Brother Loan & Finance review: Employment-based financing

Woman sitting on her couch in her living room, smiling and talking with a friend about getting a loan from Brother loanImage: Woman sitting on her couch in her living room, smiling and talking with a friend about getting a loan from Brother loan

In a Nutshell

If you need cash quickly to repair a flat tire or cover a medical bill, you can apply for a loan from Brother Loan & Finance — for amounts of up to $1,500, depending on your state’s regulations. And you might be able to get funds in as little as one hour. But these loans come with high APRs and aren’t available in most states.

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Pros Cons
May be able to get money in as little as an hour, if approved High APRs
No application, origination or prepayment penalty fees Applicants must work for a qualifying employer
No collateral required Must apply in person
  Unavailable in most states

What you need to know about a Brother loan

Brother Loan & Finance is a small company that operates branches only in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis, and in Kansas City, Mo. and Summit, Ill. If you need money to pay for an emergency like a car repair or medical bill, you can apply for a personal loan up to $1,500 from Brother Loan & Finance. Just be aware that the loan amount may be limited by your state’s requirements. If you’re approved, you could get your loan funds in as little as an hour — although you can’t complete the application process without going to a branch office in person. The lender says your job acts as your credit. So if you’ve worked for a qualifying employer for at least a year, you may be eligible for a loan.

Here are some other things you should know about Brother Loan & Finance before applying.

Application process must be completed in person

Many personal loan lenders allow you to apply for a loan online. Unfortunately, Brother Loan & Finance doesn’t offer that option. Instead, your first step is to call — and then you have to go to a Brother Loans branch in person to follow through with the application process.

Loans have high APRs

The APRs on Brother Loan & Finance personal loans are high, nearly hitting triple-digits. That’s significantly higher than the average interest rate on a traditional 24-month personal loan issued by a commercial bank, according to data from the Federal Reserve. Since a Brother personal loan comes with much higher APRs — and shorter terms — than a traditional personal loan, consider if the high cost is worth it.

Not everyone can apply for a loan

Holding a job won’t necessarily qualify you for a loan — you’ll need to have worked for an eligible employer for at least one year. The list of eligible employers is not available online, so you’ll have to call to find out if your employer is listed.

Collateral not required

Brother Loan & Finance personal loans don’t require any form of collateral. The loans are unsecured, meaning they are issued based on the applicant’s credit and other factors.

This type of loan is often safer than a car title loan, which requires that you use the title of your car as collateral. If you fall behind on your payments, the lender can seize your vehicle.

Potentially fast funding

Brother Loan & Finance may process your loan application in as little as one hour at the branch. If approved, the company says it may get the loan funds to you as soon as the same day.

A closer look at a Brother Loan & Finance personal loan

  • Available in just a few states — The company only operates in Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin. If you live in another state, you can’t get a loan through Brother Loan & Finance.
  • Relatively small loan amounts Brother Loan & Finance allows you to borrow up to $1,500, with the amount depending on your state’s regulations.
  • Fees The company doesn’t charge application fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Repayment terms You can take from nine to 52 weeks to pay back your Brother loan, depending on your repayment plan. This may also vary based on the state you live in, so make sure to ask for details on this during the application process. Compared to payday loans, which usually have to be repaid by your next paycheck, a Brother Loan & Finance loan gives you more time to repay.
  • Referral bonus For every new customer you refer to the company that is approved for a loan, you may receive a $100 referral bonus.

Should I get a loan through Brother Loan & Finance?

While a personal loan from Brother Loan & Finance may allow you to get the cash you need quickly, the APRs are high.

A loan through this lender might be OK if you can pay it back super-fast, so you can avoid racking up interest charges — or if you’re considering taking out a payday loan or car title loan, which can have even higher APRs.

But you may want to think about applying for a payday alternative loan from a federal credit union instead, if you’re a member of one — or consider using an existing credit card if your purchase APR is more affordable.

How to apply for a loan at Brother Loan & Finance

To apply for a loan, you first need to be working for an eligible employer for at least one year. And you must be a resident of Illinois, Missouri or Wisconsin.

You can’t apply online. Instead, you have to call the company directly at 1-800-850-8599, and then complete the process in person at a Brother Loan & Finance branch. If approved, the company may be able to issue you a check in as little as an hour.

Not sure if Brother Loan & Finance is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Earnin: The Earnin app may allow you to cash out up to $100 per day after you’ve worked, with no fees or interest. (You tip the app what you think is fair.)
  • Dave: Dave may help tide you over until your next payday. You can get an advance of up to $100, with no interest or credit check.

About the author: Kat Tretina is a personal finance writer with a master’s degree in communication studies from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Obsessed with her many side hustles, she focuses on… Read more.