Read post: IRS Phone Numbers: How To Speak To A Human At The IRS

Last updated on 2022-06-01 06:49:42

2022-03-07

We’ve all been there–you need to speak with someone at the IRS about a tax issue, and you’re having a hard time getti

We’ve all been there–you need to speak with someone at the IRS about a tax issue, and you’re having a hard time getting an actual human being on the phone. It’s frustrating. We want to help you avoid this annoyance and get your tax solutions quickly. Whether you’re calling the stimulus check phone number or the general IRS phone number, you need a live person.

New: Expensivity ranks the best online tax prep and filing services of 2022

This guide helps you navigate the different communication channels within the IRS. Soon, you will be speaking to the correct IRS representative for your situation.

Why You Would Need to Call the IRS

According to the IRS, the IRS website should be your first resource for help and information because of the sheer volume of calls. The IRS will not address the following issues on the phone:

  • You have questions about tax law
  • You have transcript requests (unless you call 800-908-9946)
  • You need IRS forms
  • You want to check your refund status, but it’s been less than 21 days since you filed
  • You have complaints about your taxes or tax-related issues

You may want to call the IRS and speak with an actual person if:

  • You received a notice from the IRS (ALWAYS call the number on the notice)
  • You will miss a deadline set by the IRS and need to request more time. For example, extensions for paying off your tax balance, to send more information, or to respond to a notice from the IRS.
  • “Where’s My Refund?” says you need to call
  • You require the amount you need to pay off for tax purposes
  • You have questions about your IRS payment plan (installment agreement)
  • You want to know the status of any IRS action (like a penalty abatement request)
  • You need to confirm that the IRS received your payment
  • You lost, never received, or received an incorrect Form W-2 and/or Form 1099-R

Prepare Yourself

Before you call, make sure you have all of the information that you need. The agent will ask you for some key pieces of information to verify your identity and continue the phone call. They may also need some information on you to help them find a solution. This information includes:

  • Social Security cards and birthdates for all people involved
  • If you don’t have a Social Security card, your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Filing status (whether you’re single, the head of household, married and filing jointly or married and filing separately)
  • Last year’s tax return to verify your identity
  • A copy of the tax return in question
  • Any letters or notices you received from the IRS

How Can You Speak Directly With An Agent at the IRS?

Here is our secret, multi-step route to getting transferred to an agent within the IRS customer service line. Please note that the IRS may update their system, and this sequence could change accordingly. Remember that this is only one solution out of many for speaking with an actual person at the IRS.

  • Call the IRS telephone number at 1-800-829-1040. This line is open Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM local time.
  • The automated system will ask you to select your preferred language.
  • Once you’ve set your language, choose option 2 for “Personal Income Tax” instead.
  • Press 1 for “form, tax history, or payment.”
  • Press 3 for all other questions.
  • Press 2 for all other questions.
  • The system will ask you to enter your Social Security number. Make sure you do not enter any numbers at this time.
  • The system will ask you twice, so make sure not to answer. Another menu will prompt you.
  • Press 2 within this menu for individual tax questions.
  • Press 4 for all other questions: the system should finally transfer you to a representative.

Other Ways to Reach a Real Person at the IRS

Visit Your Local IRS Office

The IRS runs local Taxpayer Assistance Center offices in every state. You can’t just show up at a local IRS office any time, but you must make an appointment ahead of time. That IRS number is 844-545-5640.

Give Your Local Taxpayer Advocate Service Center a Call

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps people with tax problems that they can’t fix by themselves. Every state has at least one Taxpayer Advocate Service center. These centers are independent of the local IRS office and report to the National Taxpayer Advocate Service.

Other IRS Phone Numbers

While you can always call the main IRS number, lesser-known IRS phone numbers could help you get assistance faster. Here’s a list of other IRS phone numbers, categorized by your status or concern, to help you reach the right people who can assist you with your specific situation.

Employment Status

  • Self-employed taxpayers: 800-829-4933

Fraud and Disaster

  • Victims of disaster: 866-562-5227
  • Victims of identity and refund theft (receive a new IP PIN): 800-908-4490
  • Report scams and phishing, confirm the legitimacy of IRS agent: 800-366-4484

Residency or Special Tax Status

  • Taxpayers who live overseas: 267-941-1000
  • Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number application status: 737-800-5511

Refunds, Payments, and Balances

  • Questions about balances: 800-829-0922; 800-829-7650; 800-829-3903
  • Check status of a tax refund: 800-829-1954
  • Check status of a tax refund on hold: 866-897-3315
  • Make a payment using Electronic Federal Tax Payment System: 800-555-4477; 800-244-4829 (Spanish)
  • Verify, pay off, or resolve a tax lien: 800-913-6050
  • Confirm which debts will offset your tax refund: 800-304-3107 (866-297-0517 TTY/TDD)

Types of Taxes

  • Estate and gift tax concerns: 866-699-4083
  • Questions about excise tax: 866-699-4096

Tax Return Issues

  • Check status of an amended tax return: 866-464-2050
  • Report wrong income on a substitute return: 866-681-4271
  • Check if bankruptcy affects your tax debt: 800-973-0424
  • Relief as an Innocent Spouse: 866-681-4271
  • Taxpayer Advocate Service: 877-777-4778
  • International Taxpayer Advocate, English: 787-522-8601
  • International Taxpayer Advocate, Spanish: 787-522-8600

Documents and Transcripts

  • Lost ITIN documents: 800-908-9982
  • Order a tax transcript: 800-908-9946

Accessibility and Local Services

  • For the hearing impaired (TTY/TDD): 800-829-4059
  • Schedule an appointment with a local IRS office: 844-545-5640
  • Request paper tax forms: 800-829-3676
  • Find a free tax clinic close to you: 800-906-9887; 888-227-7669

For Tax Professionals

  • Tax preparers and tax professionals: 800-829-8374
  • Tax preparers and tax professionals with e-filing questions: 866-255-0654
  • Tax practitioner priority service: 866-860-4259
  • Tax professionals overseas: 512-416-7750; 267-941-1000

Corporations, Nonprofits, and Government Entities

  • Corporate taxpayers, partnerships, and nonprofits: 866-255-0654
  • Nonprofits with tax law or filing questions: 877-829-5500
  • Government and tax-exempt entities: 877-829-5500

Employers

  • International businesses that want an Employer Identification Number (EIN): 267-941-1099
  • Domestic employers looking for e-filing tech support: 866-455-7438
  • International employers looking for e-filing tech support: 304-263-8700

Looking for the Stimulus Check Phone Number at the IRS?

