EverBank Yield Pledge Money Market / FreeNet Checking Review, Part 1: Application Process

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My wife recently applied for an EverBank Yield Pledge Money Market account for their introductory rate. Everbank also “pledges” to stay amongst the top 5% of competitive banks, and I have seen that rate has indeed stayed competitive to other online banks for the last couple of years. (WaMu is now down to 2.25% APY, ahem…)

Currently, the promo rate is 1.10% for 6 months, and the standard rate after that is 0.86% APY. (1.10% guaranteed for 6 months is still better than any 6-month CD out there.) The application process is a lot different now than when I applied for myself a year or so ago, so I’ll start with reviewing that.

Background and Promotion Rules
Everbank always offers a 6-month introductory promo rate to both their FreeNet Checking and Yield Pledge Money Market accounts. The rule for these promotions is that you can only get one 6-month bonus period per person (Social Security number), and that you can get them at the same time, but not one after the other. As you might have guessed, one way around this is for couples to open separate accounts at least 6 months apart.

So if you opened both the FreeNet Checking and Yield Pledge Savings account on November 1st, you can get the promo rate for both ($100,000 total balance) for 3 months. If you open up the Yield Pledge a month later, you’ll only get the promo rate on that account for 2 months.

Step 1: Personal Information
The standard info is requested on the first part of the application – address, SSN, and also employer info.

Step 2: Identity Verification – No Hard Pull
In the past, Everbank has done a hard credit check when taking applications. However, it appears that they no longer do this. For one, my wife did it and she has a credit monitoring service which alerts her of such activity – no alerts from Everbank.

The website itself is a bit confusing on the subject, stating the following:

What kind of inquiry does EverBank obtain and how will it affect my credit score?
EverBank obtains a credit inquiry for the purposes of opening an account. While such an inquiry will show on your credit report, it’s coded differently than an inquiry for a loan and would have less of an impact on your credit score.

I personally interpreted this as a soft pull, but I also called to confirm. The customer service rep stated that they no longer do a “full credit check” but only confirm ID.

This is finally supported by the fact that they now ask the real-time Equifax ID Check questions during your application, which are based on data from your credit report. Things like names of streets you’ve lived at, where you hold mortgages, and previous employers. Noneof the banks that I’ve had do this have done a hard pull.

Step 3: Funding
Finally, we arrive at the funding ($1,500 minimum). In the past, you had to wait for a welcome package and send in a physical check along with a physical signature and other paperwork. Now, as long as your initial deposit is under $25,000 you can fund online using routing and account numbers. From the website:

ACH funding is available for personal Checking, Money Market, and Asset Manager Service cash management accounts. You can fund just the minimum opening deposit or any amount up to a total of $25,000 per day. For funding more than $25,000, you’ll want to open now with $25,000 and send a check or wire for the additional amount.

For the ACH funding source account, you can use any account that supports check writing. You can verify ownership of your source account in 3 days through a small deposit and withdrawal.

You can also choose to activate the Checkwriting option here (3 per month).

After you enter these details you can go ahead an log into the Everbank website and poke around, although it takes a few days for the initial deposit to arrive. All in all, the application process is much improved by being completely online with no paperwork, with apparently no hard pull.

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  1. Financial Fellow says:

    Thanks for the info on Everbank. I’ve been hearing more and more about them – articles online and in print. I believe they also offer foreign currencies…if that’s your bag. Now, if we can only get the fed to raise interest rates… : )

  2. I recently applied for a CD with two online banks offering great rates. I was turned down by both banks, which was unbelievable to me. They don’t want my money??!! The problem was that I’d just moved, and the credit bureaus had not caught up with me yet. I even faxed a copy of a current utility bill with my new address to one bank, but was still rejected. I’m not sure what to do at this point except keep my money where it is and wait to see when the credit bureaus will catch on to my new address.

  3. yea couples opening two accounts 3 months apart was the first thing i thought of, but i think everbank also thought of this…

    “This bonus rate and New Account First-Year APYs are available to first-time EverBank account holders only and is limited to one account per household.?

  4. I signed up for the everbank free checking account about a year ago, and I couldnt be more happy. Their customer service is AMAZING-there is never any wait time whatsoever to talk with a representative and they are very friendly. Ease of using the online system is great, it is great to be able to link as many external accounts as possible. They also charge any more than the 1% visa rate for foreign currencies on their debit card.

    Just to let you know though, when I signed up, they did do a hard pull. Just to let you know, the pull was made on 10/09/07 through Experian as a “Banking” transaction.

    I wish you all the best with everbank, I have loved it. Even though the rates are slightly lower (than say dollarsavingsdirect or wamu during the high period), i have left a fair amount in everbank due to ease of access and customer service benfits.

  5. You said for amounts under 25,000, you can fund the account using routing and account numbers. For instance, if you are funding with money that is currently in a basic checking account at BofA, would you end up having to pay a 3 dollar fee for transferring money out of your original checking account?

  6. I didn’t realize Wamu’s rate had dropped so much. Will be sucking my money out this week and sending over to a newly opened GMAC Online savings account (currently 3.75%).

