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10 Best Student Loan Options

Looking for student loans can be daunting. On average, it costs almost $57,000 to attend four years of public college, once you factor in room and board, as well as expenses. For a private school, the average is over $100,000 for four years.

Where does a college student get that kind of money? Some of it will come from school-based aid and private scholarships, but generally, the student will need significant student loans to cover the costs. 

By carefully considering your student loan options you can make it much easier to repay your loans. There are a variety of student loans you can get, both from the federal government and from private lenders.

Related: 10 Best Checking Accounts for Students and Entrepreneurs

Here are the best student loan options to help you afford college: 

Federal Direct Student Loans

Before you start looking at private lenders, it’s important to maximize the federal student loans available to you. They are the best student loans you can get!

Amount You Can Borrow

There are two types of federal student loans. Subsidized student loans do not begin to accrue interest until after you finish school. Unsubsidized loans begin to accrue interest right away. For both types, you can defer repayments until six months after you drop below full-time academic enrollment.

As a dependent student, you can borrow up to $5,500 in federal loans, with up to $3,500 subsidized. For the second year, you can borrow up to $6,500, with up to $4,500 subsidized. For third and following years, you can borrow up to $7,500, with up to $5,500 subsidized. 

In total for your undergraduate college career, you can borrow $31,000, with up to $23,000 subsidized. Of course, this is below the average cost of college – that’s why many students also have to take out private loans.

Interest Rates & Repayment

The interest rate on federal loans is fixed for the life of the loan, and is generally lower than private loans. You’ll also have more flexibility in choosing repayment plans, including the use of income-driven repayment plans, which private lenders do not provide. 

Finally, a federal student loan will have options for deferment in specific situations that can help you as well. 

As of 2019, the federal student loan interest rate is 4.53%. You’ll be hard-pressed to find rates that low on a private loan without a very creditworthy cosigner and making full payments while you attend school.

Want to financially prepare for college? Signup to iHuddl today here.

Sallie Mae Student Loans

Sallie Mae is a lender that offers a wide range of student loans for undergraduates, graduate students, and parents of students. Undergraduates generally need a cosigner to qualify for a loan, but a cosigner release is available to creditworthy borrowers after finishing school and completing 12 on-time payments. 

Amount You Can Borrow

You must borrow at least $1,000 and the maximum you can borrow is the certified cost of attendance for the school you’re attending. There is no aggregate maximum, but each year must be borrowed separately, and your creditworthiness is checked each time.

Interest Rates and Repayment

Sallie Mae offers both fixed interest rates and variable interest rates. The exact rate you get will depend on your credit profile. As of 2019, the interest rate range for variable loans is 3.25% – 10.65% and fixed rates range from 4.74% to 11.35%. You can save 0.25% in interest rate by signing up for automatic payment.

The repayment terms range from five to 15 years, depending on the amount of the loan. Sallie Mae is a great choice for student loans that have a lot of flexibility and options. 

CommonBond Student Loans

Sometimes a lender uses their ability to help pay for school to help others. CommonBond combines this focus on giving back with competitive interest rates compared to other lenders. Undergraduates do need a creditworthy cosigner to apply, but a cosigner release is available for creditworthy borrowers after 24 consecutive months of on-time payments. 

Amount You Can Borrow

With CommonBond there is no minimum you can borrow, but you can only borrow up to the cost of attendance at your school. Each year must be borrowed individually. There is no aggregate maximum for your college career.

Interest and Repayment

You can space your repayment out over five, 10, or 15 years. Interest rates vary depending on your repayment term and whether you choose to make full payments during school or defer your payments until after you finish. The lowest interest rates are available for five-year loans with full payments right away.

As of 2019, variable interest rates range from 3.52% to 9.5%. Fixed interest rates are between 5.45% and 9.74%. You can get a 0.25% interest rate reduction by setting up  automatic payments.

There is also a 2% originate fee to consider. And, each loan helps children in need get a better education.

College Ave Student Loans

Looking for a loan provider that will give you a better idea of what you might qualify for before you actually apply? College Ave might be the right lender for you. They stand out because you can prequalify with a soft credit check to see how much you can qualify for and what interest rates you’ll receive.

College Ave offers student loans for undergrads, grad students, and parents of children in college. Undergraduates generally need a cosigner, but a cosigner release is available for creditworthy borrowers. 

Amount You Can Borrow

College Ave has a minimum borrowing amount of $1,000, and the maximum you can borrow each year is your school’s cost of attendance. There is no maximum for your school career except your creditworthiness. 

Interest and Repayment

College Ave has no fees for applying, origination, or early payoff. You can choose to repay the loan over five, eight, 10, or 15 years. 

You can choose a variable or fixed interest rate. As of 2019, variable rates are between 3.70% and 11.98%. Fixed rates are between 4.72% and 12.94%. You can receive a 0.25% interest rate deduction by signing up for automatic payment.

Related: 11 Best High Yield Savings Accounts in 2019

Citizens Bank Student Loans

If you’re tired of dealing with new loan applications every year, take a look at Citizens Bank. They offer multi-year approval to help you have funding all the way through graduation, which can simplify the student loan process significantly.

An undergraduate student will generally need a cosigner to qualify, but a cosigner release is available to creditworthy borrowers after 36 consecutive full payments are made on time.

Amount You Can Borrow

Citizens has a minimum loan amount of $1,000, and the maximum depends on your degree. In general, the most an undergraduate can borrow is $100,000, as long as their combined total private and federal debt is below $150,000.

Interest and Repayment

You can repay a Citizens Bank student loan over five, 10, or 15 years. As of 2019, the variable interest rates range from 3.24% to 11.35%, and the fixed rates are between 4.72% – 12.04%. 

If you have a Citizens Bank account, you can get a 0.25% interest rate deduction. Another 0.25% deduction is available if you choose automatic payments. 

Discover Student Loans

Discover is much more than a credit card company. They offer student loans as well – and even have a 1% cashback option for loan disbursements if you have a 3.0 GPA. That’s a great incentive to hit the books! 

Discover also offers a multi-year approval option so you can get loans for your entire education all at once. One thing that’s important to keep in mind is that Discover does not offer a cosigner release. That means if someone cosigns the loan for you, they will have to stay on it for the life of the debt. 

Amount You Can Borrow

With Discover, you have to borrow at least $1,000, and the most you can borrow is the cost of attendance at your school. There is no lifetime limit for your student loans.

Interest and Repayment

Discover only offers a 15-year repayment term, so it’s a bit less flexible than other lenders. However, there are options for deferment or reduced payments in case of hardship. There are also no fees for applying, originating the loan, early repayment, or late payment.

As of 2019, the variable interest rates on student loans are between 3.37% and 11.87%. Fixed rates range from 4.74% to 12.99%. You can get a 0.25% interest rate reduction with automatic payments. 

Ascent Student Loans

For a private loan option without a cosigner, check out Ascent. This lender allows upper-class undergraduates to apply for loans by themselves. If you do end up with a cosigner, a release is available as well. 

Best of all, you can get 1% cashback at graduation if you qualify!

Interest and Repayment

You can repay an Ascent loan in 5, 10, or 15 years. As of 2019, the interest rates for a variable interest loan are between 3.63% and 12.90%, and fixed rates are 3.97% – 12.93%. This includes the available 0.25% interest rate deduction for automatic payments. 

There are flexible payment options, and there is no penalty for paying off the loan early. 

LendKey

If you’d like to get a student loan through a community lender instead of a big-name bank, consider working with LendKey. 

LendKey services the loans, so the credit unions and banks stay behind the scenes. Their unique funding model allows them to offer very competitive rates.

