Oportun Personal Loans: 2023 Review
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Pros & Cons
- Pre-qualify with soft credit check.
- Co-sign and limited secured loan options.
- Accepts borrowers new to credit.
- Small loans starting at $300.
- Community Development Financial Institution.
- May charge an origination fee.
- High rates.
- No option to change your payment date.
Compare to Other Lenders
Full Review of Oportun
Oportun is an online and storefront lender that makes installment loans to low- and moderate-income applicants with limited or no credit history. The lender says it provides loans to fair- and good-credit borrowers, too, but those consumers likely have lower-cost borrowing options elsewhere.
Oportun’s rates are high, but below the 36% maximum annual percentage rate that many financial experts and consumer advocates consider affordable. Though Oportun helps borrowers establish and build credit, a personal loan may not be the best way to go about it. If your only goal is to build credit, consider other options first.
Table of Contents
Oportun personal loans at a glance
Minimum credit score
None; this lender accepts borrowers with no credit score.
29.00% - 35.95%.
$300 to $10,000.
1 to 5 years.
Time to fund after approval
1 to 4 days.
Loans not available in CO, CT, IA, ME, MD, MA, NY, WV or Washington, D.C., according to Oportun’s website.
- Disclosure from Oportun
This is an advertisement for a consumer loan, subject to credit eligibility. Not available in CO, CT, IA, MA, ME, MD, NY, WV and Washington, D.C. Loans in AZ, CA, FL, ID, IL, MO, NJ, NM, TX, UT, and WI are originated by Oportun Inc. California loans made pursuant to a California Financing Law license. NV loans originated by Oportun, LLC. In all other states, loans are originated by MetaBank, N.A., member FDIC. Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. See oportun.com for details.
Where Oportun personal loans stand out
Loans for applicants with thin or no credit history: Oportun says it aims to help borrowers establish and build credit history, so a credit score isn’t required to qualify. The lender reviews information like income, rent and utility payments, and how much money you have left over at the end of each month, to qualify you.
Small loans: Oportun loans can be as small as $300, which is a much lower minimum amount than most other personal loans. These loans can be used for small, short-term emergencies or income gaps. They may be an affordable alternative to payday loans.
» MORE: Best emergency loans
Joint loan option: You can add a co-borrower with better credit or income to improve your chances of qualifying or getting a lower rate. With a joint loan, your co-borrower shares responsibility for repayment, so any late or missed payments affect both of your credit scores.
Hardship program: Depending on the circumstances, Oportun may defer or reduce payments for borrowers struggling to pay, or it may rewrite the loan to lower the interest rate and monthly payments and extend the repayment term.
Community focus: Oportun is a federally certified community development financial institution, which means its primary mission must be promoting community development. The lender offers free financial coaching to customers and provides job assistance and financial support through partnerships with other organizations.
Where Oportun personal loans fall short
High rates: Though Oportun loan rates are below 36%, the lender’s starting rate is high compared with other online lenders whose APRs can start below 10%. Compare rates from other lenders to be sure you’re getting the best offer.
Origination fee: Oportun may charge an origination fee up to 8% of the loan amount. The lender takes this fee from the loan before sending you the funds, reducing your loan amount by up to a few hundred dollars. Be sure the loan amount is still enough to cover your expense after the fee is applied.
No option to change your payment date: Before signing a loan agreement, Oportun says it allows borrowers to choose from a few payment dates that coincide with their job’s pay schedule. After that, the date cannot be changed. It’s common for a lender to let borrowers change their payment date at least once during repayment to accommodate changes in income or expenses.
Do you qualify for an Oportun personal loan?
Oportun is a borrowing option for those with thin or no credit history, but the lender says it may not be the right choice for those with damaged credit. A low credit score may not disqualify you from getting an Oportun loan, but a history of missed or late payments toward credit cards and other loans won’t get you far with this lender.
» MORE: How to rebuild credit
Borrowers must be at least 18 years old and have a valid ID to apply for an Oportun loan. Here are the lender’s minimum requirements to qualify.
Minimum credit score: None. The lender says about half of its new customers don’t have a credit score when they get a loan.
Minimum monthly net income: $500. Borrowers must provide proof of regular income from employment, alimony, retirement, child support and Social Security payments.
