Rise personal loans review: Installment loans designed for people with bad credit

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In a Nutshell

Rise Credit is an online lender that specializes in small installment loans for people with poor to fair credit scores. Because Rise reports payments to a major credit bureau, you can work on improving your credit by making on-time payments. But Rise loans have high interest rates. So if you have healthy credit, your best bet is to find another lender that offers lower interest rates.

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Pros Cons
Considers people with poor to fair credit scores High interest rates
May reduce interest rates, for residents of most states where it does business, after you make on-time payments Small loan amounts
Prequalification with a soft credit inquiry Not available in all states

What you need to know about a Rise personal loan

Rise Credit is an online lender that offers small personal loans — $500 to $5,000, depending on your state — and considers people with poor to fair credit. The lender is pretty upfront about its cost of borrowing: It calls its loans “an expensive form of credit,” because the annual percentage rate, or APR, on these loans can get very high.

On the upside, the APRs may still beat those of title loans and payday loans. Still, we recommend that Rise loans be a last resort, used only in emergency situations for sudden expenses such as car repairs, medical care or crucial travel. If you do take out a Rise personal loan, try to pay it off as soon as possible to save on interest. And know that there’s no prepayment penalty if you pay off the loan early.

High annual percentage rates

Your APR will depend on the state in which you live, your income and your credit, but it could reach as high as triple digits.

Here’s how that APR can really cost you. Say you live in Illinois and take out a $2,000 loan from Rise with an APR of 98.69% and a 16-month term. On top of paying back the $2,000 loan, you’ll pay an eye-popping $1,488.32 in interest.

Vague rate-reduction program

Rise says you can “progress to better rates” by making on-time monthly payments but doesn’t provide further detail. This rate-reduction program isn’t available to residents of Kansas or Tennessee.

Considers people with low credit

Rise considers people with lower credit scores. If you take out a loan and your credit improves, you may be able to qualify for better rates and terms down the line if you get a new loan with a traditional lender.

Reports payments to a major credit bureau

Rise reports payments to a major credit bureau, which is why a Rise loan can help you boost your credit if you make on-time payments. The lender also provides a free look at your TransUnion® credit score, sends credit alerts and offers financial resources.

Rise personal loan details

Here’s what else you need to know about Rise loans.

  • Loan terms are short — about seven to 26 months. The exact length will depend on your state and credit health.
  • To apply, you must be at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama), live in a state that the company services, and have a regular source of income, valid checking account and email address.
  • You can get your loan funds as soon as the next business day.
  • Rise won’t penalize you for paying off your loan early. But it doesn’t provide details on any other potential fees — make sure you read the fine print when reviewing your loan agreement.
  • Rise isn’t available in all states, and it doesn’t serve borrowers defined as covered borrowers under the Military Lending Act.

Who a Rise loan is good for

Rise personal loans may be a good option for people who need money quickly and have trouble getting approved by other lenders because of their credit. But given the lender’s high APRs, we suggest exploring all other possible loan options and alternatives before getting a Rise loan.

Alternatives might include getting a payday alternative loan from a federal credit union or asking a trusted friend or relative to co-sign a loan from another lender, which can increase your odds of approval and result in a lower interest rate. Be sure to shop around and compare all your options.

If you do get a Rise loan, keep in mind that you have five business days after signing your loan agreement to change your mind and pay back the principal.

How to apply with Rise

Rise offers the ability to apply for prequalification with no effect on your credit scores. To apply for prequalification, you’ll need information like your name, address, contact information, desired loan amount and annual income.

Remember that prequalification is just an estimate of possible loan terms. If you prequalify and decide to get a Rise loan, you’ll need to submit a formal application to find out what your actual terms could be, which will result in a hard credit inquiry. If your application is processed and approved by 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the day you apply, you can get your money as soon as the next business day.

Not sure a Rise loan is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re not sure if a Rise loan fits your needs, here are some other options.

  • Lending Club: Lending Club could be good for people who want lower interest rates. Take a closer look with our Lending Club review.
  • Upstart: Upstart might be ideal if you want a lender that considers more than your credit scores. Read our Upstart personal loan review to learn more.