Live Oak Bank Review [2024]: Competitive Personal Savings & CD Rates, But No Frills

BANKING - SAVINGS & MONEY MARKET ACCOUNTS
Live Oak Bank caters to business customers but also provides competitive rates on CDs and savings accounts for all consumers.
Updated May 5, 2024
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Live Oak Bank is focused on business customers, with the goal of becoming the bank of choice for small businesses.

The bank also provides two great products for consumers: It offers a personal savings account and certificates of deposit (CDs), both of which come with competitive rates. These accounts charge no monthly maintenance fees, but there are high minimum balance requirements for CDs as well as penalties for cashing in early.

This Live Oak Bank personal savings account review will help you decide if Live Oak Bank is right for you.

In this Live Oak Bank personal banking review

Key takeaways

  • Live Oak Bank offers banking products for small businesses including loans, business checking, and business savings
  • The bank also provides consumer-focused products including a high-yield savings account and certificates of deposit
  • The savings account and CDs offer competitive rates and charge no monthly maintenance fees
  • Live Oak Bank is FDIC-insured
  • Account management is done online, and there are no local branches to visit

Live Oak Bank: Is it worth it?

Pros Cons
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Member FDIC
  • High minimum deposit requirement for CDs
  • No local bank branches
  • App offers limited features
  • No personal checking or money market accounts
Our verdict: Live Oak Bank is a great option for personal savings or a CD if you are focused on competitive rates and don't mind online banking or a mobile app that's not full-featured or particularly user-friendly.

What is Live Oak Bank?

Live Oak Bank was founded in 2008 and is based in Wilmington, North Carolina. Live Oak is a cloud-based bank that primarily serves small business owners. In fact, it is the largest loan provider (in terms of dollar amount) offering Small Business Administration 7(a) loans designed to provide small businesses with working capital.

Live Oak Bank also offers FDIC-insured savings accounts and certificates of deposit to consumers. Because the accounts are FDIC-insured, depositors are protected from loss as long as they remain under the FDIC's $250,000 per person, per account limits.

Live Oak Bank savings account

Annual Percentage Yield (APY): 4.40%

Account minimum: None

Monthly maintenance fees: None

Live Oak Bank offers a competitive 4.40% APY on its personal savings account. This is well above the national average rate and beats out many competitors, including some other providers of high-yield savings accounts.

Live Oak Bank pays this APY as long as you have $0.01 in the account. It doesn’t have a minimum balance required, it doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees, and your funds are FDIC-insured.

Here are the only potential fees you could incur:

  • $25 fee for stopped payments
  • $10 fee for returned items
  • $19 outgoing wire-transfer fee
  • $50 minimum fee for legal actions taken against your account, such as wage garnishments
  • An unspecified dormant account fee if you have less than $10.01 in the account and no account activity for a 2-year period.

You can open your Live Oak Bank online savings account directly online and mail a check or deposit funds via an ACH transfer to get started. The bank offers North Carolina-based customer service via phone but has no local branches.

You also don’t get a debit card for ATM access. If you need money, you’ll need to transfer funds out of the account electronically.

Consumers don’t rate its mobile banking app highly, citing connectivity issues and limited features.

Live Oak Bank CDs

APY: 2.00%-5.00% (as of May 8, 2023)

Account minimum: $2,500

Terms available: 3 months to 5 years

Live Oak Bank also offers CD rates of 2.00%-5.00% (as of May 8, 2023).

There are no maintenance fees for a Live Oak Bank CD, but you must make a minimum $2,500 deposit and the account maximum is $250,000. You will pay early withdrawal penalties if you take money out of your CD early. The penalties are:

  • 90 days of simple interest if you take money out early and your CD has a term of less than 24 months
  • 180 days of simple interest if you take money out early and your CD has a term of 24 months or more.