Interest and Repayment

With automatic payment, you can qualify for variable interest rates of 4.27% – 10.79% and fixed rates of 5.36% – 10.49%. The exact amount you can borrow, and how long you have to repay the loan, varies depending on the lender you are paired with.

Having credit unions working with you means that you have a good chance to get a better rate. LendKey is a great way to access them! 

USAA Personal Loans

Unfortunately, there are no USAA student loans anymore – they were discontinued in 2016. However, military members do have the option to get a personal loan through USAA that they can use toward their education. 

These are generally short-term loans that require faster repayment than student loans, so keep that in mind. However, it can be a great way to access money if you’re in the military.

Interest and Repayment

The amount of time you have to repay, along with your interest rate, depends on the amount you borrow. 

Here’s what USAA currently offers:

  • $2,500 to $4,900, up to 36 months, rates as low as 9.49%
  • $10,000 to $14,999, up to 60 months, rates as low as 9.49%
  • $20,000 or more, up to 84 months, rates as low as 9.49% to 11.49%

Keep in mind that to qualify for the lowest interest rates and longest repayment terms, you need excellent credit. 

Personal Loans for Students and Other Options

As a student, it can be challenging to access money for school. You probably don’t have a strong credit history yet, and choosing a personal loan can mean paying very high interest rates.

You can always connect with lenders in your local area to see what they can offer. If you own anything that you can use as collateral, that is another way to get a loan.

Working to Pay For School

Many students work to help pay for school, but working in the summer and on school breaks is often not enough. If you are struggling to afford school, you might consider attending part-time and working to help pay the bills.

Another option is to take advantage of a work-study offered by the school. These are often listed in the school’s financial aid package, and you have to apply early to get a position.

Attending Community College

A lot of students choose to begin their education at a community college to save money. Before you commit to this, though, be sure that the credits transfer seamlessly to your desired school. You definitely don’t want to pay for credits you can’t use.

By attending community college you can get your general education requirements taken care of for a significantly lower cost. Then, you can transfer to your target school to finish your major. 

Consider Student Loans Carefully

With the cost of college, it’s easy to get buried under student loans and begin your professional life in a financial hole. To avoid this, be sure to consider the choices you make about loans carefully.

Focus on schools that offer generous aid and have lower prices. Be sure to fill out the FAFSA early and fully understand all of your aid. 

An education is valuable, but you can get a great one without overpaying! Want to prepare for financial freedom? Sign Up to iHuddl today here.

Related: Questions to ask a Financial Advisor

Top Trends in ETFs

The global ETF industry continues to experience tremendous growth, with an average CAGR of 21%. The trends responsible for shaping the investment markets have worked in favor of the best ETFs. The influencers include global themes like the shift to self-directed retirement savings.

Other critical factors around the ETF industry include economic factors, regulatory efforts, technological developments, and investment themes. Supported by these elements, the best ETFs will continue to experience rapid global expansion. According to the trends, the ETF industry is outgrowing the broader asset management industry.

Read on to learn more!

What Does the ETF Industry Entail?

ETF refers to an Exchange-Traded Fund traded on the stock exchange markets. It sells and buys in the same way as stocks. An ETF comes in the form of assets like commodities, stocks, and bonds. The mechanism of ETF operation is designed to keep it trading as close as possible to its net asset value.

However, variations can occur every once in a while but not so much as to affect trade. ETFs remain the most attractive types of investment because they're cost and tax-efficient and also come with stock-like features.

Related: The 11 Best High Yield Savings Accounts in 2019

Types of ETFs

Investors have access to a wide variety of ETFs. They can use them for income generation, price increases, speculation, and hedging. They can use ETFs to offset risk in their investor portfolio partly.

Common types of ETFs include:

  • Bond ETFs like government, state, and local bonds as well as corporate bonds
  • Industry ETFs that track a specific industry like banking, technology, or the gas and oil sector
  • Commodity ETFs like gold and crude oil
  • Currency ETFs that invest in foreign currencies like the Euro or Canadian dollar
  • Inverse ETFs that attempt to earn gains from stock declines by shorting stocks

Shorting refers to the process of selling a stock, hoping it'll decline in value to repurchase it at a lower price.

ETFs trade through both online and traditional broker-dealers. It's essential to check that one is investing in the real ETFs and not ETNs (Exchange Traded Notes). ETNs are bonds that trade like stocks but are backed up by an issuer like a bank.

Should you invest in an ETN, ensure it’s the right fit for your investment portfolio.

Among the many types of ETFs, the focus here is on industry ETFs. There are several of them that investors prefer to trade in since they qualify among the best ETFs in the market.

1. Esports and Gaming ETFs 

Research shows that the electronic sports industry will generate revenue of over $1 billion in 2019. The esports industry is the business of competitive gaming in front of an interested audience of 454 million viewers. It includes anything from watching a game, all the way to significant events like the Intel Extreme Masters. 

Some of the secular trends that dominate the industry today include multiplayer games and the frequency of streaming. It’s this definition that led two Roundhill and Bitkraft to select the best stocks, mostly made of game publishers like Activision Blizzard and Take-two.

NERD

Roundhill Investments partnered with esports investor Bitkraft Esports Ventures to launch the NERD ETF. This was after the realization of the excitement around the private markets. 

Investors with interest in the esports industry can now get the most out of investment with the new NERD ETF. This ETF just started trading recently but is a ticker in the industry. NERD actively tracks streaming network operators, video game publishers, and hardware companies well established in the industry. 

NERD ETF comes in first place among the ETFs that are actively concerned with the esports space. According to a founding partner at Bitkraft, the new ETF NERD takes a more consumer-based approach. It aims at capturing the companies which are most actively involved in esports. Esports consumers want to invest their money where they believe the future is. 

2. Cannabis ETFs 

stocks

The Cannabis industry is another rapidly expanding industry. Its ETFs are also gaining momentum, with a prediction that it’ll be a $1 billion EFT in 2019. The launch of cannabis ETFs turned heads and opened pocketbooks because of its unique approach to cannabis investing. 

Cannabis ETFs tend to invest biotech and pharmaceutical companies involved in cutting-edge research of medical applications for cannabinoids. They also supplement their exposure in the cannabis industry with companies that support cannabis growth. 

The main Cannabis ETF player on the market for the last two years has been the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF. Originally it was a Latin American real estate fund, but with time changed to a cannabis fund. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission wasn’t happy with the move. Since then, it has put strict measures on companies that want to launch cannabis ETFs. Two launches that have been successful in 2019 are as follows. 

AdvisorShares Pure cannabis ETF YOLO

This was launched in April 2019 and differs from MJ in that companies in the cannabis industry actively manage it. The largest holding is OrganiGram Holdings, while the largest holding of MJ is GW Pharmaceuticals. 

The Cannabis ETF THCX 

This one is just a few days old and is passively managed. With 35 holdings, it comes with the cheapest expense ratio of 0.7%. The most substantial holdings are Tilray TLR and Cronos Group CRON. 

A third company that is set to launch its ETF is Amplify. Another fund under the ticker TOKE is also set to be launched in the coming weeks. Another ticker is ACT that comes in the fund name AdvisorShares Vice ETF. 

With the booming investment opportunities, the cannabis industry is predicted to blast from $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021. Investors who swing into action early enough will make the most out of their investments. 

Related: ETF vs Mutual Fund vs Index Fund: Knowing the Differences

3. Solar ETFs 

Alternative energy has become increasingly prominent in the energy consumption front. It has also become an attractive investment sector for investors looking for lucrative investment opportunities. Many are the energy ETFs on the market today, but only a few of them are truly clean and outstanding.

