Expect the unexpected – that is a practical take on life. It is all the more applicable in the financial context. An emergency or an unprecedented situation crops up just when we don’t need it.
One struggles to seek out resources for additional cash requirement, that too, fast. The banks and other institutions have a lot of layers to their loan sanctioning process and they are bound by rigid terms and conditions. They would take weeks to come to a decision on a loan application. One’s below-par credit score or the unfortunate financial history do not help.
In such situations, one needs a lender who acts fast, and whose terms of lending are flexible.
RISE Credit is one such finance provider in the US which claims to lend a wide range of cash on borrower-friendly terms. The loan amount can vary from $500 to $5,000, and one can pay back in as many as 24 monthly installments. The best part is that RISE Credit claims its interest burden is in the lower range of the industry average.
RISE Credit loans are an ideal solution for individuals looking for fast cash on easy terms and which can be repaid in installments as per their convenience.
About RISE Credit
RISE Credit was established in 2005 in Fort Worth, Texas. It is active in 15 states of the country, namely, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah or Wisconsin.
RISE Credit is an online lending business. All its operations are internet-based, so one can access its portal remotely anytime, from anywhere. This is particularly helpful for people who are not able to commute. For example, it is a blessing for a pregnant woman or an elderly person, or even someone who is hospitalized.
The company is also one of the better ones in terms of customer support. It can be reached through phone, email, fax, and if one wishes, even at its various physical locations. Additionally, it provides dedicated assistance throughout the loan processing procedure, making it easy for those who are not digitally savvy, to apply.
When we scrolled the company’s FAQs, we found that it is a transparent and honest effort to address customer concerns even before they arise. The list took us through a host of scenarios that can arise during the customer journey, and satisfactorily settled the concerns by clear and transparent answers.
The loan processing lifecycle at RISE Credit
The company claims that its online loan application and processing is fast and short.
Fast it is, short it isn’t. However, we found that the slightly lengthy application process is aimed at making informed and judicious decisions. The company requires some sensitive information regarding the loan applicant’s financial profile.
It also requires an applicant to pass through a credit check before processing the loan, and asks for additional information such as a driver’s license. One does not qualify if they have declared bankruptcy in the past, or cannot provide an income proof.
On the brighter side, RISE Credit does not make employment a mandatory precondition. Social security benefits, disability pay-outs and other sources of income are also considered as valid incomes.
RISE Credit needs to verify your documents, so a handy fax will help.
To apply, one needs:
- SS number
- Driver’s license
- Active checking account with a bank
- Proof of income as mentioned above
- Be of 18 years of age or more
- Be a US citizen or a permanent resident
The loan approval process at Rise Credit is slower than other online lenders. Compared to within-minutes decisions, this company takes up to a day to approve or reject a loan. But again, this is in the best interest of both the stakeholders. Once approved, the cash is deposited in the borrower’s account within 24 hours or one business day.
Advantages of RISE Credit loans
The RISE lending format is different and more thoughtful than its peers’ products.
Better than a payday loan
The RISE loan is designed to offer borrowers a better option than a payday loan. Its business logic is that their loans should not only suffice to meet urgent needs, but also get one’s finances back in order.
It is pitched against the short-term, low-amount impulsive lending concept. Its borrowing range is $500-$5,000, and the repayment tenure is stretched from a few months to 2 years. This gives the borrower flexibility, ease and a planned roadmap to repayment.
Although an unsecured product, the RISE loan’s interest is not predatory. This is one of the main features of the company’s promotion. It claims that its interest range is very considerate, in the 36-299 percent range range. Compared to the astronomical payday loan percentage that climb up to the multiple-thousand range, RISE Credit interest looks eminently payable!
Here is a typical RISE Credit interest and repayment calculation:
amount per installment
This, in effect, sums up the lender’s claim on its website, “We believe everyone deserves a fighting chance. For millions of working Americans, RISE is a better way to borrow.”
Reporting to a major credit bureau
RISE Credit is vocal about its payment reporting practice. Keeping the name confidential, the company says that it reports borrowers’ repayment details to a major credit bureau. This is a boon for customers, as it helps them climb up the credit score ladder.
A better score means an enhanced financial profile. Its advantages are manifold – from availing future loans at competitive rates, to their pre-approval. In long term, this reporting practice helps individuals build a better financial future.
Customer education program
RISE Credit earnestly believes that individuals can lead a better life through financial awareness, judicious use of money including earned and loaned cash, and by steadily climbing the credit score ladder. Toward this end, the company runs a “Financial Wellness” initiative aimed at keeping the borrower economically fit!
The learning tools consist of text, audio and videos. They orient the learner on three basic aspects of financial wellness:
Build good credit: In order to rise in financial status, one needs a good credit rating, and this cannot be achieved unless one is aware of one’s present standing. RISE Credit offers free tools to build a strong credit.
This facility can be availed through the company’s free Credit Score Plus feature.
Build better money habits: This module empowers the learners to be wise, money-wise. It includes material on budgeting, saving, and debt management and incremental debt reduction.
These habits can inculcate discipline and direction to one’s financial journey. As one advances in age, their financial needs will only grow. According to a survey, over 20% of the country’s personal borrowing originates from the GenX, or the 45-55 age-group.
This clearly indicates that with increasing age and reducing income, those who did not plan for a secure financial future had to resort to loans with hefty interests. This only pulled them down the credit ladder, making borrowing increasingly difficult for them.
The RISE customer education program aims at raising the credit bar of hard-working Americans and saving them from the interest vortex.
RISE Credit prides itself in being a customer-oriented company. One of the highlighted quotes on the company website is, “We’re not just here to lend money fast. We’re here because we believe in you.”
