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Investment Apps and Websites

Linus Review: What Makes It An Ideal Choice For Building Emergency Fund

This Linus review focuses on providing you everything you need to know about this fintech company — including both the good as well as the risks involved – which is ideal in building your emergency fund.

Linus Review: What Makes It An Ideal Choice For Building Emergency Fund

Saving for our future has become necessary especially when the pandemic hit not just in the country but the world in 2020.

A lot of people struggled because of a lack of savings. It was very unpredictable no one was prepared for it to happen.

If there is one good thing, though that the pandemic brought us, a lot of people realized how valuable it is to have savings especially in case of unforeseen events. Many had to reevaluate how they spend and manage their money to hopefully become better at that, and so next time the same thing happens, they’re already prepared.

Now, if you are one of those people, here’s a tip.

If you are thinking about saving money in a financial institution, it is important to look into the options available.

Yes, there are lots of deposit account options out there. There’s checking, savings, money market, as well as a certificate of deposit accounts. Each has its respective pros and cons. Needless to say, you also need to look into the different banks out there and see what suits your needs and preferences.

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In this article, obviously, we are going to focus on Linus, a financial technology company that provides a high-yield savings account.

If you are wondering what a high-yield savings account is, it basically is a savings account that offers a high annual interest rate.

While you may opt for a traditional savings account, in an article published by CNBC, they spoke with Shon Anderson, a certified financial planner and president at Anderson Financial Strategies. The expert recommends opening high-yield savings account especially for those who need to start using their emergency fund soon, or anyone worried that they have won’t be enough.

A high-yield savings account is the best account type for people who want to start building their emergency fund, which is very essential especially these days when everything is so uncertain. This helps you earn more from your money.

Unlike other deposit accounts like a certificate of deposit wherein you have to park your money in the bank for a specific term (and you can only withdraw until it matures), a high-yield savings account makes your money still accessible anytime you need it.

Going back to Linus, as mentioned, the company specifically offers a crypto-based high-yield savings account, which has no fees and is very easy to manage.

For your information, according to Investopedia, cryptocurrency is “a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend.”

Moving on, in this Linus review, we are going to particularly tackle the following:

  • What is Linus?
  • Who is Linus best for?
  • What does Linus offer?
  • How does Linus work?
  • Are there fees involved?
  • How to bank with Linus?
  • Is Linus safe?
  • What to like about Linus?
  • What not to like about Linus?

WHAT IS LINUS?

Before moving on to the more technical matters, let first and foremost know what Linus is all about.

Linus Financial, LLC or simply Linus is a financial technology or fintech company located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was founded in 2019, which means it’s one of those companies that are new in the industry.

Linus offers customers a flexible, excellent high-yield alternative to a traditional savings account.

Basically, the fintech company earns through digital asset lending. In return, it gets to offer consumers an interest rate that is very compelling.

Unfortunately, while the high-yield account seems very attractive, unlike banks and other financial institutions out there, Linus is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It is not associated with any bank.

With that, it means there is more risk involved than saving money with a traditional bank. However, if you don’t mind it at all, and you are after the high-interest rate, then, it would be best to consider it more of an investment rather than a typical savings account.

Know more about Linus and what’s in store for you by watching this very insightful review by Eddie Yoon. This basically highlights the most important facts you need to know about the company.

WHO IS LINUS BEST FOR?

Now, obviously, in this section, we are going to talk about who would benefit the most with Linus.

Well, as mentioned, Linus is a fintech company that offers a crypto-based high-yield savings account, which means this should appeal most to those who want to earn more from their money without having to park it in a banking institution to be able to earn bigger interest.

It is best for those who want to start building their emergency fund, and be more ready should unforeseen circumstances happen in the future.

Linus is also ideal for those who are willing to take the risk. As mentioned, Linus is not affiliated with any bank, which means it is not FDIC-insured. So in case it fails, you won’t get any insurance. However, this should work if you see it as more of an investment rather than a typical savings account.

Ultimately, since Linus is entirely online and does not have branches like traditional banks, it should appeal most to those who like the idea of managing their accounts online, and do not mind not having a physical branch.

