Elastic Loans: Review Rates, Terms, and Fees
If you are a non-prime borrower with a low credit score who needs immediate access to cash, Elastic may be a good option for you. But make sure you understand the terms and conditions and watch out for the cash advance fees.
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Elastic is a line of credit offered by the Louisville-based Republic Bank & Trust Company. Elastic promotes itself as being the “responsible” credit option for non-prime borrowers. It’s touted as a useful alternative for consumers who might have a hard time taking out a loan in an emergency.
An Elastic line of credit is available in 39 states, and the company promises to deliver a flexible lending experience for all of its customers. It’s always important, however, to read the fine print before taking out a line of credit, especially when you’re a non-prime borrower.
In this review:
- Getting a Loan Through Elastic.com
- Elastic Rates, Terms, Fees, & Limits
- The Benefits of an Elastic Loan
- The Downsides of an Elastic Loan
Getting a Loan Through Elastic.com
Elastic is a line of credit designed for non-prime borrowers who need quick access to cash. Lines of credit are available from $500 up to $4,500.
The loan application process is fairly simple. Potential borrowers can apply online and receive a response immediately. Here is an outline of what the application and approval process looks like:
- Apply online: To apply, you’ll need to enter your personal information and be able to verify your identity. As you fill out the application, Elastic will check your credit history to determine whether you qualify.
- Find out if you’re approved: The approval process is quick so you should know immediately if you qualify for a line of credit. Once you’re approved, you can borrow money at any time.
- Receive a direct deposit: If you qualify for a line of credit, you can opt for direct deposit. If you do this, your cash will be deposited directly into your account the next business day.
- Set up a payment schedule: One of the benefits of taking out a line of credit is that you don’t have to use the full amount available to you — and you only have to repay what you actually borrow.
Autopay is available so that repayments are drafted directly from your checking account. If this isn’t an option, you can also pay with a check, money order, or certified check.
Elastic Rates, Terms, Fees, & Limits
Taking out a personal line of credit through Elastic is not the same thing as taking out a loan. For that reason, there are different terms and conditions you’ll want to know about.
- Rates: Unlike most banks, Elastic does not charge interest rates on lines of credit. Instead, you’ll pay additional fees on every cash advance you request. This will either be 5% or 10%, depending on your billing cycle. If you borrow $500 and have a biweekly repayment plan, for example, you’ll incur a cash advance fee of $25.
- Terms: Elastic lets borrowers create a payment schedule that works around when they get paid. For example, if someone is paid every two weeks, they can set up a similar payment schedule for their line of credit.
- Fees: Elastic never charges a prepayment penalty or origination fee, but it does charge something called a Carried Balance Fee. For every billing cycle where you have a balance of $10.01 or more, you’ll be charged a fee starting at $5, up to a maximum of $350.
- Limits: Loan amounts range from $500 to $4,500. Elastic does enforce something it calls a cooling-off period. If you carry a balance on your account for 10 months in a row, your account will go into a cooling-off period. During that time, you can’t request any cash withdrawals until you’re able to maintain a $0 balance for 20 consecutive days.
The Benefits of an Elastic Loan
There are many advantages to taking out a line of credit through Elastic. Let’s look at the three biggest benefits:
- Easy application process: Applying with Elastic is a simple, straightforward process, and you should know right away if you’re approved. This is ideal for anyone who is in a difficult financial situation. Once you’re approved, you should receive access to the money fairly quickly. With direct deposit, you can receive funds as soon as the next business day.
- Flexible terms: The biggest advantage of Elastic is its flexible terms. You don’t have to meet the same stringent credit requirements of a traditional credit or loan product. Elastic is also relatively flexible when it comes to how funds are actually used. You can just take what you need, as long as it’s within the credit limit that’s available to you.
- Good alternative to payday loans: Elastic provides an alternative to higher-interest short-term loans. There’s a cash advance fee charged upfront, which can result in lower overall costs than some other short-term personal loans for bad credit. Your fees become lower every month as you pay down the loan. In theory, it’s a less predatory version of a payday loan.
The Downsides of an Elastic Loan
There are downsides to every lending product and Elastic is no exception. In reviews, some consumers consider Elastic to be a variation on a payday loan. Here are a few things you should consider before taking out a line of credit with Elastic:
- Expensive fees: Don’t be fooled by the lack of a traditional interest rate. Elastic’s cash advance fee is essentially its version of interest. There is also a minimum charge on the principal balance and these fees add up quickly. When a customer is making a biweekly or semi-monthly payment, their minimum payment is either $50 or 5% of their outstanding balance. If the principal balance is less than $50, the entire balance is due. For customers who have monthly payment dates, the minimum payment amount is either $100 or 10% of the principal balance.
- Not available everywhere: Another downside of Elastic is that it doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar locations. It’s also not available in every state. Some borrowers may prefer a lending service where they can visit a physical location and talk with someone in person if an issue arises.
- Unclear terms and conditions: In online reviews, some consumers have complained that Elastic charges hidden fees or erroneous charges. Before you apply for any loan, be sure you’re clear on the terms and conditions. And if you do have issues, it’s important to try to work with the lender to solve the problem. If you can’t resolve the issue with the lender, contact your state consumer agency or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Elastic Loans Alternative Options
You won’t usually find the best deal with short-term credit lines or similar payday advances when faced with unexpected expenses. You can almost always receive a lower interest rate with a personal loan or credit card.
That said, non-prime borrowers don’t always have a great selection of lending options. If you find yourself in a difficult financial situation, an Elastic credit product could be the right choice for you. It isn’t the most expensive short-term online lender, and there are some advantages to taking out a line of credit through the company. It offers both fast approval and flexible borrowing and repayment terms.
If you’re considering taking out a line of credit from Elastic, read through the terms and conditions carefully. That way you’ll know what you’re in for prior to taking funding from an approved line of credit.
If you don’t believe an Elastic loan is right for you, check out the best personal loans to see if there are better options available.
1The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.97% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $12,646 including a $626 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application.
Author: Jamie Johnson