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Live Oak Bank Review 2024: Pros, Cons, Fees & $300 Bonus

Last Updated on April 3, 2023 by Harrison Brown
9/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #5 in category Business Banking
9Expert Score
Competitive & simple business banking

Live Oak Bank is known for its competitive business savings and checking products, which offer some of the highest interest rates in the industry. The bank is also highly regarded for its excellent customer service, available seven days a week. This bank is great for online-only or cashless businesses since it has no physical locations. However, this bank is probably not for you if you need more complex lending products or value having physical branches.

Features
7.7
Fees
9.7
Customer Support
9.6
Pros
  • High-interest CDs
  • No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements
  • Free debit card
Cons
  • No physical locations
  • Limited loan &
  • lending options
  • Lower ATM limits than traditional banks

Bonus

$300 Sign-Up Bonus

$150 bonus: Complete qualifying activities for a new business checking account
$150 bonus: Complete qualifying activities for a new business savings account
We may get compensated for links clicked on this post.

Live Oak Bank is offering a bonus of up to $300 for new small business checking, and savings account customers who meet certain requirements.

For the savings account bonus, deposit at least $10,000 in new money by March 31, 2023, and maintain a balance of $10,000 or more for 90 days. For the checking account bonus, deposit at least $2,000 of new money and make 20 qualified transactions within 90 days of opening the account.

If you meet the qualifications, the $150 cash bonus will be deposited into your eligible account within 45 days of the end of the 90-day activity period. Remember that these offers are available only to new Live Oak Bank customers without bank accounts.

What is it?

What is Live Oak Bank?

Live Oak Bank is an online-only bank established in 2008 and headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The bank's primary offerings include savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), money market accounts, and lending services such as small business loans, commercial real estate loans, and USDA loans.

The bank's digital-only model offers higher interest rates and lower fees than traditional banks, making it an attractive option for individuals and small businesses seeking to maximize their savings.

Live Oak Bank is ideal for those who prefer a convenient online banking platform and higher-than-average interest rates on savings accounts and CDs. Its customer service is available seven days a week, making it a reliable option for those who value exceptional customer support.

The bank is also well-suited for small business owners needing financing options, as it offers various lending services.

Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons of Live Oak Bank

Pros
  • High-interest CDs: Get terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years with competitive rates
  • No monthly maintenance fees: No monthly fees or maintenance fees an all savings, checking, and CD accounts
  • High-interest: Get 4.00% APY on both the personal and business savings accounts, which is significantly above the national average
  • Free debit card: SmartWealthTrends has confirmed all business checking accounts offer a free debit card
Cons
  • No physical presence: There are no physical Live Oak Bank locations
  • Limited banking options: Compared to traditional banks, Live Oak Bank has few other banking options like credit monitoring, mortgages, etc.
  • Low ATM limits: You can only withdraw $1,000 every 24 hours from over 55,000+ Allpoint Network ATMs

Products & Features

Live Oak Bank Products and Features

Business Checking and Savings

Live Oak Bank's business checking and savings accounts offer competitive interest rates and convenient online banking capabilities. Business customers can manage their accounts remotely by accessing online bill pay and remote check deposits.

Small Business Loans

SBA

Live Oak Bank is a preferred SBA lender, which means they have the authority to make the final credit decision on SBA loans without going through the SBA for approval. They offer a range of SBA loan options, including 7(a) loans, 504 loans, and SBA Express loans, designed to help small businesses get the financing they need to grow and succeed.

USDA

Live Oak Bank is also a USDA Rural Development lender, offering USDA loans for businesses in eligible rural areas. These loans are designed to help rural businesses access the capital they need to start or expand their operations, with flexible terms and competitive rates.

Commercial Loans

Live Oak Bank offers a range of commercial loans to help small businesses finance their growth. These loans include business term loans, business lines of credit, equipment financing, owner-occupied commercial real estate loans, and acquisition financing. Live Oak Bank works with each borrower to determine the best loan option for their business needs.

Personal Savings Account

Live Oak Bank's savings accounts offer some of the highest interest rates in the industry, making them an excellent option for those looking to maximize their savings. These accounts have no fees or minimum balance requirements, and customers can easily manage them online or on the mobile app.

CDs

Live Oak Bank's CDs offer high-interest rates and flexible terms, ranging from six months to five years. There are no fees or minimum balance requirements for these accounts, making them an excellent choice for those seeking to earn a higher yield on their savings.

How to sign up

Sign up for Live Oak Bank

Total Time: 5 minutes

Visit the site

Visit the Live Oak Bank website and click “Open an Account.”

Choose account type

Choose the type of account you want to open and follow the instructions to complete the online application.

Add information

Provide personal information, including your name, address, and Social Security number.

