Clearline Loans review: Expensive loans for emergencies

Young woman sitting on couch at home, thinking about getting a personal loan from Clearline Loans Image: Young woman sitting on couch at home, thinking about getting a personal loan from Clearline Loans

In a Nutshell

If you need extra cash to cover an emergency expense but don’t have strong credit, you may be able to get a loan from Clearline Loans as soon as the next business day. But Clearline charges extremely high interest rates and only operates in 10 states.

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Pros Cons

Potentially quick loan funding

Extremely high interest rates

Small loan amounts available

Not available in most states

 

Won’t help you build credit


What you need to know about Clearline Loans

Based in Nevada, Clearline Loans is an online lender that offers small short-term loans that it recommends for financial emergencies or unexpected expenses. Depending on where you live and the terms of your loan, you may have up to 750 days to repay what you borrow.

Clearline Loans doesn’t do “traditional” credit checks, which it says may help people with bad credit get approved for a loan. But keep in mind that Clearline will still check your credit through alternate national databases. Because Clearline doesn’t report to the major credit bureaus, this may not have much of an impact on your credit.

Here are some more things you should know about Clearline Loans.

High interest rates apply

While you may be able to get quick cash with Clearline, there’s a catch: The lender charges interest rates that soar well into the triple digits. You might think that paying these interest rates is worth it to get the money you need, but high rates can cause you to repay far more than you borrowed in the first place.

For example, let’s say you borrowed $300 and qualified for an APR of 366.29% and repaid the loan with 12 biweekly scheduled payments. By the time you paid off your loan, you’d have paid a total of $664.27 — more than double the original loan amount.

Even Clearline notes on its website that its loans aren’t intended to be a “long-term financial solution.”

Potentially quick loan funding

If you need to replace a flat tire or pay for your dog’s surgery, you might not have much time to wait for personal loan funding.

Clearline says if your loan is approved by noon Mountain time on a weekday, it will typically be funded by the next business day. (The exact time will depend on your bank.)

No traditional credit checks

Clearline Loans says it doesn’t perform “traditional” credit checks, meaning it doesn’t review your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. The company says you may qualify for a loan even if you have bad credit.

But because Clearline doesn’t report to the three major credit bureaus, even if you make all of your payments on time, taking out a loan won’t help you build your credit.

No prepayment penalties

If you take out a short-term loan, paying it off as quickly as possible may help you save money. Clearline Loans doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty if you want to pay off your loan ahead of schedule.

A closer look at a Clearline Loans personal loan  

  • Small loan amounts — How much you can apply to borrow depends on where you live. Loan amounts range from $100 to $1,500.
  • Only available in 10 states — Clearline is only licensed to operate in 10 states: Delaware, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
  • Loan uses — Clearline says you can use your loan to pay for necessary or unexpected expenses, such as a car repair, medical bills or emergency travel costs. 
  • Loan cancellation — If you change your mind about taking out a loan, you may be able to cancel your loan without paying any finance charges or other costs. Whether you can cancel the loan and the length of the grace period varies depending on what state you live in, but you may have until the next business day to cancel the loan.

Should I get a personal loan from Clearline Loans?

Clearline Loans can come with extremely high APRs, so make sure you explore other financing options before applying for a loan from this lender. For example, consider having a yard sale, asking friends or relatives for help, or applying for a payday alternative loan from a federal credit union.

While Clearline loans tend to have longer repayment terms than a typical payday loan, its APRs can be even higher than a payday loan depending on the lender and where you live.

If you’re facing a financial emergency and don’t have another way to come up with the money, taking out a loan from Clearline may be a better option than a car title loan since you won’t be risking your vehicle in the process.

But remember that these loans are very expensive, so you should only consider them as a true last resort.

How to apply with Clearline Loans

To be eligible for a loan from Clearline, you must live in one of the 10 states where it operates. There’s no prequalification application. Instead, you’ll need to submit an actual application, which will trigger a hard inquiry into your credit.

Clearline says a loan specialist will review your application, and a representative will call you. If approved, you’ll receive an email notifying you, and your loan may be funded within one business day, depending on when you applied.

You can make repayments by ACH, debit card or mailing in a certified check by your payment due date.

Not sure if Clearline Loans is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Earnin: Instead of taking out a loan, the Earnin app allows you to access money you’ve earned on the job (up to $100 a day) before your paycheck arrives. You can tip what you think is fair instead of paying interest and fees.  
  • OneMain Financial: If you need to borrow more money, OneMain offers large loan amounts. You can also check your potential rates by applying for prequalification.