Many people have financial goals for 2020, and a personal loan may be a way to reach them. Whether you want to fund a big getaway or refinance some existing debt, personal loans can help you secure funds to get your goals on track.
Even though personal loans can be a great tool for the right purposes, many people don’t want to put in the time to shop around. Luckily, fintech has made it possible to get the best deal without throwing away your weekend.
Fiona is an online loan marketplace that uses a few pieces of personal information to match you with the best personal loan offers. You are able to input information and compare loan offers in a matter of minutes. This can take all of the hassles out of personal loan shopping.
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What is Fiona?
Based in New York City, Fiona is an online loan marketplace and loan comparison tool. In 2019 alone, Fiona originated over $600 million in personal loans.
It uses its built-in algorithms to offer you real-time pre-qualified personal loan rates. By connecting borrowers with lenders using a single form, Fiona is able to save both borrowers and lenders time and money.
Fiona was created in 2015 by its parent company, Even Financial. Even Financial is a leading search and comparison engine for financial companies, so it made sense that they would create their own tool for personal loan shoppers.
Because of its relationship to Even Financial, Fiona has a partnership with several major lenders. This includes Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Prosper, SoFi, LendingClub, Rise, Avant, LightStream, and Vouch.
Overall, Fiona has received praise from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, and Crowdfund Insider.
How Does A Fiona Loan Work?
Because Fiona acts as an aggregator for personal loan lenders, it does not actually provide any loans itself. It instead connects people looking for personal loans with the lenders that are able to offer them the best deals.
All you need to do to review your personal loan options is to fill out one form. From there, Fiona will use its matching technology to compare offers behind the scenes and pair you with excellent loan offers from their dozens of lending partners.
After you receive loan offers, you can review each one, decide which is best for you, and ultimately close on the loan. You are not required to close a loan at all if you ultimately decide against it.
You will formally apply for and close the loan through the lender. At this point, Fiona’s role in the process is complete. Any repayments or issues with your loan will be between the lender and you.
Other Features of Fiona
Fiona doesn’t only help customers find deals for personal loans. They can also help you search for a number of other financial products.
Here are some of the other things that you can search for 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 that is used for personal loan shopping, Fiona can help you see what credit cards you prequalify for and compare APRs. You can also search by annual fees or by rewards such as cash back or airline miles. There are even secured cards available for people with poor credit.
Student Loan Refinancing
Similar to their personal loans marketplace, Fiona can also help users find better rates for their student loans.
To begin, enter the amount that 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.
High-Yield Savings Accounts
Everyone needs to learn how to save, and Fiona wants to help you find the best savings accounts out there.
The name of the game with savings accounts is an annual percent yield or APY. The higher the APY is, the more you will earn in interest on your savings. Fiona will help you find the savings accounts with the highest APY, so that you can earn the most from your savings.
It will also show you things like fees so that you can weigh the pros and cons. Overall, this feature helps you find the best savings account for your circumstances.
Fiona Loan Interest Rates
With a service as great as Fiona’s, you may be wondering how much it will cost you. Luckily, Fiona won’t cost you a penny.
Fiona earns money from its lending partners, who pay Fiona to have access to their customer base. This means that Fiona’s services are entirely free for you to use.
When it comes to personal loan amounts, borrowers are able to search for loans from $1,000 to $100,000. These loans are unsecured, which means that you don’t have to own property in order to qualify. The money may be transferred to your account as soon as the next day.
APRs for loans can range from 3.84% to 35.99%, and repayment terms are anywhere from two to seven years. This all depends on which lender you decide to go with.
Depending on the lender, you may have to pay an origination fee, late fee, or ACH/check refund fee. Origination fees can be anywhere between 1% to 6% of the overall loan amount.
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 lending request is started on Fiona’s homepage. You will need to complete a form with personal information so that they can check with their lending partners for pre-qualified rates.
In the form, you will need to provide the following data:
- Your estimated credit score
- Phone number
- Employment status
- Whether you rent or own
- Annual income before taxes
- Loan purpose
- Desired loan amount
Users report that Fiona’s form feels cluttered compared to other loan marketplaces. Other loan marketplaces use an interview-style questionnaire rather than a single-page format. Some users may prefer a step-by-step experience, in which case they should look to other personal loan marketplaces.
At this point, Fiona will conduct a soft inquiry into your credit to confirm your identity and credit score. This will not harm your credit and allow them to get you the most accurate rates that they can.
After that, Fiona will come back with all of your qualifying offers sorted by APR. You are able to filter and sort the offers by a number of other factors, such as additional fees or loan terms.
If Fiona does not return with any rates, check with their customer service representatives. It may be that they had a system error. Otherwise, your credit did not qualify for any rates with their lending partners.
Once you decide on a loan offer, you can click “continue” to move forward with a loan offer. You will be taken to the lender’s site to fill out an application and close the loan, which may require more documentation or information from you.
Is Fiona Safe?
In the era of fintech, data security is of the utmost importance. Fiona recognizes this and has measures in place to protect your privacy. However, they also perhaps mislead their users about how their information is shared.
Fiona and Even Financial pride themselves on only partnering with lenders they feel are trustworthy and legitimate. Overall, this seems to be true for their network of loan companies.
Fiona also claims that your information is shared with lending partners, like most loan marketplaces, but is not sold to third-party companies. They emphasize the fact that the information is not sold, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t shared with other business partners, such as credit card and student loan companies. Keep this in mind as you may start to receive spam calls from these companies if you use Fiona.
As far as data security goes, Fiona uses 256-bit encryption to secure information. This is more than what most banks use.
Lastly, Fiona has a Programmatic Compliance tool, which is a relatively unique feature. This tool scans partner sites’ webpages to find information that may raise red flags.
For example, they may detect information that conflicts with state and federal regulations, which would put your loan 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.
If you are having trouble finding the right loan with Fiona, they have a customer support team in place to assist.
You can reach their team through email ([email protected]) or phone (800-614-7505.) Their 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 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 their 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 their site. They truly want you to feel more informed as you go through the loan shopping process.
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 their slogan “Finance made friendly,” Fiona has made their site incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. You only need to fill out one form to get pre-qualified loan rates. You can also easily search by different factors such as loan purpose, loan amount, and credit score.
- Doesn’t affect credit score: Fiona utilizes a soft credit inquiry to verify your information, which doesn’t affect your score. This is great for people that 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 prequalification 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 their site. You can also browse credit cards, student refinancing loans, and high-yield savings accounts.
- Origination fees: Depending on the lender, you may have to pay additional fees with your loan. Some Fiona lenders may charge origination, late, or processing fees to cover a lower APR. Keep this in mind as you browse loan offers.
- Need to be 21: Most loan marketplaces require that you be at least 18 years old, 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. Lenders seeking to win your business may begin harassing you, and there is ultimately little you can do to stop this. This may even continue after you close on a loan.
Is Fiona For You?
Fiona is an excellent tool for people looking to compare multiple personal loan offers quickly. It is available to people of all credit scores, but it is best for people with credit scores above 620.
If you are looking to consolidate debt, make home improvements, fund a large purchase, or refinance credit card debt, we recommend using Fiona in your search.