The Bottom Line: A Rise loan, designed for bad-credit consumers, is costly and best considered only after trying alternatives.
Min. Credit Score
Pros & Cons
Accepts bad credit.
Free credit score access.
Hard credit pull.
Available in a limited number of states.
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.
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. 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.
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 loan details
Have a job or regular source of income.
Have a checking account.
Live in one of the states that Rise serves.*
Loan term can be customized.
Track your TransUnion credit score.
Rate reduction with on-time payments.
Reports payments to Experian and TransUnion.
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.
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 an annual percentage rate of 135% 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 130% to 140% APR, according to the company.
How Rise loans compare
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
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 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.
*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.
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.