Now, if you think you fall in all these, then, you got to keep reading as Linus may probably the one you are looking for.

WHAT DOES LINUS OFFER?

In this part of our Linus review, we are going to dig deeper into the most important information you need to know — what Linus offers.

Using Open Finance protocols, the company provides retail consumers the opportunity to benefit from high-yield savings.

The company offers consumers a way to access the advantages of cryptocurrency investment without having to work hard for it at all.

With a $500 initial deposit requirement, customers are able to earn up to 4.5% on annual percentage yield (APY) on their savings account.

To compare, traditional savings accounts only offer around 0.08% APY. So, if you think about it, the difference is extremely high.

Another thing is that, unlike traditional or online banks, Linus does not require any maintaining balance. Needless to say, the company does not charge fees for its services.

So, if you come to think about it, you get to save yourself from all that, which definitely is a breather.

Bonus Offer

Linus is a relatively new fintech company having been established only in 2019.

Thus, the company is still working hard to attract more users. In order to do so, Linus currently offers a $20 bonus with your first deposit.

Apart from that, they do offer regular promotions to help boost your Linus account. You can get a $20 bonus every time you refer a friend.

Additionally, in September 2020, the company also offers a 1.0% bonus on deposit transactions. We won’t be surprised if Linus continues to offer promotions and bonuses in order to attract more new users.

HOW DOES LINUS WORK?

By this time, you are probably wondering already how Linus actually works. How in the world is the company able to produce such a high yield?

Well, the answer to that is simply converting your savings into cryptocurrency.

As mentioned in the previous section, Linus utilizes Open Finance protocols, which allows them to provide their customers with high-yield savings.

Furthermore, Linus also uses blockchain contracts via Ethereum. It is another cryptocurrency and set of blockchain protocols. This means that the company is also involved with blockchain credit markets.

Once you deposit your money into your Linus account, it is tokenized into USDC. USD Coin or USDC is a type of cryptocurrency that is referred to as a stable coin. A stable coin, meanwhile, is tied to some real estate asset.

Basically, USDC is backed one-to-one by US Dollars. Once your money is converted into USDC, it becomes available to digital capital markets. Unfortunately, Linus did not disclose the details of these markets, which could be a concern in terms of transparency as compared to banks that would provide those kinds of details.

Moving on, people get to borrow your USDC, which of course means they pay interest for borrowing.

Now, how does Linus avoid loan defaults in these digital credit markets? Basically, the markets used by the company require borrowers to put up collateral that is worth more than what they owe. This helps protect Linus’s investment.

So, how the company reduces risk? The loans that Linus are involved in are fully collateralized. More so, the company also sets aside a specific undisclosed amount of reserve based on deposits.

Everything, both digital trading and conversion happens behind the scenes.

Now, as an investor (which is a better term than the word saver given how it all works), you get to make deposits and withdrawals just like how you would do it with a regular savings account.

ARE THERE FEES INVOLVED?

Perhaps you are wondering about the fees.

Well, here’s some good news for you —

Linus does not charge any fees including transfer fees. Additionally, the fintech company does not require a minimum balance in your account.

However, it is important to be aware that if you keep a zero balance for an extended period of time, Linus may be forced to close your account.

HOW TO BANK WITH LINUS?

To open a Linus account, all you have to do is visit its website.

Again, Linus is a fintech company, which means, unlike banks, it does not have physical branches for in-person transactions.

Initially, you will be asked to provide your email address as well as your preferred password to start the online application process. To proceed with your account application, you will also be asked to provide some personal information including your legal name, address, phone number, date of birth, as well as an image of a valid government-issued identification such as passport or driver’s license.

Depositing Funds

There are two ways to transfer money into your Linus account.

First, you may use your bank’s debit card, and second, you may also use ACH to transfer money in and out of your account.

Good thing is, Linus does not limit the number of transfers you make in a month. However, it is important to remember that your Linus account is not a checking account and that it should never be like one.

Also, keep in mind that the money in your Linus account may not be accessible as soon as you want it. Don’t worry, though, as they’re not locked in your account like that of a certificate of deposit.

