Rise Installment Loans: 2021 Review

Rise provides small installment loans with fast funding but high interest rates. You may have cheaper borrowing options.

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Our Take

2.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: A Rise loan, designed for bad-credit consumers, is costly and best considered only after trying alternatives.

Rise

Rise

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

50.00-299.00%

Loan Amount

$500-$5,000

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers free credit score access.
  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

Cons

  • High rates compared with other similar lenders.
  • No option to pre-qualify.

Compare to Other Lenders

Oportun
OneMain
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Est. APR

27.74-35.95%

Est. APR

18.00-35.99%

Loan Term

12 to 51 months

Loan Term

2 to 5 years

Loan Amount

$300-$10,000

Loan Amount

$1,500-$20,000

Min. Credit Score

None

Min. Credit Score

None

Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders

Compare Rates

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Full 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.

When to consider: A last resort in an emergency after you’ve exhausted other options.

Rise Credit is an online installment lender operated by Texas-based Elevate. Its loans are designed for bad-credit borrowers and those who can’t get a loan from a traditional bank or online lender. The company says the loans are commonly used for unexpected expenses.

Interest rates on Rise loans can rival those of payday lenders, with maximum annual percentage rates reaching 299% in some states. High rates make these loans an expensive way to get cash in an emergency. NerdWallet recommends avoiding loans with rates above 36% unless you’ve ruled out all the alternatives.

Rise at a glance

Credit building

  • Reports payments to two of the three major credit bureaus.

  • Offers some financial education on budgeting and credit.

Affordability

  • May offer triple-digit APRs.

  • Rates exceed state-mandated caps in some cases.

  • No origination or prepayment fees.

Loan flexibility

  • Does not allow borrowers to choose or change their payment date.

  • Offers a hardship plan.

  • Not available to new customers in AK, CA, CO, CT, IL, IA, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, PA, RI, SD, VT, VA, WV or Washington, D.C.

Transparency

  • Website does not clearly disclose rates and terms on a main page of the site.

Customer experience

  • Offers two contact channels and seven-day support for customer questions.

Rise loan details

Requirements:

To evaluate borrowers, Rise generates an internal score using credit, income and bank account data. Borrowers are assigned rates and loan amounts based on how much they can afford relative to their income.

Rise loans can be repaid over four to 26 months, though terms vary by state.

To get a Rise loan, you must:

  • Have a job or regular source of income.

  • Have a checking account and email address.

  • Live in one of the 30 states where Rise offers loans.

  • Be at least at least 18 years old.

Consumer-first features:

  • Seven-day payment extension option.

  • Accepts returned loans within five days, without charging fees.

  • Free credit score monitoring.

  • Reports payments to Experian and TransUnion.

  • Financial education.

The company says customers can get a lower annual percentage rate on a refinanced or subsequent loan. But if getting a lower rate means extending the term, refinancing may not be beneficial. Even if your new loan has a lower interest rate, long-term loans can cost more in total interest.

Rise loan example

Rise loans can have lower APRs than payday loans, but they are still an expensive option. A $2,100 loan with a repayment term of 5 months at an APR of 125% would carry:

  • Monthly payments: $560.

  • Total interest: $699.

  • Total amount due: $2,799.

What to know about Rise

Rise offers loans with APRs above some state-mandated maximums. In Ohio, for example, short-term loans can’t have an APR above 28%, but Rise offers loans with APRs between 99% and 149%.

Asked about the discrepancy, Elevate said it adheres to “applicable state and federal banking laws.” Utah-based FinWise Bank and CCBank originate and fund Rise loans in 20 of the 30 states where Rise offers loans to new customers. Utah doesn’t impose a maximum APR.

In June 2020, Washington, D.C.'s attorney general announced a lawsuit against Elevate, alleging Rise and Elastic — another lender Elevate owns — lent money at interest rates above the district's mandated maximum. The lawsuit also alleges that the lenders' direct mail offers misled consumers, and they didn't accurately communicate the loans' interest rates.

An Elevate spokesman said in an email that Rise doesn't lend in Washington, D.C. The spokesman said the company adheres to federal law, which allows banks to license financial technology that lets them lend in all states.

How Rise loans compare

OppLoans’ APRs are comparable to — or in some cases lower than — Rise APRs. Like Rise, OppLoans lends above APR caps in some states. Unlike Rise, OppLoans payments are reported to all three major credit bureaus. OppLoans borrowers can also change their payment date, while Rise allows you to extend it by seven days.

Oportun focuses on helping those with no credit history establish it. Oportun operates in just 12 states, but its lower rates and borrowers’ ability to add a co-signer make it a better option than Rise.

Rise isn't 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. Find other ways to build credit. NerdWallet lets you view your free credit score and offers other budgeting tools without requiring that you get a loan.

  • You can get cash elsewhere: NerdWallet recommends exhausting cheaper alternatives first, including local charities and nonprofits — even in an emergency.

Alternatives to Rise

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: 

If you take a Rise installment 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.

Personal Loans Rating Methodology

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. Read our editorial guidelines.