Oportun loan review: A personal loan that can help build credit

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In a Nutshell

You may be able to qualify for an Oportun personal loan without credit history. But you must show proof of a regular income and live in one of the states where Oportun operates, and your credit reports will still be checked.

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Pros Cons
May be approved with no credit history Tough to qualify without a regular income
Fixed payments Not available in all states
Application to prequalify Higher APRs than some other lenders

What you need to know about an Oportun personal loan

Oportun is an online and storefront lender that markets its loans to people with no credit history. The company says that its loans can be used for expenses like auto repairs and emergencies. And since Oportun reports payments to U.S. credit bureaus, its loans may help you build your credit history.

Oportun also offers auto loans as well as financial coaching to help you meet your financial goals.

You may get approved with no credit history

While applying for a personal loan with Oportun means the company will perform a hard credit inquiry — which can negatively affect your credit scores — you may still be approved without any credit history. This is an important benefit since it can be more difficult to get a loan if lenders aren’t able to see that you’ve borrowed money before and paid it back on time.

Hard and soft credit inquiries: What they are and why they matter

Fixed payments

Oportun personal loans come with fixed monthly payments, with terms ranging from six months to 46 months.

APRs for Oportun personal loans are capped at 36%. As with any type of loan, you’ll probably want to shop around to see if you can qualify for a lower rate with another lender.

Loan amounts can range from $300 to $10,000 (but can vary state by state), so an Oportun personal loan may be a good option if you need a small amount of cash and want a lower-cost alternative to a payday loan.

Regular income required

While you don’t necessarily need credit history to apply for an Oportun personal loan, you do need to prove that you’re earning a regular income. Oportun will ask you for your current pay stubs or bank statements to confirm this.

A closer look at Oportun loans

If you’re thinking about a personal loan with Oportun, here are some other details you should consider.

  • Potentially quick funding — Oportun says that most approved applicants receive their funds the same day they apply.
  • Loan funding options — Your loan funds can be distributed by check, direct deposit into your bank account or an Oportun prepaid Ventiva Card in some states.
  • No prepayment penalty You won’t have to pay a fee if you pay off your loan early.
  • Limited locations — Oportun has about 300 retail locations in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas and Utah. Online loans are available in those states as well as in Idaho, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Who an Oportun loan is good for

An Oportun loan may be a good fit if you don’t have a credit history and need cash for a sudden expense. On-time payments may help you build your credit history, since the lender reports to U.S. credit bureaus.

Oportun’s interest rates are higher than what some other lenders offer, so you’ll probably want to compare rates to see if there’s a more affordable option somewhere else, particularly if you have good credit.

Learn more: How to compare loan offers

How to apply for a loan with Oportun

There are three ways to apply with Oportun: online, in store or over the phone. If you want to apply online, you can first check your eligibility through prequalification, which won’t affect your credit scores.

Keep in mind that prequalification doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be approved for a loan, or at what terms. If you decide to complete a formal loan application, Oportun will then run a hard credit inquiry, which could slightly lower your credit scores.

If you’re approved, Oportun may contact you by phone or email to confirm any loan terms you’re offered and send you any required documents.

If an Oportun loan isn’t right for you, consider these alternatives

  • OppLoans personal loan: If you’re having financial troubles but don’t want a payday loan, an OppLoans personal loan could be another option if you don’t mind applying online.
  • LendingPoint personal loan: A LendingPoint personal loan may be a good option if you’ve declared bankruptcy and want to apply for a loan.

About the author: Anna Baluch is a freelance personal finance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. You can find her work on sites like The Balance, Freedom Debt Relief, LendingTree and RateGenius. Anna has an MBA… Read more.