A CD can be opened online, and when your CD matures, you have the option to withdraw the funds or allow the CD to automatically renew at the prevailing interest rate at the time of the renewal. You have 10 days from the time your CD matures to take out the money available to you before it is automatically reinvested.

Other Live Oak Bank offerings

In addition to the personal savings account and CDs, Live Oak Bank also offers accounts geared toward business customers. Options include:

  • A small business checking account
  • A savings account
  • 1031 exchange banking services
  • Small business loans backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Loans backed by USDA to enhance economic opportunity in rural areas
  • Commercial loans

How to get started with Live Oak Bank

Opening a new account with Live Oak Bank is easy. Here's how the process works.

1. Go to the bank’s website and click "Get Started."

After clicking the button, you will choose "Personal Banking," "Business Banking," or "Contact a Lender."

2. Choose your product

If you select personal banking, you will be taken to a page where you can choose between a savings account and a CD. Pick which one you’d like, and click "Open Now" under the relevant financial product.

3. Input your personal information

For both the CD and savings account, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your first, middle, and last name
  • Your current address (and mailing address, if it differs)
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your date of birth
  • Whether you are a citizen
  • Whether you are subject to backup withholding
  • Your employment status

Live Oak bank application screenshot

4. Provide funding details and complete the account opening process.

For a CD account, you will need to make a minimum $2,500 deposit. There is no minimum for the personal savings account. You can fund your account with an external bank account by using an ACH transfer or by sending a check.

If you suspect you may run into trouble, consider opening your online account between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday, as these are the hours that customer support is available to you.

Alternatives to Live Oak Bank: Current Bank and Quontic Bank

Live Oak Bank is one of the best savings accounts available due to its high APY, no minimum account balance, and no account fees. But there are other great alternatives as well.

Both Current and Quontic Bank are worth considering. Here's how these alternatives compare.

Bank Account Options Savings Account APY Key Features
Live Oak
  • High-yield savings
  • CD
  • Business Loans
  • Business checking
4.40% APY No maintenance fees or monthly minimums
Current
  • Bank account
  • High-yield savings
  • Investment account
4.00% (as of Nov. 21, 2023) Round-ups automate the process of saving
Quontic
  • Checking
  • Savings
  • Money Market
  • CD
  • Mortgages
4.50% (as of Mar. 27, 2024) $100 minimum opening deposit

Live Oak stands apart from these competitors because it offers a 4.40% savings rate without the requirement of a direct deposit or a high minimum deposit. But its APY is a bit lower than Quontic, and it doesn't offer the full range of banking products either of these competitors provide. If you want to try to maintain as many financial accounts as possible with the same institution, Current or Quontic could be better bets.

Find out more in our full Current and Quontic Bank reviews.

FAQs about Live Oak Bank

Is Live Oak Bank FDIC insured?

Live Oak Bank is FDIC insured up to $250,000 per person per account type. This means that if you keep your deposits below these limits, you do not need to worry about losing money if the bank should collapse or face serious financial trouble.

What is the Live Oak Bank phone number?

Live Oak Bank can be reached via phone at 866-518-0286. The bank's customer service is based in North Carolina, and you can reach the bank's support line between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday.

Is Live Oak Bank a reputable bank?

Live Oak Bank is a reputable bank. It was founded in 2008 and it has become one of the largest lenders for SBA loans. Its personal savings account and CDs are FDIC insured so consumers do not need to worry about losing money in the event of bank failure.

Live Oak Bank review: bottom line

Live Oak Bank is a great option if you want an all-digital bank offering a competitive rate and you opt for either the savings account with no minimum balance requirements or you have at least $2,500 to open a CD. But if this financial institution isn’t right for you, you can find many other great options by checking out this list of the best banks.

Live Oak - Personal Savings Benefits

  • Earn 4.40% APY on your money1
  • Daily compounding interest to maximize your earning potential
  • No online banking or monthly maintenance fees
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000

Author Details

Christy Rakoczy Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.

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