Live Oak Bank Review 2022: Straightforward Banking with Few Features

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Good for Personal and Business Savings
Live Oak Bank Review
Good for Personal and Business Savings
Live Oak Bank Review
  • refinance rates icon inactive
    Competitive Interest Rates
  • mortgage calc icon inactive
    $2,500 Minimum CD Deposit
  • how to get a personal loan icon inactive
    No Monthly Fees
Overview:

Live Oak Bank is a no-frills online-only bank with competitive interest rates on its limited product suite of high-yield savings and traditional CDs for personal banking. It’s not as robust as some other banking options, and carries some account fees and minimums.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Mobile banking option
  • No monthly maintenance fees
Cons
  • Minimum deposit for CDs
  • Only savings and CD options for personal banking
  • Fewer accessibility options than other banks
  • Fees for some activities, like wire transfers and over-limit transactions

Additional Details

  • Online account and mobile app access
  • CDs have a minimum opening deposit of $2,500
  • 6 transaction limit per statement cycle for savings account ( per transaction after that)
  • Checking account, savings account, CD, and loan options for small business owners
  • No ATM or debit card access
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Live Oak Bank accounts are FDIC-insured

Editorial Independence

We analyze and review banks without influence of partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.

Live Oak Bank Full Review

Live Oak Bank doesn’t have the widest range of banking options, but it could work for savers looking to add a high-yield savings account or CD to their overall portfolio.

Savings Accounts

Live Oak Bank’s high-yield savings account is consistently among the top rates offered today, by NextAdvisor’s analysis. 

To open the account, you’ll just need to provide personal information, which includes your name and address, among other info. You’ll also need to provide external bank account information so you can transfer funds over to the new account. There are no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements, but you may incur a dormant account fee if you have less than $10.01 in your account and no activity for 24 months.

You can deposit money into your account via ACH transfer, mobile check deposit using the Live Oak app, mailed check, or by wire transfer (if you transfer money out using a wire transfer, you’ll play a $19 outgoing wire fee). 

Certificates of Deposit

There are a few different CD terms you can open with Live Oak: 6 months, 1 year, 18 months, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, and 5 years. Unlike some other banks, these CDs only come as traditional CD accounts (meaning there are no options for different CD types, like no penalty or bump up).

Live Oak CDs have no monthly fees, but you’ll need $2,500 to open your account. You can transfer the money from another bank account using ACH transfer.

If you withdraw from your CD before maturity, the penalty is dependent on the term. You’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest on CDs shorter than 24 months, and 180 days’ interest on CDs with terms longer than 24 months.

Other Products

Beyond savings accounts and CDs, Live Oak Bank’s other products are largely geared toward small business owners. You can open a small business loan with the bank, and explore business banking options. That includes a small business checking account, savings account, and different CDs.

Customer Experience

Live Oak Bank is a small financial institution — it ranks 144th in the nation by assets, according to the FDIC. As a result, it’s not reviewed among a few of the sites we use to determine customer satisfaction, including TrustPilot and J.D. Power. However, its mobile app receives middling reviews among users, with 3.7 on the Google Play store and just 2.9 on the Apple app store.

When it comes to customer service, Live Oak Bank has a few options for accessing help with your account — but it does lack some options we commonly see among other banks. You can reach out to Live Oak by phone or mail. Live Oak also has an FAQ support site, and an open request form for user questions. The bank does have a Twitter account, though we didn’t see it being used for customer help, and there is no email address contact. 

Accessibility

Live Oak Bank does offer some accessibility resources for customers — there’s an accessibility statement on its website with an email address and phone number for suggestions and questions. However, it doesn’t have the same range of features and transparency as some other banks we’ve reviewed.

Is Live Oak Bank Right for You?

Live Oak Bank is a serviceable option if you’re looking for straightforward online banking and an interest rate that will keep up with the competition. 

Savers can get competitive rates with no fees, but it doesn’t have the broadest offerings, the most advanced features, or even the highest interest rate out there. And there are some fees and minimums you can avoid elsewhere, including the $10 fee after making more than 6 transactions per statement cycle and the $2,500 minimum CD deposit.

Live Oak is also not the bank for you if you’re looking for full-service banking with a single financial institution. Its products are very limited, and you won’t have ATM access or other necessities for making this your sole banking option. However, if you’re looking for a bank with a good high-yield savings account you can use to store your emergency fund or other savings, this bank could make a simple addition to your portfolio.

Live Oak Bank FAQ

Is Live Oak Bank FDIC-insured?

Yes, Live Oak is an FDIC-insured bank.

Are online banks safe to use?

As long as you choose an FDIC-insured bank of NCUA-insured credit union, your money is safe in an online bank. Like any other deposit account, your balance is not at risk of volatile market conditions, and insurance helps protect your money against bank failure (typically up to $250,000 per account type).

What kind of bank is Live Oak Bank?

Live Oak Bank is an online bank that offers savings accounts and CDs with competitive interest rates, as well as loans and more for small business owners.