Can this short-term loan alternative actually help you save?
Elastic might be just what you need if you often apply for short-term loans to get through the month. Backed by Republic Bank, this lender offers a line of credit that you can withdraw from as you need. It also provides online courses made to help improve your financial health. But it isn’t always cheap and it’s not available in every state.
Kellye Guinan was a financer writer for Finder, covering everything from loans from auto to personal to business finance.
What is Elastic?
Elastic is an online lender that offers lines of credit as an alternative to short-term loans. Credit limits stretch from $500 to $4,500. You can request as little as you need up to your credit limit and pay back what you borrow in installments plus a fixed fee.
Its fees can be confusing and costly. Elastic charges a cash advance fee of 5% to 10% each time you withdraw money. Instead of interest, Elastic charges what it calls a carried balance fee of $5 to $350 on each repayment if you owe more than $10. You can estimate your fees by using the payment calculator on Elastic’s website.
Elastic is available in 39 states and Washington DC. Residents of Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont and West Virginia aren’t eligible to apply.
Each time you request an advance, you can access your funds within a day or two. This makes it easy to borrow money when you need, without filling out multiple applications for short-term lenders.
What are the benefits of an Elastic line of credit?
Billing cycle based on your payday. Elastic lets you sync your repayment dates up with your payday. If you’re paid weekly or biweekly, then your payments are due every two weeks. If you’re paid monthly, then your payments are due every month.
No prepayment penalty. Have the money to pay more on your principal than the minimum? You can save money by paying off your outstanding balance early and Elastic won’t charge a fee.
Accepts benefits as income. You can still qualify for an Elastic line of credit as long as you receive some form of regular income. This means you might qualify if you receive welfare benefits or a pension — it doesn’t have to be a paycheck from an employer.
Online courses. Elastic’s online learning center, Financial U is made to help customers get their personal finances in order. You might even get rewards for graduating.
What to watch out for
Fees. Borrowers pay a cash advance fee plus a fixed fee on each repayment. This can add up.
Elastic charges two major fees that can get expensive, especially if you withdraw larger amount. When you withdraw from your line of credit, Elastic charges a cash advance fee of 5% or 10% of the amount. It also charges a carried balance fee of $5 to $350 with each repayment. These can add up quickly, making even a small loan hard to repay.
Since it doesn’t charge prepayment penalties, you can cut down on how much you pay in fees by paying off your balance as quickly as possible. Still, you might want to compare other loan options and financial resources before committing to any type of short-term, high-cost loan.
Is it safe to apply with Elastic?
Elastic line of credit reviews and complaints
BBB customer reviews
1 out of 5 stars, based on 9 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints
4.8 out of 5, based on 1,406 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of
16 October 2020
Elastic gets overwhelmingly positive reviews. Most reviewers are happy with the speed and quality of service. But some complain are about the high financing costs. Some also indicate that its site is out of date and contained misleading information.
Am I eligible?
In addition to agreeing to the terms of service and submitting to a credit check, borrowers need to meet some basic eligibility criteria. You must:
Have an active email and bank account.
Have a regular source of income.
Be at least 18 years old.
Live in an eligible state.
Not be a member of the military.
How do I apply?
You can apply for an Elastic line of credit online:
Go to the Elastic website and click Apply Now.
Complete all of the required fields to create an account and hit Continue.
Wait for a representative to respond to your application and request documents if needed.
Read the terms and conditions before signing your loan documents.
I got the line of credit — now what?
If you’re approved, you can start accessing money from your line of credit. It will take Elastic at least a day to process and fund your request, but if you receive a check rather than a deposit into your account, it may take longer.
You can make payments online, over the phone or by check, or sign up for automatic payments that deduct repayments from your account each pay period. Or, you can set up an individual payment whenever you need.
Your billing cycle is based on your pay date and statements are typically available 14 days before your due date.
Elastic can be expensive, but it could help you get back on your feet if you often find yourself short on cash. Since repayments are spread out over installments, it can be easier to repay than a short-term loan due on your next pay day. Compare your short-term loan options to see how it stacks up before making a final decision.
Frequently asked questions
It might. If you’re late making a payment or miss one entirely, Elastic could report this to one or more credit bureaus.
Yes. If you open an Elastic account but don’t make a withdrawal, your account will be closed after six months. Your account will also be closed if you haven’t made a withdrawal in two years.
Yes. You can cancel a cash advance request by calling Elastic within five days. The specific details can be found in Elastic’s Terms of Service.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.