There are some great options for finding out information about your stimulus check instead of calling the IRS phone line. The IRS’s purpose-built stimulus check website is an excellent and informative resource if you need to know where your stimulus check is, find out if you’re eligible for one, or check how much you should receive.


The IRS has also created an app called Get My Payment that everyone can use to monitor their stimulus check status. You enter some personal information and can find out whether the government has sent your check. If the government has sent your check, you can even use something called the USPS Informed Delivery tool to obtain notifications regarding your payment’s transit status.


In case you’re wondering, you can call the IRS for help with your stimulus check payments. A representative may be able to answer questions that the IRS website cannot answer. If your question is very specific or the provided online resources can’t help you resolve your issue, there is a phone number you can call for help.


Before calling the phone line, the IRS wants everyone to consult its frequently asked questions page on its website and the Get My Payment tool for information. If these resources can’t answer your questions, you will be able to call the IRS Economic Impact Payment line at 800-919-9835.


Remember that an automated recording will try to help you before you’re connected with an actual representative, so make sure to have your questions and basic personal information ready for identity confirmation.


Previously, the IRS phone lines were simply not equipped to handle the enormous amount of inquiries created by the stimulus check programs. The IRS has added thousands of phone representatives to answer common questions about Economic Impact Payments, which is the official term for the ,200 recovery checks provided by the CARES Act.

This is excellent news for any and every American concerned about their stimulus checks, no matter the reason. While millions of payments have successfully gone out so far, there have been many complaints.

Online reports of stimulus checks issued in wrong amounts and with dependents missing are common. Others have reported their checks going to the wrong bank accounts or even benefiting deceased taxpayers.

expensivity.com

24-04-2022 · Membership is made up of those who bank with a given credit union. So a credit union looks like a bank, provides the same services as a bank, and ultimately offers the same basic financial products that you might get through a bank, but there is a consequential difference. Unlike a bank, a credit union is not incentivized by profit.

24-04-2022

Credit unions can be a great alternative to traditional banking. In many ways, a credit union works exactly like a traditional bank, but its emphasis is on improving the financial well-being of its account holders rather than creating a profit on behalf of its investors. That’s because a credit union is, as the name implies, a union of members. Membership is made up of those who bank with a given credit union. So a credit union looks like a bank, provides the same services as a bank, and ultimately offers the same basic financial products that you might get through a bank, but there is a consequential difference. Unlike a bank, a credit union is not incentivized by profit. While credit unions may not always offer the same conveniences as a well-financed national bank, they do offer numerous advantages from lower fees and borrower interest rates to a core emphasis on customer service.

If you’ve already considered your options and you think you’d rather go with a traditional national bank, make sure you shop wisely. Fees, financial products, customer service quality, and conveniences may vary widely. For some guidance, check out our tips on How to Choose Your First Bank Account.

If you’d like to learn more about credit unions and why this might be a great alternative to opening an account with a national bank, read on…

What is a credit union?

A credit union is a non-profit cooperative alternative to banking that is designed to benefit its account holders. A credit union offers many of the same basic functions as a national bank including an array of savings, checking, and business accounts, home loans, and a traditional range of retirement accounts. As a member of a credit union, when you borrow for items like small business loans or mortgages, you are borrowing from the savings pooled by your fellow members. This differs from a traditional loan which is backed by the bank itself. This unique structure allows the credit union to offer more favorable lending terms to its borrowers. 

The other factor that allows for favorable lending terms is the non-profit status of a credit union. With a credit union, any profits earned by the tax-exempt banking institution are returned to the community of account holders by way of reduced fees, lower lending interest rates, and elevated savings interest rates. In other words, every dollar earned by a credit union is used to improve financial outcomes and experiences for the account holder. Of course, that degree of profit can vary widely depending on the size of a credit union and the demographic makeup of the community it serves. Consequently, the array of benefits that a credit union offers to its members may be highly variable.

However, one distinct feature that is common to all credit unions is the nature of membership. With a credit union, account holders are considered members of a cooperative. As members, credit union account holders enjoy an array of protections and benefits not afforded to customers of traditional banks. According to The Balance, “A credit union doesn’t have stockholders, so it works to please its members. This shift from a for-profit to a nonprofit model changes the business focus from generating the most profits possible to creating the best customer service and support experience. Thus, many credit union policies are more customer friendly.”

It also puts the account holder in a position to help shape those customer friendly policies. As we’ll discuss in the section directly below, owning an account with a credit union gives you a direct say in credit union leadership and decision making. 

What’s the difference between a credit union and a bank?

The primary difference between a credit union and a bank is that a bank is owned by investors and structured to turn a profit on behalf of those investors whereas a credit union is owned by its account holders and is run as a non-profit cooperative. When you open an account with a bank, you are a customer with no vote in the company’s policies or priorities. When you open an account with a credit union, you are a member, a direct stakeholder, and a voter in board of director elections. 

This last difference carries enormous implications. The board of directors is a group of volunteer representatives whose primary goal is to implement the interests of voting members. This is a major distinction from the board of directors of a national bank, which is generally composed of individuals with a vested financial stake in the profitability of their bank, and who make decisions on behalf of investors who also have a vested financial stake in the profitability of a given bank. Banks have a responsibility to their investors and to the goal of creating profit, first and foremost. 

