Bank of America offers Balance Assist to help Bank of America customers manage their short-term cash needs at a lower cost. Customers who meet the bank’s criteria can apply to borrow up to $500 and only pay $5 in fees.
The program could be used to cover an unexpected expense or any other short-term financial need. This type of short-term loan can be an alternative to a payday loan.
Balance Assist allows eligible Bank of America customers to borrow in $100 increments, up to $500. You will complete an online loan application, and if approved, you should receive your funds within minutes.
Every time you borrow money, you pay a flat fee of $5. You then repay your loan and fees in three equal installments over three months.
Bank of America offers this repayment example: If you took out a Balance Assist loan of $100, you would owe a total of $105 and pay $35 at 30, 60, and 90 days after borrowing.
You’ll pay a $5 fee every time you borrow through Balance Assist, but there’s no additional cost to take out a loan. Bank of America says this fee translates to an annual percentage rate of between 5.99% and 29.76%, depending on how much you borrow. In contrast, payday loans often come with an APR of 400% or more, plus finance charges.
Borrowers repay their loans in three equal installments over three months, and there are no late fees. Bank of America does not charge overdraft or insufficient funds fees for payments returned by Balance Assist.
Note that overdraft protection will be disabled for the account receiving the Balance Assist funds, and this setting cannot be changed until 10 business days after paying off your Balance Assist loan. However, your account may still be overdrawn and you may incur a $35 returned item fee for each declined or unpaid transaction.
Bank of America does a credit check, but also considers your banking relationship if you have a thin credit history. You will also need to meet the program criteria:
- You must be a resident of the United States or US territories and have a United States address listed with Bank of America.
- You must have a qualified Bank of America checking account into which you have made regular monthly deposits for at least one year. SafeBalance accounts are not eligible.
- You must maintain a positive balance on all Bank of America checking accounts.
- You cannot have a Balance Assist loan open or a loan within the last 30 days. You are also not eligible if you have opened six Balance Assistance Loans in the past 12 months.
Bank of America does not mention a minimum credit score to qualify for Balance Assist, but a credit check is part of the eligibility assessment. If your credit history is limited, your relationship with Bank of America will be considered in the approval decision.
Balance Assist is available to eligible Bank of America customers nationwide.
Bank of America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the largest banks in the United States and has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Trustpilot scores 1.4 out of 5 stars for Bank of America based on over 1,100 reviews.
In 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 71 personal loan complaints about Bank of America. The complaints related to topics such as obtaining a line of credit and completing the loan repayment process. The company provided a prompt response to 65 of the complaints and closed 57 with an explanation, 11 with a monetary remedy and three with a non-monetary remedy.
Customers can call the bank at 800-432-1000 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday and Sunday. It is also possible to book an appointment with a Bank of America specialist, or users can reach out via the bank’s Facebook page or by tweeting @BofA_Help.
Balance Assist has an online application. Once you are logged into your Bank of America account, you begin the application process from the website. If your application is approved, loan funds can be advanced to your account within minutes.
- People who have an eligible Bank of America checking account.
- People who need funding up to $500.
- People who want quick financing for a relatively low cost.