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LendUp Installment Loan Review

LendUp offers a single payment loan and installment loan. Currently, the lender only serves seven states.

While its interest rates can be as high or higher than those of traditional payday lenders, the lender offers a ladder program that allows customers to earn points that may lead to larger loans and/or lower interest rates.

Learn more about LendUp’s loan options by clicking below:

LendUp installment loan highlights

  • Limited loan offerings: LendUp offers single-payment and installment loans in just seven states: California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. Installment loans are limited to borrowers who climb LendUp’s Ladder program.
  • Short terms: Lending terms are short — between 7 to 30 days for single-payment loans and up to 12 months for installment loans.
  • Small loan amounts: LendUp offers single payment loans in amounts between $100 to $255 and installment loans between $100 to $1,000.
  • High interest rates: APRs vary by state and by type of loan but tend to be high. Installment loan interest rates range from 30.05% to 256.34%; single payment loans range from 156.43% to 999.99%.
  • LendUp Ladder Program: The LendUp Ladder program is billed as a way to help borrowers qualify for lower-interest loans and potentially build credit over time. However, it does limit new borrowers’ options.

LendUp at a glance

Installment loan
Terms Fees and penalties
  • Terms: Up to 12 months
  • APR: 30.05% to 256.34%
  • Loan amounts: $100 to $1,000
  • Time to funding: As soon as 1 business day.
  • Credit check: Soft Pull
  • Origination fee: Varies by state
  • Prepayment fee: Not if you pay through your checking account
  • Late payment fee: Not specified
  • Other fees: Insufficient funds fees ranging between $10 to $15; varies by state

 

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Single payment loan
Terms Fees and penalties
  • Terms: 7 to 30 days
  • APR: 156.43% to 999.99%
  • Loan amounts: $100 to $255
  • Time to funding: As soon as 1 business day.
  • Credit check: Soft Pull
  • Origination fee: 15.00% - 25.00% ; varies by state
  • Prepayment fee: Not if you pay through your checking account
  • Late payment fee: Not Specified
  • Other fees: Insufficient funds fees ranging between $10 to $25; varies by state

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: Not specified.
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified.

LendUp offers loans in seven states: California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. The terms of loans offered vary widely by state.

To qualify for a loan, you must live in one of these seven states, be 18 years old, have a valid email address and a checking account that’s able to receive electronic transfers. There’s no specified minimum credit score or debt-to-income ratio requirement, but the LendUp site states that good credit isn’t required.

It’s important to note that new LendUp borrowers may not qualify for installment loans from the get-go. LendUp has a Ladder program, which allows borrowers to earn points for repaying their loans on time as well as for completing free financial education courses and submitting testimonials. As consumers accumulate points, their access to larger loans and loans with lower interest rates may increase, depending on the laws of the state in which they live.

The requirements for the LendUp Ladder program levels vary by state. In all of the seven states LendUp serves, there are Silver and Gold levels, and in some states there are also Platinum and Prime levels.

Borrowers’ access to installment loans is dependent on which ladder level they reach:

  • In California, you have to reach the Gold level to qualify for an installment loan.
  • In Louisiana, Missouri and Texas, you must reach Platinum first.
  • In Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin, no installment loans are offered.

What borrowers are saying about LendUp

As of September 2019, the lender had a 3.9 out of 5 stars on LendingTree. Most borrowers who reviewed LendUp on LendingTree gave the company positive reviews, saying their customer service was excellent, the application process simple and that they liked the Ladder program.

Mona from Pleasanton, Texas, wrote: “Very helpful lender. Easy to deal with, flexible terms, simple, quick approvals. Credit education courses. Would definitely recommend.”

Corey from Independence, Mo., raves about its ladder system:

“Lendup is top notch. Been working with them for two years. Their entire process and ladder system is great. Their customer service is prompt and try to help. Rates get better and better as you progress through the ladder system. As well as loan options change. They report to credit bureaus as well. If you have patience and want to learn better financial habits to go with your loan. Lendup is the place to go. Two thumbs up!”