Credit unions, by sharp contrast, have a responsibility to their members. And because members typically come from within a shared community, credit unions are also generally more active in their local communities than are banks. According to MyCreditUnion.gov, “Credit unions may provide: financial education and outreach to consumers; in-school credit union branches; and small business needs.” 

While most banks do sponsor far-reaching charitable campaigns and causes, credit unions are in a position to focus their energies and resources more locally. As a voting member of a credit union, you have the power to back board members who are dedicated to reinvesting profits into priorities that can advance the whole community. 

What are the benefits of choosing a credit union?

The benefits of choosing a credit union may include:

  • Lower account fees
  • Lower interest rates on loans
  • Higher interest rates on savings accounts
  • Surcharge-free ATMs
  • Better customer service
  • Direct policy input as a voting union member

In addition to these basic benefits, credit unions are generally fashioned to make banking accessible to a wide cross-section of community members. A number of benefits are intended to lower the financial threshold for gaining the financial security, safety and protection of banking. 

For instance, credit unions make no-fee banking opportunities far more widely available than do traditional banks. According to the Missouri Central Credit Union, “More than 80 percent of credit unions offer free checking accounts, while only about 50 percent of banks do. Since this is the main financial account for most people, free checking accounts are a benefit that nearly everyone can appreciate.”

In addition to no-fee opportunities like checking accounts and the above-mentioned no-free ATM withdrawals, credit unions impose far lower fees for instances like overdrafts and fund transfers. These are fees that national banks typically impose in order to drive up profits. The Balance identifies overdraft surcharges as a major money maker for traditional banks. Without the imperative to create a profit, credit unions impose lower fees and offer greater flexibility in reversing or crediting certain fees. In essence, credit unions impose less restrictive rules, and therefore, impose fewer financial penalties on their account holders.

What are the drawbacks of using a credit union?

There are a few potential drawbacks to choosing a credit union over a national bank, including:

  • Fewer branches
  • Fewer ATMs
  • State-by-state variations in regulatory oversight
  • A smaller array of account options, investment products, retirement funds, etc.)

The last of these drawbacks may be consequential, especially when dealing with a smaller credit union. Some credit unions may have a far smaller and less desirable array of financial products. If your goal is to seek investment opportunities through your banking institution, a credit union might not have everything you’re looking for. Not only that, but Bankrate warns that credit unions often commission third-party brokers to serve the investment needs of their members. The fees levied by these third-party brokers are frequently onerous, the financial products are frequently expensive, and the array of investment opportunities is frequently limited. 

The other important consideration is your personal need for technological convenience. Today, many bankers justifiably place a premium on the ease of mobile deposits, instant transfers, and digital wallets. Such banking innovations are not always available for credit union members. Bankrate notes that a large percentage of credit unions persist on a relatively small budget. This makes it difficult for credit unions to stay on pace with developments in commercial banking. 

According to Bankrate, many credit unions are state-chartered, as opposed to federally chartered. These credit unions are often much smaller, and possess very limited resources. “Their small size means they may not be able to finance expensive technology upgrades,” according to Bankrate. “As a result, some smaller credit unions aren’t able to offer mobile banking apps for your smartphone or mobile deposits, where you can deposit checks just by snapping a picture. Still, most credit unions do offer online banking.”

And in general, technological latency is becoming less and less a drawback for larger, federally chartered credit unions. Larger institutions, often those serving a cross-section of urban communities, have increasingly improved the pace of their technological adoption. Indeed,  according to Investopedia, “Today there are fewer differences between the two in terms of convenience, especially if the credit union you’re considering has good online services and is a member of a co-op that provides access to branches and ATMs nationwide.”

That said, it is important to note that there are potentially broad differences in policies and fee structures from one credit union to the next. This is especially true where smaller, state-chartered credit unions are concerned. Remember—community members select their own boards of directors. This means that the policies and priorities of one community-servicing credit union may be quite different from the policies and priorities of another. Bankrate advises prospective members to always read the find print. Gain a full understanding of the fee structure, interest rates, and financial products available to you before choosing a credit union. You may find that you are more compatible with some credit unions than others. 

What’s the difference between a state chartered credit union and a federally chartered credit union?

The difference between a state chartered credit union and a federally chartered credit union is that all Federal Credit Union (FCU) entities are regulated and supervised by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) whereas state credit unions are beholden to regulations imposed by state-specific financial regulators. It’s also important not to confuse federal chartering with federally insurance. According to Investopedia, “Both state and federally chartered credit unions may be federally insured.”

There are benefits and drawbacks to using a state chartered credit union. Among the key benefits, is the potential for a greater interest rate on savings. States aren’t necessarily always aligned with credit limits imposed at the federal level. Your state credit union may therefore be able to offer more favorable savings interest rates than a federal credit union. 

It may also be the case that regulators in your state are more intimately familiar with the policy priorities important to your community. This means state credit unions may be governed with more regulatory precision than national credit unions. 

The primary drawback of using a state credit union is that many of these entities tend to be smaller in size and therefore carry decidedly more limited resources. The drawbacks described in the section above—technological latency, limited branches, fewer financial products—are more likely to apply to state-based entities. Bankrate warns that “small credit unions usually have limited offerings. They may offer only one type of savings or money market account without tiered interest-rate offerings. The latter would benefit affluent investors with large deposits.”

One other note of importance—not every state has its own regulatory entity for overseeing credit unions. In certain states—Arkansas, Delaware, and Wyoming, for instance—no such agency exists. Therefore all credit unions in these states are federally chartered. 

Once again, reading the fine print is important. Before you decide that a credit union is right for you, you’ll need to determine your level of access to one that actually matches your needs. NerdWallet indicates that there are currently well over 5,000 federally insured credit unions serving more than 120 million members. The National Credit Union Administration offers a credit union locator where you can identify a federally insured credit union serving your community.

***

Now that you know what a credit union is and how it works, it’s up to you to comparison-shop. Compare your local credit union’s fee structures, interest rates, conveniences and product offerings to those provided by several leading national banking chains. Identify your top banking needs and priorities, then choose the entity that best matches them. And if it turns out to be a credit union, make sure you take full advantage of its unique benefits.

