- Single-payment and installment loans.
- Rates improve and higher loan amounts over time.
- LendUp ladder provides access to credit reporting.
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LendUp is an online lender based out of San Francisco. They make both single payment and installment loans. They started in 2012 with a focus on using technology to improve the payday lending industry. They ran into some growth issues including fines from the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB). Today, they have flushed out their team with leaders who have been working in banking and lending for many years.
The LendUp application process is similar to other online lenders. You will need to submit address, income, social security number, and checking account. Funds will typically be deposited into your account by the next business day. Good credit is not required. If you have taken out a single-payment loan and are unable to pay your loan back on the due date you are generally able to request to extend the duration of your loan (to the maximum allowed by your state). This is done with your LendUp account. Installment loans do not provide online payment modifications.
LendUp Difference: The Ladder
LendUp differs from traditional lenders with its LendUp Ladder. The exact terms of The LendUp Ladder vary by state but in general, it rewards repeat borrowers who pay on time. As one moves up the ladder rates can be lower and loan amounts larger. In addition, certain products at the higher rungs of the ladder will report your payment behavior to the credit bureaus. This means that on-time payment behavior may impact your credit score. See Do Payday Loans Affect Credit Score for additional information on short term loans and credit scores.
In 2016 LendUp was fined $3.63M by the CFPB for not delivering on promised benefits. Specifically, LendUp promised its customers they could build credit and improve their credit score by using its small-dollar loans but LendUp didn't properly report customer's loan payments to the credit bureaus for at least two years after it began originating loans. According to the credit bureaus, this prevented borrowers from improving their credit. There we additional areas where LendUp failed including improper disclosures, misleading advertisements, and illegal fees. Since 2016 LendUp scaled back its offerings to fewer states, hired a Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, and hired a Chief Legal Officer.
Borrow for Unavoidable Emergencies
In general, borrowing money only makes sense if it is part of a balanced financial plan. Quick short-term loans like the one offered by LendUp rarely make economic sense. These short-term loans are typically designed for emergency expenses that cannot be avoided and only after other options have been exhausted. Here are additional ideas for borrowing money. If one must borrow we prefer state-licensed lenders like LendUp.