Short term loans can be a risk if you don’t take precautions.
When money is tight, the last thing you need is pressure to divert your hard-earned cash into paying excessive fees and services. Short term loan companies like LendUp come in when you’re low on funds and your credit is less than perfect.
LendUp Payday Loans
Apply for a payday loan conveniently online and borrow between $100 and $250.
- Min. loan amount: $100
- Loan term: 7–30 days
- Total costs: Depends on your state, loan product, loan amount and the term of the loan.
- Must be 18+ (19+ in Alabama)
- No security deposit needed
- Confidential and secure
- Accepting new applications in the following states only: CA, LA, MS, MO, OH, TN, TX, WI
Is LendUp legit?
Yes. LendUp, and lenders like it, isn’t a scam. However, they are heavily regulated. This means that your state will have specific laws about the maximum loan amount you’re eligible for and what the lender can charge in fees and APRs. And lawmakers are constantly updating legislation relating to payday loans, which means today’s laws may differ from next week’s.
What does LendUp offer?
LendUp specializes in loans from $100 to $250.
Key information about LendUp loans includes:
- Loan term. 7–30 days, depending on your eligibility and state of residence.
- APR. Varies depending on your loan term, eligibility and state of residence.
- Fees. Varies by state but can be upward of 20% of the amount borrowed.
- Maximum loan amount. $250 in most states; up to $1,000 in others.
- Application turnaround. Typically generally receive the money the next business day.
Protect yourself from predatory lending
While LendUp is a reputable provider that can get you the funds you need quickly, other companies may not be so legitimate. Do your research on the company you’re working with, and carefully read the terms and conditions of any loan you’re offered before signing a contract.
Keep an eye out for these risks that often come with short term or payday loans:
- High interest rates. With interest rates from some loans being over 1,000%, your initial loan can quickly cost much more than its original value.
- Steep fees. Added charges can mean you’ll pay $15 to $30 or more for every $100 you borrow.
- Risk of debt spiral. If you can’t repay your loan, you may need to refinance or roll over the remaining loan amount, incurring more fees and possible penalties.
Nearly 12 million Americans take out short term loans annually, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Many of those people end up repeat borrowers — and some companies even reward regular borrowing. For instance, LendUp offers a point program that promises lower APRs for those who are eligible and earn their way through the various tiered statuses.
Before you take out a loan, be sure that you can pay it off under the terms of your loan. Failure to make payments on time could expose you to late fees and negatively affect your creditworthiness.
LendUp goes beyond just short term loans
While LendUp is primarily a short term loan company, it offer other products.
- LendUp Loans. These short term loans include varying APRs and fees based on your state of residence.
- L Card. If you have poor or no credit, you may be eligible for this credit card.
- Education. LendUp offers a library of information and courses about personal finance. Check out their LendUp Ladder program to see how you can use their financial literacy courses to get lower rates on your loans with LendUp.
Is applying online for a short term loan safe?
Security plays a particularly important role when considering a payday loan online, because you’ll need to provide your financial details and ID info over the Internet.
Most leading payday lenders make use of 128-bit secure socket layer (SSL) encryption technology to safeguard the transfer of your information. Look for lenders that that are transparent about their privacy and security policies online. Also, stick to those that prominently include their contact numbers and addresses on their websites.
What else do I need to know?
LendUp is a direct lender, which means that you will apply directly with LendUp for a loan. It also means that you can more easily get your questions answered by talking directly with a LendUp representative, rather than a broker.
While lending brokers can be a helpful way to quickly fit your needs with loan offers from a variety of lenders, if you apply with a illegitimate broker, you could be exposing yourself to a bidding process among lenders for your information. Which could means that your personal data could be sold as a lead to loan companies well into the future.
What other options are available?
Given their high fees and APRs, short term and payday loans should be your last resort. Before you apply for one, consider your alternatives. If LendUp doesn’t seem like a good fit, compare the APRs, fees and other details of other lenders.
Some other options you could consider if you have more time to explore are:
- Balance transfers. If you’re looking to use the money to consolidate your debt, a balance transfer might be a reasonable alternative. Balance transfers allow you to get all of your debt in one place, potentially with a lower interest rate.
- Credit Cards. A credit card may be a reasonable option if you’re looking to make a big purchase. Some credit cards have significantly better APRs than short term loans, and a few even have introductory offers.
- Personal loans. Personal loans options include secured personal loans, debt consolidation loans, peer-to-peer loans and home equity personal loans.