Home Authors Anna Serio
Anna Serio

Anna Serio , CCLO

Editor

Anna Serio was a lead editor at Finder, specializing in consumer and business financing. A trusted lending expert and former certified commercial loan officer, Anna's written and edited more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. Her expertise and analysis on personal, student, business and car loans has been featured in publications like Business Insider, CNBC and Nasdaq, and has appeared on NBC and KADN. Anna holds an MA in Middle Eastern studies from the American University of Beirut and a BA in Creative Writing from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, CUNY.

Expertise

  • Personal, business, student and car loans
  • Building credit
  • Paying off debt

Experience

  • Earned Commercial Loan Officer certification in 2020
  • 2020 Expert Contributor in Finance from Best Company
  • 1,000+ expert bylines in personal and business finance
  • Featured on Business Insider, CNBC, U.S. News & World Report and other leading media
  • Interviewed key stakeholders in the lending industry, including Lendio Founder and CEO Brock Blake, LightStream Senior Vice President Todd Nelson and SoFi CEO Anthony Notto

Education

  • Master of Arts, Near and Middle Eastern Studies | American University of Beirut | 2013–2015
  • Bachelors of Arts, Creative Writing and Arabic | CUNY Macaulay Honors College, Hunter College | 2008–2012

Featured publications

Industry insights from Anna Serio

We asked Anna to flex her expertise by answering a few questions about how COVID-19 has changed personal and business lending.

The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates to combat inflation. What does this mean for people who need a personal or business loan?

First and foremost, rising interest rates means that you’ll pay more in interest and fees across the board. Personal and business loans are tied directly to the federal funds rate, so lenders will increase their rates within a few weeks of another rate increase announcement. However, certain loan amounts may be affected more than others, especially for consumers. When rates are low and the economy is stable, lenders often offer the lowest rates to the highest amounts available But when the economy is unstable, lenders may actually charge higher rates for larger loan amounts. There’s just too much of a risk that the borrower will default, which would be a big loss for the lender on those high-dollar loans. It’s also a lot more difficult to get a loan when rates are high. Lenders typically don’t charge more than 36% APR on personal loans, which is the legal limit in most states. So there’s only so much lenders can do to raise rates before a bad credit borrower simply isn’t worth the risk. Business and consumer lenders are raising credit score requirements and are scrutinizing income a lot more closely. If you have a credit score under 670 — what many lenders consider to be the minimum for good credit — you might want to consider other options.

Some companies have seen multiple rounds of layoffs recently. What can you do if you lose your job and you already have a loan?

Contacting your lender as soon as your financial situation changes is important, especially if you’ve lost income. Like with every relationship, communication is key. The sooner you let your lender know that you might miss a payment, the more flexible they will be. Many offer forbearance programs for about three months. And if you need to adjust your payments long-term you can also negotiate a longer repayment period to lower your monthly cost. But avoid using forbearance until you’re sure you’ll miss a payment. Interest continues to accrue during forbearance and many lenders add this to your loan once repayments start. So not only will you owe more, you’ll also be paying interest on a higher loan amount which leads to higher monthly payments. Lengthening your term will also increase the total cost of your loan, but it’s less costly than forbearance. Most consumer lenders allow you to make extra payments at no cost, so you can still pay off your loan ahead of time once you find another job (or source of income).

What about people who are struggling to cover costs due to inflation? Is a personal loan a good choice?

A personal loan can be if you have a big one-time expense that you can’t pay upfront — like say you’re the maid of honor in a wedding in Hawaii but you can’t pay for the plane ticket and the hotel and the dress out of pocket. Personal loans have lower interest rates than credit cards and the monthly payments force you to pay it down within a few years. However, even in those situations, a personal loan might not be a great idea if you work in an industry that has been affected by layoffs, such as tech. That’s because the fixed monthly payments are much less flexible than the minimum payments a credit card company charges. If you lose your job and miss a payment it’ll go on your credit report and follow you around for as long as seven years. Personal loans also aren’t designed to cover small, recurring expenses. So if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, something like a cash advance app might be a better choice for expenses you can’t put on a credit card. These payday loan alternatives can front you up to around $500 per paycheck with no financing charge. But cash advance apps for when you find yourself regularly coming up short. Many apps require you to pay for a subscription to access the advance — along with a slew of other financial wellness services. Subscription fees typically run from $1 to $9 a month. It’s still cheaper than a payday loan, but not worth the cost of a one-time advance.

Featured videos

Latest articles by Anna Serio

253 articles written by this author

What credit score is needed for a personal loan?

You need a personal loan credit score of at least 670 to get the best deal, but there are options for people with lower credit.

Anna Serio 11 January 2024
What credit score is needed for a personal loan?

What credit score do you need to get a business loan?

There's no fixed cutoff for your credit score to get a business loan, but your score could limit what types of financing you qualify for.

Anna Serio 11 January 2024
What credit score do you need to get a business loan?

Best personal loan lenders in June 2024

Need a loan to consolidate debts, make home improvements or an emergency? Apply for a personal loan online for free. Find loans for your credit score.

Anna Serio 17 February 2023
Best personal loan lenders in June 2024

BHG Money business loans review

BHG Money is a nonbank lender that offers investment, debt consolidation, startup and healthcare-related loans to licensed professionals. Borrow up to $250K with minimal requirements.

Anna Serio 12 September 2022
BHG Money business loans review

Best no-doc business loan providers

Skip the red tape and get your funds quickly with a paperless business loan. Find out what you need to apply online with top business lenders.

Anna Serio 18 August 2022
Best no-doc business loan providers

Best no-doc business loan providers

Skip the red tape and get your funds quickly with a paperless business loan. Find out what you need to apply online with top business lenders.

Anna Serio 16 August 2022
Best no-doc business loan providers

Best personal loan lenders in June 2024

Need a loan to consolidate debts, make home improvements or an emergency? Apply for a personal loan online for free. Find loans for your credit score.

Anna Serio 13 July 2022
Best personal loan lenders in June 2024

Compare personal loans with fast approval

Find a lender that can get you funds the same day you apply.

Anna Serio 16 March 2022
Compare personal loans with fast approval

Best Debt Consolidation Loans and Services

Compare services and weigh the risks before signing up.

Anna Serio 14 December 2021
Best Debt Consolidation Loans and Services

Dailypay cash advance app review

Dailypay can advance you up to 100% of your net pay — but it's only available to you if your employer signs up. And if any problems arise, customer service is lacking.

Anna Serio 8 November 2021
Dailypay cash advance app review
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