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LendUp payday loan alternative review

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Start with small loans and work towards rebuilding your credit with this provider’s rating: 3.6 / 5.0


LendUp offers a unique borrowing platform where you can rebuild your credit history as you move up the LendUp Ladder and take free financial education courses. Although you’ll be limited to small loan amounts at first, you can keep borrowing over time to help build your credit and get access to better loan terms.


Min. Amount


Max. Amount

As soon as the next business day

Turnaround time


Product NameLendUp Payday Loans
Min. Amount$100
Max. Amount$250
Loan Term7-30 days
Loan SecurityUnsecured
Turnaround TimeAs soon as the next business day
CostsDepends on your state, loan product, loan amount and the term of the loan.
RequirementsChecking account with ACH, proof of income, Social Security number, ages 18+

Where does LendUp offer loans?

LendUp currently offers loans in seven states:

  • California
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

How does LendUp work?

LendUp uses a unique ladder system that lets borrowers earn points and choose to improve their credit by successfully paying back short-term loans. You can borrow anywhere from to for your first loan, and you may be eligible for larger loan amounts if you borrow again.

Interest rates vary based on your state of residence and how many times you’ve borrowed from LendUp. Your term could range from based on your state laws and your pay date.

Like all loans, there are fees you have to pay in addition to the principal amount you borrow. You can find out how much you’ll end up paying by going through the list of fees and charges detailed on LendUp’s website and on your loan agreement. Texas residents may also have to pay a Credit Access Business (CAB) fee in addition to other fees LendUp charges.

How the LendUp ladder works

The ladder system allows repeat borrowers to access more money at lower rates by paying back a loan on time or completing free financial education courses. Your earn points to get into one of four rungs: Silver, gold, platinum or prime. When you reach LendUp’s platinum and prime loan rungs, you can choose to have your credit reported to boost your score.

  • Silver: Borrow a single-payment loan.
  • Gold: Take out a single-payment or installment loan.
  • Platinum: Qualify for a single-payment loan or larger installment loan, with the option to have your repayments reported to credit bureaus to boost your score.
  • Prime: Get a single-payment, installment or “prime loan” with a more competitive rate. The installment loan comes with optional credit reporting. The prime loan comes with automatic credit reporting.

What are the benefits of a short-term loan from LendUp?

LendUp loans have received positive mention from CNN, TIME, Wired and Financial Times. And while they are still short-term loans, they come with a number of helpful features.

  • Good credit isn’t required. LendUp approves people with poor credit. Their mission is to provide money to qualified applicants when they need it.
  • Instant decision on loan. Applying takes no more than a few minutes, and you can find out if you’re approved instantly after submitting your application.
  • Credit education. LendUp offers free credit education courses through its website where everyone (whether they’re customers or not) can learn about topics including credit-related rights, how to establish credit, how to go through their credit reports and how to find out about the true cost of borrowing.
  • Online personal dashboard. You can check your loan’s status at any time by signing into LendUp’s online platform.

What to watch out for

LendUp isn’t a perfect company, so consider these drawbacks before you apply.

  • Still expensive. LendUp brands itself as a payday loan alternative, but you’ll still face much higher APRs than you would if you borrowed a personal loan from a bank or other lender.
  • Not always honest. Despite its promises to help build credit, LendUp failed to report borrowers’ payments to credit bureaus.
  • Limited reach. LendUp only services a handful of states. If you don’t live in one of them, you won’t be eligible for a LendUp loan.

How do LendUp payday loans compare?

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Max. Loan Amount Turnaround time Requirements
OppLoans Installment Loans
1 business day
Direct deposit, meet minimum income requirements, live in eligible state
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
Check Into Cash Payday Loan
1 to 2 business days
Bank account, email address, phone number, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 21+
Plus, get access to check cashing, cell phone top ups, bill pay and more at one of its many storefronts.
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
As soon as the next business day
Regular source of income, verifiable bank account, US citizen, ages 18+
Get connected with multiple lenders you might qualify with — even if you have bad credit.
LendYou Short-term Loans
Same business day to 1 business days
$1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Get offers from potential lenders in minutes by filling out just one online form.
Possible Finance Mobile Installment Loans
As fast as 1 business day
Checking account with 3+ months of banking history, $750+ monthly income, live in eligible state, ages 18+
Borrow up to $500 with just a few swipes — but only for residents of 5 states.

Compare up to 4 providers

LendUp reviews and complaints

BBB accreditedNo
BBB ratingA+
BBB customer reviews1.83 out of 5 stars, based on 29 customer reviews
Trustpilot score4.7 out of 5, based on 2,470 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of16 October 2020

LendUp receives mixed reviews on its BBB and Trustpilot pages. Some borrowers were happy with the speed and customer service, while others had difficulties with having their payments processed early and the high interest rate charged by LendUp.

LendUp goes beyond just short-term loans

While LendUp is primarily a short-term loan company, it also offers other products that you might find beneficial.

