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.

Advertiser Disclosure

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
loanDepot loanDepot Payoff PolicyGenius
PolicyGenius Quicken Loans Robinhood SoFi
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
eHealth Earnest

Our Team

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
Hilarey Gould
Editorial Director, The Balance

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.

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head shot of yasmin ghahremani
Yasmin Ghahremani
Associate Editorial Director, Financial Products & Services

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.

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mrinalini krishna
Mrinalini Krishna
Senior Investing Editor

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. 

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Meredith Mangan
Meredith Mangan
Senior Editor, Insurance Reviews

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.

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A photograph shows Lars Peterson.
Lars Peterson
Senior Editor

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.

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Michael Sacchitello
Michael Sacchitello
Senior Editor, Investing and Trading Platforms Reviews

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.

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Marisa Figat
Marisa Figat
Content Integrity and Compliance Manager

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. 

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Brendan Harkness
Brendan Harkness
Associate Finance Editor, Performance Marketing

Brendan has been writing and editing content for nearly a decade, with a recent focus on finance, credit cards, and banking. As an associate editor for The Balance, he edits and fact-checks reviews of financial products and services.

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Hannah Kang
Hannah Kang
Research Manager, Product Reviews

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. 


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Our Mission

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.

Our Process

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.

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