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Rise Personal Loans: 2019 Review

Jan. 2, 2019
Loans, Payday Loans, Personal Loans, Personal Loans Reviews
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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 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 scheduleTypically 5 to 26 months
Time to fundingTypically one day
  • Have a checking account
  • Live in one of the states that Rise serves
Payment flexibility options Loan term can be customized
Consumer-first features
  • Offers VantageScore credit score
  • Rate reduction with on-time payments
  • Reports payments to Experian and TransUnion
  • Financial education

» 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 loans are cheaper than traditional payday loans, but they are still an expensive option. The company checks your credit with a hard credit pull when you apply, which can ding your score by a few points.

A low score does not prevent you from qualifying for a loan, says Tony Leopold, general manager at Elevate.

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.

Loan example: 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

Rise uses credit, income and bank account data to generate its own internal score, Leopold says. Borrowers are assigned rates and loan amounts based on how much they can afford relative to their income, and once they’ve established a history of on-time payments toward the loan, they may receive a lower rate.

“It’s not in our interest to have loans a customer cannot pay,” he says. “We don’t get paid when people default.”

Rise reports payments to two of the three major credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion, so your score can increase if you make timely payments. It also gives borrowers access to their VantageScore credit score and provides tips on managing your score.

How Rise loans compare

Rise has rates comparable with OppLoans and LendUp, two online high-interest lenders. Rise and LendUp both offer payment and rate flexibility options. You can choose a repayment schedule that matches your budget, within the limits of your state laws.

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.

Similarly, LendUp gives borrowers the ability to graduate to lower rates by making on-time payments and watching financial education videos. OppLoans lets you extend the loan term after making on-time payments for a few months, and you can change your payment date online.

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.

LendUp and Rise both report to the credit bureaus, but in different ways. LendUp offers the option to have payments reported on some of its loans, while Rise reports all loans. LendUp reports to all three major credit bureaus; Rise reports to two.

Rise 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. Take the quiz below to explore your options:

Before you take a Rise personal 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

If you decide to take a Rise 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 Rise are too expensive to be a long-term or repeat solution for your finances.

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