Maximum debt-to-income ratio: None. Oportun reviews borrowers’ debt payments and other living expenses to determine approval and loan amount.
Here’s a snapshot of the average Oportun borrower, according to the lender:
Average monthly net income: $4,000.
Average loan amount: $4,308.
Average loan APR: 34.78%.
Average loan term: 32 months.
Common loan purposes: Bill payments, debt consolidation, emergencies, to build credit and to buy or repair a car.
Before you apply
Calculate your monthly payments. Use a personal loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you’d need to get a loan with affordable monthly payments.
Make a plan to repay the loan. Review your budget to see how the loan’s monthly payments impact your cash flow. If you have to cut other expenses in order to repay the loan, it’s better to know that before you borrow.
Gather your documents. Oportun requires proof of income, which can be a W-2 or pay stub, as well as proof of address, a Social Security number and up to four references. Having this information ready to share can speed the application process.
How to apply for an Oportun personal loan
Here are the steps to apply for an Oportun loan, based on information from the lender and our experience pre-qualifying.
Pre-qualify on Oportun’s website. Click “Apply Now” under “Personal Loans” on Oportun’s website. You’ll enter your ZIP code, name, birthdate and contact information. Then click “Next.” There is no hard credit pull at this stage.
Preview loan offers and accept the one that fits your budget. Qualified applicants will see the maximum loan amount they’re approved for, but not the loan’s potential APR and repayment term.
Submit an application. Next, you’ll submit a formal personal loan application, which may require more documents like W-2s or pay stubs. Though this lender accepts borrowers with thin or no credit history, there’s still a hard credit pull before final approval. Borrowers who are approved are able to choose from three repayment plans.
Compare Oportun to other lenders
Personal loan lenders offer different rates, loan amounts and special features, so it pays to weigh other options. The best personal loan is usually the one with the lowest APR.
Universal Credit and OneMain Financial both offer personal loans to borrowers with low credit scores. These lenders have lower rates than Oportun, but qualification requirements may be tighter.
Oportun vs. Universal Credit
Universal Credit requires a minimum credit score of 560 and does not accept no-credit borrowers. This lender stands out for its credit-building features, so it may be a good choice for fair- or bad-credit borrowers looking to build their scores.
Universal Credit offers larger loans than Oportun and can fund a loan the day after approval, making it a solid option for a large, urgent expense. Universal Credit loans are available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Oportun vs. OneMain Financial
Like Oportun, OneMain doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, but still checks applicants’ credit. Unlike Oportun, OneMain does not approve applicants with no credit score. OneMain offers larger loans than Oportun and allows borrowers to change their payment date twice during the life of the loan.
OneMain’s rates aren’t much lower than Oportun, but it may be a better choice for bad-credit borrowers looking to consolidate high-interest debts.
» MORE: NerdWallet’s OneMain review
How we rate Oportun personal loans
NerdWallet writers rate lenders against a rubric that changes each year based on how personal loan products evolve. Here’s what we prioritized this year:
- Category definitions
Affordability (30%) An affordable loan has low rates and fees compared to other similar loans and may offer rate discounts.
Underwriting and eligibility (25%) The lender reviews borrowers credit reports and credit history, and tries to understand their ability to repay a loan, before making a final application decision.
Loan flexibility (20%) A flexible loan is one that lets users customize terms and payments. That means offering a wide range of repayment term options, allowing the borrower to change their payment date, offering loans in most states and funding it quickly.
Customer experience (15%) A good customer experience can include a fully online application process, financial education on the lender’s website and a customer service team that’s available most of the time and can be reached multiple ways.
Transparency (10%) A transparent lender makes information about the loan easy to find on its website, including rates, terms and loan amounts. Transparency also means allowing users to pre-qualify online to preview potential loan offers and reporting payment information with the major credit bureaus.
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NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 technology companies and financial institutions. We collect over 50 data points from each lender and cross-check company websites, earnings reports and other public documents to confirm product details. We may also go through a lender’s pre-qualification flow and follow up with company representatives. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.
Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. Our ratings award fewer points to lenders with practices that may make a loan difficult to repay on time, such as charging high annual percentage rates (above 36%), underwriting that does not adequately assess consumers’ ability to repay and lack of credit-building help. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.