Article Title: How Does This Lender Stack Up?
Short Description: They are a financial company that lends money and lines of credit to borrowers with bad credit. The company offers: installment loans, payday loans and lines of credit. But the question is this: is a loan from this lender right for you?
Cost of Loan
If you need a fast loan, and have bad credit to boot, you might entertain a loan offer from this lender. And for good reason…it’s likely you’ve been turned down by traditional banks and lenders. It’s unfortunate. But there’s still hope. This is a lender that can help. And not to mention dozens of similar lenders that can offer you help. But the question is this: “does this lender offer the options you need at an affordable rate?” “Will they scam me?” And so on. The short story is they are not a scam. In fact, they’re a very reputable lender with excellent reviews. The unsavory part are the rates may shock you. Up to 99% APR. But, compare this to several tribal or installment lenders…and you might change your mind. A few tribal lenders charge over 1,200% APR. All in all, this lender is legit. And while the APR is much higher than a traditional loan, you can see it’s clearly one of the more affordable options.
User Review( votes)
- Has lower interest rates than most bad credit lenders in the marketplace
- Has several loan options to choose from
- Free access to financial education
- Funds loans very quick
- Expensive form of borrowing money
- Interests rates can be as high as 99% APR
- Not available in every state
Opportunity Financial has a product advertised as Opploans. Thanks to the advancements of financial technologies, we’ve been able to expand our options for financing needs. Many of the applications on the Internet are accessible on your mobile device and can submit within minutes. However, these types of loans do come at a cost, but we’ll dive into that later.
Opploans are along the lines of your traditional lending solutions, such as installment loans, title loans, cash advances and a few others. This has really done a great job in helping people in emergency situations, but unfortunately for others it has only made the situation worse.
- APR: 99%-199%
- Loan Amount: $1,000- – $4,000
- Term: Up to 36 months
- Payment: Monthly.
- Best For: People in extreme emergency situations.
- Not For: People with little income.
About OppLoans & Their Loan Products
The company is located in Chicago, IL, and services their clients through various lending options.
Their complete list of products includes:
- Installment Loans
- Debt Consolidation Loans
- Bad Credit Loans
- No Credit Check Loans
- Payday Loans
- Title Loans
- Cash Advances
These are all short-term financing options that are designed to assist with short-term cash shortfalls or emergency situations. According to their website, choosing Opploans is beneficial because of the fast funding options, affordable payments and personal service.
Out of all of those, understanding the payments is the more important item.
Unlike many of the lenders out there that offer these types of products, Opploans does provide resources and a blog with current and relevant topics. Beyond that, many of the data points you’ll be searching for are readily available, such as the rates per state, as each state has different lending regulations.
Does This Lender Do What They Claim?
In short, yes, Opploans does exactly what they claim. However, the one item that is a bit difficult to completely validate are the interest rates because there are several factors outside of our control.
However, keep in mind that this form of lending is going to be more expensive than many of the more traditional options out there.
One of the better items on their website is their resources page, which offers people the ability to become educated on lending and financing options.
Often, people are simply looking for fast cash, unaware of the impact that will have on their long-term financial wellbeing.
Furthermore, they offer scholarships for qualifying individuals.
Lastly, they have a blog section that gives you topics pertaining to your credit score and how to save money on a weekly basis.
On the surface, it appears the company is doing exactly what it claims and then some.
While this additional information on their website helps and provides value, it’s only valuable if used properly.
But, all that being said, Opploans does not appear to lack transparency and appears to be a respectable place to start.
Deep Dive Analysis
Taking a further dive into the product line, each of these products can be found at nearly any payday loan or tribal lending website.
However, it’s the cost at which these products are offered that should ultimately concern you.
From there, you can begin working back to see if this is a good fit.
First, we will take a look into the installment loans, which is the loan you are likely most familiar with. An installment loan includes your mortgage and auto loan.
Out of all the options, an installment loan affords you equal payments over an agreed upon length of time. This gives you better planning ability and gives you room to pay the loan back, not all at once like a payday loan.
Their website goes on to provide many data points and information on their installment loan, and again, rates will differ from state to state.
Next are debt consolidation loans, which simply take all of your outstanding debts, pays them off and allows you to make one payment to a single large note.
When deciding if a debt consolidation loan is right for you, you simply need to ensure the consolidation loan has a lower interest rate than your current debts.
Tip: You can read our ultimate guide on debt relief here.
If it’s higher, then a debt consolidation loan is likely not the best option, simple as that.
The last product is a line of credit, which may not be available to you depending on the state you live in. Simply check the rates pages to see if your state allows this lending practice.
Now, if you do take a line of credit, this can be an effective form of lending, especially if you end up not needing the loan. With a line of credit, you only pay interest on the funds you borrow. This ensure you are only using what you need and being charged for what you use.
Loan Rates and Terms: How Much Does it Cost?
Now that you have an understanding, it’s important to know the actual costs of these products, which is the APR, or annual percentage rate. While each state is different, we’ll take a look at the state of Illinois and the information pertaining to them, simply for illustration purposes.
If you were to take out a loan from the state of Illinois, it shows you can apply for $500 up to $4,000, with terms ranging from 9 to 18 months, with an APR of 99%. What makes it difficult to narrow in are the variables, because not everyone is going to get that rate.
However, this illustrates the high cost of borrowing.
For comparison, credit cards typically range from the high teens, up to nearly 30% APR. Even if you were to obtain the most expensive credit card, you would still be better off than an installment loan at 99%.
Are There Any Alternatives?
It’s important to understand your alternatives because it can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run. By not knowing your options, Opploans and others will make a quick buck off your financing needs.
First, look to take out a personal loan from a bank or credit union. These rates are much more in-line with what you should be charged. Your rates will likely be somewhere in the high single digits through the teens. Also, many of these smaller financial institutions have your interests in mind and will only lend what they believe to be necessary.
Secondly, look at taking out a credit card. While the interest rates are higher than a personal loan, you will still save compared to a product from Opploans. Also, if you look enough you can find companies that are offering introductory zero percent interest periods, which can last from 6 months up to 15 months and potentially longer. This not only covers your emergency, but also gives you time to repay your balance with no interest charges.
Tip: Poor credit? Read our guide here about bad credit credit cards.
Other alternatives include taking out a second mortgage in the form of an installment loan or line of credit. You may also look at taking out a 401(k) loan, but that option varies on your employer.
You can likely speak with your HR department to find out if that’s a possibility.
The Bottom Line
Opploans does a solid job of providing you with reasonable options compared to others in the industry.
However, the loan products offered are still substantially higher in cost than those offered through banks, credit unions and credit card companies.
If an emergency does arise and your only option is to utilize the services of a business such as Opploans, then they are a decent company to try. But, if you have the time you should seriously consider going to your local bank or credit union and take out a personal loan.
Otherwise, you may fix one problem but create another.