Those who give LendUp poor reviews tended to be those who haven’t been able to secure a loan through the company.

Applying for an installment loan from LendUp

Applying for a loan from LendUp is simple and can be done quickly. You’ll fill out an online form that asks for basic personal and financial information, such as your Social Security number, income and address. In some states, you must provide proof of your income.

Once you complete the application, you’ll receive a decision instantly. Approved or denied, applying for a LendUp loan won’t affect your credit, as it doesn’t perform a hard credit check. If your loan is approved, the money may be deposited in your checking account as soon as the next business day.

Pros Cons
  • Subprime borrowers may qualify: LendUp states that good credit isn’t required.
  • Easy application: The application process is quick and simple.
  • LendUp Ladder Program: For repeat borrowers, this program allows you to access better terms over time.
  • New borrowers cannot access installment loans: You’ll need to climb LendUp’s Ladder program to be eligible for an installment loan.
  • High interest rates: High interest rates increase your total cost of borrowing; you may find lower rates elsewhere.
  • Limited availability: LendUp only originates loans in seven states, meaning many potential borrowers won’t be eligible.
  • Loans are limited: Loan amounts are limited, making this lender only a good option for those who need to borrow very small amounts.
  • May not help you build credit: LendUp only reports installment loan payments for borrowers that are higher up its Ladder program.

Who’s the best fit for a LendUp installment loan?

LendUp loans are best for people in need of emergency funds who have explored all other credit alternatives and aren’t able to obtain a loan with more favorable rates due to poor credit. LendUp’s high interest rates make it an expensive choice that should only be used as a last resort or by those individuals who are certain they can pay off the balance quickly.

In some cases, a LendUp loan may be a better option than your typical payday loan, as the ladder program may help borrowers increase their access to loans with better terms over time. It’s important to note, however, that LendUp’s single payment loans aren’t reported to the three major credit bureaus. Some installment loans are reported to the three bureaus, but that only happens after you’ve reached a certain tier in the Ladder program. Even then, it may be an opt-in feature.

Although the Ladder program benefits repeat borrowers, new borrowers will find it limits their options and can be confusing to understand. For those looking for a no-fuss installment loan, look elsewhere.

Alternative loan options

Avant

  • APR: 9.95% to 35.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Origination fee: Up to 4.75%

Avant serves a much broader portion of the United States than LendUp. It currently offers loans in most states, including the District of Columbia, with the exceptions of Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia and Vermont. Terms vary by state, but its range of interest rates is significantly lower than LendUp’s range. It also offers loans in larger amounts than LendUp — between $2,000 and $35,000.

While Avant doesn’t specify a minimum credit score to qualify for a loan, it does state that most of its customers have scores between 600 to 700. Those with poor credit may not be as likely to be approved for a loan with Avant as they may be with LendUp.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

  • APR: 6.99% to 19.99%
  • Minimum credit score: Not specified
  • Terms: 36 to 72 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers loans in larger amounts than LendUp — up to $40,000. They are also available in all 50 states to residents 18 years and older (19 in Alabama and 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico) rather than in the limited areas LendUp serves.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs promises no fees ever. That includes origination fees, late fees and prepayment penalties. Borrowers pay only the principal and interest. Its interest rates are much lower than those of LendUp as well. Due to these perks, you can expect credit requirements to be high with this lender.

OneMain Financial

  • APR: 18.00% to 35.99%
  • Minimum credit score: Not specified
  • Terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Origination fee: 1.00% - 10.00%

OneMain Financial may be a good fit for borrowers who want to borrow a small loan amount and/or want a more personable loan process. Its loans start at $1,500 and go up to $20,000, and borrowers can visit branches across the country. Although this lender offers an unsecured loan product, borrowers with less-than-ideal credit might also consider their secured loan.

While it serves the entire United States, borrowers in certain states are subject to minimum and maximum loan amount limits. OneMain Financial’s interest rates are significantly lower than those offered by LendUp.

 

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