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Tuesday, July 27th
Leap Credit offers small personal loans designed to help you bridge the gap between paychecks, when unexpected expenses arise. The company has been in business for less than 5 years.
Only in a few states
At the time of our review, Leap Credit was only authorized to provide funds in the following states: Alabama, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Illinois. However, if you live in a state not included in that list, they say that if you fill out an online application they can match you with a lending partner in their network. Even in some of the states where Leap Credit is licensed to lend money (such as Texas), you may still be connected with a third-party lender.
Loans up to $3,500
How much can you borrow through this platform? That depends on where you live. Click on "Terms and Rates" at the bottom of the site, and then select your state of residence to find out what's on offer there. While available loan amounts vary, we found that most states have loan amounts ranging from $500 to $3,500.
Nightmarish interest rates
You'll also want to pay very close attention to the interest rates posted for your state. When we first looked, we thought there was a mistake - but no, it turns out that Leap Credit offers loans with exorbitant APRs: up to 800%. Yes, that means you could wind up paying a total of $6,000 for a $500 loan (as one customer cited). Ironically, Leap Credit describes their service as offering you a "financial life preserver" , when really it could wind up being a weight that drags you deeper into trouble.
Leap Credit doesn't have an outstanding reputation. The Better Business Bureau gives them a "B" rating. In school, a "B" is pretty good, but when it comes to companies you're trusting with your finances, you should want as high a rating as possible. We were also troubled by the fact that, on the application page, Leap Credit has an icon claiming to be accredited by the BBB - but their listing actually had no accreditation. Considering that the lender had more than 50 complaints registered with the BBB just in the 12 months prior to our review (and a whopping 250+ complaints in the three years prior), it's no wonder that the BBB gave them a less-than-perfect grade and no accreditation.
Complaints of fraud
On the Leap Credit site, they feature client reviews through a well-known independent rating platform. In fact, all the reviews shown on the lender's page are 4- and 5-star evaluations. But, when you go directly to the review site, it tells a very different story. Reading through consumer comments there, and on the Leap Credit BBB listing is scary. More than a few people said they never signed the paperwork for their loan, after reading the offer and deciding it wasn't what they wanted - but the loan went through anyway. Leap Credit was then difficult to contact, making it almost impossible to get the situation fixed. Even more frightening are the multiple reports from people who never visited the Leap Credit site, and who paid their loans in full, and yet had payments drafted out of their accounts. Companies offering personal loans shouldn't have you needing to file a police report for fraud!
Look elsewhere for a personal loan
We can't see any reason to trust Leap Credit if you're looking for a personal loan. "Shady" and "scam" are two of the words most often used by people describing their experience with this company. We strongly encourage you to get the funds you need from a more reputable lending partner.
Historically, borrowers have had limited options for a personal loan. You could ask a family member, a friend, or find a personal finance company that offered fixed-rate loans, typically at exobrtantly high interest rates.
Today, however, finding a personal loan brings several more options to the table. While you can still ask a family member, or get a high-rate loan from a finance company, you can also consider using a social lending network. These networks, also called peer-to-peer loans, generally have much lower overhead and as a result can offer much lower interest rates. They're facilitated by professional companies familiar with this type of lending, to simplify things for all parties.
No matter where you borrow money from, before you get your next personal loan you should consider the following:
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