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Editorial standards for personal finance

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Personal Finance Insider is part of Insider’s service journalism department and is led by a team of experienced journalists whose mission is to help smart people make the best decisions with their money.

We understand that the “best” is often subjective. Therefore, in addition to highlighting the advantages of a product or financial account, we also highlight its limitations. We spend hours comparing and contrasting the features and fine print of various products so you don’t have to.

Personal Finance Insider has affiliate partnerships with companies that provide financial products and services. However, the team is editorially independent. Find out how these partnerships work and our editorial process below.

How our business partnerships work

No, Personal Finance Insider does not write sponsored content. Advertisers do not have the ability to demand coverage, control what is said, or pay us for articles. We don’t have to let them know when we write about their products, they don’t see the post until it’s published, and they can’t make changes to the post after the fact.

We make changes only if there are factual inaccuracies, potentially misleading statements, or errors. Like all Insiders, Personal Finance Insider always strives to be specific and clear to our readers.

So how are we paid?

Personal Finance Insider uses affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing means that when we mention a product or service that we have a partnership with, we link to that product or service using a special tracking link that lets our partner know that the reader comes from our site. If that reader decides to buy or request something from our partner, the partner pays Personal Finance Insider a small amount. The exact conditions vary depending on the partner. These partnerships add no additional cost to the reader.

We use affiliate marketing to support our business. The income we earn from stories allows us, among other things, to hire more journalists.

In this way, affiliate marketing is similar to other types of advertising that you may see on the web, such as display ads.

Affiliate marketing only works if we recommend products that our readers like and use. Since we don’t get paid to write about brands, and we don’t get paid just for the clicks we send them, this business model is closely tied to our team’s mission: to help readers make the best decisions. .

How do we decide what to write?

Personal Finance Insider is editorial independent. This means that our copywriters and editors have very little visibility and no control over our business partnerships. It also means that our sales team has no control over what our copywriters and editors choose to cover. Like the rest of Insider’s expansive newsroom, we write, approve, and award articles based on what will provide the most value to our readers.

We ask ourselves :

  • Is it useful?
  • Have our readers shown interest in this topic?
  • Does it highlight an under-covered perspective?
  • Is this an important story to tell?

Then, once our story is ready, we send it to the sales team, who decides if there are any partnerships that make sense for that story. Sometimes there is, and sometimes there is not. If there are any partnerships that make sense and could be of use to the reader, for example, a link to a credit card we are reviewing or a link to get

car insurance
quotes on an article on auto insurance – the sales team will add them. Our sales team has full control over the partnerships we have and how we use them.

Why do we have disclosures about our stories?

When you see a disclosure on a story, it means there are affiliate links. It does not indicate sponsored content, nor does it change the story.

We include disclosures because we are committed to being transparent and clear with our readers about how we make money, and so are our partners. In fact, we have an internal team dedicated to making sure we follow financial compliance regulations, so that our readers always get the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion

Personal Finance Insider knows that money isn’t just about the numbers in your bank account. In the United States, access to financial products and services is not the same for everyone, and neither is the bottom line. Wealth is more than math – it comes down to factors beyond our control, including, but not limited to, the uneven impacts of generational wealth, racism in hiring and lending practices, l homophobia, flawed credit scoring systems and the red line.

We are committed to representing and serving as many people as possible, whether it’s interviewing experts from under-represented groups in financial matters, providing resources to deal with specific financial situations, recognizing the difference in how diverse communities can access wealth or consider products and services created by and for specific communities.

As part of Insider’s Service Journalism division, our team members are part of an internal DCI working group that actively works to make our internal environment and coverage more fair and inclusive. Personal Finance Insider operates with a set of diversity, equity and inclusion standards that are regularly reviewed and updated.

These standards include:

  • Be aware of how our sources and our writers are represented in our writings.
  • Don’t make assumptions about anyone’s identity.
  • When evaluating products for reviews or guides, taking into account the ethics of the brand as well as its products.
  • Fair hiring and contracting practices that amplify the voices of historically marginalized communities and ensure that the best person for the job covers issues affecting their communities.

How we rate the products

On many of our articles, you’ll notice an editor’s rating for a product. This rating is between zero and five stars, and we have different criteria to rate different products. Below, find more details on our methodology for our editor’s ratings. Additionally, you will find a section in most of our product listings that explains in more detail how we made our selection.

We do our best to include the most widely available options in our research process, but we cannot guarantee that we have considered all products and services. If you think there is a good product or service that we haven’t covered, please let us know at [email protected]

How we rate credit cards

  • Welcome bonus
  • Annual subscription
  • Earn rewards
  • Use of rewards
  • Advantages

How we value investment products

  • Costs
  • Selection of investments (including availability of account type)
  • Navigability of the platform (including if there is mobile trading)
  • Customer service
  • Reliability (using the ratings of the Better Business Bureau if applicable)
  • Educational / research resources

How we value chequing accounts

  • Minimum deposit
  • Monthly fee
  • Overdraft protection options
  • ATM network / fees
  • Customer service
  • Mobile app
  • Ethics (if there has been a scandal in the last 3 years; if the company is actively anti-racist, anti-sexist)

How we value money market accounts

  • Interest rate
  • Access to your money
  • Minimum deposit
  • Monthly fee
  • Customer service
  • Mobile app
  • Ethics (if there has been a scandal in the last 3 years; if the company is actively anti-racist, anti-sexist)
  • ATM network / fees

How we value certificates of deposit

  • Interest rate
  • Minimum deposit
  • Early withdrawal penalties (not taken into account for CDs without penalty)
  • Variety of futures options (only taken into account for CD with regular term)
  • Customer service
  • Mobile app
  • Ethics (if there has been a scandal in the last 3 years; if the company is actively anti-racist, anti-sexist)

How we value savings accounts

  • Interest rate
  • Minimum deposit
  • Monthly fee
  • Customer service
  • Mobile app
  • Ethics (if there has been a scandal in the last 3 years; if the company is actively anti-racist, anti-sexist)

How we rate auto insurance

  • How a company handles common coverage scenarios (teenage drivers, driver with low credit, driver with an accident on their driving record, driver with DUI and senior driver)
  • Client satisfaction
  • Complaints satisfaction

How we value life insurance

  • Financial stability (AM Best/Fitch)
  • Client satisfaction (JD Power)
  • Market share (Global S&P)
  • Examples of premium quotes
  • Availability (nationally or regionally)

How we rate home insurance

  • Financial stability (AM Best/Fitch)
  • Client satisfaction (JD Power)
  • Market share (Global S&P)
  • Examples of premium quotes
  • Availability (nationally or regionally)

How we rate tenant insurance

  • Financial stability (AM Best/Fitch)
  • Client satisfaction (JD Power)
  • Market share (Global S&P)
  • Examples of premium quotes
  • Availability (nationally or regionally)

How we value business chequing accounts

  • Limit of transactions
  • Minimum deposit
  • Monthly fee
  • ATM network / fees
  • Customer service
  • Mobile app
  • Ethics

How we value student loans

  • Fixed / variable interest rate
  • Term of office
  • Costs
  • Customer service
  • Mobile app
  • Ethics

How we rate mortgage lenders

  • Types of loans
  • Affordability (whether offering VA, FHA, or USDA loans; accepting other forms of credit)
  • Customer satisfaction (JD Power when available; otherwise, customer reviews online)
  • Reliability

Meet our team


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