Withdrawals

To make withdrawals, it’s pretty much the same as when you deposit money into your Linus account.

All you have to do is transfer money from your Linus account to your regular banking account.

It takes time, though, so make sure to have lead time when making withdrawals.

Typically, a wire transfer with Linus takes one business day to get into your bank account. Meanwhile, ACH transfers can take longer, between three to five business days.

To withdraw, just log into your Linus account and then link your checking account or debit card.

IS LINUS SAFE?

Since Linus operates entirely online, it is important to look into its security features as well.

Based on the information they provided on their website, Linus uses Passbase to store sensitive personal information. Passbase allows Linus to verify the identity of its customers without having to store their sensitive information on Linus’s server.

Linus also allows users to set up two-factor authentication to further strengthen their account’s safety and security.

While Linus seems to be a perfect choice to store your money and earn high interest, unfortunately, it lacks FDIC insurance, unlike regular banks.

If you open a Linus account, there are a number of risks to consider like the fact that its underlying infrastructure is based on cryptocurrency, as well as the use of new technologies to achieve high returns.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT LINUS?

This part of our Linus review will provide you with a list of things to like about Linus. These basically are the pros of using Linus, which includes the following:

  • High-Yield Savings – Unlike regular savings accounts, Linus allows you to earn up to 4.5% annual percentage yield. It’s definitely high considering that traditional savings account only earn around 0.08% annual interest rate.
  • No Fees – Another thing to like about opening and maintaining a Linus account is that it does not charge any fees at all. You can use the platform and make transactions absolutely for free, which is a not-so-common thing among financial institutions like banks.
  • No Maintaining Balance Required – Linus does not also require any maintaining balance. You can even withdraw everything when you need it. However, it is important to note that Linus may close your account if you leave it with zero balance for a certain period of time, which is totally fair.
  • Minimal Initial Deposit Requirement – Considering all the benefits you get, the $500 initial deposit requirement is definitely low. Needless to say, it’s the only requirement that the company asks you to comply.
  • Ability to Deposit USD and Leverage into Cryptocurrency – With Linus, you no longer have to spend time studying cryptocurrency. They do everything for you. Once you deposit money, the company immediately turns it into USDC, and then, that’s it. You can just sit back and relax and wait for your money to grow.
  • Online Access – Linus is accessible entirely online, which is how fintech company operates really. What’s nice about it is that you can access your Linus account anytime you want, and anytime you need without having to go through the hassle of visiting a branch like in typical banks.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT LINUS?

Of course, to complete our Linus review, here are some of the downsides of this fintech company:

  • Not FDIC-Insured – Linus is not affiliated or partnered with any bank, thus, it is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which protects depositors in case of a bank failure. To be honest, this one of the greatest risks in opening a Linus account – unless of course if you see it as an investment rather than a savings account.
  • APY Subject to Fluctuation – Linus says that customers can earn up to 4.5% APY. But of course, this is subject to fluctuation. You may earn big now, or a little lower next time. Nevertheless, the APY is still high compared to what regular savings accounts offered by banks.
  • Entirely Online – For most, especially the tech-savvy ones, this is a pro. However, for those who are a little old-school, this may be a risk as well. Unlike banks, you can go to a branch anytime you have concerns, with this one, everything is done virtually.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON LINUS REVIEW

Linus is a fintech company that provides a crypto-based high-yield savings account. It is great for individuals who want to save their money and earn a high annual interest rate.

While it seems ideal, it does come with risks especially since Linus is not insured by the FDIC. Although it works like a savings account, Linus looks more like an investment, which is why it is a great choice to build up your emergency fund.

With that said, unless you are willing to take the risk, this may not work for you. Are you?

With this Linus review, hopefully, you are able to get all the information you need to convince you that this fintech company is worth a try especially when building an emergency fund.

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Investment Apps and Websites

Plain Green Loans Review: Everything You Need To Know

If you are looking at taking out a payday loan from Plain Green Loans anytime soon, then, this one’s for you. This Plain Green Loans review will not just provide you with our thoughts about the lending company, but also essential information every borrower must know.

