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You may be able to borrow up to $1,500 from this tribal lender.
finder.com’s rating: 2.7 / 5.0
When you need an extra boost, an installment loan from Inbox Loan may be able to help. But with high fees and negative online reviews, you’ll want to carefully consider your decision before committing to a loan.
Kellye Guinan is a writer and editor with Finder and has years of experience in academic writing and research. Between her passion for books and her love of language, she works on creating stories and volunteering her time on worthy causes. She lives in the woods and likes to find new bug friends in between reading just a little too much nonfiction.
What is Inbox Loan?
Inbox Loan is a tribal lender run by the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria in California’s Sonoma County. It offers unsecured installment loans ranging from $200 to $1,500 for first-time borrowers. Return borrowers may be eligible for as much as $5,000, although this will depend on your ability to repay and creditworthiness.
How much you end up paying depends on how much you borrow and your financial situation. Inbox Loan may end up costing you much more than you’re initially borrowing. This is because the provider deducts a financing fee and interest from your loan before forwarding the principal. But unlike payday loans that are due shortly after you borrow, you’ll have more time to repay your loan — although this does mean you’ll pay more in interest.
While Inbox Loan services many states, it isn’t available in Alaska, Georgia, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.
What are the benefits of Inbox Loan?
First loans of up to $1,500. First-time borrowers can borrow from $200 to $1,500. Once you’ve successfully repaid your first loan, you can then borrow up to $5,000.
No prepayment penalty. If you’re able to pay off your loan early, Inbox Loan won’t charge a prepayment penalty. This option saves you money on unnecessary interest and financing fees, which means you’ll pay less in the long run.
Bad credit OK. Inbox Loan’s installment loans are designed to help you access financing based on your ability to pay it back — not your credit history.
Repay in installments. Unlike a payday loan, installment loans are repaid over multiple payments based on when you get paid, giving you more time to pay off what you owe.
What are the drawbacks?
Automatic debit required. Funds are deposited directly into your account, but payments are withdrawn directly from this account as well. If you don’t have enough money in your account, you face stiff fee from Inbox Loan and potential overdraft fees from your bank.
High costs and fees. Most short-term loans come with high interest rates and hefty financing fees. If you can’t pay back your loan on schedule, you could find yourself stuck in a cycle of bad debt.
Compare Inbox Loan to other online installment loan providers
Updated December 11th, 2019
Beware of high fees and interest rates
A tribal lender is a loan provider that operates under the Native American tribe. These lenders abide by their tribe’s laws, rather than state regulation. Because they have sovereignty from the federal government, they don’t have to follow strict state regulations. This means Inbox Loan can charge as much as it wants per loan, which can mean you owe much more than if you’d gone with a state-regulated option.
Yes. Inbox Loan’s site is secured through an SSL server, meaning your private information is safe when entered into the site’s forms.
However, you should note that Inbox Loan can share your information with its affiliates for business and marketing, sometimes well after you’ve repaid your loan. You can limit or stop some of this sharing by contacting Inbox Loan by phone or email, but you may still receive calls or emails from lenders after you apply.
What does the Internet say about Inbox Loan?
Inbox Loan isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and only has an A rating. It also averages a one-star rating from its 75 customer reviews. And with over 80 complaints, it may seem like a bad deal for some borrowers.
However, it does respond to individual complaints with a personalized response — a good sign for borrowers who encounter a problem during the loan process. Of course, many borrowers complain about the high cost of a loan, which isn’t uncommon with short-term lenders.
If you don’t know how you’ll pay back your loan or don’t have the money to afford a high interest rate, consider your alternatives instead. These can save you money and keep you from taking out a loan you can’t afford.
Issues with approval
On the BBB website, it states that a number of complaints against Inbox Loan accused it of approving borrowers for a loan then later denying them. Inbox Loan responded by stating that borrowers were “confusing” approval for its prequalification process.
You can read more of Inbox Loan’s responses on its BBB page.
Am I eligible?
Your credit score isn’t the most important factor with Inbox Loan. Instead, it determines your eligibility based off your ability to repay and the information you provide.
To qualify for an installment loan from Inbox Loan, you’ll need to meet three eligibility requirements:
You must be at least 21 years old
You must a valid checking account
You must live in one of Inbox Loan’s serviced states
Does Inbox Loan offer loans in my state?
Inbox Loan operates in multiple states, but it doesn’t service the following:
Enter the required information and choose a loan amount.
Once you apply, a representative will contact you to confirm your application.
If you’ve applied before 8 p.m. ET, you may receive your funds by the next business day. Otherwise, it can take up to three days to see your loan transfer.
To complete your application, be ready to submit:
Your personal information. Your name, Social Security number, driver’s license number, home address, phone number and email.
Your income information. Your income amount, pay frequency and employer information.
Your bank details. Your account type, routing number and account number.
I got an installment loan. Now what?
Once you’ve got your loan, it’s time to start thinking about repayments. You can choose to use the default schedule Inbox Loan sets, which allows you to pay back your loan over a year. However, it costs the most — you’ll pay full interest and fees on the amount you borrowed.
You can also put additional payments toward the principal. This lowers the amount you owe and reduces what you’ll pay in interest. However, you’ll need to put at least $20 toward the loan, and you’ll need to contact Inbox Loan at least three business days ahead of schedule to confirm how the extra money will be applied.
And of course, you can pay back your loan in full at any time. This will be the cheapest option, but you’ll still need to contact Inbox Loan ahead of time to get the payoff amount.
In addition to payments, fees for late or insufficient payments add up quickly. If you make a late payment or miss one entirely, Inbox Loan will charge you a $30 fee. And if there isn’t enough money in your bank account at the time of withdrawal, you’re charged another $30.
If your application is approved by 8 p.m. ET Monday to Friday, you might see your loan funds by the next business day. Applications received after 8 p.m. ET or on weekends generally take two business days to fund.
It largely depends on your bank. Once Inbox Loan processes your application, it could take a few days for your bank to approve the amount in your account.
How much you’ll pay depends on your loan contract. Each installment includes your interest and financing fee along with a small portion of your principal. Read your loan contract carefully to understand the full cost of your loan.
If your application is approved, an Inbox Loan rep will call or email you to complete the process. Inbox Loan may want to confirm your identity, so keep your application materials close at hand.
If you don’t think you can meet a repayment, contact Inbox Loan directly at least two days in advance. A representative might be willing to work with you to adjust your repayment schedule.
Short-term loan ratings
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We analyze short-term loan providers and similar services to help you weed out predatory lenders and find a company you can trust. We rate providers on a scale of one to five stars. Our ratings are based on factors that are most important to you, which include: loan amount, application process, fees, customer reviews and borrower experience.
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