Pros & Cons
- Able to fund loans the same or next business day.
- Soft credit check with pre-qualification.
- Rates are high compared with other bad-credit lenders.
- May charge an origination fee.
- Some loan payments may not initially go to principal.
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When to consider: A last resort in an emergency after you’ve exhausted other options.
NetCredit is a Chicago-based online lender that offers installment loans with high interest rates. Borrowers with bad credit can get a NetCredit loan for $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the state.
Borrowers typically get NetCredit loans for unexpected bills or to consolidate other debts, says Kirk Chartier, chief marketing officer at NetCredit’s parent company, Enova International. Still, the loans have high annual percentage rates, and NerdWallet recommends considering this type of loan as a last resort.
Enova also owns online payday lender CashNetUSA, and some applicants seeking a NetCredit loan could also see advertisements for CashNetUSA, says Enova's head of consumer marketing, Kelly Jordan. More commonly, she says, CashNetUSA borrowers see NetCredit marketing materials.
Qualifying for a NetCredit loan
The lender uses information from alternative credit bureaus and considers employment, residential histories and other factors when reviewing a loan application. NetCredit reviews borrowers’ credit histories for patterns of on-time and missed payments that Chartier says can get lost in a traditional credit scoring model.
Must be at least 18 in most states.
Must have a verifiable source of income.
Must have a Social Security number.
Must have a personal checking account.
Must have an email address.
NetCredit at a glance
NetCredit loan example
NetCredit loans are cheaper than most payday loans, but they’re still an expensive option — for the average loan, you could end up paying more than double what you borrow.
The average NetCredit borrower has a 605 credit score and an annual income of $58,000. The average loan is $4,000 with an annual percentage rate of 83%.
A $4,000 loan with an 83% APR and two-year repayment term would carry:
Monthly payments: $346.
Total interest paid: $4,309.
Total amount repaid: $8,309.
How NetCredit compares
Here’s how NetCredit stacks up against similar lenders:
OppLoans offers similar APRs but lower loan amounts. Unlike NetCredit, OppLoans doesn’t require a credit check.
Oportun offers personal loans with maximum APRs of 36% to borrowers with little or no credit history. Like NetCredit, Oportun boasts fast funding and reports on-time payments to credit bureaus.
» MORE: Installment loans for bad credit
What to know about NetCredit
Interest rates: In some states, the lender offers loan amounts that circumvent state-mandated interest rate maximums. For example, California caps APRs on loans between $2,500 and $10,000 at about 36%. NetCredit offers loans up to $15,000 in that state. Loans between $2,500 and $15,000 may have 36% APRs, but the lender lists loans above $10,100 as having a 64% or 65% APR.
Amortization: Some borrower complaints published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau say that payments aren’t going toward the loan’s principal. In some cases, Jordan says, the first few payments on a NetCredit loan may go to interest only.
Virginia lawsuit: The Commonwealth of Virginia sued NetCredit in 2018, alleging the company operated there without a license and misled borrowers in an effort to avoid the state's rate caps. NetCredit requested the case either be dismissed or arbitration agreements between borrowers and the lender be upheld, rather than having to pay the commonwealth for damages. The request was denied once in 2019, appealed and denied again in 2021.
NetCredit isn't a good idea if
Your main goal is to build credit: NetCredit reports on-time payments to two of the three major credit bureaus to help borrowers build credit. But there are ways to build credit without incurring high-interest debt.
You can get cash elsewhere: NerdWallet recommends exhausting all your options before considering a lender with high interest rates. Even in an emergency, you may have other, cheaper options.
Alternatives to NetCredit loans
Here are some alternatives that may be cheaper than borrowing.
For help meeting basic needs: Seek assistance from local nonprofits, charities and religious organizations. They can help you get food, clothing and access to transportation for job interviews.
For help with rent or utilities: Contact your utility company, landlord or mortgage issuer for help deferring a payment. If you need long-term help, consider seeking other housing or contact a housing counselor.
To pay medical bills: Learn about ways to cover medical costs, including payment plans.
To cover other one-time emergency expenses:
Ask your employer for a paycheck advance or use a loan app to borrow against your next paycheck.
Get a payday alternative loan or a small personal loan from a credit union. You have to be a member to use this option, but it’s one of the most affordable ways to pay for an emergency.
Try other ways to make money. You need some extra time to make this option work.
Before you take a NetCredit loan
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 a NetCredit loan in your state.
After considering your alternatives and weighing costs, you may decide that a NetCredit installment loan is your best option. In that case, do what you can to carve out room in your budget to pay off the loan as quickly as possible. For most people, this loan is too expensive to be a long-term or repeat solution.
How to get a NetCredit loan
NetCredit’s application process is fully online. To apply, click Check Your Eligibility and you’ll be asked questions about how much money you want to borrow and why.
Then you’ll enter your address, date of birth, whether you rent or own, your email address and Social Security number. If approved, you can choose a loan amount and repayment term that works for you.
The lender may ask for more information to verify your income and identity. Applying doesn’t affect your credit score, because NetCredit doesn’t do a hard credit pull from the major bureaus. Loans are typically funded the same or next business day, according to the company.
NerdWallet rates lenders that offer high-interest personal loans separately from other lenders due to the consumer risk associated with these loans. We define high-interest loans as those with rates that exceed 36%, which is the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. The maximum allowable rating for high-interest lenders that we review is four stars. We award points to lenders that offer loans that minimize harm to consumers through affordability, transparency and practices that prioritize consumers’ needs. This includes: checking credit and reporting payments to credit bureaus, monthly payments that don’t exceed 5% of a borrower’s monthly income, fully amortizing repayments, transparency of loan rates and fees, and accessible customer service and financial education. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings.
Frequently asked questions
In states where personal loan interest rates are capped to protect consumers from predatory lending, NetCredit structures its loans so it can offer high-interest loans without breaking the law. The Commonwealth of Virginia sued NetCredit in 2018 for allegedly operating there without a license and misleading borrowers in an effort to avoid the state's rate caps.
Some borrower complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau state that payments did not go toward the loan’s principal, and NetCredit has said not all loans are fully amortizing from the start.
NetCredit does not offer payday loans. Though NetCredit loans can have triple-digit APRs, they don’t reach the 300% or higher rates typical of payday loans. Also, NetCredit loans are repaid in biweekly or monthly installments, while payday loans are typically repaid on your next pay date.
Enova International, the company that owns NetCredit, also owns CashNetUSA, which is a payday lender.