Home Authors Anna Serio
Anna Serio

Anna Serio , CCLO

Editor

Anna Serio is 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

63 articles written by this author

8 loans like NetCredit

These sites like NetCredit offer personal loans online, accept bad credit and can improve your credit score.

Chelsey Hurst & Anna Serio 2 January 2024
8 loans like NetCredit

What To Do With Your Bank Account When Moving Abroad

Learn what to expect when you open a foreign bank account, what hurdles to overcome when using your Canadian bank account and other fees and limits to consider when living and working overseas.

Anna Serio 24 September 2023
What To Do With Your Bank Account When Moving Abroad

Loans like Check ‘n Go

Check 'n' Go is an established US-based provider that offers quick funding. Read this guide to Canadian alternatives that offer similar services.

Chelsey Hurst & Anna Serio 31 July 2023
Loans like Check ‘n Go

Compare business loan marketplaces

Too busy to look for lenders on your own? Consider a business loan marketplace and get connected with multiple offers.

Anna Serio 1 March 2022
Compare business loan marketplaces

Get a $20,000 business loan

Compare $20,000 small business loans in Canada. Apply online and get your funds in 1 to 3 days.

Anna Serio 4 February 2022
Get a $20,000 business loan

Get a $250k business loan

Compare $250,000 business loans in Canada and calculate your monthly payments.

Anna Serio 2 February 2022
Get a $250k business loan

Get a $600 loan

If you're looking for a $600 loan, you can get a payday loan or installment loan. People with bad credit can apply.

Leanne Escobal & Anna Serio 2 September 2021
Get a $600 loan

Compare short-term business loans

Compare business financing options for quick cashflow fixes.

Anna Serio 3 March 2021
Compare short-term business loans

Lenders’ right to offset clauses — explained

Why you might want to think twice before borrowing from your local bank or credit union.

Anna Serio 21 August 2020
Lenders’ right to offset clauses — explained

Car equity loans in Canada

Find out what an auto equity loan is, how it works and whether it's right for you. Learn how it's different from a title loan.

Anna Serio 10 August 2020
Car equity loans in Canada
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