OppLoans review: High interest rates for small loans

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In a Nutshell

OppLoans installment loans are designed for people who need emergency cash but don’t want a payday loan. While the lender offers lower interest rates than many short-term payday loans, you can only apply online and you must have direct deposit through your employer to be eligible.

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Pros Cons
Potentially fast funding if you qualify High APR
Applying won’t affect your credit scores Must get paycheck via direct deposit (unless you live in New Mexico)
No prepayment fees Must apply online

What you need to know about an OppLoans installment loan

OppLoans markets its installment loans to people who are in difficult financial situations and need quick cash. OppLoans, a part of Opportunity Financial, positions itself as an alternative to high-interest payday loans, offering lower interest rates than what you might pay on a typical payday loan.

But keep in mind that your annual percentage rate will still be quite high.

OppLoans offers loan amounts in a limited number of states in amounts ranging from $500 to $4,000, with loan terms from nine to 24 months.

Here are a few other things to know about OppLoans.

Applying won’t affect your credit scores

When you apply for a personal loan with OppLoans, the lender doesn’t check your credit reports with the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Instead, it relies on alternative credit reports from Clarity Services, which is a part of Experian.

OppLoans also looks at other factors to determine if you’re approved for a loan, including …

  •  Employment status and income details
  •  Bank account info and financial history

Online applications only

OppLoans doesn’t accept phone or in-person applications. You’ll have to complete the application process online. This may be a drawback if you don’t like submitting sensitive information online.

Direct deposit requirements

To be eligible for an installment loan through OppLoans, you must receive your paychecks through direct deposit. If you live in New Mexico, you’re exempt from this requirement. If you get paid in cash or your employer doesn’t offer direct deposit, you’ll need to look elsewhere for a personal loan.

Potentially fast funding

According to OppLoans, loan applications processed and approved before 9 p.m. Central time Monday through Thursday are usually funded by the next business day. So if you need an emergency loan for cash as soon as possible, an OppLoans installment loan may be able to help.

A closer look at OppLoans 

OppLoans offers a variety of resources, including free interactive classes through its learning platform, OppU, to help educate people about their finances. Here are a few more details you may want to know.

  • No prepayment fee – If you’d like to pay off your loan early or make additional payments at any time, you won’t be penalized, because OppLoans doesn’t charge prepayment penalties. This is a benefit if you’d like to reduce the amount of interest you’ll have to pay over the life of your loan.
  • Eligibility requirements – You must be at least 18 years old to get a loan, unless you live in Alabama or Nebraska, where the minimum age is 19.
  • Some military not eligible – You won’t qualify for a loan if you’re defined as a covered borrower under the Military Lending Act.

Who is an OppLoans installment loan good for?

If you have bad credit (or no credit), and you need emergency cash but can’t wait for your next paycheck, OppLoans might be a good option for you, particularly if you plan to pay off your loan early since there’s no prepayment penalty.

But it’s important to remember that OppLoan’s interest rates are still very high. You may be better off using a credit card if you can make monthly payments in a timely manner, since the average credit card interest rate is less than OppLoan’s interest rates.

You may also want to consider a payday alternative loan from a federal credit union, since these loans cap interest at a much lower rate. Just keep in mind that these loans should be a last resort.

How to apply for a loan with OppLoans

If you want to apply for a loan with OppLoans, you’ll need to visit its website to begin the online application process. You’ll have to create an account and be sure to read all the fine print. Here is some basic information you’ll need in order to apply.

  • Full name and address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of employment and income

Not sure if a loan with OppLoans is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re not sure OppLoans is the right lender for you or you don’t meet eligibility requirements, here are some other options to consider.

  • Avant: If you need to borrow more than $4,000 and have less-than-perfect credit, consider a personal loan through Avant. .
  • Payoff: If you want to pay off high-interest credit card debt, Payoff might be a good option to consider.

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.