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Rise Personal Loans: 2019 Review

Feb. 25, 2019
Loans, Payday Loans, Personal Loans, Personal Loans Reviews
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

When to consider: A last resort in a true emergency after you’ve exhausted other options.

Rise Credit is an online installment loan for bad-credit borrowers offered by Elevate, a Texas-based lending company.

While its rates are lower than those of traditional payday lenders, Rise loans are an expensive way to get cash in an emergency. NerdWallet recommends exploring all the alternatives outlined below before taking this loan.

Rise loans rates and terms

APR range36% to 299%
Loan amounts$500 to $5,000
Repayment schedule4 to 26 months
Time to fundingTypically one day
  • Have a job or regular source of income.
  • Have a checking account.
  • Live in one of the states that Rise serves.*
Payment flexibility options Loan term can be customized.
Consumer-first features
  • Track your TransUnion credit score.
  • Rate reduction with on-time payments.
  • Reports payments to Experian and TransUnion.
  • Financial education.

*Rise is currently not available to borrowers in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia. Rise offers lines of credit in Kansas and Tennessee.

» MOREWhere to find a small personal loan

Rise personal loan review

To review Rise Credit, 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.

Rise uses credit, income and bank account data to generate an internal score, says Tony Leopold, general manager at Elevate, and borrowers are assigned rates and loan amounts based on how much they can afford relative to their income.

The company checks your credit with a hard credit pull when you apply, which can ding your score by a few points.

Rise reports payments to two of the three major credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion, so your score can increase if you take out a loan and make timely payments. Rise’s Credit Score Plus program provides free access to your TransUnion credit score and includes credit alerts.

Rise loan example

Rise loans are cheaper than traditional payday loans, but they are still an expensive option. For a borrower with poor credit, a $2,300 loan with a repayment term of 5 months at 135% APR would carry:

  • Monthly payments: $626.
  • Total interest: $831.
  • Total amount due: $3,131.

On average, a Rise borrower has a credit score of 570, earns under $59,000 a year and borrows $2,300 at an annual percentage rate of 130% to 140%, according to the company.

Rate reduction program

After making 24 on-time payments toward one or more Rise loans, borrowers are eligible to cut their rate in half. After 36 on-time payments, you may qualify for a new Rise loan at 36% APR, which is the upper limit of most non-payday loans.

Rise also lets borrowers know if they are eligible to refinance before the two-year mark, Leopold says.

Graduating to lower rates — while appealing — requires that you choose a longer-term loan or multiple loans. NerdWallet does not recommend long-term, high-rate loans or taking loans on a repeat basis, because the loan can become unaffordable and you may end up paying more in interest than the original amount you borrowed.

» MORE: Search for local alternatives to payday loans

How Rise loans compare

LenderAPR rangeLoan amounts
Rise36% to 299% $500 to $5,000
Oportun20% to 67%$300 to $9,000
OppLoans59% to 199%$500 to $5,000
LendUp30% to 1,356% $100 to $1,000
Payday loansTypically 400% or higherTypically up to $1,000

Rise has a higher APR range than Oportun, and rates similar to OppLoans and LendUp, three payday-alternative lenders. Rise, Oportun and LendUp offer payment and rate flexibility options. You can choose a repayment schedule that matches your budget, within the limits of your state laws.

Oportun and Rise report payments to two credit bureaus, while LendUp and OppLoans report to all three bureaus.

Rise is not a good idea if:

  • Your main goal is to build credit: Getting a secured credit card or 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. Take the quiz below to explore your options:

Before you take a Rise loan

  1. 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.
  2. 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 this loan in your state.

If you take a Rise personal loan

After considering alternatives and weighing the costs, you may decide that taking a Rise loan is your best option. In that case, do what you can to carve out room in your budget to pay the loan off as quickly as possible. For most people, this loan is too expensive to be a long-term or repeat solution.

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