Plain Green Loans Review

In a report by Forbes online, it says that there are as many as 12 million American people who take a payday loan every year.

Furthermore, according to a study conducted by Pew Charitable Trusts, which was also published at Forbes, payday loan borrowers usually earn an average of $30,000 per year, and that 58% of them have difficulty meeting basic monthly expenses like rent and utility bills.

In addition, it was also mentioned in the report that according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, normally, a two-week payday loan carries a fee of $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed (the rates may vary depending on state regulations).

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While it has a relatively low fee, unfortunately, borrowers usually are not able to repay the loan after two weeks. For states that allow it, payday loans are usually rolled over with a new charge to go with it.

Now, a payday loan is inevitable especially when a person is stuck in an emergency situation, and he or she is financially incapable or the funds are just not enough to cover the unexpected cost.

By the way, just to refresh your memory, payday loans refer to a type of small, short-term unsecured loan that usually comes with high-interest rates. Normally, a payday’s loan principal is a portion of a borrower’s next paycheck. Payday loans are also known as cash advance loans or check advance loans.

There are a lot of lenders out there that offer payday loans. One of them is Plain Green, which is the primary focus of this review.

As mentioned, we are going to look into what Plain Green is all about, what it offers, and then, provide you with our thoughts and recommendations whether it is worth getting a payday loan from or now.

For your reference, we are going to specifically talk about the following:

  • Who is Plain Green?
  • What are the different loan options available at Plain Green?
  • What do you need to know about Plain Green loans?
  • Who qualifies for a loan at Plain Green?
  • How to apply for a loan at Plain Green?
  • What are the pros and cons of Plain Green Loans?

WHO IS PLAIN GREEN?

Quality, stability, and integrity — these are the core values that Plain Green, LLC live by on their day-to-day operations.

Founded in 2011, the lending company has already funded more than $1 billion in loans, helping more than 1 million customers across the United States.

Plain Green, LLC refers to “a premier online resource that helps people meet their emergency and cash-flow needs quickly and easily online with bi-weekly and monthly installment loans.”

Moreover, the company focuses on its mission to “provide consumers with a simple, safe solution when they need cash the most. Our customers appreciate the easy, flexible access to loans.”

Plain Green is a subsidiary of Atoske Holding Company, and is wholly owned by the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, Montana, which is “a federally recognized sovereign nation located within the United States of America.”

Plain Green offers a variety of loan options particularly to those with poor credit who need funds quickly.

Although not a traditional payday lender, Plain Green operates like one and charges borrowers with interest rates that could go as high as 300%. They provide first-time borrowers with loans of up to $1,000, while repeat customers can borrow as much as $3,000.

Unfortunately, borrowers cannot choose the term length. The longest available loan term provides by Plain Green is two years. As we go along in this Plain Green loans review, we are going to talk more about the loan details.

Before moving on, we thought you might want to check the testimonial video below from a customer of Plain Green Loans. Here she shares about how it is dealing with the company.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT LOAN OPTIONS AVAILABLE AT PLAIN GREEN?

As mentioned, Plain Green offers a variety of loan options to customers. This includes the following:

Installment Loans

Through this type of loan, you are enabled to borrow the amount of money you need, and then make repayments over a specified time. What makes it different from other types of loans is that the payment is the same all throughout the term. More so, the payment schedule is set based on the borrower’s salary and payday.

Next-Day Online Loans

If you are caught in emergency situations like you need to pay medical expenses or your car broke and you badly need to have it repaired but you do not have the funds, you may consider applying for Plain Green’s next-day online loan.

This provides customers cash as soon as the following business day. The funds are deposited into the borrower’s bank account.

Consumer Loans

Also known as unsecured loans, consumer loans offer an alternative to secured loans, which requires assets for collateral. The money lent under this loan type can be used for various reasons like family, personal, or household needs.

Personal Loans without Fees

Plain Green offers personal loans, which a borrower can use for a number of reasons like debt consolidation as well as in emergency situations. Unlike other lenders, Plain Green does not charge fees like origination or prepayment for this type of loan.

