Avant Debt Consolidation Loans–an Illinois Debt Relief Company
Avant Debt Consolidation Loans are becoming more and more popular across the nation as of 2020, as the demand for debt consolidation grows. The company offering these loans is Avant, LLC, a Chicago, Illinois-based company that was created in 2012 by Albert Goldstein, John Sun, and Paul Zhang. Avant was rated #1 for debt consolidation loans by TrustedCompanyReviews.com in 2019 but was recently downgraded to #7 after the company received a judgment against them for $3.85 million (which we talk about below). Here are the top 10 debt consolidation companies for 2020.
Avant unsecured loans are easy to qualify for, requiring only a 580 FICO score and at least $20,000 in gross annual income. Avant is a BBB accredited debt consolidation company with an “A-” rating as of April 2020. The following review looks at the good and the bad that we know about Avant.
About Avant Debt Consolidation Loans
Avant offers debt consolidation loans and credit cards for consumers with fair-poor credit. The people that don’t qualify for a low-interest loan at a bank or credit union, turn to online lenders. Avant Debt Consolidation Reviews online indicate that Avant is clearly one of the most reputable online debt consolidation lenders for consumers that have fair-poor credit (under 700), despite the 2019 lawsuit against them that we share the details of below.
Bad credit loans (for a credit score of 580-650) are available through Avant, but TrustedCompanyReviews.com warns consumers to be aware of the fees and interest rates that come with these loans. Depending on a person’s credit score determines how much in fees and interest they could end up paying. With Avant’s bad credit debt consolidation loans, interest rates can be higher than 35% (and that does not include loan origination fees and other fees). Avant’s “debt consolidation loan administration fee” can cost up to 4.75%.
If your credit score is 650 or less, it’s almost always advisable to first consider a debt relief program. Companies like Freedom Debt Relief, National Debt Relief, and Golden Financial Services all offer debt settlement services. Debt settlement is a program that cuts payments and balances down significantly, allowing a person to become debt-free in under 48 months. These types of debt negotiation services do also come with downsides. Any time you use debt settlement credit scores will get negatively affected at least over that first year of the program and there’s no guarantee that the plan will work.
Here’s a list of the top 10 debt relief companies for 2020.
About Avant Credit Cards
Like with the debt consolidation loans that are available through Avant, credit cards also are available for consumers with low-fair credit.
Here are a few positives that come with Avant credit cards:
- No hidden fees
- The application process is quick and easy
- You can use these cards to build credit
- Low annual fee of $29 per year
Avant Debt Consolidation Loan Complaints and 2019 Lawsuit
In 2019, Avant was sued for deceptive practices. Here’s a copy of the FTC complaint:
The end result was that Avant agreed to settle the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) charges that it engaged in deceptive and unfair debt consolidation loan servicing practices.
The deceptive and unfair practices that they were charged with include:
- imposing unauthorized charges on consumers’ accounts
- unlawfully requiring consumers to consent to automatic payments from their bank accounts
- “Avant gave the run-around to consumers trying to repay their loans, because of systemic issues with the company’s loan servicing platform,” said Andrew Smith Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
- Avant falsely advertised that it would accept payments by credit or debit cards, when in fact it rejected these forms of payments
- Avant withdrew money from consumers’ accounts or charged their credit cards without authorization. In some instances, Avant charged consumers duplicate payments without authorization, improperly taking consumers’ monthly payments twice or more in one month.
Avant has agreed to pay $3.85 million for the judgment. This money will be returned to consumers who were harmed by Avant’s unlawful practices.
In the end, these charges are all related to payment issues and don’t indicate that this company is morally or ethically doing anything wrong or that they had bad intentions to hurt consumers. Avant paid for their mistakes by agreeing to settle and refund all of the funds.