CreditNinja personal loan review

A woman seated at a table researches personal loans on a laptop.Image: A woman seated at a table researches personal loans on a laptop.

In a Nutshell

CreditNinja offers personal loans with a speedy application process, and the funds may hit your account within one to two business days. But origination fees — which are typically nonrefundable — can be extremely high, depending on the state you live in. You could get stuck paying more than double what you borrow, even if you pay off the loan quickly.
Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.

Pros

  • Potential to get funds quickly
  • Applicants with less-than-perfect credit may qualify

Cons

  • For most states, CreditNinja offers little upfront info on costs, except that they’re “high”
  • Nonrefundable origination fees typically apply and can be extremely high, in some cases making up most of the cost of the loan
  • Info about qualification and application process is vague

What you need to know about a CreditNinja personal loan

CreditNinja is a Chicago-based online lender offering high-cost personal loans — in some cases, you could end up paying double (or more) the amount you borrow, no matter how quickly you pay off the loan.

These fixed-rate, unsecured loans come in amounts up to $5,000 — but the minimum and maximum available to you will depend in part on the state you live in.

APRs are ‘high’

CreditNinja warns that its APRs are “high,” but you’ll have to dig through the website to get any other crumbs of info on rates and fees.

In CreditNinja’s state disclosures, linked at the bottom of its website, you can select from a list of states on a dropdown list to try to find specifics on costs. Where info is provided for certain states, APRs are well into triple digits.

It makes sense that CreditNinja loans can’t be offered to members of the military. For the protection of active service members, the Military Lending Act doesn’t allow lenders to offer loans with APRs above 36% to military borrowers.

Funds may be quickly available

It’s possible to get funds from your CreditNinja loan within the same business day or the following day after approval — a big help if you’re in a financial pinch and need cash quickly. But a number of factors can delay your funding, and depending on your bank, there may be a wait before you can access your cash.

Online application

You can apply using CreditNinja’s online application and check eligibility in minutes. This can give you an idea of how much you might qualify for, as well as the loan terms and rates.

You’ll need to give your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and other identifying info. CreditNinja’s site says it will then do a soft credit check to verify your eligibility for a loan, meaning it won’t affect your credit scores.

There’s no further info on CreditNinja’s website about the next part of the process, which can typically include a hard credit inquiry to verify your information — followed by a final loan offer that may have different terms than you saw based on your initial application.

Not available in all states

CreditNinja’s personal loans are available in a handful of states in the U.S., including Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

A closer look at a CreditNinja personal loan   

When you’re shopping for a personal loan, comparing loans can give you the best shot at finding the best offer available to you. Here are some key things to know about CreditNinja loans:

  • Third-party lenders — CreditNinja will process your loan application and disburse funds. But whether you’ll receive a loan offer directly from CreditNinja or from a third-party bank or lender may depend on the state you live in.
  • Origination fees — While CreditNinja personal loans are advertised as having no hidden fees, they typically come with origination fees. An origination fee is a charge that some lenders assess for things like underwriting and processing the loan application, and it’s often deducted from your loan funds. At CreditNinja, that fee can soar into triple digits — and it’s nonrefundable. That means you can’t escape the high cost even by paying your loan off quickly, as you might do to avoid a high interest rate.
  • Little info on rates and costs — CreditNinja states only that the interest rate offered to you for a loan will be determined by “many factors” including your credit scores, income, state law and your credit history. From the lender’s state disclosures page, you can find some specific info for some states, revealing triple-digit rates and fees.
  • Funding via direct deposit — You’ll need a checking account to get a loan and access the money.

Who is a CreditNinja loan good for?

CreditNinja markets to people who need money right away, but this lender is not transparent about its rates and fees — and the costs that it does reveal for some states are exceptionally high. There are other so called “bad-credit” lenders that might offer you more in terms of clear cost info and more reasonable fees or APRs.

How to apply with CreditNinja

You can apply for a CreditNinja personal loan entirely online. If you have questions about the application process, you can talk to a customer service rep or send an email.

To be eligible for a loan, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, have a Social Security number and a checking account. Applicants from Alabama and Nebraska need to be at least 19 years old to qualify.

The process requires you to create an account and submit personal information that includes an email, your address, date of birth and other details.

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

  • Personify: Personify offers personal loans to people with less-than-perfect credit.
  • Possible Finance: If you need to borrow only a small amount, Possible Finance considers credit that isn’t spotless and offers short-term loans.

Weigh your options

To better understand the total cost of any personal loans you’re considering, use an online calculator like Credit Karma’s simple loan calculator. A loan calculator can help you estimate your monthly payment and how much you’d pay in interest versus principal over the length of the loan.


About the author: Jackie Lam is an L.A.-based money writer who is passionate about helping creatives with their finances and cultivating community among entrepreneurs. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and FinTech startups, and… Read more.