LendUp Payday Loans: A Comprehensive Review

LendUp is a payday loans provider based in San Francisco that provides borrowers who may not have good credit a way to qualify for loans over time that report to credit bureaus. In most cases, payday loans should be avoided. They are the loans of last resort that you should only consider in emergencies. As the Center for Responsible Lending warns, payday loans can force borrowers into a spiral of debt without regard to their ability to repay. However, not all payday lenders are created equal.

Although LendUp’s rates and terms are similar to other payday lenders, it doesn’t offer rollover loans and borrowers cannot take on additional loans to repay a previous loan. LendUp can also help borrowers learn better financial habits with their free credit education and rebuild their credit depending on the state they’re in and if they repay their loans on time.

Let’s be clear. LendUp is still a payday lender with vertigo-inducing interest rates. It can help towards improving your credit, but it will cost you, and it won’t be fast.

So are LendUp’s benefits worth the price or not? This in-depth review will look at the rates and terms of LendUp, so you can decide whether or not it makes sense in your financial situation.

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Who Can Benefit From A LendUp Loan?

LendUp offers short­-term loans to consumers of all financial backgrounds and is an option for people of all credit types who need money fast. But realistically, only borrowers with poor to fair credit and no assets to leverage in a secured loan should consider a LendUp loan due to the high APR of their payday loan fees.

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If you have the right debit card, LendUp can approve your loan and transfer funds within 15 minutes, but it can take up to two hours, and in some cases longer. A transaction fee is required for expedited deposit. If your debit card supports this type of transaction, funds are expedited to your account. Your bank determines exactly when the deposit is available to you.

Customers who don’t have good credit often find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle. They need to report regular and on-time payments to the credit bureaus to repair their credit, but lenders will not offer them loans because of their credit history. The lenders that do agree to lend them cash, such as payday lenders, only report to credit bureaus if borrowers miss payments. LendUp creates a path for proven repeat borrowers to qualify for installment loans that are reported to credit bureaus where available.

LendUp loans may be an option for people who regularly need small loans and would like to repair their credit. However, there are other lenders, such as LoanNow, that offer installment loans to people with poor credit and report to the credit bureaus right away.

What Are LendUp’s Rates and Terms

LendUp’s interest rates varies depending on state, loan amount and loan duration. Proven repeat borrowers who build a solid history of on-time payments can qualify for lower rates. The maximum loan amount for first-time borrowers is $250. Repeat borrowers can access larger loan amounts with longer terms where available.

How Do LendUp’s Payday Loans Work?

LendUp is a direct lender, not a middleman, so it can provide borrowers with an instant decision on loan approval.  No need to wait for hours or days on an approval or denial of credit. The online application form only takes as few as 5 minutes to complete.

There are no hidden fees and, unlike most payday lenders, there are no rollovers to worry about.

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LendUp’s Ladder

LendUp’s ladder is a program that rewards borrowers. If you get a loan, you could climb the LendUp Ladder over time, which may result in your payments being reported to the three major credit bureaus — and increase your credit score. You can get access to small­-dollar, short­-term loans and move up the LendUp Ladder where available.

LendUp Ladder

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What Is LendUp’s Application Process Like?

LendUp’s application process is easy to complete and entirely automated. Borrowers get an immediate decision once they complete the application. This section will review the six steps that need to be completed in order to qualify for a LendUp loan.

1. Select The Loan Amount And Repayment Period

LendUp has a sliding bar you can use to choose the amount you want to borrow and a slide bar to determine the term of the payday loan. As you make your choices, LendUp instantly provides the equivalent APR and total loan cost.

LendUp Loans application 1

2. Create An Account.

You will need an email address, a password, and agree to LendUp’s terms of service.

LendUp payday loans

3. Submit Personal Details

New borrowers must provide their full name, SSN, mobile phone, date of birth, and address.

LendUp Loans application

4. Submit Employment Details

LendUp needs to know your current employer, how long you have worked there, your annual income, and how often you are paid.

LendUp Loans application

5. Military Disclosure

Disclose whether you are a member of the Armed Forces (or the dependent of one).

LendUp Loans Application screenshot

6. Banking Details

Provide the routing number and account number of the bank account where you receive your income.

bank info

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of LendUp?

LendUp has the following benefits over other payday lenders:

  • Borrowers can apply online
  • Proven repeat borrowers can qualify for lower interest rates larger loan amounts and longer repayment periods where available.
  • Clear terms. No hidden fees.
  • Direct Lender.
  • No rollovers. LendUp does not trap borrowers in a cycle of debt.
  • Provides free credit education
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LendUp has the following disadvantages over other payday lenders:

  • Maximum loan amount of $250 for first-time borrowers.
  • Interest rates are very high, particularly for first-time borrowers.
  • Lower rates are not available to new borrowers.
  • Other borrowers, such as LoanNow,, also offer installment loans to borrowers with poor credit and report loan activity to credit bureaus straight away.

The Bottom Line

LendUp is a payday lender. Therefore, it has expensive rates, small loan amounts, and short terms. LendUp loans are not a great deal for borrowers with fair or good credit who are likely to qualify for better rates and terms elsewhere. However, LendUp is an option for borrowers who need a payday loan and could qualify for loans that could be reported to the credit bureaus.

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