OppLoans is a solid alternative to expensive payday loans, especially for those with bad credit. While eligibility requirements are straightforward, the high interest rates means it’s an expensive personal loan option.
Our review will give you the information to decide if using this service is right for you.
Overview of OppLoans
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Chicago, OppFi is the parent company of OppLoans. The online lender offers loans that are geared towards borrowers who have poor credit history, need funds quickly and are looking for personalized service. Depending on the state you live in, you may have your loan originated by Opportunity Financial LLC or a lending partner — you’ll go through OppLoans for your loans no matter who funds it.
OppLoans currently services loans through their lending partners in 30 states throughout the South and the Midwest, and their installment loans are available in Alabama, Georgia, Nevada, and Wisconsin.
How OppLoans Works
OppLoans works with those who have limited or bad credit — aka borrowers who typically have a hard time being approved by traditional lenders. Applicants may be eligible to borrow anywhere from $500 to $4,000. However, the exact amount will vary depending on factors such as your income and proof you can make the payments.
Plus, certain states may have minimum borrowing amounts. For example, residents of Georgia need to borrow a minimum of $3,001 whereas those who live in Alabama need to take a loan of at least $2,000.
Loan terms for OppLoans range between nine and 18 months, and interest rates can be anywhere from 59% to 160% APR.
Yes, the rates are quite high compared to other personal loan lenders, but they are lower than most payday loans. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the average payday loan has an APR of almost 400%. Plus, you might not have many options if your credit score is really low.
OppLoans loans, however, doesn’t charge origination fees, nor prepayment penalties. That means if you wanted to pay off your loan early or make extra payments towards your balance, you won’t be charged a fee for the privilege.
OppLoans has many similar features as to what you’d find with other online lenders — an online application form, ability to manage your loan online, and you can use loan proceeds for almost any purpose (some exceptions apply). However, it doesn’t offer features that some don’t — check these out as you’re doing your own research.
No Hard Credit Check
Many personal loan lenders will conduct a hard credit check, where your credit history and credit score will be considered as part of your eligibility requirements and could temporarily lower your score.
OppLoans, on the other hand, doesn’t require access to your credit reports. Instead, OppLoans conducts a “soft inquiry” on your credit, which allows them to pre-screen you for a loan but does not impact your credit score.
In addition, OppLoans looks at your overall financial picture and reviews your financial information like income, financial history, bank statements and employment statements when considering you for a loan. Basically, the company uses these details to determine your ability to pay back what you borrow.
FICO Score Increases
Although OppLoans won’t look at our credit score when considering you for a loan, every month it will report your repayment activity to the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and Transunion.
What does this mean? Well, if you’re consistently paying back your loans on time, this could help to increase your credit score. Keep in mind the opposite can happen: if you miss a payment it could hurt your score and lead to late fees.
If you want to build your credit score, OppLoans could help. However, if you’re taking a loan out specifically to do so, it’s an expensive way to do it, considering the high interest rates.
Refinance Existing Loan
Existing OppLoans borrowers can apply for a refinance loan. Depending on your financial profile, you may be able to be approved for a higher amount. In essence, what you’re doing is reborrowing what you’ve already paid towards your existing loan.
If you end up borrowing more, make sure you can afford to take on the new payments before submitting an application.
OppLoans has an optional TurnUp Program where it’ll review your loan application and compare it to other lender partners before approving you for a loan.
If you opt-in to the free program, you can see how loans through OppLoans compare to other lending partners and determine whether you can qualify for a loan with a lower interest rate. This is an automatic
OppLoans has a simple online application process and you could get your loan funds very quickly. Once approved, the lender will send you an email and you can choose to receive the money electronically transferred to your bank account, which could arrive as soon as the same business day.
To receive your loan proceeds on the same business day, you’ll need to have your application approved before 12:00 PM Central Time on a business day. Otherwise, the money may be able to arrive as soon as the next business day.
Although you don’t need to have a good credit score, OppLoans does look at your other financial details to determine whether you qualify for a loan.
Here’s a current list of their minimum requirements for their applicants:
Be at least 18 years old, or 19 in Alabama and Nebraska
Currently worked for the same employer for a minimum of three months
If not employed, must have proof of a regular source of income (like Social Security benefits or self-employment income)
A resident in a state where OppLoans operates
Have a traditional bank account that’s been open for a minimum of 90 days
Be willing to be paid loan proceeds by direct deposit
OppLoans doesn’t mention what their minimum requirements are, just that you need to prove you have a steady source of income. Plus, even if you meet the above requirements, you may still have your loan denied. Or, if you’re approved, it may not be for the amount you expected, or the interest rate is higher than you’d like.
