The bottom line: An option for bad-credit borrowers, but with high rates should only be considered as a last resort.
Min. Credit Score
59.00 - 99.00%
$500 - $4,000
Pros & Cons
Option to change your payment date.
Able to fund loans within 1-2 business days.
Rates are high compared with other bad-credit lenders.
Short maximum repayment terms of up to 18 months in many states.
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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.
When to consider: A last resort in a true emergency after you’ve exhausted other options.
OppLoans makes short-term installment loans with no credit check and markets itself as a fast, affordable alternative to payday loans. The company started in 2012 to help people access credit, which had become increasingly difficult after the 2008 financial crisis, says Jared Kaplan, CEO of OppLoans.
OppLoans offers lower rates and longer repayment terms than most payday lenders, but it's still an expensive form of credit. NerdWallet doesn't recommend loans with annual percentage rates above 36% unless you’ve exhausted all other borrowing options first. OppLoans also encourages borrowers to seek cheaper loans if they qualify.
» MORE: Installment loans for bad credit
The lender doesn't check your credit score from the three major credit bureaus, but it does check your other data provided by Clarity Services, an offshoot of Experian that collects information on consumers with low credit scores.
OppLoans prioritizes borrowers’ ability to repay the loan with an emphasis on income, Kaplan says.
Bank account transaction data and inquiries on an applicant’s credit report that show how often they’re seeking a loan are also factors in a loan decision.
OppLoans has some hard requirements for borrowers.
Minimum credit score: None required.
Minimum monthly gross income: $1,500.
Must be employed or receive benefits, like Social Security benefits. Borrowers cannot be self-employed.
Have a bank account in your name with 40 days of history.
Receive your paychecks through direct deposit.
Live in one of the states that OppLoans serves.
The lender offers loans in 13 states and services loans funded by FinWise bank in 24 others.
Offers refinancing after on-time payments. Eligible borrowers may be able to get a larger loan or extend their loan term.
Offers financial education content.
Reports payments to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion for most customers.
On-time payments reported to the credit bureaus can positively affect a borrower’s credit score, something Kaplan says OppLoans desires, though it doesn’t have a way to confirm that it's happening.
OppLoans caps repayment terms at 18 months in many states where it operates and encourages customers to call and discuss a hardship plan if they can’t pay.
OppLoans interest rates
OppLoans caps interest rates above some state-mandated maximums. In California, for example, the Fair Access to Credit Act caps annual interest rates on loans between $2,500 and $10,000 at about 36%, but OppLoans’ website lists APRs up to 160% for loans in that range.
Asked about the discrepancy, a spokesman for the lender said in a statement that it adheres to federal law.
“Pursuant to federal law, state-chartered banks are able to provide these much-needed loans nationally based on the law of their home state,” the statement reads in part. Utah, where FinWise is based, doesn’t specify maximum interest rates.
The OppLoans statement contends that such banks “have the ability to serve the millions of Americans who lack savings and struggle to qualify for credit cards and other forms of loans.”
Loan example: The average OppLoans customer has a credit score of 560, makes under $45,000 a year and borrows $1,350 at an average annual percentage rate of 140%, according to the company.
A $1,350 OppLoans installment loan with a repayment term of nine months at 140% APR would carry:
Monthly payments: $250
Total interest: $901
Total amount due: $2,251
How OppLoans compares
Here’s how OppLoans compares with similar lenders.
Oportun loans have 36% maximum APR, but they are available in only 12 states. The company says it would consider credit history if a loan applicant had it, but it’s not a requirement. Oportun also says it processes most loan applications and funds loans the same day.
Rise offers similar loan amounts but has much higher APRs. This lender offers installment loans in 13 states and lets borrowers return a loan up to five days after borrowing.
» MORE: Compare online installment loans
OppLoans is not a good idea if:
You are trying to build credit: OppLoans reports payments to all three credit bureaus, so your score can increase if you make on-time payments. However, there are faster and cheaper ways to build credit, including a secured credit card or credit-builder loan. If you don't know your score, you can get your free credit score on NerdWallet.
You can get cash elsewhere: Cheaper alternatives are not always fast or convenient, and sometimes they require asking for help. But NerdWallet strongly recommends exhausting alternatives first, even in an emergency. Take the quiz below to explore your options:
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
After considering alternatives and weighing the costs, you may decide that taking an OppLoans installment 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.
Personal Loans Rating Methodology
NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus, and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
Frequently asked questions
OppLoans offers installment loans with APRs as high as 199%, which is above the 36% maximum APR some consumer advocates recommend, but lower than some other payday loan APRs that can reach above 300%. Unlike most payday lenders, OppLoans offers repayment terms of months rather than weeks and reports payments to the three major credit bureaus to help borrowers build credit.
If your goal is to build credit, there are cheaper ways to go about it.
OppLoans does not have a minimum credit score requirement for borrowers. Instead, it uses data from Clarity Services, an Experian offshoot that collects data from small-dollar lenders, check cashers and prepaid card issuers. To make a loan decision, OppLoans also relies on an applicant’s income, bank account transaction data and information about how often an applicant has applied for a loan.
You can pay off an OppLoans installment loan at any time. The company says a borrower won’t receive a prepayment fee for repaying early.