By the way, while a good bank is important, it’s also important to stash some cash under your mattress. Well, figuratively speaking anyway. We don’t actually recommend keeping money under your bed, but we do offer Ten Reasons Why You Should Always Keep Cash On Hand.

expensivity.com

Inflation At A Glance An Increase In The Price of Goods or Services Due To Weakening Currency Caused by: Surge in product demand Production cost increases Supply chain breakdowns Changing house prices Two Major Theories Cost-Push Inflation Higher costs raise prices Demand-Pull Inflation Demand outpaces available products

The Price of McDonald’s in Every Country

07-10-2021 · The United States, Ronald McDonald’s homeland, proudly delivers the next best value at 1.73%. The World’s Most Expensive McDonald’s Items. Next, our intrepid researcher sampled the most expensive item on the menu in every McDonald’s territory.

07-10-2021

Fifteen cents. That was the price of Dick and Maurice McDonald’s centerpiece hamburger when they opened a stand selling just nine menu items, back in 1948. 

The McDonald’s affordable hunger-buster brought the customers in. And by focusing on a limited menu, the brothers ensured the hamburger and its sides tasted exactly the same every time.

When travelling salesman Ray Kroc discovered the brothers’ ‘Speedee Service System’ six years later, he decided to sell McDonald’s identical burgers in 1,000 locations around the US. Soon, the golden arches spread around the world. And if the menu diversified – Masala Scrambled Egg in India; Japan’s savoury, potato-based Purple McShake – the commitment to consistent quality prevailed.

But the prices are not so consistent. The cost of McDonald’s varies across the 118 countries where Ronald lays his hat. Following our world beer price index, Expensivity has now mapped the price of key McDonald’s meals and items around the world. We’ve also used World Bank national income figures to show how these prices measure up relative to local wages.

The World’s Cheapest Happy Meal is in Pakistan

The Happy Meal began life as a one-off innovation at a Guatemalan McDonald’s in 1979, but was soon homogenized and offered to young gluttons around the world. Today, the happiest Happy Meal is in Pakistan, cheap and cheerful at .11. Malaysia, the Philippines, and Egypt also price their Happy Meal below two-and-a-half dollars.

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The priciest Happy Meal is in Lebanon (.89), at nearly five times the global average (.55). The Lebanese Happy Meal is also two-and-a-half times the price of second-placed Switzerland (a still eye-watering .53). However, the true cost of the Happy Meal is not economic but nutritional. Health experts have been dubious about McD’s pledge to reduce meals to below 600 calories with lower salt and sugar levels; the number of chemical traces in that not-so-happy box are also troubling.

A Lebanese Big Mac Costs .89

Franchisee Jim Delligatti invented the world’s most famous burger in 1967, but it was 21-year-old advertising secretary Esther Glickstein Rose who nearly got her Peggy Olson moment when she named it the ‘Big Mac.’ The double-decker was way more expensive than other McDonald’s burgers, but the hype boosted sales and the Big Mac is now the brand’s flagship sandwich.

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Like the Happy Meal, the Big Mac is priciest in Lebanon due to inflation (.89). Another familiar McVillain, the Netherlands, is in second place (.89). Eating out in the Netherlands is expensive because Dutch tastes are simple and eating at home is cheap – encouraging a bigger divide between home meal and restaurant culture. And Esther Glickstein Rose? They laughed when she suggested ‘Big Mac.’ Decades later, they sent her an engraved plaque – but she never got a bonus.

Large Fries in the Philippines for Under 50¢

There’s nothing quite like a McDonald’s fry. Objectively, other chips make more sense. But just try stopping once you’ve started on a carton of McDonald’s fries. Israelis have the biggest deterrent, other than Lebanon: each pack costs .82. That’s more than an entire adult meal costs in Russia, Colombia, and 14 other countries.

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In the Philippines, large fries cost under a half-dollar, while Turkey and Croatia each come in at just under a dollar. In the US, fries are currently pegged at .19. That’s 24.1% more than the global average of .57.

American McDonald’s is the World’s Fourth-Most Affordable Compared to Salary

Next, we created an ‘affordability’ score for every country by calculating the cost of 100 adult meals as a % of median income. Lebanon has the worst affordability due to the inflation issues mentioned above. To buy 100 adult meals in Lebanon would cost 74.65% of the average annual salary. Nicaragua (52.98%) and Pakistan (51.15%) are closest behind, due to low average incomes of

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,719 and
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,186 respectively.

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Monaco (0.69%) and Liechtenstein (0.77%) deliver the best affordability, although with average salaries nearing 0k that’s no surprise. Third-placed Taiwan hits the sweet spot of an unexceptional average income (,788) and a bargain meal deal (.51) delivering affordability of 1.68%. The United States, Ronald McDonald’s homeland, proudly delivers the next best value at 1.73%.

The World’s Most Expensive McDonald’s Items

Next, our intrepid researcher sampled the most expensive item on the menu in every McDonald’s territory. Well, okay, they grabbed the price, but they didn’t get to grab the ornate and frequently exotic premium burger from each location.

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A glance at this world map is enough to get you salivating even if you don’t know what all the words mean. Denmark’s Homestyle x Henrik Jyrk Tokyo Teriyaki? It’s a Japanese-themed burger developed by gourmet chef Henrik Jyrk, featuring onion rings, beef steak, and teriyaki sauce in a brioche bun. It costs .55, and carries 802 calories. 

Top of the table is Lebanon with its chicken sandwich, because inflation. But France and Monaco are tied in second with the more exotic Signature Charolais & Sauce Aux 2 Moutardes. Charolais is the breed of cow, the two mustards are Dijon and l’Ancienne, the cheddar is red, and it’s 100% French. Mouth-watering fast food at a mouth-watering price (.38).

An International McDonald’s Menu for Data Nerds

Ready to find how your next holiday destination prices up in the McDonald’s leagues? Use our interactive table, below, to explore our data in full.