Cash Loans

By availing a cash loan, you get to pay your bills on time, as well as cover any emergency expense, or provide your loved ones with necessities without having to wait for the next payday. Cash loans also help you keep from missing out payments for regular bills such as utilities.

Line of Credit

As you probably know, a line of credit provides borrowers with a reoccurring source of money. You can use it anytime the need arises. It basically is like a credit card with a lower interest rate. You can use a line of credit over and over (provided you pay on time) unless you decide to close the account.

As we have said earlier, Plain Green is not your usual payday lender. However, the company does act like one. A borrower’s schedule of payment is based on his or her payday. But, that does not mean you have to pay the entire amount. Plain Green will be the one to determine the specific term length.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PLAIN GREEN LOANS?

There are a lot more details a borrower must know before you even decide to apply for a loan. Thus, in this Plain Green loans review, we are also going to provide you the following essential information regarding the loan:

  • Rates
  • Terms
  • Fees
  • Loan Amounts
  • Funding

Rates

Probably one of the most important details that you need to know before getting a loan is the interest rate that comes with it.

Plain Green offers an annual percentage rate that ranges from 210% up to 438%. Although this particular information is not explicitly stated on the company website, the information is made available by using the calculator, which can be found on the How It Works page on the site.

Furthermore, the company has no specific information on how the interest rate is calculated. But based on observation, larger loans have lower rates and longer repayment periods.

Plain Green allows early payment of the loan if you want to avoid paying more loan interest.

Terms

As mentioned, unlike other lenders out there, you cannot decide on the term length of your loan.

Unfortunately, there is no detail pertaining to how the term length is decided. Plain Green, however, provides short-term loans that range from 6 to 26 months.

Fees

While most lenders would charge an administrative fee, Plain Green does not, which means whatever amount you are approved for, it gets deposited wholly into your bank account.

Similar to other lenders though, Plain Green charges late fees for late payments. Plain Green website does not indicate how much it cost. In case of insufficient funds, Plain Green may charge you a returned payment fee. The exact amount is not indicated on the website, too.

Meanwhile, in case you decide to pay off the loan earlier than scheduled, you may do so without having to worry about getting charged for early payment fees.

Loan Amounts

As compared to other lenders, how much you can borrow from Plain Green is quite small. The minimum amount that Plain Green lends to borrowers is $500, while the maximum is up to $1,000 only for first-time borrowers, while up to $3,000 for returning customers.

Having said that, if you are looking at borrowing a larger amount of money, you may consider other lenders instead.

Funding

The process of providing you with funds is quite quick. If your application is approved and verified by 5:45 PM EST, your funds may be available as soon as the following business day.

You may either opt to have the amount deposited into your bank account, or have a check mailed to you (this option may take 7 to 10 days though after approval of the loan).

WHO QUALIFIES FOR A LOAN AT PLAIN GREEN?

Another important thing that a borrower must look into when eyeing for a lender is the qualification for the loan. This Plain Green loans review will definitely provide you with this information.

By knowing the requirements to get a loan, you get to assess immediately if you are eligible or not. This helps save a lot of time and effort – if we may say.

Anyway, generally speaking, Plain Green markets to borrowers who need money immediately, but, have poor or have no credit scores at all.

Setting the credit score aside, here are the other requirements to qualify for Plain Green loans:

  • You must be at least 18 years old (or at least 19 if you live in Alabama, Nebraska, or Virginia).
  • You must have a stable source of income.
  • You must have an active checking account.
  • You must reside in a state where Plain Green does business.
  • You must be willing to provide your personal information

HOW TO APPLY FOR A LOAN AT PLAIN GREEN?

Prior to the application proper, a borrower may opt to go through a pre-application process first to find out his or her eligibility for a loan.

Pre-Application

Unlike other lenders, Plain Green offers a pre-application process. It’s very simple and easy. Needless to say, it is an efficient way of knowing whether you qualify for a loan through Plain Green or not.

For the pre-application process, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

STEP 1: Select the amount you want to borrow, and how you would like to receive the loan.