The data available confirms that there’s a great move from traditional fossil fuels to clean energy sources. As an example, the state of California put a mandate on all homes built from 2020 to have solar panels. Other data shows renewable energy sources are putting pressure on traditional power sources like coal.

The competitive environment has seen the prices of renewables fall. The cost of natural gas is also expected to remain low in the foreseeable future. As such, here are some of the best ETFs to consider in the energy sector.

ALPS Clean Energy ETF (ACES)

The expense ratio of ACES energy ETF is 0.65% per year. It’s among the newest and cleanest, ETFs having come into the market in June 2018.  The ETF is attractive to many investors because of its multi-theme nature.

Its focus is on electric vehicles, alternative energy, solar, wind, biomass, smart grid, and geothermal fuel stocks. As such, it has a broader reach than most other already established energy ETFs.

ACES ETF holds 34 stocks, and its largest holding is CREE at 5.75%. The list of the other constituents is companies whose primary operations are mainly geared towards clean energy.

Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy EFT

The expenses ratio stands at 0.70% yearly. In a few months, the ETF will be 14 years in the market. It has withstood the stand of time as one of the clean energy ETFs on the market today. The largest holding is PWB, with other stocks of companies publicly traded in the United States. 

The average value of all the holdings is $4.7 billion, which indicates that this energy ETF is a mid-cap fund. Better still, over 48% of PWB stocks are classified as growth stocks.

VanEck Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (GEX)

The VabEck Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF is another clean EFT. It comes with multiple applications across the alternative energy landscape. GEX holds about 30 stocks spreading across biomass, hydro, solar and geothermal companies as well as related companies.

The ETF offers a level of renewable purity because of the underlying index mandates. About 4% of GEX’s components aren’t large or mid-caps.

Invesco Solar ETF (TAN)

Invesco is another among the largest clean energy ETFs despite its focus on a single segment of the alternative energy sector. Solar ETF stocks are among those struggling so far, with a decline of about 20%. However, it's one of the best ETFs to watch out for in 2019.

It's essential to take note that compared to other industry ETFs, solar ETFs are lagging behind. The global solar industry has had to contend with China imports. This has seen a lot of companies go out of business while others are merely struggling to get by.

The fall in oil prices has also put pressure on shares of renewable energy companies. Some companies in the group are trading at 15% to 20% lower than standard rates.

4. Technology ETFs 

stocks

Technology ETFs comprise of stocks focused on software and services, electronic equipment, communications, and semiconductors. Recently, the sector underwent several essential changes that have seen many companies move to the communication sector. 

Nonetheless, the sector still provides a substantial portion of significant gains in the stock market. Some of the best EFTs in the industry includes the following:

Invesco Dynamic Software

With returns of 15.5% in 2018, it was among the best-performing stocks. The fund has a particular interest in U.S software companies and has selected a pool of 30 stocks. Some of the factors for consideration during the selection are stock valuation, risk factors, and style classification.

About $228 million of the fund’s assets are pooled from small and micro-cap stocks. 

iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF 

This ETF comes in the second position among information technology ETFs in terms of overall returns. Its focus is mainly on North-American software companies but also indexed by Canadian and U.S. stocks. 

The fund has assets under management worth $1.64 billion and offers access to a large and highly liquid fund. 

SPDR S&P Software & Service ETF

This fund comes in third place in information technology ETF. It generated returns of 7.46% in 2018. The fund concentrates on a small number of large and dominant companies by equal-weighting the companies’ portfolio. 

This helps in the redistribution of what would otherwise be a heavy concentration in top companies. 

Related: 10 Best Checking Accounts for Students and Entrepreneurs

5. Biotech ETFs 

ETFs in the biotech industry is in a breakout mode. Two of the main tickers in the industry are:

SPDR S&P Biotech ETF

The ticker XBI has risen by about 5%. According to experts, if you're looking for large-cap exposure, this is the one fund that stands out. XBI is equal-weighted, and investors can get closer to the mid-cap sphere of the available companies.

It’s a fund that offers a little bit more of the upside of a growth company. 

iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (IBB)

The IBB ticker rose by 3% and provides investors with mega-cap exposure. The fund weighs its holding by its market caps, where the big names in the industry account for the more significant shares. The structure provides protection when there's volatility since more prominent companies can hold better than smaller ones.  

Much of the allocation of these funds is to cancer drug companies and immunotherapy. This is the kind of thing people are looking for, and they can quickly gear their investment in the funds.

Final Thoughts

When looking for the best ETF to invest in, there’s a wide variety of options available. Bonds, industry, commodity, and currency bonds are just among the many classifications. More specifically, under the industry ETFs, some bonds are taking the stock markets by storm.

Among the tickers are cannabis ETFs, Solar ETFs, Technology ETFs, Esports ETFs, and Biotech ETFs, among others. Most of them haven't been in the market for long but are promising favorable investment returns. As an investor, be aware of trends, and choose your stocks wisely.

Related: Huddl Up. Earn Tokens.

 

10 Best Checking Accounts for Students and Entrepreneurs

These days, with so much focus on credit cards, high-interest savings accounts, and other financial options, it can be easy to overlook the humble checking account. But you shouldn't! This is the cornerstone of your financial system - the hub which all your other cards and accounts feed into.

For students and entrepreneurs, a checking account is the first foray into the financial world (especially when you’re ready to start investing). Read on as we take a look at the ten best checking accounts in 2019.

Radius Bank Hybrid Checking Account

Radius Bank has a great hybrid checking account that allows you to get the high-interest earning of a savings account with the flexibility of a checking account. 

Fees

  • No monthly service fees
  • Free ATM withdrawal worldwide

Perks

  • No minimum balance after $100 to open
  • First order of checks for free
  • Direct deposit allows you to receive your money up to two days early
  • Earn 1.20% APY on balances of $100,000 and up
  • Earn 1.00% APY on balances of $2,500 - $99,999.99

The Catch

  • This account is online-only, so you cannot visit a branch in person
  • You are unable to deposit cash

The Verdict

Radius Bank’s Hybrid Checking Account is great for entrepreneurs looking to gain high-interest on investments. There’s no monthly service fees or hidden fees. They provide free worldwide ATM withdrawals which is perfect for the traveling entrepreneur or traveling student.

Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Account 

Schwab Bank

Normally known for their investment accounts, the Charles Schwab Bank has launched an online-only checking account that offers some of the benefits of their investment accounts.

Fees

    • No monthly or annual fees. 

Perks

    • Receive unlimited ATM fee rebates on transactions both in the US and abroad. 
    • The Schwab High Yield Investor account offers users a 0.40% APY (annual percentage yield) on balances. 

The Catch 

    • This account is online-only, meaning you would have to trade off the ability to visit a bank in person. 
    • You are unable to deposit cash. 

The Verdict 

For people happy to use an online-only bank, this is an option to consider. The lack of monthly and annual fees makes it a great choice for students. While those carrying a higher than average balance in their checking account (we’re talking $15,000 or more) may be able to find a higher interest rate elsewhere, the regular Joe will find the 0.40% APY competitive with the major banks. 

Related: The 11 Best High Yield Saving Accounts in 2019

Capital One 360 Checking Account 

Capital One 360

For those looking for the perks of an online-only checking account but aren’t willing to give up the ability to deposit cash in person, the Capital One 360 account offers a great middle ground. 

Fees

    • No monthly or annual fees. 

