The Balance Review Process
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive reviews of products that affect your finances.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our reviews are always impartial. No one can influence which products we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The data we collect and our editorial expertise determine the list of products you see in our roundups and the reviews you read—that’s it.
When we review a product—whether that’s a bank account, a loan company, or a mobile app—you’re the first thing on our minds: Does this product make your life better? How much will it cost you? Is it easy to understand? The answers to these questions drive our recommendations.
Our opinions are our own. What we say about a particular product is not reviewed or approved by any partner we work with. To put it simply, we recommend products we would use ourselves.
We do receive compensation from partner links in our content, but this compensation never affects our recommendations, the products we review, or where products appear in our reviews. Keep in mind we are unable to consider every possible product available to you. While we work hard to review a thorough sampling of products on the market and make recommendations regardless of any advertising relationships, we’re human, and we can’t cover everything.
We receive compensation for the following products or from the following partners:
|Acorns - Invest Spare Change||Ally Invest||Avant||Avant|
|Axos Bank||BBVA||Blooom CPL||Blooom CPL|
|Capital Bank||CardRatings.com||Checks In The Mail||Checks In The Mail|
|CIT Bank||Citi||CommonBond||Credit Karma New Members|
|Credit Karma New Members||Credit Karma Tax||Earnest||Ellevest Affiliate Program|
|Ellevest Affiliate Program||eToro.com||Experian.com||Green Dot Bank|
|Green Dot Bank||H&R Block||Huntington National Bank||Intuit Small Business - QuickBooks, GoPayment, Payroll|
|Intuit Small Business - QuickBooks, GoPayment, Payroll||Jackson Hewitt||Ladder||Ladder Life|
|Ladder Life||LendingClub - Borrower||LendingClub - SMB||LendingClub Auto Refinance|
|SoFi||Stash||TD Bank||The Hartford AARP Auto Insurance|
|The Hartford AARP Auto Insurance||TransUnion||Upstart Personal Loans||USAA|
|USAA||Wealthsimple||American Express (Savings)||eHealth|
The Balance editorial team has decades of experience researching and writing about all things personal finance. We’re consumers, too, so we know how important it is to have trustworthy resources when making decisions. That’s why we’re committed to getting the facts right and providing clear explanations of how things work. Meet some of our key team members:
Hilarey Gould is the editorial director of The Balance. During her 10+ years in the digital media space, she's developed a passion for economics, saving, investing, credit card perks, mortgage rates, and more. Hilarey began her career at TripAdvisor, and has since held full-time and freelance roles at a variety of media companies including realtor.com, Bankrate, and SmartAsset. Hilarey has a master's in journalism from the University of Missouri, and a bachelor's in journalism and professional writing from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). She also works as an adjunct professor at TCNJ, teaching social media strategies to journalism students.
Sheri has more than 20 years in the investing and finance space. She previously worked as a financial journalist at The Bond Buyer and Prospect News, where she covered everything from munis to stocks to structured finance. When she was editor-in-chief for Finder.com's share trading and investing team, Sheri developed and executed content strategies to educate everyday people about smart investing, saving, and money management strategies to help them make better financial decisions. She is The Balance's associate editorial director of financial product reviews.
Yasmin Ghahremani is an Associate Editorial Director at The Balance, where she oversees educational content about consumer financial products, ranging from credit cards to life insurance. She joined the team in April 2019, bringing seven years of experience educating consumers about personal finance. She was previously a managing editor at CreditCards.com and Wise Bread, and a contract editor at LendingTree.
Yasmin has also had an extensive international career covering business, technology, and the environment for broadcast and print outlets, including CNN, CNBC, and Asiaweek magazine. She has a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University.
Mrinalini is the senior investing editor at The Balance, with 10+ years of financial journalism experience across two continents and different media. She is passionate about creating comprehensible and usable financial content. She has previously worked with organizations such as Financial Times, Investopedia, Forbes and CNBC TV18. Mrinalini holds a master’s in business and economic reporting from New York University and a bachelor’s with honors in economics from the University of Delhi, India.
Meredith Mangan is a senior editor for The Balance, focusing on insurance product reviews. She brings to the job 15 years of experience in finance, media, and financial markets. Meredith spent five years as the managing editor for Money Crashers; prior to that, she was a licensed insurance agent and financial advisor.
Meredith enjoys unravelling complex topics and conveying them in meaningful ways for readers. She holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from New College of Florida.
Lars Peterson joined The Balance in 2019. Lars's primary areas of focus are credit cards, banking, mortgages, and other financial products and services, with the goal of helping consumers make the most of these offerings, while avoiding pitfalls or catches. With more than 10 years experience as a writer and editor in personal finance and small business, Lars has written and edited for Wise Bread, US News, and Amex OPENForum, among others. His 20+ years as an editor and writer have included roles in book publishing, marketing, technical writing, and travel.
Lars earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in English, both from California State University, Long Beach.
Michael is the Senior Investing and Trading Platforms Editor at The Balance, where he is in charge of covering and building the company’s reviews of online brokers, robo advisors, cryptocurrency wallets, and forex exchanges. He has 20 years’ mutual fund, macro market research, institutional trading desk, and trading education experience. Michael is also a chartered member and Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the industry-leading Chartered Market Technicians (CMT) Association.
Marisa is the Content Integrity and Compliance Manager at The Balance. In addition to making sure all The Balance documents are in compliance, another key function of Marisa’s role is running all articles through a routine and rigorous fact-checking process, so we can feel confident we’re publishing the most accurate content.
Marisa kickstarted her compliance career at CreditCards.com after moving over from the oil and gas contract management industry. While at CreditCards.com, she used her expertise to bring its network of over 100 financial bloggers into compliance by keeping a pulse on the quickly changing industry regulations, attending industry-specific training programs and unifying each blogger's editorial goals with compliance requirements. She also helped oversee the Chase, Wells Fargo, and internal affiliate programs monitoring their network of hundreds of publishers.
Hannah leads a team of researchers who provide data-driven recommendations on financial services, and oversees product research and consumer research on investing and trading, cryptocurrency, and insurance.
Prior to joining the The Balance team, Hannah served as a lead researcher for Fortune 500 companies and multinational biotech companies including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Takeda, where she studied user behaviors using eye-tracking, spatial tracking, and force sensors. Her experience leading rigorous studies for FDA reviews shaped her standard of research integrity which guides her work at The Balance.
In her spare time, she enjoys playing the keyboard and reading nonfiction.
It’s simple: We’re here to help you make smart financial decisions. There are so many options to consider when opening a savings account or electing an insurance policy, and we want you to feel confident when you make those choices.
We’re obsessed with staying on top of the latest developments in the personal finance world and keeping you up to speed on them, too. When we’re deciding what to review or rounding up the best offers out there, we rigorously research the market, what people are looking for, and what makes an outstanding product.
We spend days—sometimes months—collecting all this information. Then, using that data and our expertise, we set clear, consistent evaluation criteria for each product we review.
But once we publish an article, we don’t forget about it. Our team is relentless when it comes to keeping our recommendations fresh, accurate, and helpful. Even so, we encourage you to carefully read the fine print before buying or applying for any product.
Yes, making the right financial decision often takes hours of diligent research. But we love doing it, which means you don’t have to.