reviews

Prosper Review – Online Loan Marketplace for Peer-to-Peer Lending

prosper logoProsper, a popular peer-to-peer (P2P) lending network that offers unsecured personal loans with terms of 36 or 60 months, has embraced the sharing economy with gusto. By matching individual borrowers with individual or institutional investors willing to lend funds at competitive interest rates, Prosper cuts out the middle man (traditional banks or credit unions). Relative to those institutions, Prosper has more relaxed approval standards and faster funding times for borrowers.

The platform earns money through origination and servicing fees. Its top competitors include other P2P lenders, such as Lending Club and Peerform, and low-cost personal credit providers such as Avant, which doesn’t use the P2P model and thus isn’t available to prospective lenders.

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Lending Club Review – Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Financial Lending

Lending Club bills itself as the world’s most popular peer-to-peer (P2P) lending network. As a classic example of the emerging sharing economy, the platform connects thousands of individual and business borrowers with regular people willing to fund their loans. In doing so, it eliminates the need for borrowers to approach traditional banks and credit unions – whose lending standards may be much more stringent than Lending Club’s – to obtain financing.

For investors, Lending Club offers the opportunity to create diversified portfolios that aren’t directly tied to bond markets. Its investments offer better yields than CDs, money market accounts, and savings accounts, though it’s critical to note that the investments are not FDIC-insured.

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What’s the Best Online Tax Preparation Software? TaxACT vs TurboTax vs H&R Block

filing taxes onlineEven if you’re expecting a sizable refund or have a simple tax situation that doesn’t require you to fill out a ton of forms, you probably don’t love filling out your taxes. There are plenty of more enjoyable ways to spend your time: playing with your kids, going on a hike, even shopping online in anticipation of your tax refund.

This year, it took me a lot longer than I would have liked to complete my tax return. But, to be fair, that’s because I sampled several different online tax preparation options and evaluated each on its merits. My tax prep marathon covered three of the most popular programs: TurboTax, TaxACT, and H&R Block. Here’s how my experience went with each.

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USAA Cash Rewards American Express Card Review – 2.25% Cash Back on Gas & Groceries

usaa cash rewards amexBoth the USAA Rewards American Express Card and the USAA Cash Rewards American Express Card feature programs that award points for gasoline and grocery purchases. The primary difference between them is the rewards themselves. When you make purchases with the Rewards American Express card you earn points, and with the Cash Rewards card, you receive cash back.

If you are a servicemember of the U.S. armed forces – or are related to one – the many benefits offered by the USAA Cash Rewards American Express may be right for you.

Key Features

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USAA Cash Rewards World MasterCard Review – 1.25% Cash Back on All Purchases

usaa cash rewards mastercardSimilar to the USAA World MasterCard, the USAA Cash Rewards World MasterCard rewards all purchases at a flat rate. This frees you from specific spending categories and allows you to earn rewards on everything you buy. However, instead of earning points, you earn a cash back percentage of what you spend. This card and program are also available through Visa with the USAA Cash Rewards Visa Card.

Key Features

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  • Fees. There is no annual fee. Balance transfers are 3% of the amount transferred up to a maximum fee of $200. Foreign transactions are 1%.

USAA Rate Advantage MasterCard Review – Low APR Credit Card for Military Members

usaa rate advantage mastercardThe USAA was established in 1922 by Army officers who wanted to self-insure one another, as they were perceived as a high-risk group and couldn’t secure standard auto insurance. Since then, the USAA has developed into a diversified group of financial services companies. The USAA Rate Advantage MasterCard, its plain vanilla credit card, is a great option because of its low rates and fees.

If you are affiliated with the military or a family member of a qualifying member, this just may be the right credit card for your wallet.

Key Features

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USAA American Express Rewards Credit Card Review

usaa american express rewards cardUSAA provides many financial products to service members, their families, and those affiliated with the military – and credit cards are among the most popular of them. The USAA American Express Rewards Card features a low-interest opportunity and a rewards program for earning significant points on gasoline and grocery purchases. If you qualify, you may want to give serious thought to the USAA Rewards American Express card.

Key Features

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  • Sign-up Bonus. When you make your first purchase you receive a bonus of 2,500 points, which is worth $25 if redeemed for airfare.

USAA Military Affiliate Credit Card Review

usaa military affiliate cardsUSAA provides a number of USAA Military Affiliate Cards that feature logos and emblems, allowing you to showcase your pride in hundreds of organizations. These organizations fall within all military branches: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and veteran’s groups such as The American Legion and Jewish War Veterans of the United States. Many of these cards are available through both American Express and World MasterCard – which one you choose depends mainly on how you intend to use it.

Key Features

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  • Sign-up Bonus. When you make your first purchase, you earn a bonus of 2,500 points which can be redeemed for $25 in airfare.

USAA World MasterCard Rewards Credit Card Review

usaa world mastercardThe USAA World MasterCard offers similar benefits to the USAA Rewards American Express Card. The differences, other than one being a MasterCard (making it more widely accepted than the American Express), lie in the rewards program. Rather than rewarding gasoline and grocery purchases, the USAA World MasterCard rewards all purchases with a flat rate for cash back, which could be beneficial to service members who don’t have use for rewards in certain categories. You need to be a servicemember or family member of a qualifying servicemember to qualify for a USAA credit card.

Key Features

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USAA Platinum Visa Rewards Credit Card Review

usaa platinum visa rewardsThe United Services Automobile Association (USAA) was established by servicemembers who wanted to provide an auto insurance option for other members of the armed forces. These days, it has evolved into one of the largest providers of financial products, including credit cards, for millions of military personnel and their families.

The USAA Platinum® Visa® offers you a choice between the USAA Rewards program and a Cash Rewards program. With USAA Rewards, the USAA Platinum Visa offers a sign-up bonus and flat-rate rewards program which awards 1 point per dollar spent on all purchases, as well as access to MemberShop and additional military benefits.

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