Ascend Consumer Finance or ascendloan.com is an online lender based in San Francisco, California, that offers competitive rates to borrowers with credit scores as low as 580 by using new risk assessment methods. The startup was founded in 2014 by Stewart Sui, Scott Crawford, and Steven Carlson, and has issued over 1,250 loans worth more than $7 million.
Ascend provides customers with two loan types: the Ascend Personal Loan, which has fixed rates and payments, and the RateReward Loan, which gives borrowers the chance to qualify for lower finance charges by using a new risk evaluation method called adaptive risk pricing. This method allows Ascend to change the rates it charges borrowers from month to month based on the financial decisions they make.
Borrowers who make financially responsible decisions such as paying debt accounts on-time, increasing savings balances or reducing their overall debt receive monthly rewards. The monthly finance charges of borrowers are then lowered every month based on the points they have earned. Rewards can reduce the APR by up to 50%. People can even choose to pledge their auto title to reduce the APR of their loan by 20% each month.
Ascend's rates range from 27.49% APR to 35.99% APR depending on credit, the loan amount and the rewards borrowers earn. Ascend doesn't charge borrowers initiation fees, application fees or prepayment fees. The only charges borrowers need to consider are the APR and late fees if they don't make payments on time.
Ascend offers loan amounts ranging from $2,600 to $12,500. The maximum loan amount is determined by credit history and income. The maximum loan amount is 36 months.
Ascend operates in Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah.
Ascend's application process is done entirely online. Ascend must confirm employment history and income before granting a loan, but application turnover times are fast and once approved borrowers receive their funds within the next business day. Deposits are done automatically, and payments can also be paid through electronic fund transfers.
Borrowers must have an income of at least $35,000 and a credit score of 580+.
Ascend offers fast loans of up to $12,500 with rates ranging from 27.49% APR to 35.99% APR to people with fair or even poor credit by using its proprietary adaptive risk assessment model. Ascend's adaptive risk assessment uses borrowers' FICO score to create a baseline rate but then tweaks it depending on the day-to-day financial decisions borrowers make.
There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties.
Ascend's RateRewards program allows borrowers who are better than their credit score to qualify for lower rates. This is an excellent tool to encourage people to make better financial decisions and reward those who are working hard to live down bad financial decisions in the past.