Whether you’re trying to consolidate debt or finance a large purchase, there’s more than one way to reach your goal. The best option for how to get a loan will depend on your individual financial situation, including your credit score. Whether you’re looking for the best personal loans, savings account, credit card, or student loan refinance, it’s important to identify the best possible rates and terms for your needs.
That’s where Fiona comes in. Fiona makes it easy to get customized recommendations about which products will serve you best. To help you determine if Fiona will be the best website for you to use to search for a loan product, we’ve compiled a guide with the insights necessary to make an informed decision.
How does Fiona work?
Fiona is a financial services company that matches you with real-time offers from multiple lenders, so you can easily compare things like rates and terms without having to search on multiple websites.
That’s what makes Fiona unique: The company does not lend money but instead partners with a variety of lenders (and other financial service companies) to show you the best loans with competitive rates. The process is totally personalized, so you can see the best options for your financial situation, and it doesn’t require a hard credit pull for you to see initial offers.
Founded in 2015, Fiona is based in New York and run by Even Financial, the leading search engine for financial services. Even though the company is relatively new, Fiona helped customers access more than $600 million in personal loans in 2019.
What financial products does Fiona allow borrowers to compare?
Fiona lets users compare rates and terms on personal loans, which can be used for credit card debt consolidation, financing a major purchase, home improvement projects, or paying for education. Fiona does not offer loans for starting a business or paying taxes, and you need to be 18 years old and a U.S. citizen to qualify for a loan with Fiona.
While loan rates, repayment terms, and loan amounts will vary based on your creditworthiness and other factors, Fiona does offer some guidance about what you might expect from most financial institutions. Here's what many major lenders might have to offer:
|Loan amount||$1,000 to $100,000|
|Loan term||12 to 84 months|
|APR||3.84% to 35.99% (as of March 1, 2021)|
|Minimum credit score||600+ FICO score|
|Origination fees||Varies by lender|
Remember that Fiona is not a direct lender, so the loan application process may vary based on which partner lender offers the best loan for you. Once you find the right loan provider and loan on Fiona, you'll be directed to the lender's website to complete the application process. You'll likely need to provide some personal information, including your:
- Basic personal information, like your name, date of birth, Social Security number, home address, and email address
- Employment history, current employer’s address, and phone number
- Annual income
- Significant recurring expenses, such as your mortgage or rent
Once you submit your application form, you'll also likely be subject to a hard credit check, which can cause your credit rating to dip by a few points. This dip is generally temporary, though.
Fiona’s simple interface shows you the savings accounts with the highest APYs, and also provides information such as fees and accessibility, so you can choose the right savings account for you. Again, the APYs you get on savings accounts will vary by lender, but at the time of publication, Fiona partners were offering savings accounts with APYs of up to 1.00%. While a 1.00% APY may not seem that high, according to the FDIC, the national average savings account interest rate was just 0.04% (as of March 1, 2021.)
Here's a quick comparison of how a savings account with a 1.00% APY and a savings account with a 0.05% APY compare in terms of earnings on interest over time. For the purposes of this example, we assumed that interest would be compounded annually.
|After one year||$5,002||$5,050.00|
|After three years||$5,006||$5,151.51|
|After five years||$5,010.01||$5,523.11|
As you can see, the higher the APY on your savings account, the better return you're likely to see on your money in the long-term. The total amount of interest you'd earn on an account with a 0.04% APY after five years is significantly less than what you'd earn with a 1.00% APY savings account after just one year.
With Fiona, you can easily browse credit card offers that you pre-qualify for and see details like the APR, annual fee, and rewards rates. There are a number of options from different credit card issuers on the site, from cashback credit cards to no annual fee cards. There are also secured cards for people with poor credit scores, so you can find a product that’s both attainable and meets your needs. To get started, you simply need to answer a few basic questions and Fiona will match you with a personalized credit card offer that's likely to work for your wallet.
If you choose to apply for a credit card with a Fiona partner, the card issuer will likely ask you for some personal information like your full name, home address, email address, and total annual income. Typically, they will also run a hard credit check to determine your creditworthiness before you're approved for a new card.
Student loan refinancing
You can view the top student loan refinancing offers for your location and credit score with Fiona’s easy-to-use search function. If you put in the amount you owe, Fiona will even estimate your monthly payment, and also provide you with the term and interest rate for each offer so you can easily determine if a particular option is right for you. Fiona lending partners offer both fixed and variable APR refinance loans, and rates and terms will likely vary based on your credit score and other factors.
How does a loan comparison site save borrowers time and money?
Without the help of a comparison site like Fiona, borrowers would have to spend hours researching offers from individual lenders. When trying to keep track of all that information, it can be easy to make mistakes and choose a product that isn’t the best fit.
By contrast, a loan comparison site like Fiona helps borrowers easily access all the information they need about different products in one place so they can make informed decisions. Borrowers can compare loans from different lenders side-by-side, making it easier and less frustrating to nail down the best rate. And it’s really easy to narrow down your options based on your creditworthiness and the amount you’re looking for.
Fiona also doesn’t overwhelm you with too much information, allowing you to get a clear understanding of the important details. It’s a powerful tool that saves you both time and money.
What Fiona customers are saying
Most customers are pleased with the service Fiona provides. The company received an overall rating of 4.2/5 stars on ConsumersAdvocate.org. The overall rating is based on ratings in different categories. Fiona received high marks in the areas of “Flexibility” and “Discounts and Fees” (4.0/5) and even higher marks in the areas of “Interest Rates” and “Customer Service and Reputation” (4.5/5). So you can search confidently, knowing you’ll find some of the lowest rates available and be treated with kindness if you need assistance from Fiona.
In individual customer reviews on ConsumersAdvocate, Fiona customers often mentioned that the website is easy to use and helped them locate an offer quickly. They also noted that the terms were transparent and easy to understand, and the service was friendly. However, some customers were unhappy with the interest rates and terms that were ultimately provided by the lenders.
FAQs about Fiona
Is Fiona a reputable company?
Yes. Fiona has a 4.5/5 star rating for Customer Service and Reputation on Consumers Advocate, and as of October 2019, there have been no complaints about the company to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Does using Fiona hurt your credit?
No. While you will be asked to provide your Social Security number to be matched with loan offers, Fiona only requires a soft pull on your credit, which won’t affect your credit score. Once you choose the loan product that’s right for you, the lender will perform a hard pull that will cause a temporary dip in your credit. This is unavoidable, even if you go to the lender directly.
What are the minimum credit requirements for a loan on Fiona?
Fiona doesn’t specify a minimum credit requirement, but there are loan options for people with a range of credit scores. You can input your credit score range in Fiona’s search bar, with options ranging from “Excellent credit” to “Poor credit,” and Fiona will show you loan products that you’ll be likely to qualify for.
Is Fiona a lender?
No, Fiona is a search and comparison site for finding financial products from a variety of partner lenders. Fiona doesn’t lend money, but instead connects borrowers with lenders.
Is Fiona secure?
According to its website, Fiona uses 256-bit encryption to keep customers' information safe. This is a higher security standard than what you might see with other loan companies.
The bottom line on Fiona loans
Whether you’re looking to borrow money or set aside cash for emergencies, Fiona can help you save time and money by showing you customized recommendations and allowing you to compare rates and terms across lenders. If you’re not sure how to get a personal loan, Fiona can make the entire process easier to navigate. It’s a great place to get started on your search for a financial product that meets your needs.
Disclaimer: All rates and fees are accurate as of March 1, 2021.