Fiona Personal Loans Review
Fiona is an online financial services marketplace where consumers can access offers for personal loans, life insurance, credit cards, student loan refinancing, and savings accounts. Its personal loan search engine matches consumers with personalized loan offers from an expansive marketplace of top providers, which differentiates the service from many of its competitors who only provide static offers that redirect to your selected lender. By filling out a quick and easy form with Fiona, users will be matched with personalized offers from multiple premium providers all in one place—with zero impact to their credit score.
As mentioned a few times above, Fiona is all about “personalizing” financial product offers from financial institutions, which it achieves by utilizing the data you provide to find offers. Fiona is built on a programmatic API, resulting in real-time offers that instantly generate after users enter baseline personal information. From there, users can compare offers by the rates (as low as 4.99%) and terms (24 to 84 months) available, for loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. On top of that, the whole process takes less than 60 seconds.
Fiona is also uniquely positioned to serve consumers who may face challenges related to their credit scores, if they were to seek out a personal loan through other methods. Fiona’s personal loan search engine features a lower credit score requirements, making it a very appealing alternative to risky borrowing options like predatory lenders and payday lenders.
How Fiona’s Search Works
Fiona utilizes data that evaluates users of the service (based on the personal info they enter and other search criteria) and matches them with offers provided by the lenders. This approach saves consumers time, In practical terms, Fiona users go through three main steps when using the personal loan search, comparison, and recommendation engine:
- Fill out a simple application that includes some general questions about your background and financial situation.
- Submit your information and Fiona will send your request to lenders based on creditworthiness and other factors. You will then be matched with offers from providers that best match Ashburnd criteria.
- Select the offer with the most appealing terms (which may be listed as a “pre-approved” or “pre-qualified” offer), and proceed to finalizing the application with the respective loan provider. In step one, you will be asked to provide information including:
- Your age, address, and contact information
- Your employment status and annual pre-tax income level
- The intended purpose and amount of your loan
- Whether you rent your home or own it
- An estimate of your current FICO credit score
In our testing, we found that compared to other online loan marketplaces, Fiona’s loan application is clean, efficient, and easy to follow.
Fiona uses highly secure 256-bit encryption to safeguard your personal information. The service is free to use and will not affect your credit score, as Fiona does not do a “hard pull” of your credit report, but rather a “soft pull” when generating pre-approved and/or pre-qualified offers. However, when a user formally applies for the loan with the provider, a hard pull will typically be performed as part of the underwriting process.
Personal Loans Through the Fiona Network
Here’s an at-a-glance breakdown of the types of personal loans you can find through Fiona’s marketplace:
- Loan type: Unsecured personal loans
- Loan amounts: $1,000 to $100,000
- Estimated annual percentage rates (APRs): Approximately 4.99% to 35.99% as of June 2020
- Repayment period: 24 months to 84 months
- Company structure: Marketplace
You should also be aware of the following additional terms and conditions:
- Loan origination fees may apply. These are determined by the lender that actually issues the loan, and they typically range from 1% to 6% of the loan principal as of June 2020.
- End lenders also offer variable repayment terms. The repayment period attached to your loan may vary, depending on the lender.
- Some of Fiona’s partner lenders also apply late payment fees and insufficient funds fees to certain loans.
Fiona utilizes industry-leading decisioning in tandem with the decisioning of premium financial institutions to match you with the personalized loan offers that you are more likely to get approved for—showing you both pre-approved and pre-qualified offers (depending on creditworthiness). In most cases, you will receive loan offers very quickly, and most applicants receive multiple offers to compare.
Instead of performing a “hard pull” on your credit report, Fiona instead may perform what is known as a “soft inquiry.” This approach validates that your actual FICO credit score matches the range you supplied on your application, but it does not affect your credit rating, even temporarily.
Fiona’s network is powered by Even Financial, a B2B fintech company that is partnered with a number of top online lenders including: Marcus by Goldman Sachs, LendingClub, Avant, Prosper, LightStream, and more.
Who Qualifies for Fiona’s Personal Loans?
Prospective borrowers must be U.S. citizens or documented permanent residents. You must also be at least 21 years of age. Fiona operates throughout the United States and consumers in any U.S. location qualify.
As Fiona has an expansive network of providers, even borrowers with a lower credit score may find themselves matched with personalized loan offers—creating accessibility across the credit spectrum. However, be aware that the lower your credit score, the higher your APR will typically be.
Pros and Cons of Fiona
Fiona’s innovative approach displays some strengths, but it also has some weaknesses. This is true of all online lending platforms and Fiona is no different. In compiling this overview of Fiona’s pros and cons, we consulted data points as well as user-generated opinions. We looked for general, repeated trends, not anecdotes.
Fiona’s pros include:
- Competitive loan terms for credit-challenged borrowers
- The site is very user-friendly and easy to navigate
- You can receive offers from many different lenders through a single application
- The service is very fast and begins generating loan offers in real time
- Using Fiona’s service does not impact your credit score
- Friendly, informative, and highly responsive customer service
If you’re in the market for other financial services, such as credit cards, savings accounts, life insurance, or student loan refinancing options, you will also love that Fiona also makes these available with the same convenience and ease of access.
On the down side, Fiona tended to attract the following general criticisms:
- Many loans include origination fees, which can be as high as 6% of the loan and thus offset any advantages you get from lower APRs
- Users must be at least 21 years of age, as opposed to the typical standard of 18 or 19
- Many applicants report being inundated with an enormous number of loan offers, making it difficult to thoroughly evaluate all available options
- Fiona only shares your contact information with partners in its network upon you providing consent to do so, which means that you may receive email and telephone solicitations once you have done so
As of December 2020, Fiona does not currently have a rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) due to a lack of reviews.
Fiona also does not currently have a presence on Trustpilot, but it has been reviewed by dozens of other reputable consumer information agencies. In a large majority of cases, user-generated reviews give the service aggregate ratings that are in the range of 4 out of 5 or better.
Our take: Fiona is an excellent option, especially for borrowers with credit challenges who have had a difficult time getting approved elsewhere.