Even if you have more limited options for personal loans, it’s still worth shopping around to see what you may qualify for with other lenders.
How to Apply for a Loan Through OppLoans
OppLoans is an online lender and applicants can’t apply over the phone or in person — you can only do so online. Plus, you won’t be allowed to apply with a co-signer as part of a joint application, so only your information will be needed.
OppLoans is different from many other personal loan lenders in that you don’t need to go through a prequalification process, where you submit your information and the lender checks your credit to see what you may qualify for.
With that in mind, here’s what you need to do:
Get all necessary information ready: Read the requirements for OppLoans and gather all necessary details such as your proof of income, banking details, and desired loan amount.
Go to OppLoans’ online application page: All you need to do is click on the “Apply Now” button on the top right corner and fill out the form, including personal details like your employment information.
Provide necessary documentation: You may be asked to upload proof such as source of income and bank statements.
Wait for approval: After submitting your application form, OppLoans will process your application, though if you want you can check on its status by logging into your account. You’ll be contacted on their decision— if denied, OppLoans will let you know the reason why. If approved, confirm your banking details and the funds will be sent as soon as the next business day.
What to Consider Before Applying for a Loan From OppLoans
It bears repeating: OppLoans can be a great fit if you have a low credit score or limited credit history. That’s because their loans don’t have a minimum credit score requirement to be able to qualify, making a more accessible loan.
Of course, the lender wants to make sure you have the ability to pay back the loan, so it’ll look at other factors such as your income. OppLoans may determine loan eligibility from alternate credit bureaus and banking data — neither of which will show up as a hard inquiry on your credit report or impact your credit score.
OppLoans is also a great fit if you want fast funding, considering you can get loan proceeds as soon as the next business day once your loan is approved.
Of course, there are some major downsides to taking out a loan from this lender. The obvious one is the high interest rates.
Sure, it may be cheaper than what you could get with a payday loan but OppLoans is meant for those who can’t qualify for other lenders due to their financial profile. At rates starting at 59%, you’re better off looking at alternatives first before considering OppLoans.
Plus, you won’t be able to borrow more than $4,000 which could be a huge drawback if you’re hoping to take out more for things like renovations or consolidating some debt. You’ll also have to pay the loan back within 18 months or less, and many lenders may offer more flexible loan terms.
All this to say: it’s probably a good idea to look at alternatives like other lenders, waiting until your credit score is higher, or even using a credit card before considering OppLoans. That way, you may be able to get a lower interest rate or qualify for better loan terms.
Pros and Cons of OppLoans
Assessing our pros and cons will be helpful in deciding if you want to apply for a loan from OppLoans.
Fast funding times
Straightforward online application process
No credit check required
No prepayment penalties
No origination fees
High interest rates
Low loan amounts
Not available in all states
Only paid through direct deposit
Limited loan terms
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About OppLoans
The following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about OppLoans.
OppLoans is an installment loan lender. It means you can borrow money in a lump sum, and pay it back in installments over time. Unlike many other lenders, OppLoans doesn’t require its applicants to go through a credit check, making it a good fit for those with less than stellar credit.
Yes, OppLoans is a legitimate online personal loan lender. It specializes in loans for borrowers who have bad credit and is forthcoming in loan terms and conditions. However, some might balk at the high interest rates, though the company claims it is lower than most traditional payday loan lenders.
Getting an OppLoans personal loan is relatively quick. Since you apply online and approval isn’t dependent on a hard credit inquiry, you could be approved and receive funding in as little as one to three business days. According to OppLoans, the time you’ll receive funding will depend on the day and time when your application was approved.
Depending on the specific terms of your loan, you’ll either make monthly or twice-monthly payments (about every two weeks). You can schedule recurring payments or pay them manually either via ACH transfer, debit card, or paper check.
Contributor Sarah Li-Cain is a personal finance writer based in Jacksonville, Florida, specializing in real estate, insurance, banking, loans and credit. She is the host of the Buzzsprout and Beyond the Dollar podcasts. Contributor Taylor Millam-Samuel contributed to this report.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.