STEP 2: Provide some personal information, which includes the following:

  • Your name
  • Your birthdate
  • Your address
  • Your driver’s license information
  • Your social security number
  • Information regarding your residence (if rented or owned and how long you’ve lived there)

Please take note that you will then be prompted to create an account. Then, you will be asked about your military status, as well as your contact preference.

Just so you know, Plain Green provides loan options for borrowers residing in 26 states.

STEP 3: Provide your employment information.

You basically need to fill in the detail regarding your current employment.

Once you have already submitted a pre-application, Plain Green will then make a decision if you are eligible for a loan or not. In some cases though, the company may reach out to the borrower to ask further information before a decision is made.

Formal Application

Similar to the pre-application process, to formally apply for a loan, you will need to provide your personal identification information. This includes your name, Social Security number, as well as your address. You will also have to indicate your desired amount, as well as the preferred funding method.

Most of the time, Plain Green provides a decision on a loan application in just a matter of minutes. If the decision is not in favor of you though, the company is kind enough to provide you an explanation.

Anyway, if you receive an approval of the loan you will then be asked to choose the amount of money you want to borrow. Final approval is reliant on the verification of the borrower’s application information.

Unfortunately, it is unclear if Plain Green conducts a hard pull of the borrower’s credit history. Once the final application is approved by the lender, the funds borrowed will be made available immediately. Depending on your preference, it could be disbursed in the form of a check or through bank deposit.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF PLAIN GREEN LOANS?

This Plain Green loans review will not be complete without our list of what we like and what we do not like (pros and cons).

Like any other lender out there, Plain Green does have its share of good and bad, which is totally normal. After all, there is no such thing as a perfect company or perfect lender, right?

By providing you the pros and cons of Plain Green, may this help you decide whether it is worth dealing with the company for your financial needs or not?

Anyway, so here are the pros and cons we found:

PROS

  • It provides a quick application process. As stated on the company website, Plain Green provides a decision in just a matter of minutes, which makes it an ideal choice for borrowers who badly need funds immediately.
  • Funding for the loan is possible within one business day. In relation to the above, as soon as approval is made, the company will provide you with the money you owe them within one business day. The funds could either be deposited to your bank account, or you may opt for a check to be mailed (this may take a while though).
  • It does not charge prepayment fees. If you wish to get rid of interest rates and opt to pay the loan as soon as possible, that is totally fine. Plain Green lets you pay off your loan soonest without having to worry about getting charged for a prepayment fee.
  • The company provides repayment terms. Although you cannot choose the loan terms, rest assured that the company does have flexible repayment terms. You may discuss it with them upon loan approval.
  • Does not require a good credit score to apply for a loan. Plain Green is an ideal choice for people who have poor or do not have a credit score at all. Unlike other lenders, they do not look into the borrower’s credit score to make a decision if you are going to be approved of a loan or not.
  • You may choose a payment schedule. The company allows you to choose whether to make payments on a biweekly or monthly basis. It’s a good thing as you can choose based on what fits your budget.
  • Payments are reported to major credit bureaus. Borrowing money from Plain Green is one way to help you build up a good credit score as the company reports every payment you make on the loan.

CONS

  • The interest rates can go as high as over 400%. This is not surprising though given the fact that they are not credited score-conscious. The high-interest rates serve as the company’s security blanket should a borrower does default.
  • They provide limited loan amount options. Unlike other lenders, Plain Green only lends money amounting to at least $500 up to $1,000 for first-time borrowers, while $3,000 for returning customers.
  • It is limited to a few states only. Unfortunately, Plain Green is only available in 26 states at the moment. But, we never know, maybe in soon they might just open a branch in other states where they lack the presence.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON PLAIN GREEN LOANS REVIEW

Generally, we thought Plain Green offers very reasonable products and services. Although the interest rate being charged to borrowers is quite high compared to other lenders, it is reasoned by the fact that they provide loan services even to those who have poor or no credit history at all.

What do you think about Plain Green given the information we provided? Do you find it a good option for your emergency funding needs?

Anyway, we hope that this Plain Green loans review has indeed provided you with all the necessary information you need in making an informed decision.