Perks

      • Capital One offers a 0.20% APY on account balances (this increases if your balance exceeds $50,000)
      • Free checkbook
      • Free withdrawals at Capital One’s ATM network
      • Cash and check deposits at ATMs and Capital One branches 

The Catch 

    • Currently, the Capital One branch network is limited.
    • ATM fees are payable at other ATMs

The Verdict 

The Capital One 360 account is a solid option for those looking for a no-fee account with the flexibility to deposit cash in person. Depending on your location, the ability to access branches are a great bonus. While customers with a high balance could find a higher interest rate elsewhere, this account works well for students and those not ready to switch to an online-only bank. 

Chase Total Checking

Chase Checking

Are you looking for the security of a traditional, face-to-face checking account with a few added perks? The Chase Total Checking account could be the one for you. 

Fees

    • Chase charges a $12 monthly service fee on the account, however, this can be waived by depositing $500 per month into the account or maintaining a balance of $1,500. 

Perks

    • If you are unable to avoid the monthly fee, students are eligible for a $6 discounted fee.
    • Chase is currently offering a $200 sign-on bonus to customers who set up a new account and set up direct deposit.
    • Deposit checks on your phone.
    • Access to a network of 16,000 ATMs and 5,000 branches nationwide. 

The Catch 

    • The Chase Total Checking account doesn't offer interest on balances. Chase does offer other checking accounts that earn interest, however, these come with higher fees.

The Verdict 

Chase is a traditional bank that offers all the freedoms you would expect. If you are reliant on cash banking and face-to-face services and aren’t too concerned about earning interest on your balance, this could be a good option for you. Provided you meet the monthly deposit minimum, the lack of fees makes this account a good value option. 

Simple Bank 

Simple Bank

True to its name, the Simple Bank checking account is a straightforward option for those looking for a no-fuss spending account. In addition to an app and great ATM access, Simple works in some handy tools to help users save. 

Fees

    • Simple doesn't charge annual or monthly fees and also don’t penalize customers for overdrafts. 

Perks

    • Simple pay users a 0.01% APY on deposits. Definitely not the best in the game, but it's better than some.
    • The ability to deposit checks using their mobile app.
    • Access to over 40,000 ATMs nationwide in the Allpoint network.
    • In-built tools to help save for goals. 

The Catch

    • With Simple, what you see is what you get. Aside from the lack of physical branches and the low-interest rate, there really isn't one.

The Verdict 

    • The Simple Bank regular checking account is a great, straightforward option for those looking for a basic checking account with no fees. 

Chime ‘Spending’ Account 

Chime

Chime is a relatively new kid on the block with an app focused checking account they call a ‘spending’ account. With no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirement, this is a good option for lower-income earners or those looking for a basic account for every day. 

Fees

    • No monthly or annual fees. Chime also doesn’t charge international transaction fees. 
    • Chime charge a transaction fee of $2.50 for withdrawals made outside their ATM network. 

Perks

    • Unlike many other banks, Chime doesn't hold your paycheck when it’s deposited into your account. This means that you may get access to your funds up to two days earlier than some major banks. 
    • Chime gives customers a Visa Debit card that’s widely accepted. As the account is app-based, it is enabled for use with ApplePay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. 

The Catch

    • While not exactly a catch, Chime doesn’t offer users the ability to overdraw their accounts. 
    • Chime doesn't offer regular paper checks. Instead, the app has a in-built checkbook feature that allows users to “write” checks of up to $5,000 and send via the app. 
    • Chime doesn’t make it easy to make cash deposits. While it is possible, customers need to visit a Green Dot cash deposit location which may charge fees. 
    • Chime doesn’t offer interest on account balances. 

The Verdict 

The Chime spending account is a great option for those with low balances and simple banking needs. Some users may find the lack of interest earned is offset by the convenience of app-based banking.

Related: Huddl Up. Earn Tokens.

Discover Cashback Debit Checking Account 

Discover

While points and other rewards for purchases are common on credit cards, the Discover Cashback Debit account is one of the few checking accounts that rewards users for spending. In addition to cashback on purchases, the Discover account offers customers a healthy interest rate and no fees. 

Fees

    • Discover charge no monthly, annual or online transaction fees. 

Perks

    • The biggest perk here is the 1% cashback on purchases up to $3,000 per month.
    • Discover also offers 0.40% APY on account balances. 

The Catch

    • Discover doesn’t allow customers to deposit cash.
    • Customers with high balances may find higher interest rates elsewhere. 

The Verdict 

For customers looking for rewards on everyday purchases from a checking account, its hard to go past the Discover Cashback Debit. 

Connexus Credit Union Checking Account 

Connexus

Connexus offers a solid checking account option with online features and a seriously impressive interest rate, provided users satisfy a few requirements. 

Fees

    • Connexus don’t charge monthly or annual account fees
    • A $5 “inactivity” fee is charged monthly for accounts with a balance less than $100 or no transactions 

Perks

    • The Connexcus checking account boasts an impressive 1.75% APY on balances up to $25,000, provided a few requirements are met e.g. meeting set monthly deposits and switching to paperless statements
    • Free withdrawals from the network of over 54,000 ATMs
    • Up to $25 per month reimbursement for out of network ATM fees

The Catch

    • Those carrying a low balance may be caught out by the $5 inactivity fee
    • For those with a high balance, the interest rate can drop as low as 0.20% APY 
    • Connexus is based in the Midwest, so those in other parts of the country will have a hard time finding branches 

The Verdict 

The Connexus checking account can be a great option for people carrying a high balance to gain a great interest rate provided they use it as their primary checking account. 

Aspiration Spend and Save Account

Aspiration Bank

Aspiration is an online-only bank that offers a checking-savings hybrid account with competitive interest rates and cashback on certain purchases.

Fees

    • Aspiration doesn't charge annual or monthly fees or penalize customers for overdrafts

Perks

    • Customers are reimbursed for all ATM fees including withdrawals overseas
    • Aspiration offers a competitive 2.00% APY on all balances provided customers deposit a minimum of $1 each month
    • Customers can earn between 0.5% - 1% cashback on eligible purchases 

The Catch

    • Aspiration is online-only, so no physical branches are available
    • Restrictions are in place on international debit card usage 

The Verdict

The Aspiration Spend and Save account is a good solution for those happy with an online-only bank that packs big perks. It is worth noting the limitations that exist on international card usage. 

Axos Rewards Checking Account 

Axos Bank

The Axos Rewards Checking account is an attractive, online-only option for those looking to balance a competitive interest rate with a no-fee account.  

Fees

    • Axos charge no monthly or annual fees for their checking accounts

Perks

    • While withdrawals at most domestic ATMs are free, Axos reimburse customers for any other US withdrawal fees
    • Earn 1.25% APY provided you deposit at least $1,000 and make 15 or more transactions each month 

The Catch

    • Axos is online only and doesn’t have a great record for their customer service

The Verdict 

If you are looking to use Axos as your main checking account, it provides a competitive interest rate on your balance while providing some added benefits along the way. 

The Bottom Line 

With so many options to choose from, how do you narrow down your choices and select the account that is going to suit you best and prepare you for financial success? We've drilled down into the nitty-gritty and rated the best accounts based on fees and perks, as well as if it’s better for students or entrepreneurs.