The company states that as an ethical e-commerce service provider, it is committed to its consumers’ rights while visiting their web portal. This is important for RISE Credit, since it evaluates loan applications critically and asks for more sensitive information and personal details than the other lenders.
On its part, the company pledges to use such data for the limited purposes of evaluation and processing of loans, and for future contact if needed. Further, the company pledges non-disclosure of this data and vows never to share it to any third party.
Strong portal architecture
The RISE Credit portal is known for two performance-enhancing features:
Strong backbone that can withstand heavy to very heavy visitor burden. Such a resilient construction of portal prevents site hang-up and sluggish operation resulting in slow speeds. Both these eventualities can result in poor checkout experiences and even a security threat while an online transaction is in process.
Robust portal security: the RISE Credit firewall is multi-layered and embeds some advanced features such as data encryption. This means that data entered by visitors ceases to be legible information and gets transformed into codes. Hence, all personal details and confidential information shared on the RISE Credit portal are safe and secure.
Other salient features
RISE Credit offers these differentials that stand out from other lenders:
- Decreasing interest rates: RISE Credit has a dynamic interest rate structure which crawls down on certain add-on loans. For example, if a borrower avails additional credit, they are eligible to progressive interest reductions. These rates crawl down to as low as 36% effective interest.
- Borrower decides the repayment schedule: This can be as fast as a few months, or as long as 24 months.
- 5-day risk-free guarantee: Under this unique offer, the borrower can reverse the borrowing decision within 5 days of taking the loan. They just have to pay the principal amount, not interest of any fees.
- Credit Plus facility: This is a free feature that offers credit score and credit alerts to RISE customers. The program is affiliated with a reputed credit rating agency, TransUnion®.
RISE Interest structure – a win-win structure
RISE acknowledges that resorting to a personal loan should not be a borrower’s first choice. This type of borrowing is fraught with risks that compel lenders to keep interest rates high. There are various reasons:
- Unsecured nature of lending: By default, small dollar loans are unsecured instruments.
- No collateral: Almost the entire short-term, small-amount lending is made in fast timelines which does not allow lenders to deep-dive into borrowers’ financial profiles. The high interest rates are the lenders’ way to hedge the risks of rapid personal lending.
- Lending to subprime borrowers: Many lenders offer loans to borrowers with subprime credit scores, and even to those without regular incomes. This is understandably high-risk lending.
- Lending to special class people: The emergency cash requirement hits hard the blue-collared workers, vocational workers, the senior citizens, the especially abled people, single parents, and other unfortunate classes. These are marginalized groups with little hope of dramatic improvement in their earnings. They are also the focus groups for private lenders. In return for instant cash, they charge a high interest.
The sad reality is that universally, personal loans come with the excess baggage of steep interest.
RISE Credit has positioned its rates at a rational level which hurts neither the borrowers’ interest nor the company’s. These rates vary between 36% and 299%. Since they are dependent on individual states, we advise readers to check applicable rates for their state on the RISE Credit website www.risecredit.com
There are lots of options for personal loans these days. That means it’s more important than ever to learn as much as possible about the different lenders. That’s why we’ve included some information about what authoritative consumer review sites have to say about RISE Credit personal loans. Use this information to make an informed decision about your personal loan options.
Better Business Bureau
RISE Credit is not accredited by the BBB. However, they do have an A rating with the company. There are 142 total consumer reviews on the site. 101 of those reviews are positive. There’s one neutral review and 40 negative reviews. This gives RISE Credit a composite score of 4.40 out of 5 stars.
Most of the customer complaints focus on the high interest rates. However, the customer would have needed to agree to these rates before they took the loan. That means most of the complaints seem like a case of buyer’s remorse.
Moreover, the company does a good job of responding to BBB reviews and complaints. That gives people the ability to understand why issues happen, and what protections they have from problems with the company.
Many of the reviews do have helpful information. They highlight that the way RISE credit deals with interest, which is to calculate it daily. That means you might wind up paying more than 100% of the loan’s value in interest alone. Therefore, you should be extra careful to read the fine print and be sure you understand the terms of the loan when you apply for a personal loan with RISE credit.
Mostly Good BBB Reviews for RISE Credit
However, it’s important to note that there are lots of reviews praising the company. Many of these reviews highlight how quickly RISE followed through on promotional interest discounts. They also talk about how fast the application process is. On the whole, it seems as though RISE Credit personal loans are a good option for some people, but not for others. This shows why it’s important to carefully check the different personal loan options you have.
Taking a 360 degree view of RISE Credit’s corporate profile, its policies, business model, performance, reputation, best practices record, and customer reviews, we give the company a very good-to-excellent rating, which means a 4-star badge. Incidentally, TrustPilot has also given the company a 4-star rating.
RISE Credit’s strengths are its customer-centricity, focus on customer education and awareness, ethical conduct, fair interest regime, efficient portal performance, and innovation-based management style.
Among the few flip sides, RISE Credit could do better on the loan evaluation period. In comparison with the online market average of a few minutes, the company takes a day to reach a decision on loan applications.
RISE Credit could also improve its customer education program by adding statistics, infographics, interactive tools, and more, in its videos. This will lead to enhanced branded content. OK, finally, RISE Credit can use digital marketing for better corporate awareness. Right now, the company’s visibility on digital channels is average-to-low.
All said, the company is young. If RISE Credit keeps going at the same pace and with the same principles, it will soon earn an all-star badge.
Robert is our in-house expert on personal loans and finance. He got an MBA, specializing in Finance, before joining the workforce. After working for multiple Fortune 500 companies in the past decade, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.