Bright Money Review 2022 - Low-Cost Financial Planning
Bright Money is a fantastic low-cost app that helps people consolidate credit card debt while building and repairing their credit history — Bright Money also has some other features, including free financial planning help, investing guidance, and useful saving tools, but ultimately the main reason Bright Money is useful is for their credit line, debt consolidation, and overall credit-boosting benefits.
With that being said Bright Money isn’t the only app that offers these services, there’s others like Tally that offer similar services.
|💰 Fees & Pricing||Lower Than Most|
|💻 Interface & Useability||Simple & Easy|
|🛠 Support Quality||Just OK|
|🥇 Best For||People with $2000+ of Debt|
Ultimately we prefer Bright Money and think they’re better overall as from what we’ve heard and experienced they offer similarly low rates on debt/credit-card consoliation while charging a significantly lower monthly/yearly fee when compared to competitors like Tally.
Keep in mind the point of services like Bright Money isn’t to be a crutch or something to abuse for low-cost debt, but instead it’s meant to be a tool to get you out of high-interest credit card debt that’s burdening you, helping you to pay it off faster and more efficiently.
Compared to competitors (more on that later) Bright Money is around 70% cheaper, making Bright Money our #1 pick in the industry.
Table of Contents
Bright Money Unique Features:
Bright Money is a very unique app and nearly one of a kind — meaning most of their features are one-of-a-kind and cannot be found elsewhere. There’s now a couple apps that offer similar features to Bright Money — namely Tally which is also worth considering. With that being said here are some features that make Bright Money something special and unique — including some that are 100% exclusive to Bright Money that competitors like Tally don’t even offer currently.
Debt Consolidation & Low Interest Credit Line
While Bright Money markets it’s self as a tool to pay off credit card debt faster — and it helps doing this — it’s truly just a more user-friendly non-bureaucratic way to consolidate your existing high-interest debts into a low-interest fixed-rate debt that offers your savings and peace of mind.
From the surveys we’ve conducted and (our experience testing bright money) most people can save around 6% to 8% annually in interest by using bright money, with some rare cases saving more — to put this in perspective that means if you have $10,000 in credit card debt you would likely save $600 to $800 in interest charges alone per year using bright money, all while improving your credit score and having an easier time paying off your cards (only one payment).
Ease of Credit-card Payments
(Free) Personal Financial Planning & Guidance
While not everyone needs help with financial planning it’s definitely useful for people who aren’t familiar with how to get from where they are to where they want to be financially — especially when it comes to getting out of debt.
Bright Money has tools in the app, and has ‘experts’ who can discuss with you what your goals are, suggest goals if needed, and help you on the path to achieving the goals you set. Generally this looks like creating a plan to pay off all your debt (or credit-card debt at least) while building a savings fund for emergencies, with steps later on to begin investing once you’ve almost conquered all your high-interest debt.
Excellent Credit Boosting (over time)
I’d like to be very upfront here — what is marketed, that they boost your credit, is not very transparent. When you open a bright money account and begin to use the credit line your credit score likely won’t go up immediately, in fact it may even go down for a month or two.
However come that 3rd month and after, assuming you’ve been paying your debts off and are on track in reducing your credit card debt, your credit score will almost certainly be higher — not only from the repayment of debts, but because you have another acccount open (another lender who trusts and vouches for you), as well as a lower utilization percentage of your overall credit lines, all of which will help raise your credit score and credit worthiness.
Bright Money Biggest Pros & Cons:
Bright Money has quite a few unique features as we’ve covered above, but that’s not all the pros to Bright Money so we thought to make a quick bullet list to give you a summary of all the pros at a glance:
- Lowest Cost App for CC repayment
- Can Help Boost Your Credit Score
- Makes Credit Card Payments Easier
- Reduces Interest Fees (6%-8% on average)
- Free Financial Planning Advice
- Prevents Late-Payment Charges on Credit-cards
- Free 10-day Trial & Good Interface
Of course not everything is bright with bright money — there are some cons to the platform that we haven’t mentioned yet that make it not the ideal choice for some people who are trying to get out of debt:
- Only offers Credit-card Debt Consolidation (cannot use credit line to pay mortgage or car payments)
- Not very beneficial if you have <$2000 of Credit card debt in our opinion
- Not Ideal for people with VERY bad FICO credit score (less than 520)
- No desktop-only app
That’s really all the downsides or cons we can think of — to explain we do not believe Bright Money or similar apps like Tally are worth it for people with less than $2000 in credit card debt as it won’t save them much in terms of interest payments once you account for the monthly/yearly fees charged (covered below), although some people may still be interested in using Bright Money for the convenience/financial planning aspects of the app.
Bright Money also isn’t ideal for people with super low credit scores (FICO below 520) as while for most people it’ll lower their monthly payments and simplify their credit card repayments, for people with very low credit scores they generally will not get much better (sometimes even worse) interest rates from the survey(s) we conducted of Bright Money users. If you have a 580+ credit score then Bright Money seems to save on interest payments quite significantly most of the time.