METHODOLOGY & SOURCES

We gathered the prices of the most popular items from the ‘order McDelivery’ section of the official McDonald’s website in every country in this study. An adult meal was defined as a Big Mac, large fries, and a large Coca-Cola drink.

To determine the affordability of a McDonald’s in every country, we calculated the cost of 100 adult meals as a % of median income (World Bank data) in each country.

Marcus Personal Loans Review 2021

06-08-2021 · Marcus Personal Loans are a great choice for anyone with good to excellent credit seeking a quick source of funding, or wanting to consolidate debt into one, convenient monthly payment. Best of all, Marcus offers fixed rates, flexible terms, and unsecured loans with few fees.

06-08-2021

Marcus Personal Loans are a great choice for anyone with good to excellent credit seeking a quick source of funding, or wanting to consolidate debt into one, convenient monthly payment. Best of all, Marcus offers fixed rates, flexible terms, and unsecured loans with few fees.

But although Marcus is a great choice for a personal loan, savvy borrowers are likely asking, what’s the catch? And they’re right to ask.

No loan should be accepted without careful consideration. In this article, we’ll tell you a bit about how to apply for a Marcus loan, what the typical loan rates are, and a bit about how Marcus verifies your income.

What’s for certain, you can feel confident that Marcus, a division of Goldman Sachs, is a trustworthy and reliable lender, offering many advantages over other personal loan platforms. 

In this review, we’ll explore just a few of the reasons to choose Marcus — with a few things responsible borrowers should be aware of.

Who are Marcus Personal Loans Best For?

Marcus Personal Loan
  • Those with good to excellent credit
  • Anyone seeking a highly customizable loan
  • Anyone seeking a way to make direct payments to other creditors

Loan amounts from Marcus are also available in somewhat higher amounts than those available from other personal lenders, sometimes as much as K. 

Marcus also offers very reasonable interest rates — typically between 6.99% and 19.99%, depending on the borrower’s credit score and income, among other factors. Those interest rates remain fixed throughout the life of the loan.

Reason to choose Marcus Personal Loans include: 

No hidden fees with Marcus personal loans.
  • No fees at sign up, and no surprise fees throughout the term of the loan
  • No late fees if you miss a payment
  • Flexible loan terms

The last benefit is one of the primary advantages of choosing Marcus personal loans over another lender. With Marcus, terms of the loan can range from 36 to 72 months, depending on the credit score of the borrower and their income, among other variables.

These flexible loan terms can be selected when the loan is applied for, but it’s important to note: although longer terms mean a smaller monthly payment, borrowers end up paying more interest than they might otherwise pay over the life of the loan.

But even when borrowers do select longer terms, Marcus charges no early repayment fees. There’s no reason, then, not to pay more on the loan than the minimum monthly requirement if possible. That way, the loan is paid off quickly, while accruing less interest.

Also notable, unsecured loans are available from Marcus. In case you’re not aware:

  • A secured loan must be backed by some form of collateral, like a home, car, or even a life insurance policy. 
  • Unsecured loans require no form of collateral. In exchange, the interest rate on an unsecured loan might be a little higher than it would be otherwise. But there’s no risk of losing the assets if there is an issue paying back the loan.

Speaking of paying off the loan, choosing autopay with Marcus knocks an additional .25% off the APR, letting more of the monthly payment go toward the principle of the loan and paying off the balance much faster. 

It may not seem like much, but .25% off the APR truly can save borrowers a lot in the long run, and it’s a unique benefit of choosing Marcus for a personal loan service. 

Next, income verification is an important part of the process with any personal lender. Nowhere is this more true than with Marcus.

Before awarding funds, Marcus verifies income through:

  • Pay-stubs
  • W-2 tax forms and tax transcripts
  • Personal income documents

To expedite the process, it’s important to have this paperwork handy and remember: Marcus will run a soft credit check, which won’t show up on a credit report from any of the three major credit reporting agencies.

Disadvantages of Marcus Personal Loans

No student loans allowed with Marcus Personal Loan
  • Good to excellent credit is required
  • No student loans allowed
  • Loans apps subject to final approval

All Marcus personal loans can be applied for online, and the application process takes about 15 minutes to complete. Before beginning the application process, however, there are a few things to be aware of:

Marcus will only issue loans to those with good to excellent credit. 

Furthermore, all loan applications are subject to final approval by a human after the online application is completed.

Although this should instill some confidence in Marcus, that they responsibly disburse loans to borrowers capable of paying back the debt and who are borrowing money for the right reasons, it slows the process down. It also creates the risk of a loan application getting hung up on a technicality. 

What this means more than anything, though, is that since there are other personal loan platforms out there that are guaranteed to award money much more quickly, sometimes overnight, those who need their money fast might want to consider a different platform. 

That being said, Marcus personal loans are typically dispersed within about 5 business days.

Marcus doesn’t lend for any kind of college-related expense.

It’s also not uncommon for borrowers with student debt to seek a personal loan to refinance what they owe at a much lower interest rate, or for any other college-related expense such as:

  • Tuition 
  • Textbooks
  • Room and board 

Here is an additional reason Marcus personal loan might not be right for everyone:

  • Paying-off what’s owed directly to a creditor is a nice service offered by Marcus, especially for those looking to consolidate high-interest credit card debt at a lower interest rate. However, the drawback is that all your account numbers need to be supplied to Marcus at the time of the application.
  • Supplying these numbers can really slow down the application process. First off, applicants need to have all their account numbers easily accessible at the point of application. Easier said than done if you have several cards, and especially for anyone who has cut up their cards to manage their spending.

Although sometimes those account numbers are also on the bottom of the statement, if credit card account numbers aren’t on hand at the time of the application, credit card companies will need to be contacted, and new cards will need to be issued. That can take up to 10 business days, further slowing down the process.

And as previously mentioned, make a mistake at any point along the way that gets caught by Marcus quality control and the loan could be delayed even further. 