  • Credit card. LendUp has recently started offering its Arrow Card, which allows select borrowers to build credit without having to put down a deposit.
  • Educational resources. LendUp offers a library of information and courses about personal finance. You can use these financial literacy courses to help score lower rates on your loans with LendUp.

More about the LendUp credit card

LendUp has developed a system of low payments that are reported to the three major financial bureaus so you can start improving your credit score right away without worrying about over limit fees and hidden costs. You’ll also have access to LendUp’s financial videos that can teach you all you need to know about borrowing smartly and safely. And unlike secured credit cards, LendUp’s card doesn’t require a deposit for you to apply. However, the card isn’t open to everyone. You’ll have to sign up for updates through email and wait for a promo code. Once you have one, you can start the application process.

Like all forms of credit, be careful when applying. If you’re approved, you’ll be required to pay interest on the amount you borrow. It may not be as much as other short-term credit products, but if you don’t budget with the interest in mind, it’s possible damage your credit even further.

Is LendUp legit?

Yes. LendUp is a legit company that allows you to borrow short-term loans and work on rebuilding your credit score. It is licensed in every state it services and keeps its rates transparent so you can see exactly what you’ll be spending. Like all short-term loan providers, the exact regulations LendUp abides by depend on your state. It was also recognized at the Lend360 conference in 2018 for its innovation in helping borrowers build savings.

Must read: LendUp failed to report borrowers’ payments to credit bureaus

In 2016, LendUp was found guilty of violating consumer finance laws because it failed report borrowers’ payments to credit bureaus like it claimed on its website. It also failed to disclose APR on its website, changed its pricing for some borrowers and blocked borrowers from accessing the higher rungs in its ladder system. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered LendUp to pay around $1.83 million to its borrowers and another $1.8 million to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund.

If you were affected by this unlawful activity, it’s likely you’ve already been notified and received your funds. However, borrowers should be wary in the future. Carefully read any loan agreement you’re given and ensure that LendUp — and any other lender — abides by your state’s short-term loan laws.

Is LendUp safe?

Yes. LendUp has a secure website that keeps your information encrypted when you apply and when you log in to your account. It also has an industry-standard privacy policy that covers what type of information it collects and how that information is used. Review it carefully, and if you would like to opt out of some of your information being shared with third party lenders, you can call LendUp at 855-253-6387.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a payday loan alternative from LendUp, you must meet the following requirements:

How to apply

Follow these steps to complete LendUp’s quick application:

  1. Click the Go to Site button to visit LendUp’s website.
  2. Select the amount you want to borrow and the day you want to repay your loan. Then click Apply Now.
  3. Create an account and read LendUp’s terms of service, privacy policy and other documentation.
  4. Enter information about yourself, your employment and your bank account.
  5. Review your information, agree to LendUp’s credit report authorization and click Looks Good.

LendUp will process your application. If you’re approved, LendUp will provide more instructions on how to finalize your application and what you’ll need to do to receive your loan funds.

What documents do I need?

LendUp’s application requires you to provide some important information about yourself:

  • Personal details, including your name, date of birth and Social Security number
  • Contact details, including your address, email, and phone number
  • Financial details, including your bank account information

I got a LendUp loan. Now what?

Once you agree to borrow from LendUp, you can choose from one of three options to receive your loan funds:

  • Standard delivery. LendUp processes and funds approved loans through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) weekdays by 5 p.m. PST. While many banks post funds the next day, it could take a day or two for you to see your money.
  • 15-Minute Transfer. Available in select states, this optional service allows you to choose a third-party service that can transfer funds to your bank within 15 minutes of your application’s approval. LendUp does not guarantee 15-minute delivery. Actual deposit times vary by bank. You’ll also pay a fee for this service that depends on your specific loan.
  • Same-day transfers for Wells Fargo customers only. If you have a Wells Fargo checking account, you can pay a fee for a same-day deposit as long as you complete an application by 11 a.m. PST on business days only. Your funds should appear in your bank account by 2 p.m. PST the same day.

Your repayment will be deducted from the bank account you provided when you applied. LendUp also accepts payment by MoneyGram and personal checks. If you’re unable to make your repayment, contact LendUp as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may be charged a late fee — and if you’ve borrowed a prime loan, it’s critical that you make your payments on time since these may be reported to all three credit bureaus.

Bottom line

LendUp is unique among its competitors because it helps borrowers to build your credit over time. Although you’ll be limited to a small amount at first, consistent repayment and financial courses could lead to you getting access to better terms, lower rates and higher loan amounts.

If you need to borrow more money than LendUp offers, you can explore other short-term loan providers or compare loans similar to LendUp see if there’s a better option for you.

Frequently asked questions

Short-term loan ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

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.

Read the full methodology of how we rate short-term loan providers and similar services.

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  1. Default Gravatar
    March 19, 2019

    Trying to apply for a loan.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      March 20, 2019

      Hi Virginia,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      I understand you want to apply for a loan. If LendUp is a provider that you believe could help you, please click on the “Go to site” green button to be redirected to their website and start your online loan application.