Fees Perks Students Entrepreneurs
Radius Bank Hybrid Checking Account 5 stars 4 stars 3 stars 5 stars
Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Account 3 stars 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Capital One 360 Checking Account 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars 4 stars
Chase Total Checking 5 stars 3 stars 4 stars 3 stars
Simple Bank 3 stars 3 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Chime ‘Spending’ Account 4 stars 4 stars 5 stars 3 stars
Discover Cashback Debit  Checking Account 3 stars 5 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Connexus Credit Union Checking Account 4 stars 5 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Aspiration Spend and Save Account 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars 4 stars
Axos Rewards Checking Account 3 stars 4 stars 4 stars 5 stars

Best Accounts for Students

Banking for students can be tricky. In addition to a low fee structure, students can be looking for accounts that don’t penalize them for carrying a low balance or not making regular deposits. Considering all of the options above, the top three picks for students would be: Capital One 360 Checking Account, Chime ‘Spending’ Account, and Aspiration Spend and Save Account.

Capital One is a great no-fee account that allows you to deposit cash in person. This works well for students who aren’t ready to switch to an online-only bank.

While it doesn’t offer any interest earned on balances, the Chime account is a straightforward option with no hidden fees and has a user-friendly app. Added extras like savings goals are great for those getting a handle on their finances

With Aspiration, you won’t get charged monthly/annual fees, nor will you be penalized for overdrafts. They also offer 2.00% APY on all balances as long as you deposit a minimum of $1 each month.

Best Accounts for Entrepreneurs

There are two types of entrepreneurs we will discuss in this section: the startup founder and the entrepreneur who has gained some success. For someone building a startup, every dollar counts and your checking account balance can fluctuate drastically from month-to-month. Because of this, the top two picks for you would be a Discover Cashback Debit Checking Account and an Axos Rewards Checking Account.

Discover charges no monthly, annual, or online transaction fees. You are also able to earn 1% cashback on purchases up to $3,000 per month, which comes easy when you’re constantly spending to build your company up.

Axos doesn’t charge any monthly or annual fees and most ATM withdrawals in the US are free. With Axos, you can earn 1.25% APY as long as you deposit at least $1,000 and make 15 or more transactions each month.

For the entrepreneur who has been running their company for a while, the top two picks for you would be a Radius Bank Hybrid Checking Account and a Connexus Credit Union Checking Account.

Radius is an online-only bank that doesn’t charge monthly service fees. You can withdraw from any ATM around the world - free of charge. The best perk is that you can earn 1.00% APY on balances of $2,500 - $99,999.99 and 1.20% APY on balances of $100,000 and up.

Connexus provides 1.75% APY on balances up to $25,000 and have free withdrawals from over 54,000 ATMs. This checking account is a nice option for people carrying a high balance so you can gain a great interest rate. Just make sure you use your account because Connexus does charge a monthly $5 “inactivity” fee for accounts that make no transaction or accounts with a balance less than $100.

Related: Financial Services are Highly Exclusive - But They Shouldn’t Be

 

Radius Bank Embarks on a Long-Term Partnership with Huddl

Radius Bank, an industry-leading virtual bank, today announced its long-term partnership with Huddl, an innovative platform providing the masses with access to investment products and services previously available only to the wealthy — furthering Radius’ commitment to driving the future of banking and financial services.

Huddl was founded with the desire to deliver robust financial products and services, that are essential to improving overall financial wellness for everyone. To make this desire a reality, the platform found a visionary partner in Radius Bank, using the Bank’s superior digital banking technology to enable account enrollment within just 60 seconds – the fastest account opening in the industry. Together, leveraging Huddl’s innovative social financial platform and app, the partnership will offer two of Radius’ award-winning accounts to Huddl’s customers: High Yield Savings and Hybrid Checking.

This long-term partnership between Radius Bank and Huddl represents our commitment to ensuring every consumer has equal access to essential banking and investment products and services. We’re excited to see where this partnership takes us and look forward to the innovation ahead.

Mike Butler, Radius Bank President & CEO

Huddl’s robust consumer-to-business social marketplace for banking and investment products and services is a first-of-its-kind platform, built to make the delivery of complex financial products and services frictionless. Users’ money is seamlessly pooled together to unlock collective buying power, giving access to essential banking and investing opportunities, such as global stocks, checking with interest, private equity funds, global bonds, hedge funds, cryptocurrency, and more.

We’re excited to have Radius as a long-term partner as today’s announcement represents the beginning of a fundamental shift in global financial services. Technology and blockchain innovation now allow us to break down barriers and remove friction for both consumers and financial firms, to ensure everyone has equal access to essential financial products and services in a seamless, safe and supportive environment. By expanding digital delivery models in new and innovative ways, financial firms of all types can now deliver a broader set of products and services directly to customers of all income levels across both urban and rural communities.

Stephen Corliss, CEO of Huddl

To learn more about Huddl, visit www.ihuddl.com. To learn more about Radius’ innovative approach to building strategic partnerships, visit www.radiusbank.com/company/partnerships/.

About Radius Bank
With assets of approximately $1.3 billion, Radius Bank is a forward-thinking community bank offering a full complement of leading-edge personal and business products and services. The Bank serves consumers, small and middle market businesses, unions, government entities and non-profit organizations as its core clients. The Bank’s award-winning virtual banking platform allows clients to bank from anywhere with a computer or mobile device.  Convenient features like check deposit, bill pay, person-to-person (P2P) payments and card management are all available to personal clients, with advanced treasury management and loan payments solutions available for business clients.  Radius Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and is an Equal Housing/Equal Opportunity Lender. For further information, visit the Bank’s website at radiusbank.com, or follow the Bank on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

About Huddl
Huddl is the first platform where everyday savers and investors can collaborate, pool their assets and get access to financial products and services previously available only to the wealthy. Financial consumers and service providers both benefit from the unprecedented cost-efficiencies enabled by the Huddl platform. Everyday consumers pay lower fees and receive unprecedented access to banking and investment products and servicesthrough an easy to use mobile platform. Providers benefit from expanded customer channels, product distribution and direct access to end investors. For further information, visit the Huddl’s website at www.ihuddl.com, or follow Huddl on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and Instagram.

Hedge Brings Blockchain Power to Huddl

To realize the vision of a global financial marketplace, Huddl infrastructure requires a powerful blend of both distributed and centralized technology – infrastructure that will allow the Huddl platform to launch with the immediate and powerful “utility” of the HUDDL token. When designing the Huddl Platform, we knew from the beginning that achieving the lofty goals we set for ourselves required the very best technology and partners.

When searching for partners to optimize a blockchain-powered business, it was immediately evident we needed someone who could offer Huddl a broad set of blockchain capabilities. While surveying the landscape and discussing the experiences of other FinTech blockchain firms, like ourselves, a single firm’s name consistently came up. This firm had been quietly establishing a track record amongst a list of current customers that includes many leading blockchain financial firms and custody service providers. These facts, along with a review of their technology, provided all the remaining assurances we needed. This firm is Hedge – our choice for a comprehensive blockchain solution.

Our decision to select Hedge as our vendor-partner 9 months ago was driven by many factors: their ability to significantly reduce the time and complexity of managing cryptographic keys, building and maintaining infrastructure, and streamlining network interaction were all major factors. Hedge’s capabilities are immensely valuable as they allow Huddl to focus on building robust functionality at speed.

Hedge’s ability to significantly reduce the time and complexity of managing cryptographic keys, building and maintaining infrastructure, and streamlining network interaction were all major factors.

Hedge Secure – their key management custody product – mitigates risks throughout the process, including, implementing multi-sig like policies, managing hardware-backed key custody, network interactions, and more.

As Huddl deepens its integration with numerous public and private blockchains over the next several quarters, we fully expect to leverage Hedge’s most recent service offering, Hedge Connect. Hedge Connect is a fully-managed platform for deploying blockchain nodes with just a few clicks. This allows Huddl to get up and running with public or private nodes to a variety of protocols including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tezos, EOS, Decred, and more.

