In a NutshellLendly offers small loans based primarily on your job and income, not your credit — but interest rates are high. If you need a small amount of money quickly, Lendly isn’t your only option. We review four alternatives.
Lendly is an online lender that offers small loans between $1,000 and $2,000. You don’t need the best credit to be approved. Instead, your employment and income may qualify you.
In most cases, people who borrow from Lendly set up automatic loan repayments directly from their paychecks or from their bank accounts via ACH withdrawal. This can help your avoid missed payments and build credit.
Lendly might be an option if you need some quick cash to cover a financial emergency, but Lendly’s APRs are high — soaring well into triple digits. You can read our full review of Lendly’s loans if you want to learn more.
But if Lendly’s rates and terms don’t work for you, read on for some alternatives — some with comparable APRs and others with more-affordable rates.
- Good for building credit: Possible Finance
- Good for fast funding: OppLoans
- Good for competitive rates: LightStream
- Good for larger loans: Prosper
- What to watch out for with loans like Lendly
Good for building credit: Possible Finance
Why Possible Finance stands out: Possible Finance reports payments to Experian and TransUnion, two of the three major credit bureaus. So if you take out a Possible loan and make your payments on time, you may be able to build or improve your credit history.
- Small loan amounts — If you need cash to pay for a small emergency like a car repair or minor medical bill, you might consider applying for a small loan from Possible Finance. Its loans typically go up to $500, but may be lower in some states.
- Lenient credit requirements — The Possible main page invites you to apply for a loan with no minimum FICO score (and be “funded in minutes”).
- High interest rates — Even though Possible Finance markets itself as an alternative to payday loans, you can still expect rates in the triple digits. A high rate could cost you a lot of money over the life of your loan.
- Limited availability — Possible Finance offers loans in only 21 states.
Read our Possible Finance review to learn more.
Good for fast funding: OppLoans
Why OppLoans stands out: You won’t have to wait long to receive funds from OppLoans, which offers loans between $500 and $4,000. If you’re approved for a loan before 8 p.m. Central time Monday through Thursday, you’ll likely get the money via ACH by the next business day, depending on how fast your bank acts to process the deposit.
- Direct deposit requirements — To take out an OppLoans loan, your employer must pay you via direct deposit. If you get paid in cash or through traditional checks, OppLoans isn’t an option.
- No impact on credit scores — Applying won’t affect your credit, as OppLoans looks at alternative credit reports from Clarity Services, a part of Experian. The lender doesn’t consider your consumer credit reports from the three major credit bureaus, though it will report your payment history to them over the life of your loan.
- High interest rates — APRs reach into triple digits. If you’re trying to strengthen your financial situation, an OppLoans loan might be better than a payday loan, but could still be harmful if you don’t have a plan for paying it off.
- Online-only applications — OppLoans requires that you apply online. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your personal information online, you’re out of luck because there are no in-person or phone applications.
Read our OppLoans review to learn more.
Good for competitive rates: LightStream
Why LightStream stands out: LightStream has a competitive rates program that can help you save on interest charges. If you meet program conditions and have been approved for a lower rate from a different lender, you may be offered a rate from LightStream that’s 0.10 percentage points lower than the competing lender. You may also qualify for an autopay discount of 0.5 percentage points.
- Flexible loan options — Depending on the purpose of your loan, you can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. You can use a LightStream loan to cover a medical bill, home improvement project, some education costs or other expenses.
- Competitive maximum APR — The fine print on the LightsStream main page includes the maximum APR for a LightStream loan set in the lower double digits. That’s quite competitive compared to Lendly APRs and other options in our list. Note that LightStream specifies that its “lowest rates require excellent credit.”
- No prequalification — You can’t check your loan offers with a soft credit inquiry before you apply because LightStream doesn’t offer prequalification. If you fill out an application, the lender will perform a hard credit inquiry, which may briefly lower your credit scores a bit.
- No fees — LightStream doesn’t charge origination fees or late payment fees. The lender also allows you to pay off your loan early with no prepayment penalty.
Read our LightStream app review to learn more.
Good for larger loans: Prosper
Why Prosper stands out: Prosper offers peer-to-peer loans ranging from $2,000 to $40,000. If your financial emergency costs more than a couple thousand dollars, a Prosper loan might be worth considering.
- No minimum income requirement — You may be eligible for a Prosper loan regardless of your income. But you’ll need to meet other criteria like having at least a 640 FICO® Score 8 credit score, at least three open credit accounts or “tradelines” on your credit reports and a debt-to-income ratio below 50%.
- Fees — Prosper loans come with a variety of fees that may increase the cost of your loan. These fees include origination fees, late payment fees and failed payment fees with its APRs ranging from 7.95% to 35.99%.
- Interest rates are more competitive — APRs range from the upper-single digits to double digits.
- Limited repayment terms — When it comes to repayment terms, your options are limited. You’ll choose from either a three-year or a five-year term. You’ll have to look elsewhere if you’d like more flexibility.
Read our Prosper review to learn more.
What to watch out for with loans like Lendly
Loans like Lendly may make sense if you need some extra cash and want to avoid a payday loan. But be aware that some of these lenders charge high interest rates and fees that you’ll want to factor into your total costs.
Also, some loans may only be available to you if you live in a certain state, get paid through direct deposit, or meet minimum credit score and maximum debt requirements. If you don’t qualify, you can explore other alternatives to loans like Lendly, such as a credit card, an alternative loan from a federal credit union or other installment loan options.
How we picked these loans
We reviewed 10 loans like Lendly and considered features such as eligibility requirements, fee structures, interest rates, loan amounts and the ability to build credit. We also looked at additional perks and benefits.