      Alternatively, you can also check other options here. On that page, you will see a table that allows you to conveniently compare your options. You first need to specify which state you reside and the table personalizes the list. You can then compare your options based on term of loan, turnaround time, and max loan amount. Once you found the right one for you, click on the “Go to site” green button to learn more or initiate your application.

      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check the eligibility requirements as well and consider whether the product is right for you.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


  2. Default Gravatar
    February 25, 2019

    I applied for a loan on sunday. How long will it be to I can access my fund?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      February 26, 2019

      Hi Smith82457,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      After you are approved, you should be able to access your money the next business day.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


  3. Default Gravatar
    January 13, 2019

    uncomfortable giving social security number…
    how safe?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      January 16, 2019

      Hi Carrie330,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      You may want to check the reviews provided for this specific lender to know how secure they are or have your application done personally. LendUp currently offers loans in these states:


      If you don’t live in one of these states you can visit our payday loan guide to see what loans are available where you live. Hope this helps!


  4. Default Gravatar
    September 29, 2018

    I had a loan with Lend Up years ago, and I have not paid it yet….Is it possible to get the balance onto a LendUp credit card so I can attempt to build my credit as I pay it back, and then han=ve a credit card also, when it is paid off….I have had other creditors do this in the past and I think it is a great way to take care of debt, and get some credit in return….

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      October 2, 2018

      Hi Amy,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      LendUp does provide a credit card. However, you need to confirm with LendUp if they allow you to transfer your loan to their LendUp credit card. Generally, not all credit card providers allow this type of transaction. For this reason, it would be a good idea to directly ask LendUp.

      It is true that using your credit card responsibly can improve your credit history and score. You can learn more about that in this article, “Build your credit history with 4 different types of credit cards.”

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


  5. Default Gravatar
    June 26, 2018

    I would like to apply for another loan. Is there a waiting period before I can do so?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      June 26, 2018

      Hi Solomon!

      Thanks for leaving a question on our page.

      Once you pay your first LendUp loan completely, there is usually a waiting period of three to four days before you can apply for another loan. There may be other restrictions as well depending on your state.

      You may refer to the map above and hover through to the state you’re in, click that state to see regulations.

      Hope this helps!


  6. Default Gravatar
    November 29, 2017

    Does lendup ever go past the $1000 loan limit?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      November 30, 2017

      Hi Mike,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Generally, LendUp loan amount depends on your individual state laws, your eligibility and other factors. You’ll be able to see available loan amounts, durations and pricing before completing your application.

      In addition, base on the last level on the LendUp Ladder which is the Prime Level, you may be able to apply for a Prime Loan of up to $1000. Therefore, the maximum loan amount is $1000 and is only offered to qualified applicants.

      I hope this helps.


  7. Default Gravatar
    November 20, 2017

    What is another way i can repay my loan other than the bank?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      November 21, 2017

      Hi Kent,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      There are other options in acquiring funds other than banks. One option is through a personal loan where you can borrow from a lender and pay back with interest over a set period of time which is usually between one to seven years. Your lender will determine your loan amount, interest rate and fees based on factors like your credit score.

      You may check this page to get a more detailed information and compare options between lenders.


  8. Default Gravatar
    September 20, 2017

    The website don’t let me sign-in.

    • Default Gravatar
      September 20, 2017

      Hello Sheritha,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      You can click “Forgot your password” option on their sign-in page, and then follow the instructions sent to reset it.

      Hope this helps.


  9. Default Gravatar
    July 29, 2017

    What do you mean you don’t accept bank statements? The fifth item on the list of acceptable proofs is the last two months of bank statements. I sent you more than two months and now you are saying that isn’t approved. I have had eight loans with you people and have always paid them on time and have caused you no problems. What makes this one any different? I don’t know where you came up with the 7,670 figure as it doesn’t match any of the incomes I receive, Social Security is 10,548, Southern Lakes Publications is 5,163 and the SER program is 7,296.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      July 30, 2017

      Hi Erla,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      While we do not represent any company that we feature on our pages, we can offer you a general information. In general, to apply for Payday Loan you must have the following:
      – You have a valid checking account
      – You are a permanent resident or a citizen of the US

      Should there be any clarification or you need to follow-up your ongoing application. It would be nice to contact the lender directly.

      I hope this information has helped.


  10. Default Gravatar
    July 13, 2017

    How long do you have to pay back the $500 loan? I recently reached gold status so this would be my first $500 loan is it the same 30 days or do you have longer since it’s more money?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      July 13, 2017

      Hi Mommy,

      Thanks for your question.

      Kindly note that with LendUp, members with Gold status may borrow up to a maximum amount of single payment and/or installment loans. For some states like Ohio, if you are on a Gold status, you can only borrow up to $500 single-payment loan. This means that the loan is payable on the next payday.

      Kindly check the lender’s website to see what type of loan is available to you based on your state of residence. If it is an installment loan, you can repay it over a period of time.


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