Hedge Connect is a fully-managed platform for deploying blockchain nodes with just a few clicks.

Leveraging Hedge’s capabilities to further optimize the Huddl Platform allows a seamless option for professional financial firms to easily offer institutional-grade crypto investment products to Huddl users. The Huddl community will be able to access innovative crypto staking, lending, and other investment opportunities conveniently from their mobile phones. We are thrilled to pioneer the world’s first social financial marketplace, and welcome Hedge as our blockchain partner.

10 Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

Are you looking for help with planning your retirement? Maybe you are seeking professional advice on how to manage your budget or spendings. You may even be seeking assistance for managing your risk of investment. Whatever your reason is, a financial advisor can help guide you and assist you in making informed decisions in regards to the way that you are spending your finances. Apart from advising you, a financial advisor can also be a great means for making connections, as he or she introduces you to their professional network.

In order to find the best match for you, you will want to ask your financial advisor certain questions to ensure that he or she is the right advisor for you and your needs. Watch our video  “10 questions you need to ask a financial advisor” or read our list of the 10 questions below, to really get you started in your journey with your potential financial advisor.

Fours reasons you may need a financial advisor

  • to help you plan for retirement.
  • to be introduced to their professional network.
  • to help you manage investment risk.
  • to manage budget or spend.

1. What services do you specialize in?

The first question, you can ask a financial advisor is what services do they specialize in. A few of these services might be trust and estate planning, tax planning, insurance planning, education planning, and alternative investments. It’s really important that you find the right kind of financial advisor for you that specializes in area that you truly need help with.

2. What are your investment principles?

These investment principles are critical because knowing what their investment strategy is, if they prefer diversification if they have certain asset categories that they want to invest in, if they have a high margin of safety, how they manage risk, and what kind of investment time range they typically set.

This is really important because when you’re trying to find a financial advisor, you’re really trying to find somebody who fits your mood and temperament. Also, you ultimately want to find somebody whose principles and investment strategies you can somewhat understand. If it’s too complex or sounds out of this world, that may not be the best thing for you. Ultimately, you need someone who you can understand so that you know where your money is going.

3. What life event motivated you to become an FA?

One thing that might happen is if you ask this question is you may get this response:

“My father was killed in a tragic financial plan accident. Since that fateful day, I’ve been obsessed with minimizing all risk. I wear an antimicrobial plastic or around myself to prevent unnecessary risk.”

We’re exaggerating but the point is: This is somebody who’s going to be a financial advisor for someone who’s not very risk prone. You may be somebody who would love a financial advisor like this. So ask yourself a critical question. Ask yourself, what kind of financial advisor would you most prefer? And if the response from your financial advisor is this, then you may be someone who’s not very risk prone. You may be risk averse.

4. How often do you communicate with your clients?

This is incredibly important because if your financial advisor is not going to be communicating with you the way that you want to be communicated with, it’s going to cause a strain on the relationship. Ultimately, a financial adviser somebody you want around for a very long time.

You want somebody who understands you intimately well and understands your finances. So knowing if they do monthly check-ins with their clients, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, whatever the frequency is, it’s important to get that right.

5. What is your account minimum?

Asking a financial advisor what their account minimum is also highly critical. You want to make sure that you actually qualify for this financial advisors portfolio.

If you do not meet their minimum standard, if you are not able to hit the one thousand dollars in the account, then this may simply not be the right kind of person for you. Also, you may not want to enter into an account that has too high of a minimum because it was too high then you may be putting yourself into a risky situation. So, know what it is like beforehand before you move any steps forward with that certain financial advisor.

Related: Financial Services are Highly Exclusive – But They Shouldn’t Be

6. How do you get paid?

This is also important. There are some financial advisors who have certain payment structures that are a little bit unorthodox and may even be unethical. So it’s important that you understand if they’re going to have a fee-based payment structure, hourly wages, or a percentage of total assets under management.

You may find that you like a percentage of total assets under management because it’s more Performance Based. If that individual likes to have their success, then it is better to have somebody who is going to have more of their performance rewarded. And that might be the person that you want to be managing your money.

7. What is the median performance of your accounts?

This is one way to check if your financial advisor actually knows what they’re doing. If you can see what kind of results they’ve generated for their clients, then they will probably generate good results for you if they had done a good job with them.

Also, you want to be wary of long proposals. If their proposals are too long or unwieldy than it may be a diversion tactic. It’s possible that the financial advisor may be trying to dissuade you with a long proposal to make it more difficult for you to spot their strategies on how they might be deceiving you.

So it’s important to understand, “is this person creating a purposefully confusing structure to maybe pull the wool over my eyes?” So make sure you understand that.

8. What transformations has the investing landscape undergone throughout your career?

This is important because ultimately you want a financial advisor who understands and adapts to changes. There might be changes in fintech, Emerging Markets, new asset classes, risk-averse strategies, fee based pricing, or fiduciary duty and if they don’t really understand the changes that are occurring within the investment landscape, they may not be the right financial advisor for you.

It may be better to hold out and find somebody who’s more agile and able to adapt to change.  

9. What kind of introductions could you provide me?

As mentioned at the beginning, it’s important to know because if this financial advisor can help you in more ways than just managing your money, that’s a huge plus. They can give you references to accountants, attorneys, and business introductions.

Ultimately, if you’re a client of theirs, they’re going to want to keep you around. So if you ask for a few intros and they know somebody that can help you, they’ll usually do it.

10. What portion of your own wealth do you invest in your strategies?

So this is a way for your financial advisors to put their money where their mouth is. If a financial advisor isn’t using their own investment strategies for themselves, then that should definitely be a red flag.

A lot of financial advisers don’t follow their own strategies and that is very hypocritical. So you want to find somebody who really really really knows their stuff and is willing to invest their own money into their own strategies.

Bonus questions

You may want to ask a few questions additionally, like, “are you a fiduciary?” Or, “do you consider a tax impact of your investment decisions?” Somebody who considers the tax impact of their investment decisions is usually a little bit more prudent with their money and aware of the full implications of their decisions. Though that is somebody who’s more responsible and may be a better fit for you.

This could be helpful if you’re a small business or if you’re investing into cryptocurrencies. There were some side effects of people who invested in cryptocurrencies who may not have understood that the tax impact of those investment decisions. Being a fiduciary is also an important question you could ask because it shows a certain type of ethical commitment that a financial advisor may have to an individual. So you want to make sure that these two questions could be asked as well to check if a financial advisor is right for you.

And that’s a wrap. We hope that you enjoyed this article on 10 questions to ask your financial advisor. Don’t forget to also check out our video “10 Questions to ask a Financial Advisor.”

Related: The 11 Best High Yield Savings Accounts in 2019

 

The 11 Best High Yield Savings Accounts in 2019

“‘Tis money that begets money.” This is an old English proverb, but there are many variants of this axium throughout several different cultures. Whether it be Italy or India, the truth behind this adage persists, and its fundamental meaning has been retaught by great entrepreneurs time and time again. This is immediately true when you are referring to high yield savings accounts, as your money will grow simply through interest; however, in the long run, this is especially true because the growth of money, typically works through percentages.

This being said, if you have a lot of money, even small percentages of growth can be valuable. For example, there are hedge funds that may work on a commission of less than 1%, but because they are working with billions of dollars, .1% of a billion dollars will very much still leave you well off. For most people, having a ton of money at a single moment is uncommon. This is where the importance of saving comes in. As Warren Buffett once said, “Don't save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving.” Once you start saving, you will be able to accumulate money so that you may then reinvest your money, thus begetting more money.

