Amplify loans review: Expensive loans for emergencies

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In a Nutshell

Amplify Funding offers short-term personal loans for emergencies, and you may be able to get loan funds quickly if you’re approved. But Amplify loans are expensive — interest rates for emergency loans are typically high, and while the lender doesn’t disclose rates until you apply, Amplify notes that this is an expensive form of borrowing. There also are late and insufficient-funds fees.
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Amplify Funding is now doing business as Lendumo, but it still offers short-term loans with expensive financing terms. Learn more in our review of Lendumo loans.

Pros Cons
Rewards program Amplify itself admits its loans are expensive (though it doesn’t disclose rates until you apply)
Potential to get money quickly with approval Late fees and nonpayment fees
  Not available in all states

What you need to know about Amplify loans

Amplify Funding is a tribal lender operated by the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. It’s an online lender that offers short-term personal loans that it calls installment loans. Amplify Funding says it considers applicants with bad credit or even no credit. But loans aren’t available to residents of all states or to active military service members or their dependents.

While Amplify Funding claims that it’s a better alternative to predatory payday loans, its emergency loans are expensive and shouldn’t be relied on as a long-term financial solution.

Emergency loans: What you need to know

Likely high interest rates

Although the rate you’re offered depends on your credit history, income and other factors, you can probably expect a high annual percentage rate, or APR, if you get an Amplify loan. You’ll likely have to pay a significant amount of interest on top of the principal of your loan. That’s common for emergency loans.

It’s worth noting that Amplify Funding doesn’t disclose its rates on its website, and you’ll have to apply (which may affect your credit scores) before you know what interest rate you’ll be facing. But Amplify itself notes that its loans are an expensive way to borrow. 

Funds may be available quickly if approved

If you’re approved for a loan, Amplify Funding says it usually deposits money into your bank account on the next business day. This is in line with the funding times of other online emergency lenders. 

Amp Rewards program

The Amp Rewards program offers repeat borrowers faster approval times, lower interest rates and higher maximum loan amounts. It also awards points for borrowing and paying back loans, and borrowers can exchange the points for gift cards.

A closer look at an Amplify loan

Here are a few more things to consider before deciding whether to borrow from Amplify Funding.

  • Loan amounts — You can borrow up to $1,200 the first time you take out a loan. If you’ve borrowed from Amplify Funding in the past, you may be eligible to borrow up to $2,500.
  • Fees — If a payment is late by three days or more, Amplify charges a $30 late fee. You’ll also incur a $30 fee if a payment doesn’t go through because of insufficient funds.
  • Availability — Amplify loans are only available in certain states. You can go online to check if an Amplify loan is available in yours.
  • Active military — To qualify, you can’t be an active-duty service member or the dependent of an active-duty service member.
  • Credit — Amplify Funding says it lends money to people who have bad credit or who haven’t established a credit history.

Who an Amplify loan is good for

If you need money right away for an unexpected bill, taking out a loan from Amplify Funding may give you cash fast. But these loans are expensive — you should exhaust less costly options first. Consider getting an advance from your employer, if you can, or using a credit card. Or if you’ve been a member of a federal credit union for one month or longer, you may be able to take out a payday alternative loan instead.

How to apply with Amplify Funding

You can apply for an Amplify Funding loan online by filling out a form in four short sections. You need to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen to apply. You also must have a checking account and a steady source of income.

Amplify asks how much you want to borrow, and then asks for some personal information.

  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Street address
  • Social Security number
  • Length of time at your current address
  • Employer name and phone number
  • Date you were hired
  • Net monthly income
  • Amount of your last paycheck
  • Last pay date, next pay date and second pay date after the loan
  • Bank name and account number

If you’ve borrowed from Amplify Funding in the past, you don’t have to enter all of your information again. You can review the details you gave previously and update anything that’s changed.

After you submit your application, you should receive a confirmation email within an hour. You’ll have to call Amplify Funding so it can verify that your information is correct.

Not sure if Amplify Funding is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • LendUp: LendUp can also provide funds as soon the next business day if you’re approved and doesn’t require good credit.
  • Earnin: Earnin may be a cheaper option because it doesn’t charge interest or fees — it asks for tips instead. You must meet eligibility requirements and allow the app to track your earnings.

About the author: Sarah Brodsky is a freelance writer covering personal finance and economics. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from The University of Chicago. Sarah has written for companies such… Read more.