Marcus Bank by Goldman Sachs turns the image of the high finance world on its head by offering products aimed directly at the middle class. Here’s our full review.
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When you think of Goldman Sachs, there’s a good chance you’re thinking about a posh wealth management firm. Many of us have an image of rich fat cats and expensive brokers. However, Goldman Sachs has been working to offer more accessible financial products through Marcus.
Marcus is a banking product from Goldman Sachs. It focuses on high-yield savings products as well as no-fee personal loans. Marcus is fairly simple, without offering a lot of complicated options. It’s also inexpensive.
Marcus focuses on middle class households who might be trying to get ahead with higher-yield savings and who might want a low-rate personal loan to help them consolidate and pay off credit card debt.
There are a few features from Marcus Bank that make it a good choice for many of those looking for simplicity in some of their financial accounts.
- High-yield savings account: You can get a high-yield account with a $1 minimum deposit and no monthly fees. Marcus regularly has one of the highest yields in the country.
- CDs: Marcus Bank also offers CD products. There’s a high-yield CD that starts with a $500 deposit, as well as a no-penalty product.
- FDIC-insured: Marcus carries FDIC insurance, so you know your account is protected.
- Personal loans: You can also get no-fee personal loans for amounts ranging from $3,500 to $40,000. These loans are fixed rate, and offer you a variety of options, based on your credit situation.
- Resources: Marcus also includes resources that can help you better manage your money, including articles on managing debt, building savings, and understanding credit. There are also calculators designed to help you understand the impact of saving and borrowing on your long-term finances.
Marcus prides itself on charging no fees. You won’t pay an origination fee when you get a personal loan with Marcus. Additionally, the savings account doesn’t have fees, either, and you don’t have to maintain a specific minimum balance.
Personal loans with Marcus start at 5.99% APR, depending on how much you borrow, your loan term, and your credit. The maximum APR is 28.99%. Loan terms run from 36 to 72 months.
High-yield savings accounts offer a 2.25% APY, and you can get a one-year high-yield CD for 2.75% APY. Even the no-penalty CD offers an APY of 2.35% APY.
What you actually end up with, though, depends on conditions, and Marcus can change the yield, depending on what’s happening in the financial markets.
As with all banks, signing up for Marcus requires some information and identity verification. You’ll have to provide your Social Security number, name, address, birthdate, and other information. As a bank in compliance with the requirements of the Patriot Act, you’ll also have to verify that you’re not going to use the account for terrorist or illegal activity.
If you want to apply for a loan, you fill out the same forms as you would on any other lending website, once again providing identifying information. You might also have to offer additional information on your income, housing situation, and other debts.
The process is fairly straightforward, though, and it doesn’t take very long to go through the fields.
You can connect your Marcus savings account to other accounts so that you can set up recurring transfers. This allows you to regularly move money from your checking account into your savings account. You can also set up autopay for your Marcus personal loan.
As expected, Marcus employs industry best practices when securing accounts and data.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a specific mobile app for Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Instead, you have to access your account online. You can use your mobile device’s browser to access your account, but it’s really not as convenient as just having an app.
Goldman Sachs has an app for managing private wealth, but it’s not the same thing as having an app for Marcus.
It’s possible to connect with a live person to chat or to talk on the phone.
In order to use the Chat function, you do need to be logged into Marcus.com. Once you’re logged in, you can live chat with someone Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 10 pm Eastern. Live chat is also available Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm Eastern. Those are the same hours for phone customer service as well.
Marcus also features an extensive FAQ section that allows you to find answers to a variety of questions regarding different products.
As with any product, there are advantages and disadvantages to Marcus Bank. Here are some of the things to consider as you make your choice.
- High-yields on savings products: You can get a high yield on any savings product without the need to maintain a high balance.
- Easy to navigate: Marcus products are simple to use, and the dashboard is intuitive.
- No fees: Whether you’re using a savings product or getting a loan, you don’t have to worry about paying fees.
- Automatic transfers: Boost your saving automatically by using recurring transfers so you don’t have to remember to move the money.
- No mobile check deposit: If you want to add money to your account, you need to connect an external checking account and transfer the money. You can mail in a check, but that’s even worse than initiating a transfer from an external account.
- No checking accounts or ATM networks: You won’t be able to use an ATM network with Marcus. Additionally, there’s not a checking account option. You’re limited to savings products or to personal loans.
- Auto-renewal for CDs: If you don’t make a change, your CD automatically renews after a 10-day grace period. So if you don’t get the money quickly, it could be locked up for another term.
Some of the more common alternatives to Marcus by Goldman Sachs are those that also offer online options. Ally Bank is a common alternative. While its APY isn’t as high, it does have a number of other products available, including checking. Capital One 360, American Express Bank, and Discover Bank are also online alternatives that provide more products and services, as well as reasonably high yields and no fees.
You can also check with your local credit union or community bank. In many cases, these financial institutions can provide you with products and services that offer reasonable yields. More traditional national banks also offer a wider variety of products and allow you the convenience of mobile apps, ATMs, and brick-and-mortar branches. However, these institutions often offer very low yields, and you might end up paying monthly fees if you don’t meet certain requirements.
Marcus Bank is ideal for someone who wants access to a degree of liquidity, but without the low yields you see with traditional banks. For personal loans, Marcus can be a good choice for someone with good to excellent credit who wants to consolidate some of their remaining high-interest credit card debt. It can help you save money on repaying that debt, and maybe even get rid of it faster. The personal loans can also be used for other purposes, but it’s important to be careful when borrowing.
Marcus Bank by Goldman Sachs offers a great savings alternative. However, you’re trading convenience for a higher yield. You won’t be able to use a mobile app, deposit checks remotely, or access money easily. For certain borrowers, personal loans can be a great option.
Marcus offers few banking product options, so it’s important to understand the limitations before signing up.Topics: Banking