Finally, and although Marcus is remarkably fee-free for a personal lender, miss a payment with the company and it will be reported to the three major credit reporting agencies, putting a ding on your credit rating.

Marcus Personal Loans: A Final Verdict

There’s a lot to like about Marcus personal loans: few fees, larger loan amounts, flexible terms, and even the ability to defer a bill after 12 consecutive on-time payments.

Before concluding this overview of Marcus personal loans, here are a few additional things we liked about the online personal lending platform:

  • The application process is fast and easy, and there’s a useful mobile app. What’s more, there’s the potential for personalized help from an actual human with nothing more than a phone call. Nevertheless, and despite the potential for some potential delays and possible hangups outlined earlier, most applicants know if they’ve been approved within 24 hours. Funds are typically dispersed within 5 business days. 
  • Flexible terms. Terms available from Marcus are also much more flexible than what’s commonly available from some other lenders. For example, Marcus approves loan terms up to 72 months for applicants with a high credit score, among other qualifying requirements. These flexible terms carry the potential for lower monthly payments.
  • Easy payment deferral. Even the most financially responsible borrower has an unexpected expense pop up from time to time, and when this happens, wouldn’t it be nice to defer the monthly payment on a personal loan? To this end, Marcus offers a one-time payment deferral reward: no interest accrued after 12 consecutive months of on-time payments, and with no blemish on your credit report.

There’s a lot to like about Marcus personal loans: few fees, larger loan amounts, flexible terms, and even the ability to defer a bill after 12 consecutive on-time payments. Those with less good credit, however, will not be considered.

Backed by Goldman Sachs, Marcus otherwise quality controls all the online loan applications by hand, slowing down the process. Some personal lenders distribute funds within 24 hours, while Marcus can take up to 5 business days (borrowers do know they’ve been approved within about a day, however).

Another positive, Marcus offers the unique service of paying off creditors directly, like a credit card company. Though this is a convenient service for the consumer, it does complicate the application process, creating the potential for additional delays. Also, loan terms reach as much as 72 months, much longer than what’s commonly offered by other lenders.

All the incentives notwithstanding, Marcus is also not the lender for anyone seeking to refinance student loans, or to pay for any kind of college expense at all. But sign-up for autopay, and get .25% knocked off the annual APR. On a K loan, that adds up to a lot, and that’s reason enough to choose Marcus as your personal loan solution.

All things considered, for higher-end borrowers with good to excellent credit, the combination of flexibility, large loan amounts, convenient service, and a fee-free experience makes Marcus truly a great option for a personal loan.

10 Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms

05-09-2021 · Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for First-time Investors: Coinbase. Many noob investors choose Coinbase as their crypto trading platform. First off, the site is fully-licensed and supported in all 50 states save one — Hawaii. So from retail investors experimenting with crypto to more veteran pro traders, chances are, there are Coinbase services available to you, no matter where you …

05-09-2021
Best Cryptocurrency Platforms

The best cryptocurrency trading platforms support investors as they get started with this revolutionary new wealth building strategy. Naturally, each one of these exchanges offer different levels of service and customer support, setting themselves apart from each other with varying degrees of security on each transaction, with all sorts of user experiences. 

And there’s no time like the present to get into crypto. Between 2012 and 2020, in fact, Bitcoin has gained 193,639.36%, and the market size for cryptocurrency is expected to reach 87.7 million by 2026, according to some estimates. Consumer confidence in cryptocurrencies is also growing, reaching 97% in 2021.

All that notwithstanding, it can be difficult for new cryptocurrency investors to know which site to choose to manage their investments, not to mention how to get started with digital gold. We’re here to put your fears to rest. In this guide, we outline the 10 best cryptocurrency platforms on the following four factors:

  • Overall security of the site 
  • Customer service and user experience
  • Availability of a mobile app
  • Pricing, promotions, service, and benefits 

Fiat to crypto trading is rewriting the rules of the financial industry. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to get started trading crypto, supported by one of the 10 best cryptocurrency trading platforms on the internet.

What Is the Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

After thorough research and careful consideration, here are the crypto brokerages that caught our attention, with some idea of the investors best-suited for the site:

  • Best Social Media-like Cryptocurrency Trading Platform: eToro
  • Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform Offering Altcoin: Binance
  • Easiest to Use Cryptocurrency Trading Platform: Gemini
  • Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for First-time Investors: Coinbase
  • Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms for Investment Tools: KuCoin
  • Most Established Cryptocurrency Trading Platform: Kraken
  • Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for Retirees: iTrustCapital
  • Best All-in-One Trading Platform for Stocks and Crypto: WeBull
  • Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms with Multiple Crypto Exchanges: Voyager
  • Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for Earning Interest: BlockFi 

Now that we’ve laid out our picks for the best cryptocurrency platforms, HODL, because everything we liked, and a few things we didn’t like, are coming up next.

Best Social Media-like Cryptocurrency Trading Platform: eToro

Best Social Media-like Cryptocurrency Trading Platform: eToro

Whether or not you’re on Tik Tok or maybe still on Facebook, most of us use some form of social media. Taking a social media-like approach to crypto trading is eToro. 

eToro is best for the following reasons:

  • CopyTrading. With eToro, investors pick another user to copy, with all gains and losses going into a special social trading account. Once designated, this mirroring is entirely automated: set it and forget it. 

Pretty easy, but there are some risks involved. Pick the wrong investor, and you’re vulnerable to any bad moves they may happen to make. Plus, it doesn’t offer much autonomy on your part. It’s not a bad way to learn the ropes, however.

  • Advanced Services. For experienced investors, the site also offers eToroX. Designed for algorithmic and institutional-grade investors, eToroX lets investors take advantage of tight-dealing spreads.

Also through the AlgoX API, or application programming interface, knowledgeable crypto-traders can design and automate their own custom trading tools. 