If you are looking for a new bank to open a savings account or you are simply trying to make healthier financial habits, then you probably want to start with the best high yield savings accounts. Once you start building your savings, small or large, you can eventually start investing.

High Yield Savings Account Criteria

We used five different categories when selecting these high yield savings accounts.

  • Interest Rate
  • Trust
  • Bundled Services
  • Signup Fees
  • Rewards

HSBC Direct Savings High Yield Savings Account

HSBC is a multinational bank that was established in British Hong Kong in 1865. They are one of the world’s largest banking companies, but have not really made a substantial stronghold in the United States; however, they are getting there. Recently making large strides in their market share in America, HSBC is currently trying to incentivize new customers in opening up savings accounts through their banks. HSBC is currently, as of April 30, 2019, offering one of the highest interest rates of the consumer banking market at 2.30% APY with no balance requirement and no monthly fees.

With the HSBC high yield savings account, you can get some pretty good cash rewards on an annual basis. The bonus can get up to around 10% each year, which makes this banking system a must-have. Keep in mind that the rates offered are subject to change at any time. Like many savings accounts, there are pros and cons.

Pros: The good part about the HSBC direct saving is that there are no monthly maintenance fee, fast ATM deposit, and excellent rates.

Cons: The bad part about this saving account is that all transactions can only be done online, there is no ATM or debit card, and there are hidden expensive fees. For example, these hidden fees entail $25 for closing your account, $20 for balance verification for a mortgage loan, and $6 for special statements.

FNBO Direct High Yield Savings Account

First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), is an American Bank that has been around for over 100 years. As a physical bank, it has only built locations in 7 states in the United States; however, with the advancements in technology and cryptography, they have been able to open up their bank to the rest of America through their online-only bank called FNBO Direct. FNBO is independently owned and holds over $23 billion in assets as of this year. MONEY magazine rated FNBO as the best bank in the Midwest and J.D. Power ranked it "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Retail Banking in the Midwest." Furthermore, FNBO is ranked as one of Forbes Best Banks in America. On top of all this, FNBO Direct also has one of the highest interest rates at 2.20% APY.

Pros: The rewards for the FNBO Direct savings account are amazing. You win two points for every one dollar qualifying purchase in a 12 billing cycle after your account opens. You can redeem your points by requesting a $25 deposit in your FNBO savings account. Each time you deposit, you accumulate 2500 points in your account. Keep in mind that the rates are subject to change. The approval of using FNBO Direct is that you get the top 1.40% interest rates, no minimum balance required, and no minimum deposit that is required.

Cons: The issue with FNBO Direct is that there is a ten-day personal check hold and they have poor CD option rates.

Related: Huddl Up. Earn Tokens.

Radius Bank High Yield Savings Account

If you are looking for a high yield savings account that can provide you with excellent interest rates, then the Radius Bank is what you need. This high-yield savings bank can boost your savings with a free high-interest savings account. With this bank behind your back, you can earn the best rates in the country by increasing your savings with FDIC insured account that can potentially make you more money. The three most significant features about Radius Bank are that you can experience high interest-earning, freedom from hidden fees, and apply online and get in the system within minutes. With the high interest earning, you can get up to 2.05% APY which equates to the balance that goes up to $25,000. Also, you can also earn 1.50% APY with a balance between $2500-$24,999.99. Another fantastic part about this banking system is that you would not have to make any monthly payments, no minimum balance after a $100 deposit, and you get a free ATM card. If you have a Social Security number or a valid tax ID, and a hundred dollar bill, then you can apply online and start saving immediately. So what are you waiting for?

Pros: Radius bank provides a high-quality savings account experience for their loyal customer. You can earn great rewards with this banking system. For example, if you deposit over $25,000 into your savings account, you can earn up to 2.05% APY. In fact, this banking system has amazing features such as a higher rate than other brick and mortar banks, fully equipped online banking services, no monthly fees, and efficient withdrawal system with free ATM card.

Cons: The problem with Radius high-yield savings bank is that you need a $100 minimum deposit to earn the base interest rate, and a $25,000 minimum deposit to earn the best available interest rate.

Related: Radius Bank Partners with Huddl

CIT Bank High Yield Savings Account

CIT Bank is rated as one of the top 50 banks in America, and has been proving its dependability since its founding in 2000. Though this bank is young, it is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, holding over $44 billion in assets. To open a CIT Bank Money Market Account and Premier High Yield Savings Account, you only need to deposit $100. There are no monthly fees, and the option of online banking is readily available. CIT Bank has the highest interest rate on this list offering customers up to 2.40% APY; however, there is a bit of a catch. Unless you fulfill the requirements for the Savings Builder account, the 2.40% APY will decrease to 1.17% after the first month. To keep the Savings Builder status, you must either hold a $25,000 minimum in the account or have a monthly deposit of at least $100. Provided you qualify for the Savings Builder account, the ease of access, lack of fees, and the high interest make CIT Bank one of the best banks to use if you are simply looking for a savings account.

Pros: With CIT banking, you can expect some cashback as a brilliant reward system, but the rates are subject to change depending on the situation with the bank. However, there are a lot of great things about this banking system like low minimum deposit, high rates, and you will not get charged for opening or maintaining an account.

Cons: However, there might be some issues with CIT such as no checking accounts, no branch locations, and no relationship rewards.

Popular Direct High Yield Savings Account

Based in Puerto Rico, Popular Inc. runs the banking business known as Popular Bank. Recently, Popular bank has been trying to establish a name for itself in the United States mainland by opening branches in several states. They have historically had a clientele that is more densely of Hispanic descent, and as an attempt to seem more welcoming to people of all nationalities rebranded themselves as Popular Community Bank. Popular Direct is the online bank that exists through the banks ran by Popular Inc. Being an online bank, their services are available to you regardless of which state you live in. Popular Direct offers a bit of a lower interest rate than that of CIT Bank; however, their rate is still very high and their requirements are much lower. Popular Direct offers a 2.36% APY that applies to all balances. The downside to such a relatively high-interest rate is that to open an account through Popular Direct, you need to have at least $5,000. Most online banks do not charge a monthly fee, but Popular Direct will charge you $4 a month whenever your account balance drops below $500. Furthermore, if you withdraw money more than six times a month, there is a $5 excessive withdrawal fee. Lastly, after you open your account, there is a 60-day period in which your newly made accounts are frozen, thus you cannot withdraw from your any money from your account 60 days after you create it.

Pros: The rewards from Popular Inc. depends on the number of points you accumulated for each deposit. Keep in mind that these rates are subject to change at any time. The great part about Popular Inc. is that there are no monthly payments, they have excellent rates, and there’s no minimum deposit.

Cons: The issue with this banking system is that there are some hidden fees, and the rewards aren’t as superior as the other banks.

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings Account

Synchrony Bank is a very non-traditional bank in the sense that it does not have branches nor do they offer checking accounts. You can still effectively make payments through the bank despite this as Synchrony offers a large variety of credit cards. Synchrony allows you to do all your banking through your mobile devices allowing you to fulfill all your banking needs on the go. Though the bank is slightly unconventional, it would still be good for you to take a look at it as Synchrony does provide a good, financially healthy option when it comes to opening up a savings account. The package offered by Synchrony in terms of their savings accounts is nearly unmatched. Offering 2.25% APY, Synchrony also does not have an account minimum nor does it have a minimum balance required to open an account. Synchrony does not have a monthly fee to maintain an account and does not charge for use of ATM. If an ATM owner independently charges you for a withdraw, Synchrony offers a refund, though there are limitations to the refund. Overall, on paper this is a fantastic bank; however, there is one issue that many customers have with this bank. Their customer service is not quite up to par, so if you plan on doing much beyond basic deposits and withdraws, you may struggle to get things done in a smooth manner.

