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3 User Reviews
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LAST UPDATED: August 16th, 2022

Founded in 2015, Varo Money, LLC, known as Varo, is a tech company looking to become the first nationwide online-only bank. It offers the following online banking and financial services: 

  • Checking and savings accounts with deposits FDIC insured through The Bancorp Bank
  • Debit cards
  • Tax refund deposits
  • Personal loans
  • Automatic savings
  • Early direct deposit (up to 2 days)
  • $50 overdraft protection without fees
  • No minimum balance
  • No checking fees
  • Mobile banking apps

Currently, Varo has personal loan lending licenses in the following states: 

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington

While most people are eligible for a Varo bank account, personal loan offers are only offered to pre-qualified consumers. Varo offers fixed-rate personal loans. Late fees and grace periods vary depending on your state, but there are no prepayment penalties or origination fees. 

You will need to provide the following details to apply: 

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact information
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Employment information

Varo personal loans are unsecured. Rates are undisclosed until you get a pre-qualified offer. Once a pre-qualified customer completes the online application, a hard credit check is done via Transunion. This can affect your credit score. 

After you complete a Varo loan application, you may need to provide employment verification, which can sometimes take a few days. If your application gets declined, an email will be sent explaining why. If you are accepted, you will need to complete loan documents. When these are done, your loan can be deposited into a savings or checking account within four business days. Varo reports loan repayment. 

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The Good

  • Customer Service
  • National Aspirations

Customer Service

Varo customer service is available seven days a week and is based in the United States. The service team is open every day except federal holidays.

National Aspirations

Varo Money has a social mission to provide everyone access to traditional banking, at no cost.  It promotes financial health and filed for a banking charter in 2017. The fintech company gained preliminary approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 2018, but is still waiting for final regulatory approval from the FDIC. 

It's nice to be able to rely on one bank for the majority of your lending needs. But, at this point, what if you move to a state where it doesn't have a lending license? You can't get a loan approved. As a society that doesn't like change, but also trust issues with traditional banks, once its services are expanded to the rest of the country, this could be a good choice. It would also reduce costs and let Varo widen its range of products and services.

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The Bad

  • Invitation Only
  • No Cosigners

Invitation Only

Varo is currently only offering personal loans via pre-qualified offers. While many can go online to open an online checking account without monthly fees or a 1.92% APY savings account — and more than 1 million have — without a pre-qualified offer, customers cannot just go online to apply proactively. You need to have a current invitation code to submit an online personal loan or debt consolidation loan application. 

This also means that Varo doesn't disclose a minimum credit score requirement, because it chooses to contact or pre-qualify consumers with direct offers. 

No Cosigners

Varo does not offer joint applications. Many other lenders do. This also makes sense because they are offering only pre-qualified personal loans, meaning you will have to be pre-qualified on your own.

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The Bottom Line

Varo is a digital bank endeavoring to be approved for a national bank charter. This can take years. What we see now is a tech-savvy financial services company with a variety of services, and more to come. 

As for personal loans, little is disclosed by this lending company because it is still in the stage where it only offers pre-qualified loans. If you get a pre-qualified offer from Varo, you should know that you can get help from customer service, seven days a week, and reap several other benefits from Varo's connected products and apps. The benefits should only grow once the bank gets a national charter and continues to expand.

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Star Rating

3.0

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3 Reviews

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Ben Sacramento, CA

Have had varo for about a year and get loans very easily from time to time and repay when my direct deposit comes very nice and convient to have great customer service haven't had any issues

1 week ago

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Review Source

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Rachel Porter Chicago, IL

I had a Varo checking and savings account and would rate those products and services as fair. However, that rating drops to unsatisfactory because the cash back percentage continued to drop, eliminating the reason why I opened the banking accounts. I've closed both because there is no longer an incentive to have them.

2 days ago

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VLB Burlington, NJ

Easy online access but my bank was not included in their list so I'm unable to work with varo - can't even get a debit card!

2 years ago