Pros:

Get started investing with as little as

Deal in up to 15 cryptocurrencies

Licensed in Europe (but not by the U.S. SEC or the SIPC)

Cons:

CopyTrader requires a 0 minimum investment

Not available in every state

Crypto only — no stocks or other kinds of investment options

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform Offering Altcoin: Binance

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform Offering Altcoin: Binance

But wait: aren’t all cryptocurrencies an altcoin? Not exactly. 

Some trading platforms deal only in Bitcoin, probably the most well-known cryptocurrency of all. Others offer the freedom to trade in altcoin, like AMP, Harmony, or PotCoin to name just a few. 

To take advantage of everything cryptocurrencies have to offer, we recommend Binance, among the largest crypto exchanges by trading volume anywhere in the world. 

Binance is also best for: 

  • Bitcoin pairing. With Binance, you’ll always know how well your altcoin is performing against the leader in the field.
  • Available in 43 out of 50 American States. Founded domestically, Binance now operates outside the U.S. (Avoid issues by navigating to Binance.us rather than simply Binance.com.) 

Not all functions are available to US-based crypto-traders, however, since the (SEC) limits financial derivatives for cryptocurrency traders, 

Nevertheless, Binance remains the best and only platform offering complete access to the altcoin market, keeping your crypto portfolio truly diversified — a core tenant of any successful investment strategy.

Pros:

Up to 50 cryptocurrencies to choose from

Low trading fees

Low account minimums

Cons:

Limited U.S. availability

Bitcoin pairing only in the U.S.

Customer service email only

Easiest to Use Cryptocurrency Trading Platform: Gemini

Easiest to Use Cryptocurrency Trading Platform: Gemini

If you’re a noob with crypto, or simply seeking low-barrier access without a bunch of new jargon to learn and what feels like math problems to solve, we recommend Gemini, the easiest to use cryptocurrency trading platform in our ranking. 

Gemini is best for the following reasons:

  • App is available from all the major app stores for both iOS and Android.
  • Simple and streamlined, the Gemini app is useful for: scheduling buys, presenting real-time market prices, and tracking asset prices and price alerts. 

This way, customers stay on top of market fluctuations directly from their phone or tablet. That’s hard to beat. 

  • Strong Security Features. Gemini even offers insurance against hacks. 

Furthermore, Gemini services are available all across the U.S. and there are more than 30 altcoins for investors to choose from.

Fees are a bit higher with Gemini than they are with other platforms, and there are no account minimums.

Pros:

Low trade minimums

Trading pairs allowed

Transparent and easy to use website

Cons:

No phone support available

Different rate structure for high-volume traders

Cheaper fees are out there

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for First-time Investors: Coinbase

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for First-time Investors: Coinbase

Many noob investors choose Coinbase as their crypto trading platform. First off, the site is fully-licensed and supported in all 50 states save one — Hawaii. 

So from retail investors experimenting with crypto to more veteran pro traders, chances are, there are Coinbase services available to you, no matter where you live. 

Otherwise, Coinbase can be trusted because:

  • Strong altcoin selection. Founded in 2012, Coinbase initially only handled Bitcoin. Now the site supports more than 20 cryptocurrencies including Dash, Ethereum, Maker, and Golem, among many others.
  • A pro-trading platform. Though good for noobs, Coinbase has plenty to offer experienced investors, like a retail investor wallet, institution-based custodial accounts, and a U.S.-dollar stablecoin. 

Further reasons first-time investors should trust Coinbase include high liquidity. Also attracting new crypto traders is the learning platform, where inexperienced traders are paid crypto while learning the ropes.

Crypto-veterans, however, find the available currencies a little lacking, and fees for new users are pretty high. Switch to Coinbase Pro — which is free to do — and the fees are much lower, but Coinbase Pro can be overwhelming.

Pros:

Available on both Android and iOS devices

Site-breach insurance available 

Easy sign-up process

Cons: 

Altcoin selection lacking for pros

No control over wallet keys

Bit too simple for serious traders

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for Investment Tools: KuCoin

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for Investment Tools: KuCoin

With some of the best selection in cryptocurrency, KuCoin also has the best investment tools available. For these reasons and more, bold investors are attracted to the platform.

KuCoin is also best for the following reasons.

  • A native currency called KuCoin Shares. KuCoin also offers a staggering 400 other currencies, with more and more digital coins added regularly.
  • An attractive API interface. Divided into REST APIs with four categories of data both public and private, and WebSocket feeds offering public-only market data. 
  • Strong safety and security features. Powered by Amazon Web Services Cloud, KuCoin accommodates micro-wallets with standard encryption protocols, and no invasive Know Your Customer (KYC) checks. 

The site’s services are also highly scalable, supporting an infinite number of trading pairs. And many pairings are only supported on KuCoin. 

Other advantages of the platform include fiat to crypto trading, strong customer service available 24/7, and the freedom to stake and earn crypto yields. 

Pros:

Low fees (both trading and withdrawal)

Broad and growing selection of altcoins

Create your own API

Cons:

Overall learning curve steep for new investors

Fiat trading pairs not allowed

No direct-to-bank deposits.

Most Established Cryptocurrency Trading Platform: Kraken

Most Established Cryptocurrency Trading Platform: Kraken

Like in any industry, working with a long-established business tends to inspire consumer confidence. This is also true in the world cryptocurrency trading platforms. And one of the best and most well-established crypto sites of all is Kraken.

Kraken is a good crypto exchange because:

  • It’s available in roughly 200 countries and most states, save New York and Washington. 
  • Kraken offers low fees, and the freedom to deal in up to 60 cryptocurrencies. Altcoins available through the site range from big names like Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also less well-known options like Litecoin and Ripple.
  • Margin trading is allowed, giving more power to buyers. And the site is plush with resources to help new investors gain their footing, or to help more experienced traders fine-tune their skills. 

Kraken, in fact, lists additional services tailor-made for high-net-worth investors of all experience levels, such as one-on-one consultation, and expert perspective on market behavior. Account minimums vary, but overall fees are low, ranging from 0% to .26%. 

