Fiona says it will not share your data with third-party companies, and it lives up to this promise. But Fiona doesn’t consider its lending partners third party loan companies.
Bottom line: Your application on Fiona could lead to dozens of phone calls from a variety of financial institutions who know you’re in the market for a personal loan. These calls won’t go on forever. You can just say you’re not interested and move on with your life.
But this wouldn’t be a legitimate review if we didn’t point out this tendency. If you have an alternate phone number, like a landline you seldom answer, I’d list that number on the application instead of your primary cell number.
If you are having trouble finding the right loan with Fiona, you’ll find a customer support team in place to help you get answers.
You can reach the team through email ([email protected]) or phone (800-614-7505.) Fiona’s team can help you with any issues with the site, trouble filling out information, or any questions you have about finding a personal loan.
Once your loan is closed, Fiona does not provide any further support. You will be required to go through your lender for any assistance with your loan.
There is also an FAQ section and an educational blog on Fiona’s site. The blog is a unique feature that can explain personal loan details and inform you about the process behind the scenes.
Fiona’s customer support does more than guide you through the platform. The staff wants you to feel more informed as you go through the loan shopping process.
Fiona Personal Loans Pros and Cons
There are plenty of online loan marketplaces out there, so it’s important to know what each one has going for and against them.
Let’s review some of the pros and cons of using Fiona to shop for a personal loan.
- Easy-to-navigate website: True to its slogan “Finance made friendly,” Fiona has created a user-friendly and intuitive site. You need to fill out only one form to get pre-qualified loan rates. You can also search by different factors such as loan purpose, loan amount, and credit score.
- Doesn’t affect credit score: Fiona utilizes a soft credit pull to verify your information, which doesn’t affect your credit score. This is great for people who are shopping around and want to see what Fiona offers. If you’re flirting with the idea of taking out a personal loan and want to check interest rates, you won’t take a credit hit by using Fiona.
- Other products available: Many online marketplaces are unilateral, but Fiona isn’t. You can search for more than just personal loan rates through this site. You can also browse credit cards, student loan refinancing products, and high-yield savings accounts.
- Origination fees: You won’t pay Fiona any fees, but depending on the lender, you may have to pay additional fees to borrow. Some Fiona lenders may charge origination fees, late fees, or processing fees to cover a lower APR. Keep this in mind as you browse loan offers.
- Need to be 21: Most loan marketplaces are open to shoppers 18 years old and older, but Fiona requires that you be at least 21. This can be limiting for some younger borrowers looking to take out a personal loan.
- Telemarketing calls: Because information is shared with Fiona’s lender network, you may have to field spam calls and emails for a while. Lenders seeking your business may even keep calling after you’ve closed a loan with a different lender.
Is Fiona For You?
Fiona is an excellent tool for people who want to compare multiple personal loan offers quickly.
It is available to people with any credit score, but it is best for people with credit scores above 620.
It is possible to borrow with a score as low as 580, but you may get only one offer.
If you’d like a loan for debt consolidation, home improvements, or to make a large purchase, Fiona can help you search for the best rates and terms.