  7. ThePessimist says:

    Everbank is nice because, unlike most online banks, it allows custodial accounts for minors. I’m in the process of transferring my daughter’s money from Capital One, whose rate has plummeted. I don’t know why so many online banks don’t allow custodial accounts – it’s not that hard!

  8. The rates for everbank would good once, they are bad now. I had an account with them for 2 years when there rates were good. I don’t chance rates, especially with my checking account, so I look at long term rates and right now they offer 2.01% for less than 10k and 2.11% for accounts between 10k and 25k.

    I’ve switched to salemfivedirect, which offers 2.75% on anything under 50k.
    Since I’ve used both accounts for years, I do prefer salemfivedirect’s better rate, but salemfivedirect is missing ACH transfers. You can do pulls and pushes from other banks, which is what I do, but I would prefer to have a checking account that has better ACH.

    i’m enjoying a 0.74% higher intrest rate. The software on both sites is identical, in fact if you have firefox open with tabs it will start to get confused which website your actually in, since I’ve been logged into both at the sametime. The last website that you logged into, will take over for both tabs.

  9. i think i should mention one more thing here, your local credit union are often the best place to start. most credit unions often have better rates than commercial banks. besides, they have branch office you can walk into and talk to a live person if you need to.
    not only can you get better rate when you need to invest, you can also get better rate when you borrow as well.

  10. i tried to open a yieldplus mm account, but in the funding section, it is not offering ACH option anymore, but only showing wire/check options.

  11. SavingEverything says:

    With the EverBank’s FreeNet Checking, make sure you save your ATM receipts because you need them to get reimbursed the ATM-owner fees; (i forgot whether they refund the full amount of my 2 ATM uses (one ATM fee of $3.00, the other $2.50); or, whether they max reimbursement to 1.50/atm receipt upto the $6 per month ATM reimburse max). I get confused between EverBank Checking and GMAC MoneyMarket accounts.

  12. I’ve used Everbank for the past two years and I love the service, although I have one complaint: All my other accounts allow download from Quicken which is really convenient but with Everbank, I have to login to the website to download to Quicken. I would really love for them to support downloads within Quicken.

  13. really good informative site.
    thanks for the idea.
    i tried to open a yieldplus mm account, but in the funding section, it is not offering ACH option anymore, but only showing wire/check options.
    but i will keep trying.

  14. I am thinking about moving my WAMU saving/checking to EverBank. The balance is about 80K. Any suggestion on whether to go with one checking account or two accounts, one checking and one money market? I have been trasferring money from my saving to checking as needed, so I wonder if it’s eaiser with just one checking albeit the lower interest rate.

  15. I read this blog before applying for an EverBank Money Market. Your blog claims that you do not need to mail in your signature and payment check. However, I just received an e-mail from EverBank telling me that that is exactly what I have to do now, so all the ACH choice and routing/account numbers I thought I selected were meaningless. This is not a good beginning, and I am going to call to see if it will go any further.

  16. I have sent in my initial deposit via check to Everbank, as I also noticed there was no ACH option anymore. I did see that there is a separate application .pdf on the website that allows one to setup ACH transfer, so I am hoping that upon account approval, I can authorize those types of transfers. It would seem very silly for them to remove this option completely.

  17. Nice but…

    In any month that your average monthly balance falls below $1,500, a $4.95 monthly fee applies

  18. @adog: That fee is for bill pay. So, if you use bill pay and your account falls below $1500 then you would be charged $4.95 otherwise there is no monthly fee FreeNet Checking.

  19. Quick update: My account was funded at Everbank (with 8 hours to spare on their 4% promo), and ACH transfers can be readily setup after initial funding with a snail mail check.

  20. Can I close the account after 3 months intro rate? Any penalty?

  21. As of June 1st, the monthly minimum balance must be above $5,000 (previously $1,500) to avoid the $8.95 maintenance fee. This is rather obnoxious in my opinion. I’ve been generally pleased with them, minimum balance increase notwithstanding, but I’m switching my MMA into a FreeNet checking (sans BillPay) to avoid the charge.

  22. Damn it, it turned out to be a hard pull.

  23. Opened at Everbank. Very friendly. Did do a hard pull. Yes, they would not accept my account or money until they had the paper “signature card” which I was required to snail mail to New York and I suspect they then sent it to Florida because they tell me it took 7 days to get it. (!!!)Once they had my money (confirmed by phone), they waited another 8 days before they deposited it to “perform a background check”. So who earned the interest on my money for that 9 days??? They say I don’t get it because they had not accepted me as a customer until the credit report and background information was complete. The end result of not getting interest on money for the total 15 days of time results in an effective yield for that 3 months of a half a percent less than they promised. In other words, dealing with a local bank would have been just as profitable due to not receiving interest on my money they had in their possession.

  24. I just opened a Yield Pledge Money Market account online and I was not allowed to do a ACH transfer. My 2 options were Check or Wire transfer and I need to send in a signature package. This will definitely add days to the wait process for this account.

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