LendUp Payday Loan Alternative Review

What Is LendUp?

LendUp is an alternative payday lender, offering loans through an online platform and decisions within minutes of applying. The company offers single-payment and installment loans, with smaller amounts and higher interest rates than a typical personal loan.

While LendUp has a rewards system for repeat borrowers called the “LendUp Ladder”, this lender is still a high cost borrowing option, and is best for borrowers who need fast cash for low-cost expenses.

LendUp might be a good fit if:

  • You have low credit and are having trouble getting approved for personal loans
  • You have an immediate need to cover small expenses
  • You don’t want to use payday loans, which can have higher rates and fees than an alternative payday loan like LendUp

LendUp Loan Rates & Terms

APR Range: Single payment loans: 134% – 1,252%

Installment loans: 30% – 180%

Loan Amounts: Single payment loans: Usually $100 – $500

Installment loans:  Usually $100 – $1,000

Loan Terms: Single payment loans: 7 – 30 days

Installment loans: 3 – 12 months

Time to Fund: Usually 1 day

Same day option available

Fees: Insufficient funds fees which range between $15 and $30
Credit Score: No credit check required
Best For: Borrowers with poor credit and cannot get approval for a personal loan
Click “Check Rates” to pre-qualify and receive a personalized rate.

LendUp Personal Loan Review

Interest rates: LendUp’s annual percentage rates start at 134% with a maximum of 1,252% for single-payment loans, while APRs for installment loans start at 30% and range up to 180%.

Cost:   LendUp charges fees for prepayment and same-day or instant funding, as well as insufficient funds fees which range between $15 and $30 depending on the size of the loan. The fees and rates are also dependent on the borrower’s state of residence.

How to Qualify for LendUp: Because LendUp does not check applicants’ credit scores, the only requirements to qualify are possession of a U.S. checking account, a valid telephone number and address.

You should also reside in Ohio, New Mexico, Washington, Maine,Oklahoma, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Wyoming, Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Oregon, Kansas, California, Missouri, Tennessee or Minnesota.

To make a decision on your application, LendUp also looks at your bank transaction history as well as information from Experian’s Clarity Services, which provides data on individuals with low credit scores.

Because the loan amounts are relatively small and APRs can soar above 1,000%, qualifying for LendUp is relatively easy.

Loan Features: LendUp allows borrowers to extend their single-payment loan terms without incurring any fees, making it easier to avoid late payment or other fees that might come with not making a timely repayment. You have the option to call the company directly to talk about a hardship repayment plan, or you can extend it to the maximum permitted by your state.

Single-payment loans from LendUp won’t be the ideal option to boost your credit score because they aren’t reported to Equifax, TransUnion or Experian.

If you do want to use the loan to help your credit, you can choose to have any platinum installment loan payments reported to the three major credit bureaus. If you’re borrowing a prime loan, the payments will be automatically reported.

Same-Day Funding Option: For an extra fee, approved borrowers can choose to have their loans funded on the same day. With this option, you can go to any U.S. MoneyGram location to pick up your funds.

LendUp Loan Examples

Single-Payment Loan example:  If a borrower takes out a loan of $315 at an annual percentage rate of 150%, they will have to make a single repayment of $354.38.

Repayment periods for these loans are typically between seven and 30 days.

Installment Loan Example:  You might choose to take out an installment loan, which you repay over a longer period of time. If a borrower takes out $410 with an APR of 60% and a loan term of 12 months, the monthly payment will be $46.26.

Repayment periods for installment loans are usually between three and 12 months.

LendUp Pros and Cons


  • Quick to fund, with a same-day option available
  • Single-payment extension option
  • No minimum credit score
  • No minimum income requirement
  • Option to report platinum installment loan payments to three major credit bureaus
  • Lower rates for repeat borrowers
  • Free credit counseling
  • Quick application process


  • Very high interest rates, with single-payment loans reaching APRs of 1,252%
  • Only available in certain states
  • Prepayment, same-day funding and insufficient funds fees
  • Small loan amounts, with the maximum for single-payment loans at $500 and $1,000 for installment loans
  • Not ideal for long-term or recurring expenses

LendUp Loan Approval Process

Potential borrowers must be at least 18 years old and be a resident of one of the states that LendUp services to apply. You should also have a valid telephone number, email address and a checking account. LendUp’s online application takes five minutes to complete and issues a decision within minutes.

Lenders Like LendUp – Payday Loans Like LendUp

  • Rise – Rise loans can have slightly lower APRs than LendUp, with rates ranging between 36% and 299%. They also have a wider range of loans, with amounts ranging between $500 and $5,000.
  • OppLoans – OppLoans offers rates starting at 59% with a maximum of 199%. They also offer larger amounts, with loans ranging between $500 and $5,000.
  • Oportun – Oportun offers lower APRs than some of its competitors, with rates starting at 20% with a maximum of 67%. They also offer a wider range of loans, with possible amounts between $300 and $9,000. Additionally, they do not require a bank account or credit score to apply.

“Payday Alternative Lenders”

Rise, OppLoans and Oportun are all classified as payday alternative lenders, meaning that they allow borrowers to take out smaller amounts of money at lower costs and with longer repayment periods than with a typical payday loan. Each of these lenders offers installment loans, which usually give repayment terms ranging between three and 12 months.

Is LendUp Legit and Safe?

The company has serviced thousands of borrowers across the United States and has a proven reputation. LendUp also has a five-star rating on, with almost 2,000 reviews. Despite their potentially sky-high interest rates, the process is transparent for borrowers so they can understand the cost and repayment terms before accepting the loan.

Is LendUp a Good Idea?

LendUp should only be considered once a borrower has exhausted all other financial options. Because their loans have extremely high interest rates and typically short repayment terms, borrowers who can’t afford the payments may find themselves incurring extra fees. It’s important to consider the total cost of the loan against the cost of not taking it.


While LendUp can have better rates and repayment terms than a typical payday loan, the product still comes with unusually high costs and certain downsides. These loans are best for borrowers who are in a financial pinch and require immediate funding for low-cost, urgent needs such as groceries, gas, or utility bill payments, and should be considered as a last resort option.

Before you take out a LendUp loan consider reviewing your personal loan options.

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