Bright Money Pricing & Fees Overview:
Bright Money is by far the cheapest app or service of this type — if you do the yearly package (which is what is best for most people) it’s only $83.88 a year, which is less than a third of what competitors charge — while the semi-annual plan comes out to $53.94 or $107.88 per year and the monthly plan comes in at $179.88 per year, which is STILL cheaper than the competition (which generally charges $300~/year with no monthly packages).
We’d say it’s best to opt for the 6 month plan or the 12 month (yearly) plan due to the price savings, as well as if you are going to use Bright Money really you’ll need it for at least 6 months to 24 months, depending on your personal financial situation.
Bright Money Support Quality:
While most people don’t need to contact support issues arise and when they arise you want to be in good hands — because of this we wanted to test Bright Money’s support quality and we made up some nonsense problems, as well as just some questions (looking for advice) from them to see how their support team was.
The results personally were good — they responded quickly, gave sound advice, and moved to immediately resolve the made-up troubles we had — however with that being said there are some negative reports/reviews online claiming that they had actual bugs/errors with the platform and rated Bright Money poorly — however according to our study/survey of bright money users essentially none experienced any problems whatsoever with the platform, and the ones who did and contacted support were not only attended to promptly but were compensated in one form or another.
Overall we’d say Bright Money’s support is adequate and competent — after all they’re a legitimate company and have a dedicated support team.
Bright Money vs Competitors Comparison:
Bright Money only has a few competitors, and only one real one we’d say is worth considering currently — Meet Tally is that competitor that’s worth considering instead of Bright Money in our opinion. The only other real competitors are legacy financial companies that offer fixed-rate/term loans and require lots of paperwork.
Bright Money vs Tally
We’ve tried both Tally and Bright Money and overall while we’d say Tally offers a slightly better experience but it’s much more expensive so overall we’d say Bright Money is better for most people — especially if you want financial planning help that Bright Money offers but Tally doesn’t.
You can check out our review of Tally here — we used the same format as this post so you can compare them both easily — but to give a short rundown Tally is more expensive, but has a nicer interface and seems to offer slightly lower interest rates on average, however when accounting for the extra annual fees both Tally and Bright Money are more or less identical. Bright Money also offers financial planning help, while Tally is simply and only for paying off debts.
Our Experience Testing Bright Money:
When we tested Bright Money we didn’t have any isssues with the platform, as mentioned before their support-quality was fantastic when we tested it with fake made-up problems and overall the platform worked as expected for us. There’s not really much more to say about it than that — the platform worked as advertised and expected and all my credit cards linked up flawlessly and were paid automatically via the Bright Money credit line.
My main/only real gripe about Bright Money is once you begin to conquer your debt and they begin to suggest you save, and eventually invest, they do not help you to or advise you to begin saving for retirement in tax advantaged accounts or anything of the such — instead they just push a broad fund and typical allocation.
Bright Money Review FAQ's:
Below we’ll cover the FAQ’s we’ve been asked, or encountered, or even had asked ourself about Bright Money when we first were checking them out and as we tested them — If you have other questions feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can — and maybe even add our answer down below.
What Banks does Bright Work With?
Bright works with all the online banks we've tried and traditional big-name banks -- for example we tested them with both Chime and Current , as well as Aspirations, and a few traditional banks like Schwab and Chase and it worked flawlessly with all of them. The only banks Bright may not work with would be small community banks that lack online banking, or predatory credit card issuers that do not allow digital payments or communications.
Does Bright Money offer any sign-up bonus rewards?
Currently it does not seem like they do -- at times they offer a $25 bonus when signing up through a friend or family members referral link, however this isn't available at this time as far as we're aware -- however if you want to support our website you can sign up through this link -- when you do so, if you meet certain criteria, Bright Money may give us a small kickback/reward for sending you over to them.
Is Bright Money 100% Legit and Trustworthy?
Bright Money is a well-funded fintech startup with over 150 employees, is partnered with many quality insured banks, and has top-notch security features that are required amongst the fintech space -- there's no real risk in using Bright Money , your money is held in an insured bank account and other highly regulated entities and all information relating to you, such as your social security number, are either not stored at all after signing up or are heavily encrypted to prevent potential leaks.
How Does Bright Money Make Money?
Bright Money charges a small fee for using the platform and we'd assume they get a small kickback on loans/credit-line interest fees they charge you when using the credit line they offer -- their business model is simple, low-cost, and highly profitable.
Our overall Bright Money rating
Bright money is a great choice for folks with a few thousand dollars of credit card debt or more or folks who simply want to pay off credit cards more efficiently and improve their credit score.
If someone has more than $10,000 of credit card debts they need to pay off we’d encourage them to check out Tally+ as it can be slightly cheaper and better in cases of such large amounts of debt. You can read our review of Tally+ and the Tally App by clicking here.