Pros: With Synchrony Bank, you get rewards for utilizing this savings account. You get great discounts and points in travel-related expenses and other points and cashback for being loyal customers. You get free ATM reimbursement after a five dollars maximum per statement cycle. The significant part about Synchrony bank is that they have excellent rates, free money market account checks, it’s easy to open, easy to manage, they offer up to five dollars in ATM reimbursement, and it’s easy to transfer to another account.

Cons: The issue with the bank system is that they have a weak security system, transactions can take longer, and moving can be very complicated.

Related: The Value of Social Networks

Ally Bank High Yield Savings Account

Ally Bank is an online-only bank that has become increasingly popular over the past decade. It has attracted many new clients through its strong interest rates and solid customer service. Online-only banks, though convenient, do come with the downside of not being able to accept cash deposits. What makes Ally Bank good is the fact that it has no maintenance fees or minimum balances required, access to 43,000 free ATMs via checking or money market account, and a 2.20% APY. Granted, this is one of the lower APYs on this list, but the drawbacks of an Ally Bank account is notably less significant than the other banks. The only prominent drawback is that each month you are limited to 6 outbound transfers, and must pay a $10 fee for every transfer after that. On top of all that, customers of Ally Bank have given their customers a respectable rating, and it does not seem to be a massive issue like some other banks may have.

Pros: Ally Bank has some fantastic rewards depending on the amount you put into your savings account . for example if you put in $10,000 to $24,000, you will get a $50 bonus. If you put in two million dollars or more, then you will get a $3,500 bonus. Keep in mind that a lot of these rates are subject to change at any time. The great part about Ally Bank is that they have relatively high rates on their savings account, no minimum opening balance, and access to over 43,000 ATMs in the US.

Cons: The problem with Ally Bank is that there is no way to deposit cash directly into their bank accounts, no brick and mortar location, and withdrawals from the bank can take up to 2-3 days.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Savings Account

Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s foremost banking institutions, known multinational for its continued success and reliability. They are generally known for their “higher-end” banking in which the average consumer would not be utilizing their services. However, Goldman Sachs now has Marcus, which is a high-yield online savings account. Marcus has an excellent rate at 2.25% APY with 0 required minimum balance. There is also no required minimum deposit to open your account. Furthermore, Marcus does not have any monthly fees or overdraft fees. Marcus is probably the best online-only savings account on the market if you plan on only using it for savings; otherwise, Marcus can get a bit inconvenient. Marcus does not have any checking or ATM network available; which means if you want to make payments, you need to set up an external account to move money out of your Marcus account. This also means that there will be a delay in trying to make any transaction through your Marcus account. Ultimately, Marcus is a great savings account if you are planning not to make any payments.

Pros: With Marcus by Goldman Sachs, you can experience some great cashback rewards from being a loyal customer and putting money in your savings account. The excellent part about using Marcus by Goldman Sachs savings is that you get no minimum deposit to open your bank account, no transaction fees, and a 2.25% annual percentage yield with a zero dollar minimum balance requirement.

Cons: The issues with using this banking system is that you will need an external account to efficiently transfer money in and out of the bank, and there are no goal-setting features.

Alliant Credit Union High Yield Savings Account

Most banks offer high-interest rates, but they come at a trade-off in the form of narrow requirements and a list of fees. Alliant Credit Union is a bit of a middle ground, having a 2.10% APY on savings, but also a 0.65% APY on high-rate checking accounts (which is well above average). Their accounts require a $5 minimum starting deposit, and Alliant makes that opening deposit for their members. For Alliant savings, you must have a $100 minimum balance to earn 2.10% APY. For Alliant checking, you must have one electronic deposit per month to earn 0.65% APY. The requirements here are much lower than the industry standard, but it is a bit higher than the aforementioned Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Unlike Marcus, however, Alliant offers a massive 80,000 free ATM network with a $20 per month reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees for their checking account holders. This makes Alliant a better choice if you are using your savings account in tandem with your checking account. Alliant members have daily limits up to $2000 for PIN purchases and $2000 for signature purchases.

Pros: Alliant Credit Union Savings Account can help you earn up to 2.10% APY and also providing you a pretty good amount of cashback. There are some good stuff about this bank such as 0.65% APY on high rate checking, 2.10% APY on savings, and more than 80,000 free ATMs.

Cons: The problem with this bank system is that it does not participate in shared branching, and you get a $25 overdraft fee.

Barclays High Yield Savings Account

Barclays is another multinational bank that is based in England. Founded in 1690, Barclays has truly proven its dependability through persistent standings amongst the top banks of the world. Barclays provide their service to over 48 million people worldwide but have a relatively small market in the United States. Barclays has primarily done their banking operations in the U.S. through online banking. Their savings accounts offer a 2.20% APY which is among the highest. Most banks will prompt a steep penalty if you ever overdraw from your account, but Barclays charges a mere $5 fee for overdrafts. The big problem with banking with Barclays is that it is purely an online savings account, thus it does not have an ATM network, and checking accounts. They effectively run into the same problems that Marcus by Goldman Sachs runs into.

Pros: The rewards are pretty decent with Barclays high-yield savings account. If you deposit a minimum of $25,000 in your savings account, The bank will give you a 2.50% APY. With that in mind, there are also other fantastic details about this bank. You have several options to choose from in making a deposit, you can link your online savings account to an external checking account, deposit funds with the Barclays app, no minimum deposit, renew your CD automatically, no monthly payment or maintenance fee, and excellent customer service.

Cons: The problem with Barclay is that if you withdraw your funds more than six times, you will be charged an additional five dollar fee. Plus, Barkley does not have any brick-and-mortar bank or ATM. Barkley is strictly online so if you’re not computer savvy, this might be a problem.

Discover High Yield Savings Account

Discover is one again an online bank, but it does have a single branch. If you happen to live near or work near the branch then, the cons of using their services are a bit more limited. Other than the inherent inability to deposit cash, Discover is a very solid choice for a savings account. Offering a 2.10% APY, their interest rates, though competitive, are still relatively low for this list. On the plus side, however, Discover offers great rewards such as a $150 and $200 bonus. They also give 1% cash-back rewards through their checking account, while requiring no monthly maintenance fees. Lastly, as Discover is also a credit card company, they come equipped with a massive ATM network making it very convenient to withdraw cash if needed.

Pros: Discover high-yield savings accounts provides their customers with excellent rewards. If you deposit $15,000 into your savings account, you will earn a $150 bonus. A $25,000 deposit will give you a $200 bonus. The benefits of using this banking system are the opportunity to experience low minimum deposit, high rates, minimal fees, and a variety of retirement options.

Cons: The problem with this savings account is that it does not have any ATM cards, no relationship rewards, and no branch location. Keep in mind that all rates that are offered above are subject to change.

Which High Yield Savings Account is Right for you?

A high-yield savings account is a blessing. It helps you grow your money while you get a good nights sleep. The perfect high-yield bank often has a high-interest rate because your money accumulates through interests. There are a variety of choices to choose from, so emphasize on an account that fits your needs. That way, you can begin investing and it can help you grow more revenues so you can take that vacation that you’ve always wanted to take. You want to make sure that you make the right decision, so it’s best to visit each bank operation or their website and do thorough research. After all, the possibilities are endless with the right high-yield bank. Therefore, today is the day to reap all the benefits, so which high-yield savings account is right for you?

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