When I graduated from school and started working, my salary was $30,000. In an area with a high cost of living, that meant my income just covered my rent, utilities, and other essentials; there wasn’t much left over for fun events or savings.
Living so close to the bone made me vulnerable. When my unreliable car broke down — again — I couldn’t afford the $600 repair bill. I didn’t have any other way to get to work, so I was feeling pretty desperate.
I spent a lot of time researching payday loans and quick personal loans but ultimately decided to use a credit card instead. It took me a year to pay it off, but it was a lot cheaper than other alternatives.
My situation isn’t uncommon. According to the Federal Reserve, 44 percent of Americans can’t come up with $400 in an emergency. That means nearly half of the country is just one unexpected car repair or medical bill away from financial disaster. Because many also have poor credit, using a credit card like I did isn’t always a viable solution.
Instead, if you’re in a tough spot and need money fast, you have likely considered payday loans or personal loans. One of the newest personal loan lenders that’s getting a lot of traction is RISE. The company says it can get you the cash you need in as little as 24 hours, but in RISE credit reviews, customers say you’ll pay a premium for it.
What is RISE?
RISE offers installment loans and lines of credit to people who need money quickly. The company specifically targets non-prime customers, meaning those without good credit or a lengthy credit history. If you fit into this category, getting other forms of credit, such as a credit card or bank loan, can be difficult — if not outright impossible.
RISE promises quick and easy online applications, rapid approvals, and fast disbursement of your loan. You can use RISE credit loans when you’re facing a financial emergency, such as a car repair or overdue rent payment.
As of October 2017, RISE is only available in 17 states: Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
How RISE works
To apply for a loan with RISE, you must be at least 18, live in one of the states listed above, have a job or regular source of income, and have an active checking account. You will have to upload proof of income, such as recent pay stubs, to apply. The whole process takes just a few minutes.
Within seconds of submitting your application, RISE will give you an immediate approval or denial. Unlike other forms of loans, where you specify the amount you want to borrow before submitting your application, RISE gives you a maximum approval amount. You can borrow between $500 and $5,000, depending on your credit and income.
You can take out a loan for the maximum amount you’re approved for, but depending on the state you live in, you might be able to take out a smaller loan. That means if you’re approved for $5,000 but only need $3,000, you can opt to take out the lower amount.
You might be tempted to borrow the extra money just in case you need it, but that can be a costly mistake. Instead, borrow only what you need to reduce the amount of interest you pay over time.
Once RISE approves your application and you select your loan amount, the company will transfer the funds electronically to your bank account in one business day. If you want a check instead, it could take between seven and 10 business days to receive it.
RISE credit loans are expensive
Sounds easy enough, right? You spend five minutes completing an application, select how much you want to borrow, and it’s deposited in your account in as little as 24 hours.
However, it’s not so simple when it comes to cost. RISE itself admits that it’s not the cheapest form of credit. The annual percentage rate (APR) on RISE loans can be as high as 299%. You might be willing to overlook that high rate when you’re desperate for cash, but a RISE loan can cost you thousands over time.
For example, if you lived in Idaho and borrowed $1,250 at a 299% rate, you would pay over $5,200 in interest alone, assuming a 22-month repayment term and biweekly payments.
By comparison, data released from the Federal Reserve in August 2017 show that the average APR for credit cards is 13.08%. If you charged $1,250 on a credit card with that rate and paid it off in 22 months, you’d pay back about $1,500 in total. Using a credit card instead of a loan from RISE would save you around $5,000.
RISE vs. payday loans
Although you’ll end up paying thousands more than you borrowed with RISE, it can still be a better option than other forms of credit, such as predatory payday loans.
A payday loan is a short-term, high-cost loan for small amounts. They’re used to cover your expenses until your next payday, which is usually when the loan is due. Payday loans often have higher interest rates than even those that RISE offers. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the APR on payday loans is often around 400%.
You’ll also owe that money much sooner than you would with RISE. With payday loans, your repayment term can be as short as two weeks, which means you’ll have to scramble to come up with the cash or owe even more in fees and penalties. Once you take out a payday loan, it can be difficult to break the cycle of borrowing.
While RISE is expensive, you’ll likely have more time to repay your loan at a slightly lower rate. If you have limited options, RISE can be a wiser choice than higher-interest debt such as payday loans.
What customers say in RISE credit reviews
RISE does offer many different ways to contact customer service. Email them via the form on their website or mail a letter to: RISE, Attn: Customer Support, P.O. Box 101808, Fort Worth, TX 76185
You can also reach them by phone at (866) 580-1226.
Although RISE makes it easy to contact representatives, its efforts don’t seem to resonate with customers. When it comes to RISE loans, reviews are mixed. According to the Better Business Bureau, 48 percent of RISE credit reviews are negative.
Customers regularly cite high interest rates, difficulty applying extra payments, and confusion about payment plans as common issues. Some reviewers also noted that the company was inflexible about payments when the customer faced a financial difficulty, such as a job loss.
For the 52 percent that reported a positive experience, customers said the application process was fast and easy, and that they received their funds quickly.
5 alternatives to RISE credit loans
When it comes to RISE loans, reviews clearly mention that the loans are a very expensive form of credit. While these loans can be better than expensive payday loans or cash advances, it’s still a smart decision to explore and compare your other options, first.
If you’re short on cash and need money quickly, consider these alternatives:
- Paycheck advance: Go to your human resources representative and ask if you can have an advance on your paycheck. That means you’ll get a portion of your next paycheck early so you can pay your bills.
- Use a credit card: Depending on your credit, some lenders might approve you for a credit card. If you’re on a tight budget, reserve your credit card for real emergencies and always pay off your balance as quickly as possible.
- Ask for help: It might be embarrassing to ask for help, but asking for assistance is much better than entering the high-interest loan trap. Ask your friends and family for whatever they can afford, and pay them back when you can.
- Seek emergency aid: If you’re in a desperate situation and aren’t sure where to turn, reach out to charitable organizations such as United Way or Catholic Charities. Some nonprofits offer short-term financial assistance, such as rent payment, gas cards, or a low-interest loan to help you get back on your feet.
- Pick up a side hustle: If you just can’t earn any more money at your current job, picking up a side gig can be a lifesaver. Find a side gig you can start right away so you get the money you need quickly.
When you’re desperate for cash, lenders like RISE can be tempting. But with RISE credit loans, reviews show that you’ll end up paying thousands more over the length of your repayment. Although RISE credit loans are better than payday loans, consider all the options available to you and see what’s most cost-effective.
If you’re living hand to mouth and don’t have the money for an emergency fund, find out how to break the payday loan cycle once and for all.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Rates (APR)||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|7.39% - 29.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|4.98% - 14.24%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|8.00% - 25.00%||$5,000 - $35,000|
|4.99% - 16.24%2||$5,000 - $50,000||Visit Citizens|
|5.99% - 35.89%||$1,000 - $40,000||Visit LendingClub|
|5.25% - 14.24%||$2,000 - $50,000||Visit Earnest|