Fund account

Fund your new account via electronic transfer, mobile deposit, or check by mail.

Wait for approval

Wait for your account to be approved. This usually takes a few business days.

Use account

Once your account is approved, you can manage it online via the Live Oak Bank website or mobile app.

It's worth noting that Live Oak Bank requires customers to be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the United States to open an account.

The bank may require additional documentation to verify your identity during your application.

Security & App

Live Oak Bank Security and Mobile App

Mobile App: Live Oak Bank's mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices. It provides access to account information, bill pay, remote check deposit, and the ability to transfer funds between accounts. The app is user-friendly and offers a convenient way for customers to manage their accounts on the go.

Security: Live Oak Bank's mobile app and online banking platform are secure, with two-factor authentication and other security features to protect customer information. The bank also offers fraud detection and resolution services to protect customers' accounts.

Online Banking: Live Oak Bank's online banking platform provides customers access to their accounts 24/7. It offers features such as bill pay, remote check deposit, and the ability to transfer funds between accounts. Additionally, customers can view account balances and transaction history and sign up for e-statements.

Compare

Live Oak Bank Vs. the Competition

Pros
Cons
Bluevine Logo
Bluevine
SIGN UP
Pros
2.0% APY on the first $250,000
No monthly fees or minimum opening deposit
Unlimited fee-free transactions
Cons
Out-of-network ATM fees can be high
No physical locations
Cash deposits have a $4.95 per-time charge
Grasshopper Bank Logo
Grasshopper Bank
SIGN UP
Pros
Earn unlimited 2.25% APY on all deposits
Earn 1% cashback with its debit card
Unlimited fee-free transactions
Cons
No 24/7 live support
No cash deposits or check ordering
$100 minimum opening deposit
Relay Bank
Relay Bank
SIGN UP
Pros
No monthly fees
No account minimums
Major accounting& payroll integrations
Cons
No lending features, cash deposits, or check ordering
Does not offer APY on the business account
No 24/7 live support

Online-only business bank, Bluevine, provides competitive loan services and business checking accounts to small and mid-sized businesses. With unlimited transactions, no monthly fees, and interest on balances up to $100,000, Bluevine is a great option for new and mid-sized business owners.  Moreover, the bank offers automatic invoice generation, flexible lines of credit, and small-company financing. Unfortunately, the bank's annual percentage yield (APY) is as appealing as Live Oak Bank's.

For independent contractors and freelancers, Lili is a great online-only bank. Lili offers a free checking account, Visa debit card, and tax tools to help contractors and freelancers. A portion of each customer's salary is automatically saved via Lili's savings function, including bill payment and mobile check deposit. Lili does not, however, provide loan services or high-yield savings accounts.

Many startups and small enterprises use Grasshopper Bank. The bank provides checking and savings accounts, loan services, and online tools for managing cash flow. The checking accounts at Grasshopper Bank pay interest on balances, and there are no fees or minimum balance restrictions. The bank has a smaller physical presence than Live Oak Bank, and its savings account interest rates are lower. However, it does offer a cash back debit card and more flexible loan options.

Bottom Line

Should you use Live Oak Bank?

Live Oak Bank is an excellent choice for business owners seeking a user-friendly online banking experience with a competitive personal and business online savings account.

The bank's savings accounts and CDs offer some of the most competitive rates in the industry, with no fees or minimum balance requirements. Additionally, its digital banking platform provides convenient features such as online bill pay and remote check deposit, and its customer support is available seven days a week.

While Live Oak Bank has a limited physical presence and some mixed reviews of its mobile app, it remains a solid option for businesses seeking to maximize their savings while enjoying the convenience of online banking.

Live Oak Bank offers an easy-to-understand online banking experience with competitive interest rates and exceptional customer service.

It's a reliable choice for businesses looking for a new business bank account that doesn't need all the fancy bells and whistles traditional banks usually offer. 

FAQ

Live Oak Bank FAQ

Is Live Oak Bank a legitimate bank?

Yes, Live Oak Bank is a legitimate FDIC-insured bank, ensuring that deposits are protected up to the legal limit.

Does Live Oak Bank offer business checking accounts?

Live Oak Bank offers business checking accounts with no fees and minimum balance requirements.

Are there any fees for opening or maintaining an account with Live Oak Bank?

There are no fees for opening or maintaining an account with Live Oak Bank.

What is the minimum balance requirement for Live Oak Bank's savings accounts and CDs?

Live Oak Bank's savings accounts and CDs have no minimum balance requirements.

Can I access my Live Oak Bank account from my mobile device?

Yes, Live Oak Bank offers a mobile app for iOS and Android devices, allowing customers to manage their accounts from their mobile devices.

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