Personal Finance Editorial Standards

Personal finance insider information is part of the Insider 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 “better” is often subjective, so in addition to highlighting the benefits of an account or financial product, we also describe the 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 affiliated partnerships with companies that offer financial products and services. However, the team is editorially independent. Learn more about exactly how these partnerships work and our editorial process below.

How our commercial alliances work

Below, find details about how we get paid, how we decide what to write, and why we have disclosures on our pages.

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 notify them when we write about their products, they don’t see the post before it’s published, and they can’t make changes to the post after the fact.

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

So how do we get paid?

Personal Finance Insider uses affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing means that when we mention a product or service with which we have an association, we link to that product or service using a special tracking link that lets our partner know that the reader came from our site. If that reader decides to buy or request something from our partner, the partner pays a small amount to Personal Finance Insider. Exact terms vary by partner. These collaborations do not imply any extra cost for the reader.

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

In that way, affiliate marketing is similar to other types of advertising you might see on the web, like display ads.

Affiliate marketing works only 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 to them, this business model is closely tied to our team’s mission: helping readers make the best decisions.

How do we decide what to write?

Personal Finance Insider is editorially independent. That means our writers and editors have very little visibility and no control over our trade associations. It also means that our business team has no control over what our writers and editors choose to cover. Like the rest of the sprawling Insider newsroom, we write, approve, and assign stories based on what will bring the most value to our readers.

We are wondering:

  • It is useful?
  • Have our readers shown interest in this topic?
  • Does it highlight a covert perspective?
  • Is it an important story to tell?

Then, once our story is ready, we send it to the business team, who decide if there are any associations that make sense for this story. Sometimes there are, and sometimes there aren’t. If there are associations that make sense and might be useful to the reader, for example a link to a credit card we are reviewing or a link to get


Car insurance

quotes on a car insurance post – will be added by the business team. Our business team has full control over the partnerships we have and how we use them.

Why do we have revelations in our stories?

When you see a disclosure in a story, it means there are affiliate links. This does not indicate sponsored content or change the story.

We include disclosures because we are dedicated to being transparent and clear with our readers about how we make money, and our partners are too. In fact, we have an internal team dedicated to ensuring that we meet financial compliance standards, so 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 number in your bank account. In the United States, access to financial products and services is not equal for all, and neither is the result. Wealth is more than math: It comes down to factors beyond our individual control, including but not limited to the uneven impacts of generational wealth, racism in hiring and lending practices, homophobia, flawed credit score and red lines.

We’re committed to representing and serving as many people as we can, whether it’s interviewing experts from underrepresented groups within financial fields, providing resources to address specific financial situations, recognizing the difference in how various communities can access wealth, or reviewing products and services. created by and for specific communities.

As part of Insider’s Journalism Service division, our team members are part of an internal DEI task force actively working to make our internal environment and coverage more equitable and inclusive. Personal Finance Insider operates with a set of diversity, fairness, and inclusion standards that are regularly reviewed and updated.

These standards include:

  • Be aware of how our sources and writers are represented in our writing.
  • Do not make assumptions about anyone’s identity.
  • When evaluating products for reviews or guides, consider the ethics of the brand along with its products.
  • Fair hiring and hiring practices that amplify the voices of historically marginalized communities and ensure the best person for the job covers issues affecting their communities.

How we rate products

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

We do our best to include the most widely available options in our research process; however, we cannot guarantee that we have considered all products and services. If you think there’s a good product or service we haven’t covered, let us know at money-tips@insider.com.

How we rate credit cards

  • welcome bonus
  • Annual quota
  • earn rewards
  • using rewards
  • Profits

How we rate investment products

  • Rate
  • Investment selection (including account type availability)
  • Platform navigability (even if there is mobile trading)
  • Customer service
  • Reliability (using the ratings of the Better Business Office where appropriate)
  • Educational/Research Resources

How We Rate Checking Accounts

  • Minimum deposit
  • Monthly charges
  • Overdraft Protection Options
  • ATM network/fees
  • Customer Support
  • 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 Money Market Accounts

  • Interest rate
  • access your money
  • Minimum deposit
  • Monthly charges
  • Customer Support
  • 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 Rate Certificates of Deposit

  • Interest rate
  • Minimum deposit
  • Penalties for early withdrawal (they are not taken into account for CD without penalty)
  • Variety of term options (only taken into account for Regular Term CD)
  • Customer Support
  • 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 Savings Accounts

  • Interest rate
  • Minimum deposit
  • Monthly charges
  • Customer Support
  • 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 car insurance

  • How a company handles common coverage scenarios (teenage drivers, a driver with bad credit, a driver with an accident on their driving record, a driver with a DUI, and an older driver)
  • customer satisfaction
  • Claims Satisfaction

How we rate life insurance

How we rate home insurance

How We Rate Renters Insurance

How We Rate Business Checking Accounts

  • transaction limit
  • Minimum deposit
  • Monthly charges
  • ATM network/fees
  • Customer Support
  • Mobile app
  • Ethics

How we rate student loans

  • Fixed/variable interest rate
  • Duration of terms
  • Rate
  • Customer Support
  • Mobile app
  • Ethics

How We Rate Mortgage Lenders

  • loan types
  • Affordability (if you offer VA, FHA or USDA loans; if you accept alternative forms of credit)
  • Customer Satisfaction (JD Power when available, otherwise online customer reviews)
  • Integrity

meet our team

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