Review: Barclays Bank Makes It Easy to Meet Your Savings Goals

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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What are your financial goals for the next year?

According to Fidelity Investments, the answer for about half of Americans is to save more money. Of this group, 62 percent want to save for long-term goals, while 32 percent are hoping to save for short-term ones.

If you share this resolution, you might set your money aside into a savings account or certificate of deposit (CD), two products designed specifically to help you save. Barclays Bank offers both of these products for U.S. customers, along with a variety of online savings tools.

Since its U.S. offerings are entirely online, Barclays Bank has competitive interest rates and low fees. Check out this full Barclays Bank review to see if its online banking options could be right for you.

Barclays Bank helps you meet your savings goals

Long a popular bank in the UK, Barclays now offers online banking to U.S. customers. More specifically, you can open savings accounts or purchase CDs with no minimum deposit and no monthly fee.

Plus, Barclays offers some of the highest interest rates on the market. Its high-yield savings account comes with a 1.30% APY, as of December 2017.

Since savings accounts and CDs set limits on how often you can withdraw money, they help you work toward your savings goals. You can even open up to 25 savings account to earmark cash for different purposes.

Your money will quietly compound interest in these accounts. When the time is right, you can easily transfer cash to and from external accounts.

Besides these services, you can also take advantage of Barclays online savings tools. The bank’s Savings Assistant, for instance, helps you estimate how long it will take you to reach a savings goal. And its CD ladder calculator helps you determine how to best save your money using the bank’s CDs.

A final pro of Barclays online banking has to do with its ease of use. Your accounts are open 24/7, and you can deposit checks by uploading a picture from your mobile device. Barclays online banking makes it easy to manage your accounts from the comfort of your own home.

A few limitations in banking with Barclays

Despite its benefits, Barclays online banking does have its drawbacks. As an international bank, Barclays only has limited offerings for U.S. customers. You won’t be able to open a checking account, nor can you visit any physical branches in the U.S.

If you want to take out cash, you’ll need to transfer money to an external account and wait two to three days for the transfer to clear. Or, you can contact Barclays and have a check mailed to you.

Another downside is the bank’s lack of a mobile app for U.S. customers. You’ll have to deposit checks online using your computer. Other online banks such as Ally Bank offer easy-to-use mobile banking apps to help you keep track of your accounts and make deposits.

Barclays online banking offers competitive interest rates and low fees. But you’ll need an external account with another bank to meet all your banking needs.

Barclays Bank products

Although Barclays Bank has a comprehensive set of banking products for international customers, the Barclays Bank of Delaware (its U.S. branch) offers two main products, along with some tools to help you manage your finances. Here are the details of each.

Online savings accounts

Barclays Bank’s high-yield savings accounts have an APY of 1.30%, as of December 2017. You can open up to 25 savings accounts with Barclays Bank. You’ll have 24/7 online access, and you can easily transfer funds to and from an external account.

To deposit money, you can upload a photo of a check into your account, set up direct deposit, initiate an ACH transfer, or mail a physical check. As with other savings accounts, Barclays’ savings accounts have a limit of six transfers or withdrawals per statement cycle.

Online CDs

With a CD, you commit to keeping your money in your account for a specific period of time. Barclays offers CDs with terms between three months and five years. At the end of your term, you can choose to take out your money or reinvest your money into a new CD.

The longer your term, the higher your interest rate will be. This chart shows the interest rate and APY of Barclays CDs at each ladder term, as of December 2017:

Term Interest Rate
3 months 0.35%
6 months 0.55%
9 months 0.60%
12 months 1.49%
18 months 1.54%
24 months 1.69%
36 months 1.93%
48 months 1.98%
60 months 2.32%

Barclays Bank’s online CDs compound interest on a daily basis. You can transfer money to and from external accounts and there are no monthly fees, unless you withdraw the money before your CD term is up.

Online savings tools

Along with its high-yield savings accounts and CDs, Barclays Bank also offers free online resources to help you meet your savings goals. These include:

  • Savings Assistant: Use this tool to define a savings goal and estimate how long it will take you to reach it based on your savings so far and how much extra you can set aside each month.
  • CD Ladder Calculator: This tool helps you choose CD terms to get the highest yield. This tool will show you the difference in savings between three consecutive one-year terms and one three-year term, for instance.
  • CD Calculator: This straightforward calculator shows you how much your CD savings will increase based on your initial deposit, length of term, and interest rate.
  • Animated Demos: If you prefer watching a video over reading instructions, check out Barclays’ animated demos on navigating the website or creating a CD ladder. Another goes over the bank’s 300-year history.

As you can see, Barclays Bank products for U.S. customers are limited to savings vehicles. But the bank does these two products well, with reasonable fees and some of the highest rates of return around.

Before choosing Barclays Bank, review the terms and conditions of your account. As long as you understand the limitations of a savings account and CD, you may find these products are key to helping you achieve your financial goals.

Using the Barclays online banking platform

It’s easy to open an account with Barclays at any time. You don’t need a minimum deposit, but you will need an external bank account. That’s because Barclays will verify your identity by transferring small amounts of money, usually less than a dollar, into your external account. After you confirm the amounts, your account setup will be complete.

Along with your bank name, routing number, and account number, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number and contact information to get started.

When you head to the Barclays site, your initial sign-up page will look like this:

Barclays online banking

Image credit: Barclay Bank

Next, you’ll indicate what type of account you’d like to open — savings account or CD — and whether you’re applying as an individual or opening a joint bank account.

You can indicate zero dollars as the initial deposit and then use a check to deposit funds. After you link your bank account and agree to the terms and conditions, you’ll be up and running with your account.

You can easily log in by entering your user ID and password. Then, you can view your savings, make transfers, and deposit checks.

Barclays Bank fees

Barclays Bank doesn’t charge any fees for monthly or yearly maintenance. However, it does charge fees for other transactions, including:

  • Excessive transactions (more than six transfers or withdrawals per statement cycle): $5
  • Cashier’s check: $5
  • Return deposit: $5 per item
  • Non-sufficient funds: $5 per item
  • Paper copy of your statement: $0.50 per statement
  • Rush delivery of documentation: $25
  • Early withdrawal from a CD: 90 days simple interest on the amount you take out if your account’s term is 24 months or shorter; 180 simple interest on the amount you take out if your account’s term is greater than 24 months.

Barclays Bank eligibility requirements

You only need to meet a few requirements to open an account with Barclays. You must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have a valid Social Security number (or other taxpayer ID number)
  • Have a residential address in the U.S.

As long as you meet these basic requirements, you could soon be on the way to banking with Barclays.

Barclays Bank contact information

For more information beyond this Barclays Bank review, call Barclays Bank at 888-710-8756. They’re open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST.

You can also contact Barclays online banking through your online account at any time.

The bank’s mailing address is Barclays, P.O. Box 2460, Cranberry Twp., PA 16066.

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1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
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2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
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2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
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2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
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2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
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2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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