Also facilitated through Kraken: over the counter (OTC) crypto trading, helping stabilize prices and providing improved account management support. One drawback to Kraken: customer service is otherwise a little lacking, and not available 24/7.

Pros:

One of the longest running and most-established platforms

No hacking in almost a decade

Margin access up to 0k for pro clients.

Cons:

Limited starter accounts

Not the best choice for beginners

Account funding slower than most

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for Retirees: iTrustCapital

iTrustCapital

Retirees have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their investments, and for good reason. Many in this stage of their lives are more risk-averse than younger investors. 

Still, there’s a place in cryptocurrency for this market demographic: iTrustCapital, our pick for the best cryptocurrency site for retirees, or just older folks who are interested in trying their hand at crypto.

The site also facilitates gold and silver investing.

iTrustCapital is trustworthy because:

  • Tax-advantaged cryptocurrency accounts. Customers choose from an SEP, Roth, or traditional IRA, enjoying tax and tax-deferred gains on the investment.
  • In-kind transfers are allowed, meaning if you already have a crypto account with another service, there’s no need to transfer it to fiat, only to redeposit it with iTrust. Instead, simply transfer the balance. 

Investors who choose this route also enjoy six months fee-free trading, and when it’s time to take distributions, they’re available in-kind — meaning some other kind of property rather than cash, and even possibly a distribution to a beneficiary without liquidation.

This well-regulated site throughout the U.S. also boasts robust customer service every step of the way, and even the freedom to schedule an appointment with a representative.

Pros:

Strongly regulated

Freedom to invest in gold and silver

Tax-advantaged accounts

Cons:

Custodial wallets only

Limited cryptocurrency available

No interest-bearing accounts

Best All-in-One Trading Platform for Stocks and Crypto: WeBull

Best All-in-One Trading Platform for Stocks and Crypto: WeBull

Allowing for options investing with access to level II market data from Nasdaq, WeBull is a legit crypto exchange for investors seeking a mix of crypto and stocks in their portfolio. 

Contributing to this distinction are free trades on stocks, exchange-traded funds, and even American depository receipts. 

WeBull is good for crypto trading because:

  • Free option trading. A complete list of tradable securities, in fact, includes Stocks, ETFs, options, cryptocurrency, ADRs.
  • An easy-to-use interface, that’s good for beginners. A relatively late arrival in the field of crypto sites, WeBull also offers low-barrier access to trading for retail investors seeking a mobile experience with a simple and streamlined desktop option. 

WeBull’s crypto selection is a little limited, at only seven. The heavy-hitters and popular choices are all well-represented, though, including Dogecoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even legit WeBull stock.

WeBull has a very similar look and feel to the mobile-first investment and trading sites like Robinhood.  But with WeBull, crypto traders also enjoy no account minimums and no-cost margin trading. 

The site also provides thorough and comprehensive research and data tools so intermediate and advanced investors can make informed decisions. Customer service is available 24/7 through phone and email, but chat support is limited.

Pros:

Free option trading

Margin accounts at no extra cost

Strong mobile app

Cons:

No access to bonds and mutual funds

No interest on uninvested cash

Not the best choice for new investors

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms with Multiple Crypto Exchanges: Voyager

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms with Multiple Crypto Exchanges: Voyager

Why choose a crypto site offering access to just one crypto exchange, when the next pick in our ranking allows the best access to multiple options? That’s just what’s possible with Voyager, a portal to more than a dozen different crypto exchanges. 

Here’s why Voyager crypto is legit:

  • Low account minimums: only , and with absolutely no trading fees except small spread fee taken on orders. With Voyager, in fact, it’s possible to earn as much as 12% interest on crypto holdings. We also like that accounts can be funded instantly with cash or crypto transfers. 
  • More than 60 cryptocurrencies, and customers earn interest on their accounts so long as the minimum balance is maintained.
  • Strong institutional investing tools, like custodial services, order execution, and liquidity.

Available for both iOs and Android, Voyager offers no live phone support, with limited support to overseas customers. Voyager is also not available in the state of New York. 

Something else consumers should be aware of: individual account holders have no access to private keys for self-control. But that feature is coming soon, according to Voyager. 

Pros:

Low account minimums and no trading fees

Tons of access to different cryptocurrencies

Instant crypto-transfers

Cons:

No desktop option, mobile only

Limited customer service

0.3% taken per order on spread

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for Earning Interest: BlockFi 

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for Earning Interest: BlockFi

To earn the absolute best interest possible on your crypto account, try the next trading platform: BlockFi. 

With a Blockfi Interest Account, investors earn 6% on BTC, or blockchain transfer, and as much as 8.6% on stablecoin, or a kind of currency tethered to the US dollar. 

That’s a fair bit of interest on a crypto account, earning passive income with very little effort.

Further reasons why BlockFi is legitimate:

  • BlockFi is backed by Fidelity and SoFi. Though the site itself is independently owned, and it’s free to use with no minimum balance requirements. BlockFi does only deal with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Stablecoin, however.
  • Flexible trading accounts, including fiat to crypto with no fees, streamlined trading, and no minimum back lock up periods. Your funds are free to withdraw at any time. Best of all, this all can be done while continuing to earn interest on your money.

Last but not least, crypto-backed loans are available from BlockFi with a Bitcoin rewards credit card coming soon. 

BlockFi also handles business accounts, remaining in compliance with U.S. law and financial regulations. 

Pros:

No account minimums

Easy to use interface, simple account management

Credit card coming soon

Cons:

Some withdrawal minimums on interest accounts

Not for beginners

No investment advisor support available

Bottom Line:

No one crypto exchange is right for everyone. Choose carefully, though, and the benefits of DeFi will be clear. We hope our ranking of the 10 best cryptocurrency trading platforms helps you get started.

expensivity.com

Surprisingly, Capital One, one of the most high-profile and well-established financial institutions on the market, no longer offers personal loans. What Capital One does offer, however, are credit card options for consumers struggling with their credit rating, as well as any number of great lending options for purchasing an automobile, one of ...

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