LendUp Personal Loans Review
LendUp bills itself as a better alternative to traditional payday lenders. Its products are aimed at those with bad credit looking for a loan. However, LendUp offers interest rates that are significantly higher than what you’d pay on traditional bank loans.
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- LendUp’s goal is to provide transparency and integrity to the payday loan market.
- However, the lender is still a payday lender, offering extremely high interest rates and low loan amounts.
- Even if you have bad credit, you should consider alternatives before turning to a payday loan.
LendUp, a loan company founded in 2012, aims to transform both the mission and the business model of payday lending—which has gotten a bad reputation over the years, and rightfully so.
LendUp says it wants to help subprime consumers improve their financial health by offering loans that traditional banks don’t. About 150 million people have credit scores below 720, and that’s who LendUp tends to target for its loans.
Taking out a loan through LendUp is a fast way to get money, but it’s not for everyone. LendUp charges significantly higher interest rates compared to traditional loans, so consumers may actually dig themselves in a deeper financial hole if they are not careful.
In this review:
- LendUp Personal Loans: At a Glance
- Pros & Cons
- Application Process
- Who Should Use LendUp?
- Alternatives to Consider
LendUp Personal Loans: At a Glance
|LendUp Personal Loans|
|Loan amounts||$100 – $1,000 (available amounts vary by state)|
|APRs||Varies by state and repayment timeline, but generally run from 176% to 1,000%|
LendUp is a payday lender, and it should be viewed as such. While other personal loan lenders offer larger loans with rates that generally range from 5% to 35%, LendUp offers small loans at obscenely high rates, higher even than credit card interest rates.
The rates vary based on how long your loan lasts, whether you’re on the “ladder” with LendUp, and the amount. However, they can run up to nearly 1,000% APR with a short-term loan.
What affects your rate
State laws, your loan amount, and your repayment term all affect your rate.
For example, a $610 loan issued in South Carolina and repaid over four monthly payments would receive an APR of 176.36%. In California, $250 loan repaid in 7 days would receive a 917.71% APR. What you get depends entirely on your situation, so you’d need to get a quote from LendUp to see your rates.
Another thing that can affect your rates is the LendUp Ladder. Basically, the company allows repeat borrowers who take certain steps to educate themselves financially to qualify for higher loan amounts and lower rates.
In any case, these rates are extremely high and should only be considered as an alternative to more predatory payday lenders with less transparent business practices than LendUp is committed to.
Pros & Cons of a LendUp Personal Loan
- Good credit not required. You can get a loan, even if you have poor credit.
- Fast turnaround. You can get fast approval online, without the need to go into a physical location.
- Reports to credit bureaus: If you don’t have credit, or if you’re trying to rebuild your credit, some installment payments are reported to the major credit reporting agencies, allowing you to improve your situation.
- LendUp Ladder: The LendUp Ladder is available in some states, allowing you to get discounted rates. If you watch financial education videos provided by LendUp and make on-time payments, you get “points” that move you into a different tier.
- Choose your repayment date: LendUp allows you to choose your desired repayment date, within its terms.
- Extended payment date: Depending on state laws, it’s possible to extend your repayment on a lump-sum loan without a late fee.
- Not all payments are reported to the bureaus: If you’re hoping to use LendUp to build credit, it could backfire. Not all payments are reported, particularly the lump-sum payments. You’re much better off using a secured credit card if you want to rebuild your credit.
- High interest rates: Even if you’re in the “prime” category on the LendUp Ladder, you could still be paying fees that translate into extremely high APRs. These can make the loan very expensive and repayment difficult.
- You might be limited in eligibility: LendUp uses Veritec in some states to determine loan eligibility, so you could end up not getting a loan, or having restricted repayment terms.
- CFPB complaints: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ended up fining LendUp $3.63 million in 2016 because it didn’t live up to some of its claims. Since then, the company has been more careful about its promises regarding building credit and offering low-cost loans.
Applying for a LendUp Personal Loan
Applying for a LendUp personal loan is fairly straightforward. Here’s how it works:
- You provide your name, address, Social Security number, birth date, and email address.
- Provide bank account and routing information for an institution that accepts ACH transfers.
- Send proof of income if your state’s laws require it.
- View your loan offers (if you are eligible) and make a decision.
- Receive your money in as little as one business day.
LendUp’s website allows you to scan and upload all of the required information listed above. Your repayment schedule is based on the amount you borrow, and your repayment date.
Applying for a LendUp loan doesn’t require a review of your credit history. Instead, LendUp customers just need to have a valid checking account and provide the required information.
Who Should Use LendUp?
If you’re struggling with credit, and you’re facing an emergency and need quick cash, LendUp can be a better option than local payday lenders with unscrupulous business practices.
However, just because LendUp is an alternative to going to a check-cashing place or engaging with other, more traditional, payday lenders, it doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you.
Ideally, you’d take steps like building up an emergency fund or keeping a credit card with a sufficient limit for emergencies. Even credit card debt is better than paying LendUp’s high APRs.
While LendUp is an alternative to traditional payday lenders, it is similar to other lenders in its category, such as Rise and OppLoans. Additionally, while its loans might help you reach other goals, like building credit, the reality is that its effectiveness is spotty at best, depending on what state you live in.
If you know you want a loan but are unsure if LendUp if your best choice, you can check out our LendUp Alternatives Guide to compare other options. Our guide to personal loans for bad credit lays out other options with rates under 36% as well.
None of these lenders are probably good for debt consolidation since there’s a good chance your fees will amount to an APR much higher than what you could get with other debt consolidation loans from other lenders.
You also might be better off by looking for emergency cash through cheaper alternatives and applying for a secured credit card if you want to give your credit score a boost. You may want to consider checking out the LendUp Credit Card as a way to build credit if you like LendUp as a company.
>> Read More: Compare Our Choices for the Best Personal Loans
Author: Miranda Marquit