Best as: A last resort in a true emergency
OppLoans is an online lender that makes small personal loans without checking your credit. It calls itself a low-cost alternative to traditional payday loans.
OppLoans offers short-term loans at rates that are lower than traditional payday lenders, but they’re still an expensive form of credit when you need quick cash. NerdWallet recommends exploring alternatives before taking this loan.
OppLoans rates and terms
|APR range||59% to 199%|
|Loan amounts||$500 to $5,000|
|Repayment schedule||5 to 24 months; weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, and monthly|
|Time to funding||Typically one day|
|Payment flexibility options||
OppLoans personal loan review
To review OppLoans, NerdWallet collected more than 30 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar loan product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.
OppLoans makes personal loans that cost less than what you’d find at an online or storefront payday lender, but they are still an expensive option.
The average OppLoans customer has a credit score of 560, makes under $45,000 a year and borrows $1,400 at an average annual percentage rate of 140%, according to the company.
Loan example: For a borrower with poor credit, a $1,400 OppLoans loan with a repayment term of 5 months at 140% APR would carry:
- Monthly payments: $385
- Total interest: $526
- Total cost of the loan: $1,926
The lender does not check your credit score from the three major credit bureaus for approval, but it does check other data about you provided by Clarity Services, a bureau that collects information on consumers with low credit scores. OppLoans also scans your bank transactions to get a picture of your cash flow.
The company wants to lend to people who cannot qualify for traditional credit and eventually help them move into the credit mainstream, says Jared Kaplan, CEO of OppLoans. Many customers use the loan for emergencies, such as car repairs or medical expenses, he says.
OppLoans reports payments to all three major credit bureaus, so your score can increase if you make on-time payments.
How OppLoans compares
Borrowers may be eligible to refinance into a larger loan or extend the loan term after making on-time payments for a few months, the company says. You can also change your payment date online and if you cannot pay, you can call the company to discuss going on a hardship plan.
Other lenders that offer alternatives to payday loans, such as LendUp and Rise, give rate reduction options to borrowers, so that your rate goes down as you make on-time payments. OppLoans does not offer that feature.
OppLoans is not a good idea if:
- You are trying to build credit: A secured credit card, credit-builder loan or paying off existing debt are faster and cheaper ways to build credit. See ways to build credit, and if you do not know your score, get your free credit score on NerdWallet.
- You can get cash elsewhere: NerdWallet recommends exhausting cheaper alternatives first, even in an emergency:
|Alternatives to high-interest loans|
|1. Ask family and friends for a loan through lending circles or a loan agreement|
|2. Seek assistance from local nonprofits, charities and religious organizations|
|3. Get a payday alternative loan from a credit union|
|4. Ask your employer for a paycheck advance|
|5. Use an app like Earnin to get a paycheck advance|
|6. Go to a pawnshop|
Before you take an OppLoans loan
- Try all other options: If none of the alternatives listed above work for you, see if you can buy time from your creditor, work out a payment plan or face the short-term financial consequences of not paying, such as a late fee.
- Compare the cost of taking the loan to the cost of not taking it: Calculate the overall cost of not having funds for your purpose, then weigh that against the typical cost of an OppLoans loan in your state.
If you take an OppLoans loan
If you decide to take an OppLoans personal loan, carve out room in your budget to pay the loan off as soon as you can to save on interest charges. Loans from OppLoans are too expensive to be a long-term or repeat solution for your finances.