Have You Noticed Google Advisor?

I do a lot of reading in Google Reader. I have about 50 blogs I read consistently, so each morning I just scroll through all the interesting articles.

Recently, I’ve noticed one ad in particular: Google Advisor.

Of course, I got interested, so I clicked over, and what did I find? An amazingly useful personal finance tool. Google Advisor gives a list of rates for mortgages, credit cards, CDs, checking, and savings accounts based on your location and needs. It even gives contact information for lenders so you can start the process!

I’ve seen some aggregators in the past, but when Google creates something, I expect them to do it better than anyone else. And it looks like they’re close if not already there.

The credit card offers are cool because you can tailor the results to you! You can choose whether you want rewards or a good APR, whether you’re doing it for a balance transfer or to earn air miles. Don’t want annual fees? No problem! Just select the options you want and boom, the best credit card options for you to look at are right in front of you. And it’s very simple to apply for a credit card from their site.

The mortgage page is similar. Just enter the amount of your house, the size of your down payment and your approximate credit score and voila, all the information you could ever need is at your finger tips. Maybe it will help you pay mortgage off faster!

One thing it definitely leaves out are the high interest checking accounts. I did a test with Consumers Credit Union in Illinois. I know they offer 4.09% APY on their checking accounts, so I typed in their zip code, 60079, into the Google Advisor tool, and sadly, they still didn’t show up.

Credit unions definitely need to be added, but Google gets bonus points for having savings accounts. Entering the amount of money you want to put in an account not only shows the interest rate, but also includes minimums to open the account, any fees, and the amount of interest you’d earn in a year. Very cool.

Their CD tool is another good one, showing the interest rate, length of term, minimum to open, interest earned over the length of the CD, and any early withdrawal penalties.

One thing I’d definitely like to see on there is a student loan comparison tool. It may get a little complicated because of unsubsidized and subsidized loans and determining who qualifies without a lengthy process, but if anyone can do it, it’ll be Google.

Google Advisor is the ultimate comparison tool. I give it a thumbs up. Once they add in area specific checking accounts and some student loan pages, that will turn into a big thumbs up.

Readers, would you use Google Advisor? What other types of aggregate information would be useful? Check it out and tell me what you think!

12 Responses to Have You Noticed Google Advisor?

  1. Interesting. They seem to make money off of it in the same Mint does, I assume? That would explain why credit unions wouldn’t be included. Credit unions would be less likely to pay for the referrals Google creates through this program. Nicest interface I’ve seen to deliver this kind of information though.

    • Daniel says:

      @No Debt MBA, I’m not sure Google is in that business of referrals. A ‘pay to play’ list seems like a bad idea for any aggregator. Once one or two companies don’t want in, it ruins the whole system.

      • @Daniel,

        True, but there is a marked absence of their usual ad words campaigns on the site. They usually slap those on everything they roll out, right? Without those in place on the site I feel like they must be making money off of it from a different source. Referrals seemed the most likely. My guess is that they might get a cut or fee if you sign up for one of the listings by clicking through from their site? That might be true of some, but not all of the services and products they list.

        They say “Google is not currently being paid for these listings.” But that just means the listing themselves are not paid for, not that Google won’t be profiting from the decisions you might make.

        Of course I’m just theorizing here – could be they just haven’t implemented a strategy to monetize the site yet. You’re right that excluding major players or a large portion of the market would ruin the value of the tool.

        • Daniel says:

          @No Debt MBA, See Peter’s comment below, I guess you were right! Also, that wording sounds sneaky, I’m usually a big Google fan, but that’s playing dirty!

  2. I’ve heard about it but haven’t looked at it yet. Sounds like a combination of Mint and Bankrate.

  3. Peter says:

    Just FYI – Google IS accepting referrals and making money off of it, but only for mortgages currently. I’m sure they will be accepting referral cash for other banks/etc at some point though. They are a business after all, and I’m sure this will end up being another advertising and cash generating tool in their toolbox.

    • Daniel says:

      @Peter, Thanks for the info! I guess that’s why they shove the contact info in your face for that one only!

      I’m curious to see what happens if one bank doesn’t want to pay. Won’t Google’s tool lose a lot of validity if it’s not a true aggregator?

    • @Peter,

      Thanks for the info. It’ll be interesting to see how they take to roll out similar systems for the other categories.

  4. Emily says:

    What Google won’t come up with next…

  5. I did see that. I was very impressed when I saw the tool. It looks like something I wish I would have done myself but gathering all of that information would be way too much work for me. I think they did a nice job though.

  6. I just clicked over to their site and it does look pretty impressive. I’ll have to play around with their offers. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Cover Me says:

    Wow 4.09% on a checking account, I can’t imagine too many banks/credits offer that. Regarding Google Advisor, I just looked at it for the first time and it looks useful. Maybe they could add in some fixed Annuity rates.

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